New Audi Q2 2020 review
The updated Audi Q2 crossover gets fresh looks and extra kit, all at lower prices
The Audi Q2 has always offered plenty of appeal in the compact SUV market, and potential buyers are sure to love the increased standard spec on this new model, especially when it’s made all the more tempting by a small price drop compared with the previous version. The Q2 remains a perfectly fine car to drive, but in the face of fresher competition from German rivals BMW and Mercedes, the Q2 isn’t quite the pick of the bunch.
The Audi Q2 has received a nip and tuck for 2020. The brand’s answer to the BMW X2 and Mercedes GLA introduces improved tech, tweaked styling and what Audi hopes is a more tempting price tag alongside updated standard equipment.
It might not sound radical, but Audi could argue it didn’t need to mess with a winning formula. Last year the Q2 was Audi’s most popular SUV in the UK, and its third-biggest seller overall – after the A1 and A3.
The Q2’s styling is a major part of its appeal, and it’s still very distinctive in Audi’s line-up. The changes for 2020 are fairly subtle; the front gets more angular fake intakes, while the grille grows slightly wider and lower. Like other recent Audis, the Q2 gets three narrow vents above the main grille – a nod to the original Quattro.
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Around the back, the small vents on the bumper’s outer edges mirror those at the front. Finally, every Q2 now gets updated LED lights front and rear; high-spec cars come with smarter matrix units that can use the high beam to highlight road signs and avoid dazzling oncoming traffic.
Along with the subtle cosmetic upgrade come five new colours and, as before, details like the C-pillar ‘blades’, lower bumpers and wheelarch trims are finished in contrasting or matching shades depending on the trim level. Most models in the line-up feature fresh alloy wheel designs, too, which range from 16 to 19 inches in diameter.
Inside, the Q2 is pretty much the same as before, with a couple of new trims and materials the only superficial changes. The dashboard is a slightly jazzed-up version of the last car’s, with lively inserts that have backlighting in higher-spec models. It’s still one of Audi’s finest designs; physical controls for the climate functions remain, yet the design looks clean and minimalist.
All but the most basic Technik trim level get Audi’s 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit. It looks great, with lots of customisation options to allow the driver to prioritise driving data, route info or entertainment functions.
However, we wish Audi had gone a little further with the infotainment. While some will be glad that there’s still a clickwheel, it makes entering navigation and address instructions much more laborious than through a touchscreen. BMW X2’s set-up, which makes use of both touch-sensitive and physical controls, is the best in the business. The Q2’s set-up is a little laggy, too, and when you factor in the slick system in the Mercedes GLA, the Q2 is falling behind the class best in this area.
Much the same can be said on the move, too. The Q2 drives well enough, but it won’t blow you away, although It’s stable in corners and on the motorway, and noise is well suppressed.
Progressive steering is now standard and, with this, the steering becomes more direct as more lock is applied, cutting the amount of turns required to park and aiding stability at higher speed.
On the standard springs, the Q2 can sometimes fidget a little around town, However, we also sampled a model with adaptive dampers, and this resulted in a more sophisticated ride than the standard set-up, even when equipped with the largest (19-inch) wheels available. However, it’s a feature reserved for the top-spec Vorsprung trim level.
The revised Q2 will launch with a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine with 148bhp and 250Nm, and with the 30 TFSI, will take around 90 per cent of sales. A single diesel, the 35 TDI with 148bhp and an automatic gearbox, will account for the rest.
For the most part, the 30 TFSI engine is all that buyers need. The 1.0-litre unit is quiet, and gives fair performance. The manual gearbox is slightly clunky, though, and not helped by the odd shape of the gearknob.
More positively, kit levels are improved throughout the range. Every Q2 has a powered tailgate, smartphone connectivity, rear parking sensors, cruise control, and sports seats with electric lumbar support.
Despite this, it’s cheaper, too. In Sport and S line trims, the 35 TFSI petrol model costs £500-£600 less than before. With strong predicted residual values, finance payments should also be very competitive.
|Model:||Audi Q2 30 TFSI Sport|
|Engine:||1.0-litre 3cyl turbo petrol|
|Transmission:||Six-speed manual, front-wheel drive|