The new Audi Q2 Diesel Estate is a stylish and affordable family car that’s also hugely practical.
It’s an attractive proposition that’s not too big but also not too small. Following hot on the heels of the likes of the Nissan Juke, the Q2 has that all-important desirability factor that could entice families over who always needed an upmarket car like this but were prepared to wait for the right one.
OSV takes a closer look at what it’s all about with our 2018 Audi Q2 Diesel Estate review.
On The Road
The Q2 drives a lot like the Audi A3 Hatchback, which means that it does a good job of hiding its size. It drives very car-like and not at all as cumbersome as you might expect it to. That said, some buyers will want a proper large Estate car driving experience, but for that you’d need to step up to the Audi Q3.
With the Q2, body lean is minimal and the steering is responsive and precise. Drive Select is available as an optional extra, and this lets you tweak the settings so that it drives more to your liking. The system lets you adjust the suspension, gearbox and steering.
The Q2 comes with a 6-speed manual transmission as standard, which most buyers will deem as being good enough. However, there’s also the option of an S-Tronic automatic ‘box that’s arguably more suitable. It changes gear effortlessly and saves a bit of fuel, too.
Not all the engines come with the choice of four-wheel-drive, but the 2.0-litre diesel does and it’s well worth adding if you’ll be taking the Q2 out in some compromising conditions. It costs around £1,500, and while it will cause a dip in the economy, the extra grip is reassuring.
In terms of its engines, the diesels aren’t as quiet as the petrols but they’re smooth enough to turn the car into a convincing motorway cruiser. The line-up opens with a 1.6-litre diesel that develops 113bhp, and while it’s a small engine it does feel rather sporty. It needs to be worked hard to get the most out of it, however.
The 2.0-litre diesel, on the other hand, develops 148bhp and can be specified with four-wheel-drive. Like the smaller engine, it’s found in numerous other Volkswagen Group cars, and the extra traction of its four-wheel-drive system is appealing. That said, the 1.6-litre engine will suffice for most.
Audi Q2 Diesel Estate Interior, Design & Build
This is one of the most affordable Audi’s on the market, but it still boasts the kind of luxurious interior that we expect from the brand. It boasts a tastefully designed dashboard that’s free from clutter, and all the materials used are top notch.
Overall, the Q2’s cabin is welcoming, minimal and contemporary. There’s plenty of scope for personalisation too, which is unusual for the normally reserved Audi. For example, you can order your dashboard trim inserts in the same colour as the car’s exterior. It’s a nice option to have that might even increase sales.
Ride quality is decent but you’d need to avoid the sports suspension and larger alloys to enjoy as much comfort as possible. Those sat in the back might notice a few more jerks than those in the front but it shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
Is the Audi Q2 Diesel Estate practical? It’s based on the smaller A3 Hatch and it’s really easy to access, thanks to wide opening doors. The high roofline means headroom is good for two adults in the rear, while the driving position is fantastic.
It’s a relatively compact Estate car but there’s still lots of storage spaces. The boot, meanwhile, measures 405-litres which is very good for this class. 40:20:40 split folding rear seats are optional.
Equipment & Safety Of The Audi Q2 Diesel Estate
We think the Sport model is worth the extra cash, and it comes with patches of bright silver bodywork, 17” alloys, body-coloured bumpers, Audi Connect, cruise control and automatic lights and wipers.
The S Line model rounds things off with part-leather sports seats, unique styling details, 18” alloys, all-round LED lights and ambient interior lighting.
Meanwhile, Audi’s impressive Virtual Cockpit system, which relays all kinds of useful driver information, is an optional extra. It’s included in the Technology Pack which will set you back a further £1,500.
In terms of how safe the car is, the Q2 was awarded all five stars when crash tested by Euro NCAP. Its standard safety kit includes autonomous emergency braking, traffic sign recognition, lane-departure warning and adaptive cruise control.
Costs Of The Audi Q2 Diesel Estate
Prices for the new car start out from £21,660 and rise to £37,050. For more information on our leasing deals, check out our page here.
In terms of its running costs, the 1.6-litre diesel engine promises to be the most frugal, averaging returns of an almost 62mpg economy. The bigger 2.0-litre diesel, meanwhile, is expected to return 51mpg at best.
These are official figures, however, so you might want to take 10% of both to arrive at a real-world estimate.
What’s not up for debate is how cheap the smallest diesel engine is to ensure – it sits in group 13 out of 50.
Pros and Cons Of The Audi Q2 Diesel Estate
It might be a relatively small Estate but there’s plenty of space up front and in the rear.
Audi’s are known for being a bit conservative but they’ve bucked the trend this time by offering lots of scope for personalisation.
Holds Onto Its Value Well
The biggest thing that can hurt an Audi where running costs are concerned is depreciation, but that’s definitely not the case here, as the Q2 should be able to hold onto 60% of its value after three years of ownership.
It’ll cost significantly more than a less desirable, mainstream alternative.
Lots Of Expensive Optional Extras
To get the most out of the car you’ll need to explore the list of optional extras. And it’s at that point that things can get really expensive.
Audi Q2 Diesel Estate vs BMW X1 Diesel Estate vs Mercedes GLA
Let’s see how the car fares against its rivals in the comparison section of our Audi Q2 Diesel Estate review.
Audi Q2 Diesel Estate vs BMW X1 Diesel Estate
The new BMW X1 Diesel Estate wasn’t the best looking car in the world last time but it’s now more stylish and, as usual with BMW, boasts exciting drivability.
It’s now based on the MINI Hatchback, which has improved the way it handles while ensuring that this large-ish car drives like a smaller one. It’s agile and lively, the steering is precise, and body lean is kept to a minimum.
All models are paired up with a 6-speed manual ‘box as standard, but an 8-speed Steptronic automatic is available if you want to add it. It’s a bit frustrating in Sport mode, however.
In terms of the engines, the xDrive20d diesel develops 188bhp, and that should satisfy most buyers. It gets four-wheel drive and dispenses with the 0-62 sprint in 7.6 seconds.
If, however, you feel like being utterly ridiculous in a family car, the implausible xDrive25d blows the Audi out of the water with its 228bhp and a 0-62 time of 6.6 seconds. It’s quick, very punchy … but is it necessary?
Probably not but it still manages to return 55.4mpg economy. The smaller xDrive20d model is good for returns of 58.9mpg, while the smaller still sDrive18d returns as much as 68.9mpg. That’s impressive but it might be too short of power for most buyers and it’s also the only diesel that has to make do without four-wheel drive.
Inside, the BMW continues to impress with a logically arranged cabin that’s crammed with lots of quality. The suspension system boosts ride quality but adaptive dampers are available as an option, while visibility is good.
The dashboard is almost identical to a few other modern BMWs, with the centre console and controls angled towards you to give the car a very driver-focused feel.
Is the BMW X1 Diesel Estate practical? Leg and headroom are absolutely fine, both upfront and in the rear, and there are four-door bins available for your drinks and bits and bobs. The cup holders will prove useful and the glovebox measures a decent size. A sliding rear seat is available as an extra and it provides more space.
The boot, meanwhile, comes in at 505-litres which means there’s a whopping 85-litres more space than last time. It also means it’s much larger than the Q2’s boot.
Audi – £21,660 – £37,050
BMW – £27,625 – £38,635
Audi Q2 Diesel Estate vs Mercedes GLA
The new Mercedes GLA might be super desirable but its achilles heel is that it lacks space.
On the road, it handles well but the steering lacks communication. As such, it isn’t massively involving to drive while the suspension doesn’t do the best job of cushioning you from poorer road surfaces. This is despite Mercedes reworking it for 2018.
In terms of its engines, the smaller GLA 200d and bigger GLA 220d model are both powered by the same 2.1-litre diesel engine. They’re the most affordable engines in the range but they are quite noisy once you’re up to speed.
The smaller engine can be specified with either a manual or automatic ‘box, as well as front or four-wheel-drive 4MATIC. It’s well worth adding the 4MATIC system, as this is essentially billed as a rugged SUV that will provide you with the assurance you need in more extreme conditions. When the grip is lost, the 4MATIC system does a fine job of maximising it.
The GLA 200d diesel should be fine for most, but it takes a rather languid 9.9 seconds to complete the 0-62 dash. The GLA 220d, on the other hand, which is automatic-only, covers the same distance in just 7.7 seconds and makes overtaking easier.
Running costs? If you stick to two-wheel-drive, the GLA 200d diesel engine can return as much as 67.3mpg. Specify four-wheel-drive and that number drops sharply to around 58mpg. The GLA 220d model should be able to return 56.5mpg.
Inside, the car is well-built and feels comfortable but is let down by a bland, dated design. There are lots of top-notch materials used in the cabin, insulation is good but there are evidence of low-rent plastics while the rotary dial badly needs replacing.
Worse still, the infotainment screen looks out of sorts with its surroundings.
It’s hardly typically plush Mercedes grandeur, but we do like the lashes of chrome and the soft touch plastics. Overall, though, it can’t match the Audi for interior design or quality.
Is the Audi Q2 Diesel Estate practical? Its 481-litre boot is bigger than the Audi’s, and it boasts a shape that makes it easy to load your items. Fold the rear seats and its capacity increases to 1,235-litres.
Accessing the rear seats is easy, four adults should be able to sit in comfort even on longer trips, and there’s a decent amount of storage space, including a good-sized glovebox and some door pockets.
Mercedes – £26,520 – £38,095
Verdict Of Our 2018 Audi Q2 Diesel Estate Review
Audi has a lot of models in their arsenal and the Q2 is a crossover that was probably the least expected. It’s smaller than the Q3 and can offer good looks and a sense of occasion. It’s also reasonably practical and manages to feel like a big car inside while driving like a smaller one. It’s not Audi’s most desirable car ever but if you need a family-friendly, fun and useful small family car, the Audi Q3 Diesel Estate is worth a test.