Audi’s Q2 gets a mid-life update, and introduces a bigger heart that’s cleaner and greener, but it comes at a price
Photos: Ben Chia and Derryn Wong
Downsizing is the usual route that carmakers go to when they want to achieve greater efficiency, but the facelifted Audi Q2 here has taken a different approach. The updated compact crossover instead has a bigger engine, and yet Audi claims that the Q2 is cleaner and greener than the outgoing model.
New for 2021 on the Q2 is a 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbo that produces 150hp and 250Nm of torque, effectively the same powerplant as found in the new Audi A3, and other Volkswagen Group stablemates such as the Volkswagen Golf and Skoda Octavia. However, unlike those cars, the Q2 doesn’t come with a 48-volt mild hybrid system that allows for engine-off coasting.
It does come with cylinder deactivation technology though, with the engine able to shut down two of its four cylinders under light driving loads. The upshot of that is despite the larger engine capacity, Audi claims that the Q2 1.5 is able to return an average fuel consumption figure of 5.1L/100km, an improvement over both the Q2’s previous 1.0-litre (5.2L/100km) and 1.4-litre (5.6L/100km) engines.
It’s fitting then that the Q2 test car here comes in a rather fetching shade of green (Audi calls it Apple Green, which is, erm, interesting), and it does match the overall character of the car. The Q2 is not really an ‘serious’ Audi in the same vein as many of its larger siblings are, but rather one that’s aimed at the youthful crowd with its spunkiness and vibrant vibe, but still melded with a tinge of maturity in its drivetrain.
The car itself is not fast, and there is a noted lag in reaction on initial acceleration, but once you’re up to cruising speed the Q2 copes reasonably well. There is a more relaxed nature to its drive, and if you’re not in a hurry the Q2 makes for a perfectly adequate city car. It generally drives well, striking a fine balance between neat handling and smooth refinement without reaching for either extremes, and by and large, the Q2 is generally comfortable and easy to manoeuvre.
In truth, the Q2 is really about looking good, and the car’s eye-catching paintwork is paired with a set of matrix LED headlights that does a fancy show on startup. The front grille and bumpers are also slightly modified, although you’ll probably have to squint hard to tell the difference between the new car and the old model.
It’s pretty much the same inside too, with incremental changes to the Q2 that aren’t all that noticeable. The air con vents and gear lever selector are now redesigned, and there’s a new 8.3-inch display for the Audi Multimedia Interface (MMI) infotainment system. It’s not a touchscreen though, which may be a positive thing for some, although those used to touchscreens might find the experience a bit alien. (What an age we’re living in huh?)
In quite a lot of ways, the Q2 is very much a car for the Gen-Z crowd, with its head-turning looks, relaxed performance, and chilled-out attitude, while its more efficient powerplant should also appeal to the socially-conscious. That said, the price of going green doesn’t come cheap, with the Q2 retailing for S$172,477 inclusive of COE. But at least in some way, you’re getting more for your money this time round.
Audi Q2 1.5 TFSI
|Engine||1,498cc, inline 4, turbocharged|
|Power||150hp at 5000-6000rpm|
|Torque||250Nm at 1500-3500rpm|
|VES Banding||B / S$0|
|Price||S$172,477 with COE|
|Verdict:||Updated Audi Q2 boasts a cleaner and greener powerplant for improved efficiency, but at a price|