Saturday, July 29, 2017
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High-riding hatch - New Audi Q2


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Audi is aiming fairly and squarely at the younger buyer with its new model the Q2.


The German-built baby SUV is a crossover-style high-riding hatch targeted at city drivers with a taste for European style, similar in specifications to its slightly bigger brother the Audi Q3. It even shares the same engine.

Farmer Autovillage’s Audi general sales manager Blair Woolford told Bay Driver the two models will appeal to very different clientele.

“The Q3 appeals to people looking for a more traditional SUV shape and look; the Q2, on the other hand, charms a slightly younger audience that is stepping up into a premium car for the first time.” After an afternoon in the Q2, we think Audi might be right on the money.



Fresh, new look

At first glance the design of the Q2 is noticeably different to the rest of the Audi range. It has some very distinctive lines and a fresh new look for the brand that introduces some new elements Blair says are likely to show up in other models in the future. “Audi calls it polygonal design,” says Blair.

No stranger to the four rings, self-confessed Audi addict Melissa Batchelor volunteered as this week’s Bay Driver. And yes, no prizes for picking the surname, my lovely wife who swore she’d never model for me couldn’t pass up the invitation to test-drive the latest offering from her German friends.

Off the bat Mel noticed Audi’s latest headlight signature, an eye-catching daytime-running light configuration with some new LED indicators that swipe left and right rather than blink. Inside, Mel recognised the Q2 has a typical Audi vibe just like her previously-owned A3’s, albeit modernised considerably.

The controls are easy to use and the Audi MMI system and central controller continues to be one of the best in the business. Other appealing elements inside include the well thought-out design of the door handles and the interior lighting package, which lights up panels across the length of the dash.

The seats are very supportive and comfortable and the driving position in the Q2 is excellent. It somehow combines the feel of a slightly higher riding vehicle with a squat sporty hatch, which both Mel and I thought was pretty clever. Front visibility is excellent too thanks to thinner than average A-pillars and with rear-parking sensors and with reversing camera as standard fare across the board, reversing is a cinch.

The Q2 has a nice back end too with the second row unsurprisingly compact given the dimensions of the Q2. But there was more than enough knee and toe room for me at 183cm, with Bay Driver photographer Bruce occupying the front passenger seat. Headroom is also plentiful both front and rear. The boot space is a generous 405 litres – or 1050L with rear seats folded – is more than that of the A3 Sportback’s figure of 380L, or 1220L maximum.



The test drive

First up on the test drive we noted our Q2 1.4 TFSI had a couple of extra options fitted including some gorgeous 19” RS7 Alloy Wheels as well as the Technology package that adds the Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster that has to be seen to be believed and a state-of-the-art Sat-Nav package.

We were super impressed with the power in such a small car too – the TFSI offers up 110kW/250Nm of torque from its 1.4-litre turbo engine and ensures blistering acceleration from a standing start that will impress most buyers. But it’s how the Q2 handles, and its ride quality, that really impresses. The suspension set-up is sprung for a mixture of comfort and sporty driving and it tackles ruts and bumps with ease. No crashing through potholes here. This also means the Q2 handles incredibly well and is agile though corners and sweeping bends, with no hint of body roll. Add to that the sharp steering – the Q2 features a Progressive steering system – and the overall drive experience of the Q2 is nothing short of excellent. We weren’t expecting much from the little crossover on that front, but the usual compromises of an SUV are not present. Kudos to Audi for achieving that very difficult balance.



The verdict


If the endless hints from Mel during the weekend are anything to go by, Audi is onto a winner here. The new quirky, modern design of the Q2 will likely win Audi some new fans, and perhaps even welcome back some old ones too but it’s the drive experience that will ensure its longevity in the small SUV segment.

SPECS

• Engine Size - 1395cc (Turbo)
• Power - 110kw / 250Nm Torque
• Transmission – 7-speed S Tronic
• Electronic Stability Control with Torque Vectoring
• Anti-theft alarm system with interior monitoring
• Cruise control with Speed Limiter
• Keyless Entry and Start
• Audi Smart Phone Interface
• MMI Navigation
Price: RRP from $54,500 plus On-Road Costs.
Dealer: Farmer Autovillage,
116 Hewletts Rd, Mount Maunganui. Phone: 07 578 6017.

Model kindly supplied by Mediaworks Tauranga.









 
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