Sun | Jul 22, 2018

2018 Audi Q2 S-Line: A compact, quality SUV

Published:Sunday | April 1, 2018 | 12:00 AMJason Lawson
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Many consumers have been leaning towards smaller, more compact vehicles for their economy, easier parking and nimble road manoeuverability. However, most subcompact vehicles seem to be economy based and lack premium features found in larger, high-end vehicles. The new Audi Q2 seems to attempt to give you as many of the comforts and options of their larger premium models as possible and still retain its small size. The front of the Audi may look a lot bigger than it is, due to its huge Audi grille and insignia, comparable to larger models.

It's when you see its side profile that you realise it is a rather compact SUV. Though it is small in size, it is not small in style, sporting 18-inch wheels and tyres, sharp modern lines finished with Audi's S-line styling package and badges giving it a sportier look.

The LED headlight cluster available on larger models is available on the Q2 as well, again making it look similar to larger models from the front. The rear of the Q2 is different from larger models, however, with smaller multiangled, red LED tail lights instead of the long horizontal lights seen on larger models. Its slightly fast-back style rear ads to a sporty econobox-type luxury subcompact look. The C-Pillar blades on the side near the rear of the vehicle also offer few subtle colour options to further personalise the Q2.

The Q2's interior benefits from the S-line package as well, with S-line door sills and stylish leather interior and a flat-bottomed, race-inspired, leather steering wheel in addition to matching S-line shifter and pedals. The seats and door cards are covered with tasteful black leather and cloth fabrics.

The dashboard, with its pronounced round air vents, is straight and narrow with a customisable centre piece accent that runs horizontally through the centre of the dash and the side of the centre console, available in different colours. This customisable colour trim option extends to the door trim, pull handles, and even rear-view mirrors. In addition, there is a LED light pattern display system which highlights the dashboard and centre console trim pieces with a range of different colours. This feature is far more visible and better suited for night-time use. Seats are comfortable and supportive, not too stiff and not too firm.

Front and rear seat space is decent, fitting two adults comfortably in the front and just supporting two adults or three smaller children in the back.

Its Audi MMI Plus multimedia system doesn't disappoint either, delivering premium sound through its nine speakers and subwoofer and its many 'bells and whistles', including a clear 8.3 inch colour display screen. The display, however, on which most electronic features and the reverse camera are displayed, is not retractable as in other Audi models due to obvious space constrains.

The Q2 starts up smoothly and is quickly ready for duty. Its three-cylinder, one-litre turbo engine responds with a slight delay to initial input or acceleration in some circumstances but quickly catches up and gives the power needed to move the vehicle to a desirable pace. In some instances, there was a little wheel-spin when moving from a standstill on looser pavement, showing the engine's willingness to perform. This was quickly remedied by traction control and smoothly accelerated through the gears.

The engine seems to be tuned more for economy than high performance, designed to deliver reasonable speed and acceleration, while sipping as little fuel as possible while driving.

As with the other Audi models, in sport mode, the gears are held longer as shift points accommodate more aggressive driving. In the dynamic mode, the gear changes are less aggressive, shifting at lower points to save fuel and give a smoother, more comfortable ride.

The Q2 handling is pretty decent for a front-wheel drive, not really causing any need for concern when being driven at higher speeds and tight corners like other comparably small vehicles.

Interior noise is low as well and allows passengers a quiet, tranquil ride, escaping the distractions of noisy everyday surroundings.

The Audi Q2 is like a 'gateway drug' to Audi's premium SUV line-up, targeting young professionals and small families looking for a premium luxury product in a smaller size. They won't be disappointed with this smaller SUV, delivering features found in larger, more expensive Audi SUVs stuffed into an attractive subcompact with an emphasis on style and fuel efficiency.

- Model tested: 2018 Audi

Q2 S-Line

- Size Class: Subcompact Premium SUV

- Body Type: SUV

- Drivetrain: 7-Speed FWD Automatic DSG

- Engine Info: Three-cylinder 1.0 litre Turbo Petrol

- Power Output: 116hp/148 ft/lbs torque (Claimed)

- Price as Tested: J$7,400,000

- Fuel Consumption: 55 mpg combined (claimed)

- Available at : ATL Motors

1c-3c Oxford Road, Kingston 5, (876)-754-0013