The Audi Q2 is parading as an SUV with its tall shape and big boot. It’s going to take more than that to convince us this five-seater hatchback is a successful and practical BabyDrive… or is it!!?
Few people I’m sure would consider the Audi Q2 as their main family car, but how did it stack up when it was put through our tests and driven as our family car for a week? Would it actually make a practical set of family wheels?! Let’s find out…
I was initially very disappointed with the Q2’s lack of space once our rear facing Infasecure Kompressor child seat was installed. I had to ride in the front passenger seat on our first outing because with the child seat installed the front passenger seat wouldn’t go back past the first notch and there was no way my 6ft 2” husband was going to fit.
Resigned to letting go of the wheel, I sat pressed up against the dashboard and enjoyed the ride! Which was hard in both respects. I found at roundabouts and corners I was pressed into the side of my seat. I was made aware by my daughter’s protest that she also disliked this element as a passenger in this car.
I didn’t understand the Q2, what it was about or who it was designed for at this stage. I thought it would be useless for anyone with kids, it’s just for single people with not much space to park, who want to drive a fast sporty car, with an Audi badge and take it on gravel occasionally.
Until I drove it myself.. on my own! It was all sorts of fun, it is a pretty hard ride but that’s because as the driver it feels sporty and quick, it corners really well and comes into its own when you drive at speed especially on highways. Not having to consider any other people in the car, the drive was brilliant! Add a 16-month-old passenger and you have to drive it very differently to compensate for the hard ride and to soften corners and roundabouts!
The sat nav quickly won me over with two great BabyDrive function buttons on the steering wheel one to repeat the previous instruction and the other to mute the voice guidance.
The Q2 grew on me the more I used it as the week went on. Not only is it nippy and fun but the boot space was surprisingly good! It actually has the same boot capacity as the Ford Escape which is a much bigger SUV.
I could get the basic H2 stroller and five shopping bags in, or the big Mountain Buggy Urban Jungle pram on its own and no shopping bags.
The surprises kept on coming with the Q2 boot when to my joy I discovered the floor panel actually slides out and drops down about 15cm to increase the depth of the boot space, making it very BabyDrive friendly indeed!
It’s the back row of seats where this space has been stolen from, it just lacks leg room and storage which would make it that little bit more family friendly. On the plus side, the back row of seats does seem wider than in some large SUVs I’ve driven and I think if you were careful with your child seat purchases you could actually get three across the back row.
There were still a few downsides to the Q2, the reversing camera sensors had a very loud ‘beeeeep’ which although you could turn it off with a very conveniently positioned button on the central dash, but it turned off the camera and screen display as well! Crazy from a safety perspective.
I found the Q2 struggled to find its gear on hill starts on a few different occasions. There would be a clunk/judder from the front and a delay taking off as the car worked out which gear to use. I found switching on the automatic handbrake overcame this problem and it was only smooth hill starts from then on. The automatic handbrake is an optional extra though.
I did have a very scary experience in the Q2 which I would not want to repeat. I was driving along at 70km/h in the right-hand lane and a car undertook me, moving in front of me and then into the right hand turning lane. I didn’t need to slow down for this car and the cruise control stayed at 70km/h. As I passed the car which had now stopped and was waiting to turn on my right, the Q2 slammed on its brakes coming almost to an emergency stop. It all happened very quickly and I was very relieved to find there was no one travelling behind me as I am pretty sure they would have ploughed into the back of me at 70km/h and also very glad I didn’t have my daughter in the car either. I’m pleased to say I only experienced this once but that was enough. I believe this is part of either the adaptive cruise control and lane assist to stop people from undertaking or Audi pre-sense city or the autonomous emergency braking system which comes as standard in both versions of the Q2. Whichever of these functions was at fault, at the time it felt like more of a danger than a safety feature.
There is a spattering of knobs, switches and buttons of various shapes and sizes spread over the central console, dash and steering wheel, all controlling different elements of the media system. I found it all a little too confusing and am sure there must be a simpler configuration they could have used or a touch screen instead would be better. Whilst concentrating on driving and on Tulsi I found there were just too many switches and dials that required too much attention to work out for even simple adjustments.
Audi has used a matte black surface around the central console controls and on the doors around the window controls. It looks great but marks terribly, seemingly from just the natural oils of your skin and you can see finger marks from every time it is touched, not good with little fingers!!
The Q2 grew on me as the week went on and I can totally see this as a family car especially living in the city where space to park is limited. The Q2 has most of the benefits of an SUV without the footprint in the carpark! It would make a great second car too, having a larger family car for the whole family outings and the Q2 as the run around doing pick-ups and drop-offs. With its large boot capacity when the boot floor is lowered it is practical.
A lot of the features of the Q2 are optional extras so they come at an added cost. You have to seriously weigh this up when comparing the Q2 with other family-friendly cars as the initial price you see is probably not the price you are going to pay!