Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
The 1.0-litre petrol (badged 30 TFSI) offers perfectly adequate acceleration, although it can struggle a bit in hilly areas when the Q2 is fully loaded with people and bags. For more flexible performance, the 148bhp 1.5-litre engine (badged 35 TFSI) is a better bet. It has more mid-rev shove and, given the Q2's premium billing, we reckon is worth the extra.
If you want even more oomph, the 40 TFSI – a 187bhp 2.0 petrol – sits at the top of the tree. It’s undoubtedly quick, with 0-62mph taking just 6.5sec, but you can have it only in conjunction with the top trim levels and four-wheel drive, so it's very expensive.
Anyone doing very high miles will find the diesel 30 TDI (with 115bhp) a tempting proposition. It's not exactly quick, but has enough pull at low revs to make the more powerful 35 TDI (with 148bhp) seem unnecessary.
Suspension and ride comfort
Things never get horribly firm or jarring – and the Q2 is actually quite smooth and composed at motorway speeds – but we would suggest steering clear of 18in and 19in alloy wheels (S line and Black Edition trims) if comfort is important to you.
That relatively firm suspension we talked about earlier does a great job of propping up the Q2's body through corners; there's barely any more lean than you'll experience in a conventional hatchback. There's also plenty of grip, so this is a car you can drive quickly along a country road with real confidence.
All versions come with Audi’s progressive steering. This means the steering gets quicker the more you turn the wheel, so fewer turns are required when parking and manoeuvring. This type of steering sometimes makes it tricky to judge how much you need to turn the wheel, but fortunately that isn't the case in the Q2. Mind you, the Ford Puma has more natural-feeling steering and is even more fun to drive because of it.
Noise and vibration
You can hear the 30 TFSI thrumming away, so although the sound it makes isn’t unpleasant, the more powerful 35 TFSI is that bit smoother. The 40 TFSI is smoother still, and plays a pleasingly sporty tune when you rev it hard, while both diesel engines are well mannered – the higher-powered 35 TDI being that bit sweeter than the 30 TDI.
At motorway speeds, all versions of the Q2 cruise fairly quietly. Little wind noise enters the passenger compartment, so it’s a relaxing car to take on long journeys, although there is some road noise – particularly on models with larger alloy wheels. Overall, the T-Roc is a quieter alternative.
The six-speed manual gearbox is light and slick, and the clutch bites positively. Combined with the well-weighted and progressive brakes, this makes the Q2 an easy car to drive smoothly in stop-start traffic. However, like many other Audi automatic gearboxes we’ve sampled, the dual-clutch S tronic 'box (optional on most models and standard with the most powerful petrol and diesel engines) is rather slow to respond, with a pronounced lag when you put your foot down.
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