By Shereen Shabnam
Driving the new Audi Q2 on the outskirts of Zurich was an absolute delight partly as I was expecting to get behind the wheels of a much smaller SUV than the Q3 with not many changes. But I fell in love with the SUV at first glance in a gorgeous hangar in the outskirts of Zurich city complete with beautiful eye catching graffiti that reflected the vibrant colours of the Q2 we were about to experience.
The new Audi Q2, brimming with energy and confidence is aimed at a much younger audience and inclined towards urban use with SUV-like practicality. The premium cabin experience we get with every Audi is still evident with the Q2 despite it being an entry level SUV
The exterior features a low roofline and high window line giving the sporty car a coupe-like look and a crouching stance on the road. Especially striking are the wedge-shaped headlights, the high position of the Singleframe grille and the generously sized air inlets.
The rear body has a taut appearance with a long roof spoiler and a diffuser with an underbody protection look. Behind the tailgate is a large luggage compartment with lots of space for sports equipment or plenty of shopping items. The luggage compartment can handle 405 liters of cargo, and luggage capacity increases to 1,050 liters when the rear bench seat back is folded.
Being a working mum, I am always looking for space in the car and loved the practical feature in the Q2 for a through-loading facility in the rear bench seat that makes it easy to transport large items.
Form follows function in the cockpit
We drove into the surburbs and back to Zurich city finding the all-round visibility very good in the Q2 as is typical of an SUV. In the connectivity and infotainment area, the Q2 offers technologies such as the optional touchpad to scroll through a clearly structured menu, while passengers can surf and stream with smart-phones, tablets and other mobile devices via a Wi-Fi hotspot.
The speedometer and tachometer glow in the optional fully-digital Audi virtual cockpit, whose 12.3-inch screen displays highly detailed and brilliant graphics. The head-up display projects key vehicle data, including navigation instructions and driving speed, into the driver’s direct visual field.
There is also an MMI infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility as well as the Audi pre-sense, adaptive cruise control, Traffic jam assist; Lane departure warning, lane-keeping assist and traffic sign recognition.
Practical added value
The Q2 offers assistance in critical situations with the standard emergency braking assistant. If a child were to suddenly run into the street, or the car ahead were to brake abruptly to a stop, the Q2 can brake automatically in such situations.
The car autonomously maintains a distance to the vehicle ahead, monitors the blind spot, recognizes traffic signs and assists in lane-keeping from a speed of 60 km/h. The 4.19 meter long SUV can even steer into parallel or perpendicular parking spaces – either in a reverse or forward direction. It can also exit parking spaces. The driver only needs to set the right gear, accelerate and brake.
Being in Zurich suburbs, we encountered some slopes, which the Q2 went over effortlessly. The permanent all-wheel drive system supplies the necessary traction and grip. It is standard with the top gasoline engine. The engine is paired with a newly developed seven-speed automatic and the dual-clutch transmission changes gears and offers seamless driving pleasure.
A Clear winner
The Audi Q2 is a winner in the Automotive Brand Contest as the compact SUV gets selected for the “Best of the Best” honors in the Exterior Premium Brand category. The Automotive Brand Contest is presented by the German Design Council and is one of the most prestigious design competitions in the automotive industry. The award ceremony will be held in Paris end of September.