It’s official: The new Audi Q2 is now available in the UAE.
What is the Q2, you ask? Well it’s an ultra-compact SUV that goes up against the likes of the Mini Countryman and Fiat 500X. Audi will obviously argue that the Q2 sits a class above those two cars, given the premium standing of its brand. But that’s the sort of thing you’re looking at – a small crossover that mostly amounts to being a raised hatchback.
READ THE REVIEW: Audi’s Q2 tested
If the idea doesn’t sit well with you, though, consider this. Nissan blazed a trail in this small crossover segment with the Juke, and proceeded to sell shedloads of those cars – particularly in this region. And sales of the Mini Countryman aren’t bad, either. There’s demand for a car like this, so Audi is looking to slot in at the premium end of the segment.
That said, for an Audi, the Q2 is pretty aggressively priced. In the Middle East, it starts at USD 28,716 (around AED 105,000). For that, you’ll get brake assist, an MMI infotainment system, and an S-tronic automatic gearbox as standard, along with a 1.0-litre TFSI engine developing 116 bhp.
That may not sound like a lot of grunt, but the Q2 is shorter than the five-door A3 hatchback, and only a little wider. It’s also based on the Volkswagen group’s MQB platform, meaning it’s light. So 116 bhp won’t offer blistering performance, but it shouldn’t feel glacial, either.
But, let’s face it, this is the Middle East, so most buyers will likely move a little further up the range. Optional extras include Audi’s fabulous Virtual Cockpit – a TFT display that replaces the analogue dials on the instrument panel – a park-assist system that’ll park in spaces autonomously, and radar-guided cruise control. Audi says that a lot of this stuff is carried over from the bigger cars in its range, so you won’t be left behind from a tech point of view simply for choosing the smaller car.
On top of this, we think you’ll agree that the Q2 looks rather good. It’s obviously an Audi, but the styling’s a little more playful than the more business-like looks we’ve come to expect from the latest cars sporting the four rings. Audi also promises plenty of customisation options, so you’ll be able to have your Q2 with all manner of different colours and materials adorning it.
Now, there is an elephant in the room in that this is a crossover and crossovers are meant to have some semblance of off-road ability. The Q2 offers short overhangs and 15 cm of ground clearance, and Audi says that the car will “scramble up slopes effortlessly”. But we’re not convinced that you could take the Q2 anywhere near Big Red. Audi also says that the Q2 is a city car designed for young, urban couples or single people, so that’s probably the advice to trust.
AUDI Q2 REVIEW: Small crossover tested
The similarly sized A3 hatchback starts at AED 104,700, so you’ll hardly be paying more for the Q2’s SUV-like look and feel. Still, for a stylish, small, German crossover, we think that the introductory price looks pretty good. What do you reckon?
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