Thanks to a healthy 184Ib ft of torque and the rapid gearchanges of the S tronic auto ‘box, the Q2 can scamper to 62mph from rest in a respectable 8.5sec. It’s easy to get up to motorway speeds, and overtaking isn’t too strenuous. The engine can be a little coarse over 5000rpm, but you won’t have to push that hard too often.
To help both fuel economy and emissions, the 1.4 TFSI gets 'cylinder on demand' technology that uses only cylinders one and four to power the car under light loads. Like in other applications, you’re blissfully unaware of when it’s working; the engine sounds the same and there’s no additional delay in throttle response.
All Q2s come with what Audi calls ‘progressive’ steering: a passive, variable-ratio system that quickens the rack the more lock you put on. Although assistance is reduced as speed increases, the rate at which the steering quickens is always the same. This means it’s easy to judge how much armwork is needed regardless of your velocity or the severity of the corner. It’s certainly much better than active systems that continuously vary the steering ratio. Just don’t expect much feedback.
Once you’ve put some lock on, the Q2 turns in to corners crisply for a small SUV. Body roll is well contained and there’s plenty of grip. It feels agile but is unlikely to quicken your pulse too much. Our S line test car benefited from adjustable dampers that could be firmed up noticeably in Dynamic mode. This does transmit a fair few of the road’s imperfections into the cabin, though.
Even in Comfort mode, the Q2's suspension feels firm. To its credit, it’s never uncomfortable and body control is good. Sadly, Swiss roads are far too smooth to accurately predict how it’ll do on UK asphalt; we suspect that you’ll certainly feel expansion joints and shabby surfaces but that it’ll be bearable.
The cabin is typically Audi - about the best praise you can give a mainstream car in this day and age. All controls work with a pleasing precision, the MMI infotainment interface is simple and intuitive to use and there’s a minimalist style that will appeal to many.
This is boosted by attractive trims that can be backlit if you’re a bit flash. Just bear in mind the price point at which the Q2 sits; while the dash top is soft-touch, there are harder plastics on the door cards and around the centre console. Importantly, the bits you touch regularly feel good.
Rear-seat passengers certainly won’t be complaining. Although the Q2 is one of the smaller SUVs out there (it's 20cm shorter than a Q3 but 10cm longer than a Mini Countryman), you can fit a 6ft-tall adult behind another of the same height without any problems. There’s loads of head room, reasonable leg room and plenty of space under the front seats for your feet. Three abreast on the rear bench may be a squeeze, but that’s par for the course.
All this passenger space doesn’t come at the expense of cargo capacity, either. The boot is bigger than you’d get in an A3 Sportback and benefits from the option of a 40/20/40 split to add practicality.