Audi released the new Q2 crossover at the end of May, which is now slightly longer, better equipped, and more expensive than before.
Audi’s age-old rival BMW has its X1 in this category, which appeals to much of the same crowd.
These crossovers (or mini-SUVs as some will call them) differ quite radically on both the inside and out.
Audi’s S line package on the top-end Q2 adds S line bumpers and a Platinum Grey side blade, 18-inch alloy wheels, LED rear lights, and sports suspension that reduces ride height by 10mm over the standard models.
The base BMW X1 does not receive any of the aesthetic additions from the pricier M Sport trims, and comes with black plastic wheel arch covers, 17-inch alloy wheels, and standard bumpers.
Nevertheless, the entry-level BMW X1 sDrive18i is around R60,000 more expensive than the range-topping Audi Q2 35TFSI S line.
We find out why below.
The X1 and Q2 share very similar capabilities.
Both come with automatic LED headlights and tail lights, daytime running lights, keyless entry and start, automatic air conditioning, a leather multifunction steering wheel, cruise control, and two-tone artificial leather/fabric seats.
The BMW also packs rain-sensing wipers, which is a feature not available on the Q2 range, while the Audi – thanks to the S line package – adds sports seats, brushed aluminium inserts, S badging, stainless steel pedals, and aluminium scuff plates.
Similarities continue in the connectivity department, where an 8.8-inch infotainment display populates the dash of the X1 – with an 8.3-inch display in the Q2.
The systems provide Bluetooth connectivity as standard, while the newer Q2 brings along Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This is a R4,700 optional extra in the X1.
Both manufacturers then have their own apps that connect your smartphone to the vehicle to provide additional information, such as live traffic services, vehicle maintenance schedules, and emergency calling.
Exemplary safety is evident in both vehicles.
The BMW X1 achieves a 5-star Euro NCAP safety rating, and offers ABS with cornering brake control, cruise control with automatic braking, dynamic stability and traction control, and front driver and passenger airbags.
The newest Q2 has not received official safety scores, but it’s safe to assume that it will provide sufficient protection.
Every Audi model tested by the Euro NCAP program since September 2015 has scored a 5-star safety rating, including the previous-generation Q2.
This new generation mirrors the safety systems of the X1, but also provides rear parking sensors along with side and curtain airbags.
The only engine option that is currently available for the Q2 in South Africa is a 1.4-litre, turbo-petrol motor that generates 110kW and 250Nm.
An eight-speed tiptronic gearbox lets the front-wheel-drive Q2 reach 100km/h in 8.8 seconds, while petrol consumption is rated at 6.1l/100km.
It can also carry 405 litres of cargo with all five seats up, and supports a braked towing capacity of 1,500kg.
The X1 xDrive18i is fitted with a 1.5-litre, turbo-petrol engine, and a seven-speed double-clutch automatic transmission.
This unit produces 103kW and 220Nm, pushes the crossover to 100km/h in 9.6 seconds, and achieves a combined fuel consumption of 6.3l/100km.
Practicality is assured by 505 litres of cargo capacity, and a braked towing capacity of up to 1,700kg is available.