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Driven: Updated Audi Q2 range touches down

Performance-focused SQ2 variant joins refreshed Audi Q2 small SUV line-up

21 May 2021

AUDI Australia’s updated Q2 small SUV range has finally landed Down Under, with the refreshed three-variant range being topped by the SQ2 performance grade for the first time.


The new range checks into local showrooms priced from $42,900 plus on-road costs for the entry-level 35TFSI, before stepping up to $49,990 for the more potent 40TFSI quattro and topping out at $64,400 for the performance-fettled SQ2.


The smallest member of Audi’s SUV portfolio first launched locally in early 2017, and has generally sold around the 1500-2000 units-per-year mark, with a record figure of 2155 sales in 2019.


Adding the hot SQ2 to the mix is expected to bring a boost in volume, with Audi Australia expecting the sporty model to make up around 30 per cent of sales – S models typically make up around 25-30 per cent of any model mix.


The 35TFSI has historically been the clear favourite among buyers, however Audi is hoping for a more even split between it and the 40TFSI quattro this time around.


The Q2 shares the small SUV segment with its larger and more expensive Q3 sibling, with the brand saying the majority of Q2 buyers choose design as the most important factor in their purchase.


Its diminutive size is also a differentiating factor, especially given the new-generation Q3 that launched in October 2019 grew up significantly in second-generation guise.


Audi still believes the Q3 will be the volume seller out of the two models, however growth for the Q2 is nevertheless a goal.


The arrival of the updated range has seen a small lift in price for the 35TFSI (+$950) and 40TFSI quattro ($500), however Audi has promised a large increase in added value – $3300 and $4150 respectively, to be exact.


Kicking off the changes to the 35TFSI are its engine – the old 1.4-litre turbo-petrol mill has been replaced by a newer 1.5-litre engine, however peak outputs remain the same at 110kW from 5000-6000rpm and 250Nm from 1500-3500rpm.


Driving the front wheels only via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, the 1.5-litre engine is cleaner and more economical than the 1.4-litre it replaces, sipping 5.2 litres of fuel per 100km while emitting 119g/km of CO2.


From the outside, the Q2 35TFSI comes as standard with 18-inch five-spoke alloy wheels, LED headlights with LED daytime running lights and tail-lights, contrasting grey bumpers, convenience key, grey metallic C-pillar finish and heated exterior mirrors.


Inside, standard kit includes leather upholstery, ambient interior lighting, a leather multifunction steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, comfort front centre armrest, silver grey inlays with diamond paint finish, an 8.3-inch MMI navigation plus infotainment system with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility, Bluetooth and DAB+ digital radio, a 3.5-inch instrument cluster display, eight-speaker sound system, wireless charging and two front USB ports.


Standard safety gear extends to Audi pre-sense with autonomous emergency braking, Audi side assist, front and rear parking sensors, rearview camera, tyre pressure monitor and six airbags.


The 40TFSI quattro increases not only equipment but firepower, with the turbocharged four-cylinder engine growing in displacement to 2.0-litres, which sees outputs bumped to 140kW from 4200-6000rpm and 320Nm from 1500-4100rpm, with power now distributed to all four corners.


The boost in power sees the sprint from standstill to 100km/h trimmed by 1.9 seconds to 6.7s, while fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are pegged at 7.0L/100km and 158g/km respectively.


Other mechanical changes include the move from a torsion-beam rear-suspension set-up to a more sophisticated four-link arrangement to accommodate the all-paw system.


Building on the spec of the 35TFSI, the 40TFSI quattro can be differentiated from the outside by its standard S line exterior package, body coloured bumpers, 18-inch Audi Sport alloy wheels and a Selenite silver finish for the C-pillar.


Inside, it adds sports front seats, auto-dimming interior mirror, electric tailgate, drive mode selector, leather steering wheel with paddle shifters, aluminium-look interior elements and illuminated door sills with S emblem.


The spec of both the 35TFSI and 40TFSI quattro can be bolstered by the addition of either the style or premium package, the former of which bundles in 19-inch Audi Sport alloys, matrix LED headlights with front and rear dynamic indicators, virtual cockpit, black exterior styling package and body-coloured bumpers on the 35TFSI.


The style package asks $3490 on the 35TFSI or $2690 for the 40TFSI.


Meanwhile, the premium package includes adaptive cruise control with stop and go, active lane assist, park assist, hold assist, folding, auto-dimming and dipping exterior mirrors, privacy glass, 10-speaker, 180W sound system, heated front seats, virtual cockpit, and auto-dimming interior mirror for the 35TFSI.


The premium package is more affordable on the 35TSFI at $3050, but is dearer for 40TFSI buyers ($2950).


At the top of the tree is the new-for-Australia SQ2, which the local arm of Audi says has been crammed full with as much equipment as possible.


Powering the SQ2 is an uprated 2.0-litre turbo engine producing 221kW from 5300-6500rpm, and 400Nm from 2000-5200rpm, sent to all four wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch auto.


Standstill to 100km/h is mown down in 4.9 seconds, while fuel consumption stands at 7.7L/100km and emissions at 176g/km.


Other mechanical upgrades to the SQ2 include progressive steering, 20mm-lower S Sport suspension and a sports exhaust.


Differentiating the SQ2 from the rest of the Q2 range are its 19-inch five-spoke alloy wheels, matrix LED headlights with dynamic light sequence and indicators, red brake callipers, S exterior styling with aluminium-look mirror housings, rear diffuser and quad-exit tailpipes, heating, folding and auto-dimming/dipping exterior mirrors and premium paint.


Inside, it scores black/red Nappa leather with diamond stitching and S embossing (all black is available at no cost), heated front seats, two rear USB chargers, 10-colour ambient lighting package, light graphic inlays, stainless steel pedals, black cloth headliner, virtual cockpit and 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system.


Standard safety kit over the regular pair include adaptive cruise control with stop and go, active lane assist, Audi pre-sense basic, park assist and hold assist.


Competition for the SQ2 will come from the likes of the Mercedes-Benz GLA35 and BMW X2 M35i.


To the end of April, Audi has sold 441 examples of the Q2, an improvement of 12.8 per cent over the same period last year.


2021 Audi Q2 pricing*

35 TFSI (a) $42,900
40TFSI quattro (a) $49,900
SQ2 (a) $64,400

*Excludes on-road costs

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