review Motoring

Audi Q2: Part-SUV, part-hatch, pure thrills

A size smaller than the likes of the BMW X1, the Q2 is part-SUV, part-large hatchback and the brand’s smallest Q model globally. So, what is it like on our roads?

The Q2’s design is quite forward-looking and it boasts of Audi’s understated demeanour in spades, be it the shoulder and roofline or the gently bulging wheel arches. There is also the wide rectangular nose with its multiple trapezoidal details. The flanks look like they have been worked on with a giant chisel; the sharp cuts and ridges look especially nice when catching the light. The ‘T’ shaped pattern in the headlights and tail-lights also work well.

Inside, there is more than sufficient space, the seats are extremely supportive and comfortable. But there is no power adjustment and touch screen: two shocking omissions.

The slightly elevated driving position feels just right. Visibility is superb, and the dash does not seem to be in your face either. The quality of the soft-top dash and the fit and finish of the various chrome elements make this a cabin you want to touch and feel all the time. The flat-bottom steering wheel feels great to hold and the knurled metallic knobs and dials are also a delight to use. You also get Audi’s Virtual Cockpit: the configurable, fully digital instrument panel, a wireless charging tray in the elbow box and a big sunroof too. Rear visibility, however, is poor.

Specifications
  • Length 4318mm
  • Width 1805mm
  • Height 1548mm
  • Wheelbase 2595mm
  • Kerb weight 1505kg
  • Boot capacity 355 litres
  • Engine 1984cc, 4-cyls, turbo-petrol
  • Power 190hp at 4200-6000rpm
  • Torque 320Nm at 1500-4180rpm
  • Gearbox 7-speed dual-clutch automatic

Headroom is decent, there is surplus knee room and since you can put your feet under the front seats, you can even stretch out a bit. The seat base is short and the backrest is a bit upright, meaning long drives might get a bit uncomfortable.

The Q2 also conjures up plenty of thrills for the driver. A lot of this is down to its 190hp power output, and its 2.0-litre engine, which is one of the best four-cylinder engines around.

Idle is vibration-free and refined, the response is immediate and does not feel turbocharged. There is no sudden spike in power when the boost comes in, but there is still a clear ramp up after 2,000rpm and all the way to the 6,200rpm redline. There is an enthusiasm here that you would normally find only in a naturally aspirated engine, and though the acceleration does not quite throw you back in your seat, performance is still very urgent.

The Q2 comes with a dual-clutch gearbox, which is quick on the draw during regular driving. However, what takes away from the driving experience is that, at times, it can be reluctant to shift down. This happens just when you need it most — like when you need to brake, downshift and get into a corner — and that can be quite frustrating.

Audi Q2: Part-SUV, part-hatch, pure thrills

What is impressive is a suspension that rides silently over bad patches of road. While it is fairly absorbent, there is some amount of stiffness and this shows up over some of the sharper-edged bumps. Also, there is a bit of roll in corners but body control in general is very good. Since there is plenty of grip, you can put the power down quite nicely too. The steering could do with a bit more feedback though; the Q2 begins to understeer if you push harder. Still, the driving experience in general is pleasing and this is a car you just love to drive quickly, be it in a straight line or around a series of nicely meandering corners. The Q2 also comes with a transverse engine, a front-biased setup, and an on-demand AWD system based on a multi-plate clutch.

With prices ranging between ₹34.99 and ₹48.89 lakh (ex-showroom), the Q2 is certainly pricey, and is targeted at self-driven owners who want a compact luxury crossover with good performance, everyday useability and a high-quality cabin.

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Printable version | Nov 24, 2020 3:57:26 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/motoring/audi-q2-part-suv-part-hatch-pure-thrills/article32912729.ece

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