What are you driving?
Yet another Audi crossover, the Q2. Sitting below the Q3 and tackling the likes of the Renault Captur and Nissan Juke head-on, the Q2 takes a slightly more daring approach than its bigger brother. Arguably the first true premium brand to enter this burgeoning segment-within-a-segment, Audi has created a car that knocks most of its rivals for six in terms of quality and style. One look inside reveals a beautifully-sculpted dashboard, the air vents being a particular highlight with their design that brings to mind the spokes of an old Campagnolo alloy wheel (Ed: readers without car anoraks on might have to look that one up...).
Many modern cars can look unresolved and overly fussy in photos, only to appear much more coherent in the flesh. We'd stop short of calling the Q2 handsome, but it certainly does look the part in the real world despite being very specification-dependent. Our test car was finished in Quantum Grey (an €891 option), which looks stunning in all lighting conditions, the finish reminiscent of a brooding storm cloud.
Name its best bits
The Volkswagen Group 1.0-litre, three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine makes another appearance, and is as excellent in the Q2 as it is in all its other applications. It's a fantastically characterful and eager motor, and when combined with a chassis as sorted as the Q2's, delivers a surprisingly enjoyable driving experience. The drawback of specifying the S line chassis upgrades and bigger wheels is of course worsened ride quality, though it's not quite as bad as we feared it would be when we first sampled a Q2 on Swiss tarmac last year, and came away thinking that it would be too stiff for our roads.
The Technology Package includes the excellent Virtual Cockpit, but is an expensive option at €2,534. Sports seats, black headlining and all the rest of the S line trim give the cabin an ambience that wouldn't be out of place in a car from a couple of classes above.
Anything that bugs you?
It's cramped for rear passengers on anything approaching a long journey, although boot space is not bad by any means. Also, the MMI Navigation Plus system isn't quite as nice to look at or use as the versions fitted to its bigger brothers, but we're nit-picking here. Pricing is probably the main bone of contention; it may be a small Audi, but Audi options list prices still apply, and a quick whirl on the configurator could equate to a substantial jump in retail price if you're not careful.
For a car in this spec, a deposit of €12,087 with monthly repayments of €468 per month over a three-year period will lead to a final payment of €14,362. A base Q2 can be had for €291.69 per month with an initial deposit of €9,030, and a final payment of €12,943 after 36 months.
And why have you given it this rating?
Audi could so easily have signed off on the Q2 once the styling bits were finished, but consciously chose not to forget about the driver. That's rare in this image-focused class, and warrants a strong rating despite the admittedly hefty pricing. It has also made the Q3 look decidedly old-fashioned by comparison...
I want to know more
If there is anything specific you'd like to know about the Audi Q2 that we've not covered, feel free to send us a question via the Ask Us Anything page.