Audi’s upcoming Q2 crossover is still in the pipeline and not quite finished yet. When it finally debuts, the Audi Q2 will be Ingolstadt’s answer to the Nissan Juke and MINI Countryman, so it will be a very small but sporty crossover. While the Q2 is only about 99 percent finished, says Audi, it’s been given a go by a couple of UK-based publications in Havana, Cuba. Strange setting for an Audi test, being that Cuba has been cut off from the modern world for about 50 years, Cubans seeing a Q2 might have been like seeing an alien spacecraft.
All jokes aside, Havana is a beautiful city and, oddly enough, a decent place to test a new car. Its beauty provides an excellent backdrop for such a stylish car and its streets are broken and battered, making it the perfect place to test a car’s ride and suspension. Unfortunately, being Cuba, they weren’t allow to really put the Q2 to the test. So Autocar set off in a pair of petrol (gasoline) powered Q2s to see what 99 percent of of them is like.
The first thing you notice is the styling. The Audi Q2 is clearly the most stylish and more upscale looking car in its class and it isn’t even close. It’s also a big departure for Audi, as it shares almost nothing with its familial cars. The somewhat octagonal grill and floating C-pillar really set it aside from the rest of the Audi pack. But that’s a good thing, as Audi’s designs are becoming a bit too “cookie-cutter” and all feel too similar. So separating itself is a good thing, it makes the Q2 feel fresh.
The inside is pretty typical Audi, though. In fact, it almost looks as if it was pulled straight out of an Audi A3. So, while handsome and ergonomic, it’s a bit of a letdown considering how much of a departure the exterior is from the rest of the Audi lineup.
Autocar tested the 1.4 liter TFSI engine that will likely be the volume seller. The little turbo-four makes 148 hp and should be capable of getting the Q2 from 0-60 mph in around 8 seconds, though official performance, economy or efficiency figures have yet to be given. But it’s a peppy little engine that feels more than brisk enough around town. It can even shut down two cylinders under really light throttle applications, so as to save fuel, and it’s almost impossible to notice. However, wait for the 2.0 liter TFSI engine to come later, with 188 hp, as that will be the really fun one.
In terms of driving dynamics and ride comfort, Audi seems to have nailed this one on the head. While it rides a bit stiffly, being that the Q2 is supposed to be a sportier car, it handles more sharply than anything in its class and feels more agile and dynamic. The steering rack is pulled from the newly-updated Audi S3, so it feels meatier than expected in this segment and loads up nicely. It’s a variable rack, so steering speed is amped up at low speed, to give it easier maneuverability and it seems to work really well.
Autocar didn’t really have the chance to drive the Q2 the way that they would have liked, being that they were required to drive it in between a police escort and were never allowed over 40 mph. So high-speed performance and handling will have to wait for a future test on more welcoming soil. However, what Autocar was able to learn from this is that the Audi Q2 will likely be an instant success. It’s a fun-to-drive small premium crossover that wears an Audi badge, has better dynamics than its competitors and loads more style. If you’re in the market for a small Audi performance car but have a family and require a bit more space, the Audi Q2 could be the perfect car.