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Audi Q2 1.6 TDI Test Drive Review

Date: 11 July 2016   |   Author: John Mahoney

Category: Small Crossover
P11D price: £26,195 (est.)
Key rival: Mini Countryman
On sale: November 2016

Just when you thought Audi might have run out of niches, it goes and invents another one when you're not looking.

Thankfully, instead of following rival's footsteps and launching a crossover coupe, the German carmaker is experimenting with a more expensive 'premium' take on a Nissan Juke.

It makes sense: an entry-level SUV is arguably far more interesting than a saloon or hatchback.

It's tempting to imagine the Q2 might be an overblown A1, but it isn't. Under its mini-Q7 body is actually the larger Golf platform, hence why it's both longer and wider than the Nissan.

Despite its size, Audi has lofty ambitions for the Q2. It hopes to sell more than 20,000 a year and become the carmaker's best-selling SUV. Business sales will be crucial.

Ensuring it will be competitive, there's a range of highly relevant engines available - from the tiny 116hp 1.0-litre and 150hp 1.4 petrol turbos to the 1.6- and 2.0-litre turbodiesels.

The best all-rounder for business will be the 116hp 1.6 TDI. Expected to average around 65mpg when official figures are confirmed, the smaller of the two diesels blends reasonable performance (0-62mph
in an estimated 11.0 seconds) with a low benefit-in-kind tax liability of 23%.

Despite not being the last word in hushed refinement (it gets quite vocal when overworked), the 1.6 TDI will offer enough performance for most. We tried the manual six-speed, but the seven-speed dual-clutch auto is well worth considering as the 1.6 diesel needs plenty of gear changing to get the best out of it.

Trade town for country roads and the Q2 is good to drive.

It feels light, nimble and not far off a small hatch to drive. Many will prefer the small SUV's raised driving position too, but what you won't appreciate is the Audi's busy ride, even on 17-inch wheels (S-line models come with bigger 18-inch, so beware).

It's a shame because the Q2 is, otherwise, likeable. Inside, the cabin looks (and feels) as if it's been pinched from not one but two classes above, rear passengers benefit from good headroom, and boot space is far bigger than the equivalent A3.

Official running cost figures are yet to be confirmed, but we're expecting a strong performance from the Q2. Residual values, in particular, should stand up well against rivals such as the Mini Countryman and Juke, with comparable versions achieving 33.2% and 33.2%, respectively, while its bigger brother, the Q3, with a 2.0-litre diesel under the bonnet, achieves 37.4%.

It has some stiff competition from the Mini and Nissan in the whole-life costs department, though, as both cars are cheaper to buy. The latter offers a pence-per-mile figure of 44.4p, while the Mini is more expensive at 49.0p.

So, overall the Q2 deserves to succeed. Choppy ride aside, many will be grateful Audi continues to keep mining those niches because it appears this time the German carmaker might have struck gold.

Audi Q2 TDI S line

Model price range £20,230-£30,610
Fuel consumption 65.0mpg*
CO2 (BIK band) 115g/km (23%)
BIK 20/40% per month £100/201*
Warranty 3yrs/60,000mls
Boot space (min/max) 405/1050 litres
Engine size/power 1598cc/116hp
* estimated


Cheerful, cost-efficient way to downsize from a premium saloon or hatch
  • Good to drive
  • Feels pricey
  • Roomy and practical
  • Low running costs
  • Ride quality
  • Vocal diesel,
  • Not cheap