Audi Q2 long-term test: report 1

Earlier this year we named the Audi Q2 as the small SUV with the best interior – so can it be a suitable replacement for someone looking to downsize and save money?...

2023 Audi Q2 front cornering

The car Audi Q2 35 TFSI S line S tronic Run by Darren Moss, deputy digital editor

Why it’s here To prove that small SUVs can still offer the kind of comfort and luxury you’d expect from a larger, more expensive car

Needs to be comfortable for commuting, practical for longer trips, economical, and able to function as a mobile office

Mileage 265 List price £33,915 Target Price £32,432 Price as tested £35,635 Test economy 39.1mpg Official economy 45.6mpg Options Comfort and Sound pack £1195, Metallic paint £575, LED interior advanced lighting pack advanced £250

4 August 2023 – Downsizing

Whether you’re doing your weekly food shop or filling your car with fuel, it’s a sad fact that pounds and pence aren’t stretching as far as they used to. And so, against a backdrop of rising costs, I recently decided it was time for me to downsize.

You see, while I loved rolling around in the Range Rover luxury SUV I ran previously, it was hardly necessary for someone who lives on their own and rarely fills more than three seats. But could I trade it in for something smaller, and still keep that luxury feeling I’d become accustomed to?

Enter the Audi Q2. It’s almost a metre shorter than the Range Rover, and also significantly narrower, meaning my blood pressure will no longer skyrocket whenever I come to a set of width restrictors. However, like the Range Rover, the Q2 has a premium badge on its bonnet, and an interior which both looks and feel worthy of it; indeed, we recognised it as having the best interior of any small SUV at our most recent Car of the Year Awards.

2023 Audi Q2 interior

Most importantly of all, though, switching to a smaller car should help to slash my running costs. My Q2 has a 148bhp 1.5-litre petrol engine, versus the Range Rover’s 345bhp 3.0-litre diesel. But while performance is still peppy, official figures suggest I can expect 45.6mpg from the Q2 – a 9.9mpg improvement on what I’m used to. And as a bonus, petrol is currently quite a bit cheaper than diesel.

You might wonder why I didn’t opt for an electric car or a plug-in hybrid, and the answer is that I live in a first-floor flat, so would have been forced to rely on the UK’s public charging network for top-ups. Having done this in the past, it’s not an experience I’m keen to repeat; no, traditional petrol power currently feels like it’s still the best solution for me.

I’ve gone with our recommended S line trim level, which adds a sportier look compared with lesser Q2s, as well as larger 18in alloy wheels and sports seats designed to hold you firmly in place through corners. In fact, it’s so well equipped that the only options I added were Tango Red metallic paint (a colour which is sadly no longer available) the Comfort and Sound Pack and the Interior Lighting Pack Advanced.

2023 Audi Q2 rear cornering

The former brings a premium sound system by Sonos, as well as heated seats and a reversing camera, while the latter adds extra LED lighting to the interior, which I can change the colour of to suit my mood.

I also specified Audi’s S tronic automatic gearbox rather than the manual alternative, because my commute is often filled with stop-start traffic and, frankly, my knees aren’t what they once were.

You obviously don’t sit as high in the Q2 as you do in a Range Rover, but I like the fact that it still places me farther from the road than some small SUV rivals, so provides a good view of the road ahead.

I also like the attention to detail inside the Q2, because most of the areas I touch regularly feel expensive, and all of the switches and controls move with a satisfying click. Speaking of which, I like that the Q2’s infotainment system is operated via a rotary dial on the centre console, rather than through a touchscreen, because this makes it easier to use on the move.

Audi Q2 LT infotainment control dial

And while the boot of the Q2 isn’t the largest in the small SUV class, it’s been perfectly fine for my needs so far, holding my weekly shop or a couple of carry-on suitcases with lots of room to spare.

Over the coming months, then, the Q2 will hopefully prove that you really can downsize without feeling like you’ve downgraded. It’s a tough ask, but with a What Car? Awards trophy under its belt, I think this smallest Audi SUV should be up to the challenge.

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