The 1.0 TFSI 116 is a raspy three-cylinder engine and, although you can hear it buzzing away, it’s not an unpleasant sound. The 1.4 TFSI 150 is smoother at low revs. However, when you work it hard, it becomes slightly coarse, with a gravelly tone as the revs climb higher. The 2.0 TFSI is smoother still, with a pleasingly sporty sound near the top of the rev range.
Although both the diesels are well mannered, keeping the interior free from unwanted vibrations and staying relatively quiet, the 2.0 TDI 150 is the sweeter of the two. However, its dulcet tones are not impressive enough for us to overlook its sizeable premium over the 1.6 TDI.
At motorway speeds, the Q2 cruises 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 alloys wheels.
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. The dual-clutch S tronic auto 'box, which is optional on most models and standard on the 2.0 TDI 150, shifts smoothly through its gears. It's a bit jerky in stop-start traffic, though.
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