2017 Audi Q2 2.0 TFSI quattro sport completes the Audi Q2 line-up in Australia.
2017 Audi Q2 2.0 TFSI quattro sport completes the Audi Q2 line-up in Australia.

Audi's fastest Q2 model has sassy style and substance

LOOKING the part can be expensive. Audi is testing how deep buyers are willing to dig to stay in touch with the ever-growing SUV crowd.

The compact Q2 arrived last year, with the more powerful of the duo completing the range in November - starting from $48,500 before on-roads.

Shorter and lower than mainstream equivalents like the Mazda CX-3 and Mitsubishi ASX, the sticker price is a hefty ask considering the big-volume sellers start in the low $20k range.

Where this pint-sizer sets itself apart is the performance realm. It's a sprightly all-wheel drive goer, backed by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

VALUE

Leading the range means a strong features list and among the highlights are satnav, electric tailgate, dual-zone climate control, leather trim, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility, contrasting C-pillar insert and 18-inch alloys.

Yet surprisingly, to get the really good stuff you have to further deplete the piggy bank. The car we drove had metallic paint for an extra $1150 but the gear most wanted is featured in two packages.

The "Assistance” grouping costs $990 and includes safety gear like adaptive cruise control, steering that can autonomously maintain the vehicle's position in a lane, blind spot warning, automatic high-beam headlights as well as automatic parking for parallel or perpendicular positions.

2017 Audi Q2 2.0 TFSI quattro sport completes the Audi Q2 line-up in Australia.
2017 Audi Q2 2.0 TFSI quattro sport completes the Audi Q2 line-up in Australia.

Then there is the "Technik” pack, which adds the virtual cockpit with a configurable digital instrument cluster on a 12.3-inch screen, better satnav and a flat-bottom steering wheel for $2500.

Taking the total price before on-roads to $54,490 was 18-inch alloys, digital radio and a 10-speaker sound system.

For the first time on a luxury car we also actually had to turn the ignition key rather than use a stop-start button. To get the button, it's part of another $1900 optional pack, which also includes heated front seats and power folding side mirrors.

Throughout the cabin the Q2 feels well put together, with classy design. Which is essentially what the Q2 is all about - style and looks.

There are external options aplenty: 11 external hues including black, white, grey, blue, red and silver, as well as attention-grabbing yellow and orange. Those rear blades on the C-pillar also have options, with matt or metallic grey, silver and body colour. They are easily changed and some owners are expected to have a couple of sets to mix and match depending on mood.

Internally there are red highlights across the dash and console, which worked fine with our car given it matched the external colour but it can look a little strange with other combinations.

2017 Audi Q2 2.0 TFSI quattro sport completes the Audi Q2 line-up in Australia.
2017 Audi Q2 2.0 TFSI quattro sport completes the Audi Q2 line-up in Australia.

DRIVING

Surpassing most opposition, the Q2 boasts a sporting persona. It will sprint to 100km/h from stationary in just over six seconds, which is quicker than many pure sports cars.

Feeling planted, courtesy of Audi's famed Quattro all-wheel drive system, it rarely feels like an SUV. There is good reason for that - the Q2 isn't a high-riding wagon like others in the realm.

Ground clearance isn't much greater than most sedans or hatches. Only 147mm separates the base of the car from the road, which is 5mm more than a VW Golf and 8mm lower than a Mazda3. A sports option can lower the Q2 by a further 10mm.

2017 Audi Q2 2.0 TFSI quattro sport completes the Audi Q2 line-up in Australia.
2017 Audi Q2 2.0 TFSI quattro sport completes the Audi Q2 line-up in Australia.

That dictates the Q2 would rarely go off-road, most prestige SUVs tackle nothing more challenging than the carpark at soccer practice, yet its compact dimensions and punchy performance make it a fine metropolitan ally.

Highway travels saw the pocket rocket perform admirably with miserly fuel consumption. The turbo four-cylinder does sip on premium unleaded but it should average about seven litres for every 100km.

Road rumble can disseminate from the 19-inch alloy wheels at various speeds, not an uncommon trait with high-end Europeans.

Despite its circumference, the Q2 makes clever use of space. The boot of more than 400 litres dwarfs the miniature offering in the CX-3 and we had it packed to the brim with two chairs, three bags and an esky on one family trip.

Rear seat space is reasonable, with enough real estate for two adults in the back if those in the front don't slide a long way rearward.

2017 Audi Q2 2.0 TFSI quattro sport completes the Audi Q2 line-up in Australia.
2017 Audi Q2 2.0 TFSI quattro sport completes the Audi Q2 line-up in Australia.

SAFETY

It comes with six airbags, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection up to 65km/h, front and rear parking sensors, rear cross-traffic alert, rear camera and blind-zone warning.

HEAD SAYS

Space for the size is impressive and zesty performance but it requires a big investment to get the features I want and expect.

HEART SAYS

I want a prestige badge and it's the perfect size for a runabout.

2017 Audi Q2 2.0 TFSI quattro sport completes the Audi Q2 line-up in Australia.
2017 Audi Q2 2.0 TFSI quattro sport completes the Audi Q2 line-up in Australia.

ALTERNATIVES

MINI COUNTRYMAN S FROM $48,900

Something different for the metro-savvy, fun to drive with a 2.0L four-cylinder 141kW/280Nm, also with a long list of optional features and customisation extras.

JAGUAR E-PACE FROM $50,150

The E-Pace is among the most car-like of the soft-roaders to drive and it's a stunning-looking little SUV. The P250 generates 183kW/365Nm from its 2.0-litre four-cylinder but also has expensive options.

2017 Audi Q2 2.0 TFSI quattro sport completes the Audi Q2 line-up in Australia.
2017 Audi Q2 2.0 TFSI quattro sport completes the Audi Q2 line-up in Australia.

AT A GLANCE

Audi Q2 2.0 TFSI Quattro

PRICE $48,500 plus on-roads

WARRANTY AND SERVICING 3-year unlimited km warranty, services annual or 15,000km, price plan from $1590 for 3 years or 45,000 kilometres.

ENGINE 2.0-litre petrol 140kW/320Nm, 7sp auto, AWD

SAFETY 5 stars, 6 airbags, AEB, rear cross-traffic alert, blind zone warning, rear camera, front and rear sensors

THIRST 6.5 litres/100km

SPARE Space-saver

BOOT 405L/1000L


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