What do you buy when you have, and love, an Audi S3 Sportback but are starting a family and need some more space? Well, in Europe, you can buy trade in the S3 for an Audi SQ2. At least that’s what Audi wants you to do. The question is should you? According to Top Gear, maybe not.
The Audi SQ2 is the medium-heat version of the Q2 lineup. It’s not as mild as the standard Q2 but not quite as spicy as the full-on RS Q2 yet to come. Instead, it tries very hard to walk the line between a comfortable and practical crossover for young families and sporty hot hatch for enthusiasts. Problem is, it never quite gets the sporty thing down enough to make it a proper enthusiast’s car.
That’s not to say it isn’t fast or impressive. Its 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder (EA888 in VW Group-speak) makes a hefty 300 hp and can get the Audi SQ2 from 0-60 mph in about 4.5 seconds. So it’s properly quick. It’s also quite capable, thanks to its clever all-wheel drive system and dual-clutch gearbox. Dampers are fixed and non-adjustable but TG says that it balances comfort and composure very well.
It’s quick to turn in, holds its lines well and lacks any significant body roll. TG even commended it for its on-power corner exit, which is said to be surprisingly quick and impressive.
There’s a “but”, though. It’s just not as fun or exciting to drive as you’d expect it to be. Its spec sheet makes it seem like a little pocket-rocket with a big trunk but its tuning leans more toward calmness and refinement, rather than enjoyment or driver thrills. Which is a bit of a shame.
That’s not to say it’s a bad car. In fact, it’s a very good car if you’re not looking for something to tackle twisty roads with on the weekends or take the long way home in. If you’re just looking for something fast, capable and practical, it’s an excellent car. But if you’re trading in your hot hatchback for something more practical, you might be best suited with something else. Or just keep the hot hatch.