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Driven: Audi Q2 35 TFSI

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Audi’s extensive SUV range is made up of some rather impressive cars at the moment. At the top, we have the Q8 and Q7 luxury models. Slightly more affordable are the Q5 derivatives. Then, bringing premium SUV ownership within reach of many, is the Q3 and boutique Q2 - the baby of the range.

Recently the junior member of Audi’s Q family received a subtle facelift, obtaining subtle updates that give the already classy styling a modern touch. Up front, you’ll find redesigned headlamps and a new bumper, which includes faux-vents and a single grille placed beneath the larger, signature Audi grille. Round back, the mock diffuser has also received a restyle. Painted in Myth Black Metallic, our test unit looked suitably classy and contemporary.

Audi has elected to drop the three-cylinder, 1.0-litre engine from the range, leaving just the 35 TFSI derivative. The 1.4-litre produces 110 kW and 250 Nm of torque, which gives the Audi enough grunt to sprint to 100 km/h in a claimed 8.8 seconds. On the road, it can feel slightly underpowered in town, but is at least nicely refined. The turbopetrol four-pot works well with the eight-speed automatic transmission, changing up quickly and smoothly. On the open road, the Q2 is rather impressive.

Feeling planted and comfortable, the 250 Nm of torque and quick-shifting ‘box gives the Q2 impressive overtaking ability. The Ingolstadt-based brand claims the Q2 will sip just 6.1 L/100 km. In town driving, you’ll struggle to get less than 8.0 L/100 km, but that comes down nicely when on the highway. Overall, we managed to average 7.2 L/100 km in our time with the boutique SUV.

Through the corners, the weighty steering provides good levels of feedback. Grip levels are impressive too, with the Audi clinging onto the road when shifting through a quick bend. Still, it’s no hot hatch - body roll is present. That being said, rivals such as the T-Roc and Kona suffer from a similar affliction. Even equipped with optional (R2 800) 18-inch alloy wheels, the Q2 rides beautifully, taking rough road surfaces in its stride. It manages to keep road and tyre noise to a minimum, too.

The interior is a wonderful place to spend time. Minimalist and sleek, there’s an overriding sense of quality to be felt, despite the Q2 being on the lower rung of the Audi model offering. While there are one or two questionable plastics to be found lower down in the cabin, the rest is reassuringly solid and premium-feeling. At R581 500 (for the S line derivative), you get plenty of equipment in return. Climate control, LED headlamps, rear parking assist and cruise control are all part of the standard features, with a number of optional packages available should you want to personalise your Q2 - be careful though, they can push the price up rather dramatically.

Verdict

Audi’s smallest SUV offering is a great stepping stone into the world of Audi ownership. Not only is it tremendously crafted, but offers a refined powertrain and classy looks. The facelift, albeit subtle, has kept the Q2 relevant in a market that, everyday, seems to gain another competitor. If you’re looking to step up into the premium ownership experience, the Q2 offers the experience you’re looking for, while retaining its mainstream pricing.

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