Audi’s hip, city-dwelling small SUV the Q2 arrived in a cool neighbourhood near you a couple of years ago and I personally first met it in downtown Wellington. Audi NZ had devised a bit of a scavenger hunt across the Capital that included historic landmarks, cool POIs and a visit to Weta studios (of Lord of the Rings fame). The launch showed us its inner-city manoeuvrability and of course its head-turning good looks. It was and still is, a confident drive with urban chic style. Anyway, now the Q2 comes with an S.
In true Audi Sport style, the SQ2 is an SUV but with sports car credentials. It has the road poise and confidence that comes with quattro all-wheel drive and an unearthly desire to take you out of your comfort zone.
My model came in Ara Blue Crystal, it’s a colour that attracts both light and lots of attention. The bold Audi grille complete with four-ring logo and SQ2 badge makes for a dominant nose and the LED wedge-shaped headlights ensure you comfortably see the way ahead. The sporty SUV sits on 19-inch double spoke V style partly polished feet with red brake callipers and the quad exhaust tips at the rear allude to what lies beneath (the bonnet).
The very well-tuned Audi 2L TFSI engine will gladly dish up 221kW and 400Nm all day long. 0-100km/h comes in at under 5 seconds (4.8 in fact) and top speed will see the needle up at 250km/h. None of that really gives you the true picture though. The SQ2 delivers this power and speed effortlessly, there’s no gut-wrenching, eardrum shattering drama and for some this may be an issue. As all you get is the result, the world whizzes past as the speedometer races well into treble figures – it’s excellent.
The cabin is a mixture of leather, chrome and deep blacks, interwoven with contrast stitching and hints of sporty red. The steering wheel is flat bottomed, the dash has a pinstripe design and the entire space oozes technology. The virtual cockpit is a nerd’s playground, with settings that include near full screen maps, instrumentation that can be adapted to suit your specific needs and requirements and seems to offer more data than you’ll probably ever want. The 5.8-inch MMI floating monitor in the centre of the dashboard connects easily to your smartphone and is controlled via a very familiar rotary dial in the console.
With my time limited to just a few days, yeah poor me, I wasted little time in getting the SQ2 away from prying eyes and flashing lights. My chosen drive mode was dynamic and the pull back on the gear stick made sure that I engaged Sports gearing through the 7-speed box. Dynamic and Sports are probably the best couple of words to describe the SQ2’s ride, especially when you’re being enthusiastic with it. Along with the previously mentioned speed, the cornering control it gives you is amazing and somehow it seems to encourage you to try or is that push, a little harder. Visibility is great and the steering feels ideally weighted.
The SQ2 comes equipped with plenty of driver and safety aids, modern assists such as Autonomous Emergency Braking, Lane Departure alert and assist are standard and it has a crisp and clear reversing camera for inner city parking.
The SQ2 is a handsome SUV that’s very content in the city but is more than happy to play in the country too. It’s quick and nimble and comes with all the sporty refinement you’d expect from Audi’s sport division. The Q2 is a compact SUV that continues to turn heads, but now, with the additional S badge, they’ll just have to turn that much quicker to keep up.