2016 Audi Q2 1.6 TDI review

Until now, premium brands have shied away from really small SUVs; the Audi Q2 changes that. We see if it’s worth the extra cash...

2016 Audi Q2 1.6 TDI review

The Audi Q2 breaks new ground for the German brand; this is the smallest SUV it's ever produced. Sitting below the Q3 and above the A3 Sportback in Audi's range, the Q2's closest rivals are the more expensive Mercedes-Benz GLA and the cheaper Mini Countryman.

It may be affordable for an Audi, but the Q2 is still more expensive than the larger Nissan Qashqai. An entry-level 1.0-litre petrol-engined Q2 will cost £20,230, but a powerful four-wheel drive quattro model will cost more than £30,000. If you’re looking for maximum fuel economy, your best bet is the 1.6-litre diesel we’re testing here, which is priced at £22,480.

What's the 2016 Audi Q2 1.6 TDI like to drive?

The 1.6-litre diesel engine is borrowed from the A3 hatchback and produces 114bhp. That isn’t a huge amount, but the Q2 isn’t overly heavy, so performance is more than adequate in most types of driving. You can happily cruise at motorway speeds and it doesn’t take an age to accelerate, either.

When worked hard, the engine does sound a bit clattery, but it dies down to a distant grumble when you're up to speed. It's never too intrusive and is certainly no worse than the majority of rivals' equivalent engines.

Audi has also managed to keep vibrations through the steering wheel and pedals to a minimum. It does shake a bit when you fire up the engine - and every time the stop-start system cuts in at traffic lights - but the rest of the time this is one of the quietest diesel small SUVs out there.

2016 Audi Q2 1.6 TDI review

2016 Audi Q2 1.6 TDI review

The Q2 also strikes a good balance between tidy handling and comfort. It turns in to corners keenly and resists body roll well without being too firm over bumps. All models come with 'progressive steering', which gets quicker the more you turn the wheel. This allows the car to feel stable when steering gently at faster speeds, yet only requires two turns of the wheel to go from lock to lock. For town driving and parking, this is very handy indeed.

What's the 2016 Audi Q2 1.6 TDI like inside?

The Q2 may be the smallest of Audi’s SUVs, but it’s still a very practical thing. You could easily fit a bulky pushchair in the boot thanks to the big cargo area and small load lip with the adjustable boot floor set to its highest position.

2016 Audi Q2 1.6 TDI review

If you need more room, folding down the rear seats is easy enough, although the extended load area isn’t completely flat. Even so, you’ll be able to slide in plenty of flatpack furniture.

With the rear seats returned to their normal position, the Q2 impresses with the amount of passenger space in the back. A six-feet-tall adult will fit behind a similarly tall driver with no issues at all; there’s loads of head room, reasonable leg room and plenty of space under the front seats for your feet. Three abreast on the rear bench is a tight squeeze, but that’s to be expected in this class of car.

Those in the front benefit from even more space, and there’s lots of adjustment for both the steering wheel and driver's seat. Even after a couple of hours driving, we were perfectly comfortable.

2016 Audi Q2 1.6 TDI review

As you’d probably expect, the Q2 benefits from the sort of classy, well ordered interior Audi is famous for. All the buttons, dials and switches work with a satisfying precision and there are plenty of swanky, soft-touch materials around the interior. The standard MMI infotainment interface is intuitive to use, too.

Should I buy one?

There’s no doubt the Q2 is an impressive package. It's surprisingly practical, good to drive and has an undeniably premium feel inside; we'd certainly choose one over a Mercedes GLA or Mini Countryman. The 1.6-litre diesel version makes sense if you plan to do lots of miles, but if you don't, we'd suggest looking at the 1.0 or 1.4-litre petrol engines.

If you aren't fussed about a premium badge, we'd also recommend looking at rivals that offer better value for money. The Seat Ateca, for instance, is even more spacious inside, just as good to drive and costs less to buy.

What Car? says...

Rated 4 out of 5

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Mercedes GLA

Mini Countryman

Audi Q2 1.6 TDI

Engine size 1.6-litre diesel

Price from £22,480

Power 114bhp

Torque tbc

0-62mph tbc

Top speed tbc

Fuel economy (official combined) tbc

CO2/BIK band tbc/tbc