Thursday 24 August 2017

Audi Q2 is a delight but would it create the wrong impression?

The Audi Q2 is a delight but would it create the wrong impression and is it ethical, wonders Campbell Spray

YELLOW FEVER: The well-designed Audi Q2 stands out from the crowd — but it’s expensive
YELLOW FEVER: The well-designed Audi Q2 stands out from the crowd — but it’s expensive

They say that what happens in Vegas should stay in Vegas. Being a clean-living boy, I'm not quite sure what that means, but driving the Audi Q2 in Vegas Yellow last week brought such head-swivelling attention that I quite wished the colour had stayed in the place for which it was named.

However, on the other hand, when we came back to the massive Crone car park last Sunday after a walk in the Dublin Mountains, there was no missing just where our vehicle was parked. The only competition was the gorse which is now coming into its own and was indeed "yellow on the heath".

When I was growing up in Cornwall, the coming of the gorse was a big deal and on May 1 a sprig of it was a traditional gift between young lovers. Whatever about love, it probably wasn't the car to be seen in in the august surrounding of All Hallows College last Tuesday when attending the alumni meeting of the DCU MA in Ethics.

When I was doing the course a few years back, I normally would cycle up to lectures. The jibes about ethics, motoring correspondents and never the twain shall meet were a bit hard to take. But last Tuesday I threw caution to the wind, much to the amusement of a few of my fellow alumni.

For the much-awaited Q2 was a delight to drive and being a small SUV, it is just the size I like. It is impressively built with great attention to detail and feels like the premium car it is. And it should. The biggest let-down with the Q2 is the price. The company might like to claim that prices start at €30,100 - or €309 per month on a PCP - (£20,790 in the UK) but extras start to push that into the stratosphere. The test car was the 1.4TFSI 150bhp S-Tronic and with a lot of spec on board, came in at €45,448. Now that is out of reach of the normal family, however it might suit "golden generation" executive downsizers who still want the premium feel of an Audi, but now they are retired, are happy with something that sits between a SUV and small saloon.

It is light years away from cars like the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur but not such a family car as popular offerings like the Hyundai Tucson and Nissan Qashqai. It claims to be a five-seater but it isn't except for very short journeys as the child or small person in the centre seat will be very uncomfortable indeed.

Yet the luggage area is very good indeed and adaptable. It probably can rightly claim to be the best car of its type on the market, although the Peugeot 3008, which is much more an all-round family SUV, has a massive premium feel about it.

The test car's responsive automatic took eight seconds to reach 100kmh and it's great to drive, although it is very harsh over bumps even under all the different settings. And the bigger the wheels, the worse it will be, although the big alloys give the car real presence. Consumption is good and I think 45 mpg is realistic. The satnav on the test car was brilliant with aerial views of the mountains through which we were travelling. There's no doubt that the Audi Q2 will stand out in the crowd even without being in its garish colours. It is a refined, well-designed car. Pity about the price.

And don't forget what day it is tomorrow. As Charlotte Smith wrote: "The hawthorn soon will bear the wreath, The silver wreath, of May." But on the other hand, seize your moment, for remember "kissing's out of fashion when the gorse is out of blossom".

Drive safely this bank holiday weekend.

Sunday Independent

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