Any Marvel fanboy or girl will tell you that when you see Robert Downey JR as Iron Man you immediately think of an uber cool, sophisticated, tech savvy playboy whose superpower is being rich. Since the first Iron Man a partnership between Audi and Marvel was created. During the various Iron Man installments Audi has featured numerous vehicles on screen including most famously the Audi R8, A8L, S7 Sportback, S5 Coupe and the Audi Q7. So where am I going with this? Well it’s simple, every time I see any current generation of Audi I immediately think, “Oh hey! Iron Man would probably drive that.”
This brings me to the new Audi Q2, the latest in the range of “Q” models from the brand. It sits under the Audi Q3 and its main rival is the BMW X1 but let’s get the elephant out of the room first. It’s a new car added to line up and it sits in a very niche market therefore the price is a lot. Starting at R529 500 it is a bit hefty and with my optional extras at R166 050 it did take it up to a grand total of R695 550.
Heart palpitations and stress over about the price over? Good, let’s get on to the good stuff. There is no doubt that is one seriously good looking car. Audi have gone on a trend of sharp futuristic looks without looking too masculine and beefy and they have pulled it off well. While looking boxy one could mistake it for a pepped up and raised Audi A3, but chuck in a few optional extras and you can get the S Line exterior package and optional 19 inch rims which gives it a nice aggressive look with two tone colour coded panels to break up the shape and distinguish it a bit.
The model on test and pick of the bunch in terms of power would be the 1.4 turbocharged engine. Punching out a nippy 110Kw and 250Nm to a super slick and lightning fast flawless 7 speed gearbox it made for city and town driving a breeze while being easy on the pocket too. After 7 days I managed a good 6.5 litres per hundred kilometres on average and with terrible driving a high of 14.7 litres.
The light fixtures are extremely pretty on the Q2, with ours being fitted with the optional LED headlights which can see up to an incredible range of up to 500 metres ahead of the car. The rear taillights feature dynamic turn signals in the rear known as sweeping indicators which look like a video game progress bar. It’s very unique and becomes quite a talking point around the table. Boot and space? A good size considering how compact the car is. The Q2’s height and tall rear doors makes seating for 5 easy with good leg room and clearly marked Isofix points means you won’t have trouble fitting a child seat. Squeezing lots of luggage into the 405-litre boot is simple and folding the rear seats flat in a 60:40 split it becomes a 1,050-litre boot which is big enough to carry a bike without removing its wheels.
From the driver’s side things get interesting. Audi have a very minimal approach to the dashboard which I quite like. The buttons are within reach and the design is simple and not busy at all. One thing I enjoyed a lot is the new steering wheel. It was really nice and chunky and almost square designed. It gave me confidence behind the wheel and not once did I ever have the urge to drive with one hand, it just felt so much better with both all the time.
And now it’s time for the party piece. Gone are the days of analog needles and dials that are timed by wire because Audi have a solution and it’s called Virtual Cockpit. The idea is simple, replace the old with the new that involves an entire digital dash that can display what ever information you like. The involvement as a driver is incredible with my favorite feature being the navigation that be displayed in full. Less distraction more driving and for a decent price of R6 400 extra it is well worth it.
Driving around was a great experience, the ride quality was smooth despite the very large wheels and the height felt good. Cabin insolation was great and the stereo system good. In traffic it felt really good because like I said earlier this car is a looker, and in Ara Blue it looks stunning as the sunshine hits the shiny metallic paint shimmering with a touch of glitter.
With its main rivals being the BMW X1, Nissan Juke, Mini Countryman and Mazda CX-3, the Audi Q2 is definitely a car for the new generation who want more but less at the same time. It grew on me rapidly, the looks and quirks made it a great car and if you can get over its price you will find yourself a very nice premium crossover SUV. It has all the luxury and tech you can expect from a German car and very little shortfalls. So, would Iron Man buy one? Probably not because it isn’t an R8, but if you want a tech savvy simple car then this one is for you.