Audi Q2 1.4 petrol 2016 review
The 1.4-litre petrol engine is a good choice for the Audi Q2, but it's pricey in S-line trim with added options
The Audi Q2 is stylish, good to drive and reasonably efficient, and this 1.4-litre petrol is a decent choice - although it’s not quite as economical as the diesel. In top-spec S-line trim, however, the already pricey Q2 starts to look very expensive indeed, especially as the kit list is lacking and the options will add up far too quickly.
Our group test of the new Audi Q2 put the car a close second behind Mazda’s excellent CX-3, although the 1.6-litre diesel model we put head-to-head with its rivals still impressed on UK roads. Audi says the top-selling car will be the 1.4-litre TFSi petrol, however, so is that the pick of the range?
We tried the 1.4 TFSi engine in the Q2 in range-topping S-line trim with a seven-speed S-tronic dual-clutch gearbox and front-wheel drive. The 1.4-litre petrol comes with ‘Cylinder on Demand’ tech, which cleverly shuts down two of the four cylinders when they’re not needed, saving fuel.
That’s why the fuel economy figures of 52.3mpg and 123g/km of CO2 look more like those of a diesel than a petrol. Luckily the petrol doesn’t have the rattly, unpleasant drone of the diesel and, with 148bhp to the 1.6’s 114bhp, it’s much more powerful too.
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Sprinting from 0-62mph in 8.5 seconds, the 1.4 sounds sporty and revs nicely, but still has plenty of kick at low revs thanks to that 250Nm of torque coming in at 1,500rpm. The S-tronic gearbox is excellent, shifting smoothly and quickly, with the manual mode using some small paddles on the back of the steering wheel. It’s not as enjoyable to use as the manual ‘box though, which has a smooth, light shift.
The Q2 is good to drive as well, with that enjoyable powertrain working well with the car’s tidy handling. The suspension is fairly stiff with the standard set-up, and on the sport set-up fitted to our S-line car (a no-cost option) there was even less roll in corners - but, of course, the trade-off is a harsh ride. In the Q2 the standard suspension is a better fit, but whatever you go for this small Audi SUV isn’t a particularly smooth cruiser.
Plus, while the interior has a smart, simple design it’s not up to par with the rest of the Audi range. With this model costing nearly £28,000 that’s all the more disappointing. The upmarket Q3 seems like a more sensible buy than the Q2 at this money, as its interior is higher quality and there’s loads more space inside.
Families will be disappointed by the Q2’s small boot and lack of interior storage spaces, although legroom in the back is pretty good. When it comes to space, the Q2 sits in an awkward middle ground between the more practical Q3 and the better-value A3 Sportback so it’s the very definition of a niche market model.
It’s not aimed at customers of those cars, though, instead targeting a younger, more style-conscious buyer. Unfortunately. the Q2’s closest competitor, the Mazda CX-3, is a much better buy when you’re spending this sort of cash on a small SUV as it comes with loads more kit. Options like LED lights, adaptive cruise control, tinted windows and even lumbar support added a huge amount to the list price of our test car here, which is already expensive to start with.
You can start to see where the Q2 begins to make sense when it comes to the looks, as it’s a distinctive car and there are lots of customisation options that should appeal to those trendy buyers Audi is targeting. You can also get the excellent Virtual Cockpit display system (£1,595) as an option, which will appeal to fans of the latest in-car tech.