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) is a sweet-revving engine that provides perfectly adequate acceleration, although it can struggle a bit in hilly areas when the Q2 is fully loaded with people and bags.
We’ve yet to try the latest Q2 in 148bhp 1.5-litre (badged 35 TFSI) configuration, but in the previous version this engine felt noticeably punchier than the entry-level 1.0-litre and offered a compelling blend of performance and fuel economy. Given the Q2's premium billing, we reckon it will be worth the extra.
Anyone doing very high miles will find the diesel 35 TDI (with 148bhp) a tempting proposition. It's not exactly quick (it’s only 0.4 seconds quicker to 62mph than the 1.5-litre petrol – 8.2 vs 8.6) but it has noticeably more pull at low revs, making overtakes a breeze.
Suspension and ride comfort
The Q2 has firmer suspension than many small SUVs, including the rival Volkswagen T-Roc and Peugeot 2008. The upshot? You're jostled around in your seat a little more, particularly along pockmarked urban roads.
Things never get horribly firm or jarring, though, 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, Black Edition and Vorsprung trims) if comfort is important to you.
We’ve yet to try the adaptive set-up that allows you to stiffen and soften the suspension to suit your preferences, but it’s worth noting that it is only available exclusively on range-topping Vorsprung trim.
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
The entry-level 30 TFSI petrol sounds a little thrummy when being revved hard, but it's hardly boisterous and settles down nicely at a steady cruise. You can feel a little vibration through the controls, but not an excessive amount. The four cylinder 35 TFSI is noticeably smoother. The diesel 35 TDI is, unsurprisingly, noisier than both of the petrols, but it is still pretty subdued compared to the diesels in the Kia Stonic and Renault Captur.
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 can be a little slow to respond, with a pronounced lag when you put your foot down.
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