I have to admit that I was quite skeptical when they handed me the keys to the 2019 Audi Q2 1.0 TFSI. After all, it isn’t everyday that I get to drive a compact German crossover sport utility vehicle (SUV) finished in a bright and eye-catching hue of Vegas Yellow. But that’s not why I’m skeptic: It’s the one-liter engine under the hood that had me scratching my head. Sure, it is turbocharged but the last time I had real unadulterated fun with a liter-sized engine was with a super bike, my 2013 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R.
But I digress. The minute I drove the yellow Q2 out of the Audi dealership and into a surprisingly light afternoon southbound traffic along EDSA, I immediately felt the rapid acceleration generated by 200 Newton-meters of torque coming from the diminutive turbo three-cylinder. Of course, I did not expect it to accelerate with the same rapid intensity as my old liter bike but after realizing that there were four passengers – me, my wife Shawie and our teenage kids Vette and Chevy – who were having fun inside the yellow pocket rocket compared to just silly old me alone having fun on my black crotch rocket, it got me thinking really hard about small engines. Liter-sized engines have surely come a long, long way.
Powering our yellow pocket rocket is a turbocharged 999 cc inline 3-cylinder gasoline engine with direct fuel injection, which produces 116 horsepower between 5,000 to 5,500 rpm and complies with Euro 6 emission standards. The 200 Nm maximum torque arrives between 2,000 and 3,500 rpm and is channeled through a 7-speed automatic transmission to the front wheels. The factory claims the Q2 1.0 TFSI can accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in 10 seconds, reach a top speed of 197 km/h, while returning a fuel mileage of 25.5 kilometers per liter. In comparison, my old Kawasaki Ninja can accelerate faster and reach a higher top speed, but it only averages 13.33 km per liter since I like revving the 200-hp liquid-cooled inline 4-cylinder motor to its 14,000 rpm redline and riding a bit Fast & Furious. Liter-sized engines surely have come a long, long way, but so has my riding and driving temperament.
The driver’s seat of the Q2 1.0 TFSI is the perfect place to enjoy the perks of being inside an Audi. You sit on an ergonomic leather seat with adjustable lumbar support and grip a sport contour leather-wrapped 4-spoke steering wheel with a flattened bottom, multi-function remote controls, and paddle shifters. Audi’s renowned Teutonic elegance is evident all throughout the interior and all the controls are within easy reach. The 4.5-inch LCD screen between the 8,000 rpm tachometer and 260 km/h speedometer displays digital speed readings, fuel mileage, fuel range, door ajar warning, service interval reminders, and other vital information. The Q2 1.0 TFSI is truly a driver’s car when you get past the liter-sized engine displacement.
In Der Audi Q2
To have five occupants enjoy the same fun in a cute and compact package is already a blessing but to have them enjoy that fun in leather-wrapped and climate-controlled comfort and safety is a big bonus. The Q2 1.0 TFSI we tested features has the “aluminum look” interior, ISOFIX child seat mounting and Top Thether anchorage point for outer rear seats, power windows with “comfort” operation, rear windows with insulated glass, ambient interior lighting, auto dimming interior rear view mirror, and that fantastic Audi Sound System with Audi Connect mobile phone interface, navigation system and unique rotary control knob. With my old Ninja, I was wearing the leathers for protection, not just merely sitting on them.
As a compact crossover SUV, this small Audi is expected to carry a proportionate amount of luggage or fun stuff, depending on the mood and destination of the occupants. The cargo area behind the rear seats can hold a couple of overnight bags for a quick getaway with the family while a removable cover keeps those items away from the prying eyes of thieves. Removing the cover allows the transport of taller items while folding the 60:40 rear seat backs allow the transport of a number of luggage, or golf bags, or bulky items. However, they should all be clean stuff so as not to mar the Teutonic and sweet smelling interior. Of course, my old Ninja cannot do these things.
Den Q2 Fahren
On the road, the diminutive turbo three-cylinder propels the Q2 1.0 TFSI to legal speeds faster than most mundane compact crossovers with larger 4-cylinder engines can. The turbo spools up quite unannounced but you can feel the vehicle lunging forward with ferocity. The power-assisted steering feels light during parking maneuvers but feels weighted during fast drives to provide accurate feedback of how the front 215/55R17 Michelin Primacy 3 tires are responding to the driver’s inputs. Compared to its larger Q3, Q5 and Q7 stablemates, the Q2 feels a bit choppy but planted. Its light 1,375 curb weight and svelte dimensions combined with the front McPherson strut suspension and rear torsion beam makes it handle almost like a go-kart for the family.
Our Q2 1.0 TFSI’s Vegas Yellow finish attracts a lot of gawkers and onlookers who gave me disbelieving question-mark faces when I told them that a small one-liter engine powers this Audi. They were expecting me to brag about a large-displacement engine under the hood but showing them what the turbo-three can do is proof enough. Besides the power, the small engine is also about economy. My wife and I had the yellow Audi for an entire weekend and we drove to a lot of places but the fuel gauge moved ever so slowly. We averaged around 15.1 kilometers per liter in heavy traffic, believe it or not, and I feel that we can achieve the factory claim of 25.5 km per liter if we planned our trips more carefully.
Like my Ninja liter bike, I noticed that the Q2 1.0 TFSI does not like prolonged immobility in traffic. Perhaps the heat was coking the turbo or the stop-and-go traffic is playing tricks with the engine and transmission management computers, but after a while the Audi was beginning to creep faster on its own the minute you lift your foot off the brake pedal. It’s as if it was telling me, “Let’s go, buddy. I may have a small liter-sized engine but I love to gallop at full stride on open roads. So, try to find a way out of this traffic mess and unleash my power.” Oh, how I wish I could.
Driving this Audi debunked the myth that one-liter-displacement three-cylinder engines lack power and are utterly boring as driving machines. It showed me that one-liter engines can provide power that can excite a family of four. And there’s nothing I want more than to once again feel the exhilaration that I felt on my old Ninja, except this time, I want to share that feeling with my family. I know that I could with the 2019 Audi Q2 1.0 TFSI but the current state of our roads won’t let me. And with a suggested retail price of P2,780,000.00, I know that even with open roads, my wife won’t allow me to.
Classification: Front-engine FWD 5-door compact crossover
Engine Type: Liquid-cooled inline 3-cylinder turbocharged
Capacity: 999 cc
Maximum power: 116 hp @ 5000-5500 rpm
Maximum torque: 200 Nm @ 2000-3500 rpm
Fuel type: Premium Unleaded Gasoline
Fuel tank capacity: 50 liters
Fuel economy: 25.5 kms per liter
Wheelbase: 2587 mm
Overall length: 4191 mm
Overall height: 1498 mm
Overall width: 1794 mm
Ground clearance: 144 mm
Kerb weight: 1375 kg
Rear track: 1553 mm
Front track: 1547 mm
Front brakes: Ventilated discs
Rear brakes: Solid discs
Front suspension: MacPherson strut, lower wishbones, coil springs, gas dampers, anti roll bar
Rear suspension: Torsion bar, spring dampers
Tire size: 215/55R17 Michelin Primacy 3
Wheels: 15-spoke aluminum alloy 17 x 7 inches
Audi PGA Cars
201 EDSA, Mandaluyong City
Mobile: 0917 638 3496
Tel. No.: (632) 724 0964
Email: [email protected]