If we were to take a closer look at the cars that Audi has recently launched in the Indian market then we start to see a trend. The recent cars include the likes of the Audi Q8, the Audi RSQ8, the Audi RS7 Performance and the Audi A8L. The trend that I am talking about is the fact that these cars are the most luxurious and perhaps the fastest cars that Audi makes worldwide. So, it’s clear, they are catering to those who want nothing but the extreme in luxury and performance from their cars in the Indian market.
Now, however, they have switched to the other end of the spectrum as they have come out with their most affordable offering in the Indian lineup – the Audi Q2.
Let’s start with the way it looks. You see, every single design element in the Q2 works towards giving it the look a bigger SUV but in reality, it is not that big. Honestly, it’s more of a generously sized hatchback than a proper SUV but then again, that’s not a bad thing because what you get is a sporty-looking package with good enough ground clearance to tackle anything that comes your way and a car for which finding a parking spot will not be a cumbersome process. Although, do keep in mind that while the height of the Q2 isn’t all that tall, the width is quite a lot. This, in a strange way, gives the car a muscular stance.Audi Q2. (Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)
Now, let’s talk about interiors.
The Audi Q2, as compared to other modern Audis available for purchase in India, has started to show its age. The reason for is that this particular model came out in 2016. There is a facelift that has been unveiled globally but that’s not the model that we are getting in India. So in comparison to other Audis, the dash does look dated but nevertheless, it still is a nice place to be in.Audi Q2. (Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)
This is because the quality of materials used and the build quality is top-notch. You get these rotary AC vents which are really nice to use and you also have really premium feeling knurled knobs for AC controls. In terms of ergonomics, it’s a really comfortable car to be in. You also get some goodies like wireless charging inside the armrest and a fully digital instrument cluster that can double up for many things, like the entire screen can become basically become an entire map for navigation and that is a feature that I absolutely love.Audi Q2. (Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)
But the thing that really makes the Audi Q2 feel dated is the infotainment system. It looks pretty and all but it is actually not a touchscreen. It is merely a display against which you have to fight your natural intuition to poke it with your finger and sadly, nothing happens. You control the infotainment system through the dial and button controls in the centre console and while that gets the job done, the entire experience is a bummer.Audi Q2. (Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)
What’s also a bummer is that the front seats are adjusted manually and in a car in this segment, that’s a big miss as nowadays, cars that cost about a third than the Q2 offer electrically adjustable seats. Thankfully, though, there is a sunroof on offer.
Coming to the rear seats of the Audi Q2, well, in order to give you a reference of space, my height is 5’10” and after setting the driver’s seat as per my driving position, I had a decent amount of knee room and legroom on offer. The overall feeling of space is nothing to write home about and the car is not really wide either so I would say that this rear seat is best suited for two people.Audi Q2. (Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)
You also don’t get a rear AC vent but you don’t need it as the car is not that big. Instead, you have two USB-C ports for rear passengers and I think that is good future-proofing from Audi because eventually, all devices are going to have USB-C ports and you keep a car for years to come. All in all, it’s a comfortable place to be in.
All the seats are very comfortable, so long-distance touring for four passengers will not be a problem.Audi Q2. (Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)
This brings us to the best part about the Audi Q2, which is the way it drives. Given the size of the Q2, you’d expect the engine to be small but that’s not the case as it is actually powered by a 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder, turbocharged petrol engine that makes a lovely 320 Nm of torque and 190 PS of power. Just to give you an idea, this is the exact same engine, in the exact same state of tune that also powers the massive Volkswagen Tiguan AllSpace which is meant to sit 7 people on board. So an engine from that big car plus this little Q2 makes for a pocket rocket.Audi Q2. (Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)
The result is quite pleasant, of course, because this engine makes the Audi Q2 a fun car to drive. The car is so quick that it will do a 0-100 km/h sprint in just 6.5 seconds and will all the way to slightly over 220 km/h. Helping its case in the performance department is the 7-speed dual-clutch transmission which is quick with the gear changes and gets the gear as well as the timing of the shifts spot on. Additionally, the Q2 gets the quattro all-wheel-drive system that takes its capabilities to a whole new level.
That’s not it, the suspension and the chassis setup is on point as well which makes the Q2 great around corners and responsive during spirited driving. The brakes also have good bite and feedback.Audi Q2. (Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)
And when you consider the fact that the Q2 has good ground clearance, it basically means that the Q2 is one of those luxury cars that you can drive however you want without worrying about the road conditions. However, as is the case with most Audis, the steering lacks feel and feedback and that’s a shame, really, because if this was good too, then the Q2 would have very well become one of the most fun to drive cars that you can buy in India.
Now it’s time, to sum up, the Audi Q2. At this point, we know everything that we need to know about the car except for the price and I have not mentioned it till now because let’s be honest, the price tag goes a long way in painting the first impression that we make of a car. And the Q2’s price tag completely overshadows what the car is all about and the experience that it brings with it.Audi Q2. (Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)
The Audi Q2 starts at Rs 35 lakh (ex-showroom) and there’s no way to sugar coat it, this is a really steep price tag for a car this size. I mention the size because in the Indian market, a big factor that makes up the ‘value’ of a car is its size and the Q2’s dimensions make it even harder to wrap your head around the car. But if we try to find scenarios where it makes sense, then perhaps if you want a second or third car which is small in size, built well and is fun to drive, and above all, you want to stick to a premium brand, well perhaps then, the Q2 will make sense to you.