Audi Q2 review (2016-2023)

The Audi Q2 is a compact SUV that gives you premium-brand quality and comfort.

Published: 14 March 2023

  • Audi Q2 driving

Summary

If you want a premium-brand SUV that’s compact and won’t cost too much to run, the Audi Q2 could be just what you’re looking for. It’s stylish and classy and gives you the kind of comfort and high-quality interior you’d expect of an Audi. 

The Q2 has been sold in the UK since 2016 and was updated in 2019 with subtly refreshed styling and Audi’s latest tech. You can choose from models with petrol or diesel engines and manual or automatic gearboxes, and some have four-wheel drive. There’s a broad range of trim levels available, but we’re not looking at the high-performance SQ2 here because Audi markets that as a separate model.

Pros

  • Fuel-efficient engines
  • Top-quality interior
  • Smooth and comfortable to drive

Cons

  • Limited back-seat space
  • Smallish boot
  • Costs more than many rivals
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Interior

Dashboard & tech

As with many of Audi’s cars, the interior of the Q2 is a real highlight. It’s classy, stylish and combines lots of high-tech features with real ease-of-use. 

Although the infotainment display in the centre of the dashboard isn’t as large as in some newer SUVs, it has sharp graphics and the menus are easy to navigate. It’s not a touchscreen – instead you control functions using a click-wheel next to the gear lever, a bit like using a mouse with your laptop, which some people will prefer. As well as DAB radio and Bluetooth, all Q2s have support for Apple CarPlay or Android Auto and all but the least-expensive versions have built-in sat nav. 

The separate air con controls are lower down on the dashboard and very easy to find and adjust on the move. On the steering wheel, you’ll find buttons to set the cruise control, and shortcuts to the phone and stereo. Some models have a widescreen digital driver’s display that can show everything from basic speedo and rev counter dials to full-screen sat nav maps.

Comfort

The seats in the Q2 are very comfortable, even if you’ve spent all day in them. Some models have sports seats which provide extra support when going around corners. There are models with leather upholstery, too, which adds a touch of luxury. The interior is generally very quiet with little engine, wind or road noise to be heard.

Quality

You’ll pay more for the Q2 than for many other small SUVs but its high-quality interior gives it a more premium feel than most rivals. The plastics are mostly soft and pleasant to the touch and the buttons click satisfyingly when pressed. The leather-wrapped steering wheel feels good in your hands and the seat fabrics feel really plush. It’s a lovely place to spend time.

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Practicality & boot space

Interior space

There’s a decent amount of space in the Q2’s front seats, with sufficient headroom and legroom for someone over six feet tall to get comfortable. The back seats are less roomy. They’re fine for children, but legroom is tight for taller adults. If you’re looking for a family car, other small SUVs such as the Ford Puma and Renault Captur are more accommodating. 

Storage spaces dotted around the interior include door pockets that can hold a 1-litre drinks bottle; a cubby hole under the front armrest; two cupholders in front of the gear lever; and a glovebox that can hold a few bags of crisps.

Boot space

The Q2’s 405-litre boot capacity is more than enough to hold a few large suitcases or half a dozen big bags-for-life. That’s more space than you get in a typical mid-size hatchback such as the Ford Focus, which is a much longer car overall. However, there are other small SUVs like the Renault Captur that have a usefully larger boot and could be a better option if you regularly need to carry lots of stuff or a big dog in your car. Note that four-wheel-drive models have slightly smaller boots.

Versatility

On those occasions when you need to pack in more than the boot can accommodate, the Q2’s back seats fold down in a two-piece, 60/40 split (or a three-piece, 40/20/40 split in Vorsprung models). Once the seats are folded there’s 1,050 litres of space, enough to kit out a bedroom with flat-pack furniture. 

The back seat does slope up once folded, but there’s a seamless join with the boot floor. There’s a small ‘lip’ between the boot and the back bumper, but the opening is relatively large. It’s no hassle to heave in heavy or awkwardly shaped objects.

Diesel four-wheel-drive models can tow 1,700kg, which is the highest capacity of any comparable small SUV.

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Driving

Driving experience

The Q2 feels as good to drivers as it does to passengers. The responsive steering gives you a pleasing sense of control and the ride is generally comfortable. It feels safe and stable whether you’re driving along a city street riddled with potholes and speed humps, or cruising down the motorway. 

The car’s compact size means threading down narrow streets and slotting into parking spaces takes little effort. On faster country roads, you’ll notice there’s barely a hint of body lean in corners. Bumps do feel more pronounced in models with bigger wheels, but never to the point of discomfort. 

There are other small SUVs that feel more fun to drive, but the Q2’s comfort does give it a high feel-good factor.

Performance

When it comes to performance, the various Q2 models fall into one of three groups. First, those with around 115bhp. They’re reasonably nippy but ultimately emphasise fuel economy over speed.

The second group has around 150bhp. These are what you might call the ‘all-purpose’ models. They accelerate pretty quickly, yet there’s no real penalty in reduced efficiency.

Lastly, there are petrol models with around 190bhp, which give you the performance of a hot hatchback.

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Running costs

Fuel economy & CO2 emissions

The Q2 is fuel-efficient for a compact SUV. According to official figures, Q2 models with a petrol engine can give average fuel economy of 34mpg to 55 mpg, and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are rated at 115g/km to 184g/km. Diesel models can give 47mpg to 68mpg, with CO2 emissions of 109g/km to 155g/km. Unlike with some rivals, however, there are no Q2 hybrid or pure-electric models.

We should note that the method to calculate fuel economy changed while the Q2 has been on sale, to better reflect real-world driving conditions. The result is lower mpg and higher g/km numbers, and that’s why newer Q2s can look less efficient on paper.

Value for money

Being the product of a premium brand, the Q2 does cost more to buy than rivals from ‘mainstream’ brands like Ford and Peugeot. However, you may feel that the Q2’s upmarket image, plush interior and beautifully precise build quality are worth paying a bit extra for.

Reliability & Warranty

Audi has something of a mixed reputation for reliability. In the J.D. Power 2019 UK Vehicle Dependability Study, Audi ranked 22nd among the 24 brands in the survey. 

Audi provides a three-year or 60,000-mile (whichever comes first) warranty on new Q2s, which is the same coverage that most car manufacturers provide. A used Q2 will still be covered if it’s still within those limits.

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Safety

Safety features

Safety organisation Euro NCAP awarded the Q2 a full five-star safety rating, giving it high marks for protecting both adults and children in a crash. Driver-assistance systems fitted as standard include automatic emergency braking and lane-departure warning; some models have extra features including adaptive cruise control and rear cross-traffic alert.

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Trims & Engines

Trim levels

The most popular trim levels available on the Q2 are SE, Technik, Sport and S Line. SE and Technik come with the same features as standard, including an infotainment system you can connect your smartphone to, air con, cruise control and Bluetooth. Sport models have bigger, 17-inch alloy wheels and sports seats, plus sat nav and an eight-speaker stereo. S Line has a sportier look, featuring 18-inch alloy wheels, deeper bumpers and a rear spoiler, plus LED headlights and part-leather upholstery.

You might come across some less-common trim levels. Black Edition features a package of gloss-black exterior styling details. Edition 1 and Vorsprung models have 19-inch alloy wheels and luxurious Nappa leather upholstery.

Engines

To identify the Q2 engine options, Audi uses a numbering system. In earlier Q2 models these relate to the engine’s size, as in 1.0 litres or 1.4 litres. In 2018 Audi switched to a new numbering system that gives each of its engines a number between 30 and 70 depending on how much power it has (the more power the higher the number. For the Q2 these numbers are either 30, 35 or 40. 

The Q2’s ‘TFSI’ petrol engines range in size from 1.0 litres to 2.0 litres and in power from 114bhp to 187bhp. The 1.0-litre engine is the most popular: it provides pretty nippy acceleration with excellent fuel efficiency. But the extra power of the nearly-as-efficient 1.4-litre and 1.5-litre engines is useful when overtaking or joining a motorway. The most powerful 2.0-litre engine can give very quick acceleration but uses quite a lot of fuel. 

You’ll also see the term CoD, which stands for ‘cylinder on demand’, a system whereby two of the engine’s four cylinders shut down under certain circumstances to improve fuel economy.

On the ‘TDI’ diesel options, the Q2 offers a 1.6-litre engine with 114bhp or a 2.0-litre one with 147bhp. The smaller engine is more popular but the larger engine is better able to cope with a heavy load of passengers and luggage.

The 2.0-litre engines have an automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive (which Audi calls ‘quattro’). The smaller engines are available with a manual or an automatic gearbox and have front-wheel drive.

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