New Audi Q2 review – Is Audi’s smallest SUV worthy of the premium badge? - Ride and handling
Audi’s most compact SUV is as impressive as it probably needed to be, but no more
Ride and handling
First impressions are good, and once you get moving there’s little to change your mind. It rides well in any of the sub-Dynamic driving modes, absorbing the few defects we could find on the alpine Swiss roads of our drive. In the sportiest driving mode, Dynamic, the Q2 becomes slightly more fidgety, but far from unacceptably harsh.
Find some corners and the Q2’s infallibility starts to crumble. The car tested was on Michelin Primacy 3 tyres, and around even the shallowest of curves, they would make an audible scrubbing noise. Push harder and this quiet growl develops into a high-pitched squeal.
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Despite the loud protests from the tyres, the grip levels are high enough and the Q2 will turn into a bend with vigour. The quick steering helps it feel nimble, even if there’s no discernable feedback through the rim.
A comparatively stiff back axle helps emphasize the impression of agility the Q2 gives you, but that doesn’t translate to an excitable rear end, sadly. In fact, it doesn’t even allow for any real adjustability.
Push the Q2 out of its comfort zone, and it will fall into understeer. It isn’t dramatic, uncontrollable amounts, but it’s enough to dampen your enthusiasm. Some more performance-orientated tyres would undoubtedly raise the grip limits, and make the understeer less frequent, but it might also detract from the occasional sense that the rear axle is having some effect on your trajectory. Sometimes out of tight bends, as the front begins to scrabble for grip, the rear gets sent some torque and you can begin to feel the back axle faintly push you round the corner.
Audi has made the Q2 safe and predictable, but far from exciting. Inadequate tyres – for faster driving, at least – cause the only real issues. The larger, optional wheels come with better tyres, but the lower profile sidewall will affect the Q2’s plush ride