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Audi Q2 35 TFSI S tronic

A few years ago the first compact SUV, the Q2, rolled off Audi's production lines. They had been building medium and large SUVs - and selling them, too - so it was no surprise when they decided to downsize.

It brought with it the same level of build quality that the company has become renowned for wrapped up in a more manageable package.

Half-a-decade later and the Q2 is the firm's best-selling SUV. It's position as a big-seller has been maintained thanks to a number of updates across its relatively short lifetime, most recently the introduction of LED headlights (with optional Matrix LEDs), a more aggressive grille, a sleeker body kit and additional standard kit that includes rear parking sensors and cruise control.

Audi Q2 (47090878)
Audi Q2 (47090878)

It isn't particularly wallet-friendly but the feeling is that you get what you pay for. Let's find out if that's correct.

Audi has a deserved reputation for creating inviting, beautifully-built and visually impressive interiors and the cabin of the Q2 certainly doesn’t let the side down.

The upper surfaces of the dashboard are soft and tactile and, in the places where harder plastics are in evidence, they don’t feel at all cheap or flimsy.

Audi Q2 (47091452)
Audi Q2 (47091452)

The switches, buttons and dials all operate with a satisfying precision. The rotary controls for the air con softly click into place as you turn them. It’s the same with the rotary MMI controller. Seemingly small things like this speak volumes about the attention to detail that helps make the passenger space such a delightful place to spend your time.

You can select from a number of personalisation options too, if you want to make it feel even more like your own. If that is, indeed, possible.

It’s easy to get comfortable behind the wheel so you can enjoy the cabin’s pleasant ambience at your leisure. There’s plenty of flexibility in the steering wheel position – reach and rake – and every model has powered adjustable lumbar support as standard.

Audi Q2 (47091538)
Audi Q2 (47091538)

The seats are very supportive, particularly around your thighs and shoulders, which should help take the strain out of longer commutes.

The Q2 is what we - as in people in the know - like to call a compact SUV. That means it possesses a relatively small footprint. You do still, however, benefit from a raised seating position so you enjoy a good view of the road ahead helped by reasonably narrow A-pillars.

The view out of the rear isn't quite so good thanks to thick rear pillars that do get in the way a bit. Rear parking sensors are fitted as standard and go some way to making life a little easier but if you want front parking sensors you'll have to pay extra.

It might be compact but even taller passengers should have no trouble getting comfortable in the front. There's plenty of room for heads, legs and shoulders. You'll also find a decent sized glove box and door bins big enough to hold one-litre bottles.

Audi Q2 (47091184)
Audi Q2 (47091184)

You'll find the obligatory cup holders just in front of the gear selector. Their location does mean it can be a tad awkward getting larger cups in and out of the holders, so just a small cappuccino for me, thanks.

It's considerably less spacious in the back but then this is a small car. There's enough room to accommodate a pair of six footers but the raised tunnel in the centre of the floor means that if you want to carry a third passenger across the rear bench there isn't a lot of room for feet. You will also find yourselves competing for shoulder room.

The rear doors have pockets big enough to store a small bottle and, if you're not carrying three across the back, you can make use of the two cup holders integrated into the folding centre arm rest.

Audi Q2 (47091702)
Audi Q2 (47091702)

All models are fitted with powerful LED headlights with adaptive matrix versions standard on Vorsprung trim and available as an option on S line and Black Edition models.

The dashboard is basically the same one that was used in the previous generation Audi A3 but this is no bad thing. Ergonomically the layout is spot on, all the switches and dials are within easy reach, and from Sport trim upwards you get Audi's Virtual Cockpit as standard.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Virtual Cockpit it's a 12.3 inch digital display housed in the instrument binnacle that can be configured by the driver in a variety of ways to show maps, media or other driving information. It's absolutely worth having.

Your multimedia needs are accommodated via an 8.3 inch display mounted high on the dashboard so it's within your line of sight while driving. It's operated using a rotary controller mounted between the front seats. There are a number of shortcut buttons surrounding it. It's a quick and simple solution that is easy to use without having to frequently look down to see which buttons you're pressing.

Audi Q2 (47091667)
Audi Q2 (47091667)

DAB radio, Bluetooth hands free calling and audio streaming as well as a USB socket are standard on all Q2s. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also included across the range. All versions of the Q2 from Sport trim upwards are equipped with built-in sat-nav with five years of free online map updates, Google Earth navigation, live traffic information, online media streaming and a Wi-Fi hotspot for up to eight devices.

The engine range starts with a 1.0-litre petrol engine but my review car, the 35 TFSI, was fitted with a 1.5 litre petrol engine with 148bhp. It's punchy, flexible and reasonably refined, only really making itself heard when you are pressing on.

The cabin is, in general, a quiet and relaxed place to spend your time. At motorway speeds there's little evidence of wind or road noise.

A six-speed manual gearbox is available as standard but a seven- speed S tronic auto is available as an option.

Audi Q2 (47091118)
Audi Q2 (47091118)

The suspension is quite firm, particularly compared with many of its rivals, and that means you will be jostled around in your seat, particularly along slower, broken, roads. It never becomes unbearable and, as speeds pick up, the Q2’s ride becomes increasingly composed, especially along motorways.

The firm set-up pays dividends when you are tackling tight and twisty roads where the suspension does a good job reining in body roll. There's plenty of grip to exploit so you can confidently pick up the pace when you’re travelling along more challenging roads.

All of the models in the range come with Audi's progressive steering. What this means in practice is, the more you turn, the quicker the steering gets. The end result is that when you're manoeuvring and parking you don't have to turn the steering wheel as much. Systems like this can occasionally make it difficult to judge how much to turn the wheel but the Q2 manages to avoid this problem.

The Q2 isn't the cheapest compact SUV on the market – this is very much a premium product - but backs up its price with excellent build quality and desirability. It drives well, boasts one of the best infotainment systems in its class, and an interior that has few equals.

Audi Q2 35 TFSI S tronic

Price: £28,270

As tested: £34,885

Engine: 4-cylinder petrol

Transmission: 7-speed S tronic dual clutch

Max power: 150PS

Max torque: 250Nm @ 1,500 – 3,500rpm

Max speed: 135mph

0-62mph: 8.6sec

Combined mpg (WLTP): 46.3

Combined CO2 emissions g/km (WLTP): 138

For more information visit www.audi.co.uk

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