NEW DELHI: Q8, RS7, A8L, RS Q8, A6 … sedans or SUVs, Audi India has relied on the brand shaping products in the last 12 months. These cars definitely helped the brand grow popular among enthusiasts, but what it was badly missing out on was an entry-level premium buy.
The evident gap was so huge that the most-affordable SUV from Audi India (special edition Q8), priced at roughly Rs 1 crore, isn’t all that affordable. Instead of going ahead with the facelifted models of popular Qs, the German carmakers have opted to introduce a new entry point to the brand. Q2, not a completely new name around the world, starts at Rs 34.99 lakh (ex-showroom). Five trims to choose from and a completely built unit (CBU), does Audi Q2 present a logical case? TOI Auto drives to find out:
Globally unveiled four years ago, Audi has recently showcased the facelifted Q2 as well, which will make its way to India in 2021. The octagonal, black front grille embellished with four chrome rings on top and a criss-cross structure under it remind the class Q family of SUVs. Y-shape has been used a few times in the LED headlamp, tail light cluster and under the waistline.
At just over 4.2 metres in length, Audi Q2 on most occasions will pass on as a premium hatchback. Skoda Karoq or VW T-Roc can be considered a reference, which shares the same MQB platform with Q2. The Audi, however, is rich and premium inside-out. So, Q2’s compactness will tempt you to compare it against Mini Countryman over BMW X1 or Volvo XC40 R-design.
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The inside is all-black, cozy and feels like it belongs to a premium class. Every bits and pieces you touch exudes opulence. The space is adequate, however, not a place your wife would be happy with if you have a family of five or more. Also, no AC vents for the rear is a bit of a miss out here. The second-row seats are 40:20:40 foldable which can be utilized to expand the 405 litres of the boot.
Discussing the missed opportunities, the biggest one has to be the lack of tactile input to the infotainment. Yes, you read that correctly. A vibrant, considerably large touchscreen is devoid of the touch function. The front seats are manually adjustable through a lever, which also robs the premium feel a little.
Q2 sports a panoramic sunroof, which comes as an optional pack with the base trim. Ambient lighting, dual-zone air conditioning, wireless charging and an information-packed driver’s display is part of the deal.
The dashboard would evoke a mixed response. The knobs, buttons, switches on the dashboard and central console are solid to touch while certain elements on the door panels are finished with coarse and unpolished plastic.
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These little things you can live with. You would invest in Q2 because you have a small family and explosive performance fuels your passion to drive. Under the hood, a 2-litre TFSI petrol engine pumps out 190PS and 320 Nm. A Quattro drive, the engine is married with a 7-speed S tronic DCT.
On the move, the driver experiences a slug of well-spread torque post-2,000 rpm. The engine is revv-happy, and tries to outperform the needle on the counter. And yes, the driver’s display packs a flurry of numbers, which takes a little while to get used to.
Foot on the gas, the refined engine pulls clean. Stretch it to 4,500-rpm, and there is a bit of extra punch left. Yes, punchy is the word that goes with the engine. In fact, the 2-litre petrol engine isn’t all that new, and has been housed in several cars from VW Group. The 7-speed DSG is also common in the group and performs decently with Q2. Of the five drive modes, switch to dynamic to extract the most out of the engine-gearbox.
The high rise feel from the driver’s seat of an SUV isn’t there with Q2. Instead, you sit low, tucked in comfy, leatherette seats (which should have been ventilated). The steering is nicely-judged with fairly bulky to hold. Q2 is confident around the corners, experiences minimal body roll, all thanks to a lower profile than other SUVs.
Audi Q2’s CBU route means it’s going to attract hefty import duties, however, what’s likable about the Q2 is the more supple ride quality than most European counterparts. Tilting towards the firmer side, Q2 rolls over road undulations like a feather on the open motorways while there is some amount of wobbliness over speed breakers in the cities.
Buy or hold? Priced between Rs 34.99 lakh and Rs 48.98 lakh (ex-showroom), the initial response has been encouraging for the Four Rings. With the facelift model due for 2021, Audi India seems to have hurried with the Q2 into the market in an attempt to plug the entry-level gap. Q2 is a fun-to-drive, compact and good looking car, which is easy to live with, but maybe hard to justify.