Long-term test (Introduction): Audi Q2 1,4T FSI Sport S Tronic
This is Audi having fun… See that chamfered shoulder line on the rear door, neatly highlighted in Coral Orange body paint (it also looks particularly striking in Vegas Yellow)? Or the chunky slab of plastic covering the C-pillar that’s available in four contrasting shades? Or the fantastic 19-inch alloys fitted to this car (that are fantastically expensive at R23 000 a set)?
Visual similarities to Volkswagen’s vastly cheaper Cross Polo from the rear aside, the Q2 is one of the best-looking compact crossovers in our market. Next to understated rivals such as the BMW X1, it positively pops off the tar in a way few Audis do. As you would have read in the test, our fleet vehicle is the 1,4T FSI model that comes as standard in Sport trim, which nets you body-hugging seats, 17-inch alloys, ESP instead of ESC, and some trim bits and bobs. The 110 kW/250 N.m engine with cylinder-shutdown tech is coupled with the VW Group’s seven-speed dual-clutch transmission that, depending on the application, can be notably tardy from pull-away, or slickly calibrated, as it is here (I’ve already grown used to a slight hesitancy at low speeds).
On top of Sport trim, to this Q2 Audi SA has added costly items such as satellite navigation, an upgraded audio system, LED headlamps, adaptive cruise and a panoramic sunroof, among others. That bumps the already bullish base price of R529 500 to just short of R700 000. Ouch.
Observant petrolheads will know you can get the recently facelifted A3 1,4T FSI Sportback S tronic for R90 000 less. Heck, even a 2,0T FSI model can be had for R455 500…
I’ll delve deeper into the subject of value for money as the year progresses, but for now the Q2 has quickly settled into an easygoing groove on my congested commute from the Atlantic Seaboard to CAR’s offices in Ndabeni.
The ride is nuggety on those low-profile tyres, but the damping is of such quality that the suspension, despite running a simple torsion beam at the rear, deals with scars before they penetrate the cabin, and the sportier seats are supportive and comfortable on long hauls.
On that note, the Q2’s practical crossover credentials were tested on a 700 km sojourn up the West Coast, where it housed three adults and a weekend’s worth of luggage. Everyone fit comfortably and the moderately sized boot was just about big enough.
Fuel consumption on the trip was 7,90 L/100 km, which is acceptable considering the air-con was running full-blast, and high-speed stability in gusting cross-winds proved particularly impressive.
After 1 month
Current mileage: 1 009
Average fuel consumption: 8,18 L/100 km
We like: styling; punchy engine; size
We don’t like: price compared with A3 Sportback