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05 Apr 2017 | Text by Nigel Yong, Photos by Low Fai Ming
With its cutesy design, fun-to-drive dynamics and premium interior, the new Audi Q2 is a fresh pill of joy in the ever-growing compact sport utility vehicle segment.
I had promised to take her out for lunch that Saturday in an Audi test car I had; Audi is her favourite car brand, but I didn't mention which model. I then saw her squinting as she slowly made her away over to my Tango Red compact, somewhat confused.
"What car is this? It's not the type of Audi I was expecting."
This, my dear, is an Audi Q2
"It's a new sort of Audi, it's a Q2," I replied. "I can't quite put a finger on what sort of car this is, though," she continued.
I then went on to explain, reminding her of Audi's catchy 'Bangarang' video advert that most of you would've probably heard by now, that a Q2 is to Audi what the HR-V is to Honda, the CX-3 is to Mazda and the C-HR is to Toyota - though we wouldn't consider them direct rivals due to price.
First unveiled at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, Audi says it's a city-slicking mix of a compact Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV), a coupe and a hatch. Manufactured at the Audi headquarters in Ingolstadt, Germany, the car you see here is based on Volkswagen's MQB platform and sits below the Q3, the new Q5 and the huge seven-seater Q7.
Magic in motion
So we began our city adventure, with the Q2's turbocharged 1.4-litre lump eagerly plowing away.
Tuned to produce 150bhp and 250Nm of torque, and mated to a new seven-cog, twin-clutch autobox, it's not what you'd consider slow.
Audi says nought to a hundred takes 8.5 seconds but somehow, it hints to be quicker. In contrast, the Honda Civic 1.5 VTEC Turbo does this in 8.6 seconds. Like the new Audi A3, a 1.0-litre three-cylinder version should also be available in time to come.
Most of the Q2's power comes in early, meaning there's an ample dose of low-end shove for spirited town runs. It also ranks high on refinement.
What's more remarkable is the fact that it's frugal even when you're not. Over my four-day drive, air-con and radio on high, this cordial compact managed to travel 13.4km on each litre of petrol burnt.
As do many of Audi's larger cars like the RS6 Avant, the Q2's engine features Cylinder-on-Demand, which means under light driving loads, two of the engine's four cylinders shut down, minimising fuel consumption. It's the first 1.4-litre here that's got such a system.
4-cylinder in-line 16-valve Turbocharged
112kW (150 bhp) / 6000 rpm
250 Nm / 3500 rpm
7-speed (A) S-tronic
Acceleration (0-100 km/h)