New Suzuki Vitara vs used Audi Q2: which is best?

A reliable new Suzuki Vitara is a fine small SUV, but is it better than a posh used alternative Audi Q2 for similar money?...

Suzuki Vitara

New Suzuki Vitara vs used Audi Q2 – driving

The most obvious difference between these two cars is the engine because our favourite Vitara has a 109bhp 1.0-litre petrol, whereas our favourite used Q2 has a more refined and much more powerful 148bhp 1.4-litre petrol. 

In defence of the Vitara, it is a very responsive engine that pulls well from a standing start, and the slick gearbox helps you make the most of the performance it has. It’s has a predictable three-cylinder thrum when thrashed, which is true of rivals such as the Kia Stonic, but not the Audi Q2. The five-speed manual also means that you won’t have have the most relaxing time on the motorway with the engine buzzing away in the background. Road noise is also noticeable at speed.

New Suzuki Vitara vs used Audi Q2: which is best?

The Q2 is far quieter than the Vitara no matter whether it’s trundling around town or cruising down the motorway. Road, wind and tyre noise are far better suppressed, plus not only is the four-cylinder 1.4-litre petrol much smoother, but it also gets a six-speed gearbox, which means it will run at much lower revs in top gear than the Suzuki. The extra 39bhp the Audi has also helps get it up to speed without the same amount of effort required in the Vitara. 

Both small SUVs have a ride that is a bit firmer than most, but it's the Q2 that tends to be unsettled more by pockmarked roads, whereas the Vitara suffers from a bit more suspension noise when you encounter a big bump or hit a pothole.

The steering in the Vitara can feel a bit numb just around the straight ahead position, but is accurate enough for most needs. The Q2 on the other hand is far more progressive and ends up being the more pleasurable system of the two to use.

New Suzuki Vitara vs used Audi Q2: which is best?

New Suzuki Vitara vs used Audi Q2 – costs

The Audi looks like it gets the best fuel economy at 51.4mpg, but that’s only because it is rated using the older and less realistic NEDC test, whereas the 45.9mpg of the Suzuki is figured out under the fairer WLTP system. However, you should still be able to get close to the overall consumption target of the Vitara in the Q2 because the 1.4-litre engine has cylinder deactivation technology, which shuts down half the cylinders of the engine to conserve fuel at a cruise.

New Suzuki Vitara vs used Audi Q2: which is best?

You’ll need to pay £170 to tax the Vitara in the first year, then both cars will cost you £145 per year thereafter. You will get a three-year manufacturer’s warranty with your Suzuki, whereas a 2017 Q2 will only have one year left. However, you can extend it for a fee and, considering that the Q2 is the cheaper of the two at £17,500 compared with the £18,175 target price of the Vitara, you could do just that while still spending less than you would for a new Suzuki.

If you take one look at the small SUV category of our What Car? Reliability survey, it would be fair to think that the Q2 will give you the most trouble since it finished in 16th place out of a class of 18, particularly when compared with the third-place result of the Vitara. However, the Q2 still scored well and the difference between it and the Vitara isn’t that great, it’s just that there was some very stiff competition.  

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