Audi A2 Review

Gumtree Rating

4.0 rating

Launched at the end of the last millennium, the Audi A2 was ahead of its time. Premium superminis hadn’t been invented yet, but Audi set out to prove you could make a small, relatively affordable, aluminium-bodied car that didn’t feel cheap. The experiment wasn’t a success for the German manufacturer – the A2 never sold in the expected numbers and was withdrawn in 2005. Where it did succeed, however was in combining lightweight, efficient engines and aerodynamics to minimise the amount of fuel needed to move four people around. Fast-forward to 2021 and that feels very relevant. As a vehicle a couple of decades old, the A2 can be picked up cheaply on the second-hand market. Is it a classic car in the making?

Check out the Audi A2 model page to learn more and explore available cars.

What we think about the Audi A2

The Audi A2 is a frugal and fun-to-drive hatchback that doubles up as a piece of automotive history.



Economical engines


Grippy handling


Attractive running costs


Bodywork repairs can be costly

Awkward access to rear seats

Engine can struggle when the car is fully laden

The A2 never made it to a second generation, being discontinued after just six years in production. Tweaks over its lifespan included the introduction of fake grille slats to the service hatch at the front of the bonnet in 2004. It was available in standard and SE trims, as well as eye-catching Colour Storm and Sport versions.

Driving performance of the Audi A2

Our Driving Rating8 / 10

For such an old car, the A2 feels surprisingly modern. That lightweight construction means it’s agile and responsive, while motorway cruising feels composed. Where it shows its age is the 1.4-litre TDI engine – compared with modern diesel engines, it makes a lot of huff and puff about exploiting its narrow powerband. But overall, it feels quick for a low-powered vehicle, and not nearly as dated as you might expect.

Safety and reliability of the Audi A2

Our Safety Rating7 / 10

Safety was a selling point for the A2, and back in 2002, it received four out of five stars from Euro NCAP for adult occupant protection. It’s worth noting, however, that Euro NCAP’s tests have grown steadily more stringent since then. The protection afforded by the child restraints was rated as good in places but weak in others, and the car received only one star for pedestrian protection. Traction control and electronic brakeforce distribution are standard on all models, along with front and side airbags and Isofix child seat mounts in the back. Used Audi A2s have an above-average reputation for reliability.

Under the bonnet of the Audi A2

Our Engine Rating7 / 10

The Audi A2 was offered with a choice of small petrol or diesel engines. The entry-level 1.4-litre petrol will feel adequate around town, but the 1.6-litre direct injection petrol introduced in 2002 offers more pace, taking you from 0 to 60 in 9.8 seconds. The 1.4-litre TDI offers similar acceleration to its petrol counterpart, but with better fuel economy. As a three-cylinder, it delivers a distinctive throb. Late in the car’s lifespan, a punchier version of this engine was introduced, beefed up from 74 bhp to 89 bhp, to go from 0 to 60 in 10.9 seconds.

What you'll find in the Audi A2

Our Design Rating8 / 10

The A2’s design was divisive, but in retrospect it seems something of an icon. Its tall, narrow construction maximised interior space while minimising length and aerodynamic drag. Informed by the Bauhaus style that was influential in Audi in the early noughties, its chic silhouette incorporates clean lines and a curved windscreen that balloons up from the bonnet. Speaking of the bonnet, this can’t be popped open in the normal way. Removing it is quite a palaver, but the oil and washer fluid are accessed by a ‘service’ hatch situated on the grille-less nose of the car.

Comfort and interiors in the Audi A2

Our Comfort Rating7 / 10

The A2’s designers worked some Tardis-like magic with its dimensions, and the tall profile means there’s plenty of room inside for four adults. The forward visibility is superb too, thanks to a high driving position that was revolutionary when the car was launched but which the rest of the world has now caught up with. The pared-back ethos of the design results in an interior that is elegantly simple, with little in the way of bells or whistles. Traditionalists might like that this was the last Audi sold in the UK with manual rear windows.

Audi A2 interior dashboard

What features you'll find in the Audi A2

Our Features Rating6 / 10

Compared to modern cars, the Audi A2 isn’t exactly bristling with features. But then that’s not really the point of this minimalist car. Standard trim comes with folding rear seats, electric mirrors, alloy wheels and remote locking. The A2 Sport adds electric sports seats with lumbar support. Climate control, fog lights and a CD player were optional extras.

What fuel efficiency to expect from the Audi A2

Our Fuel Consumption Rating8 / 10

The design brief for the Audi A2 was said to have been to ‘transport four people from Stuttgart to Milan on a single tank of petrol’, so fuel economy was its raison d’etre. The expensive aluminium chassis, the aerodynamics, the lack of non-essential kit, are all aimed at getting you further on a gallon of gas. Fuel economy (measured under the old, less stringent pre-WLTP system) varies from 46 mpg to 64 mpg for the various versions – stellar when it was launched, but modern vehicles have caught up.

Running costs of the Audi A2

Our Cost Rating7 / 10

Servicing from an Audi dealership can be pricey, but the long service intervals (19,000 miles for the petrols, up to 30,000 miles on the diesels) mean hopefully you wont have to take it in too often. If something does go wrong or you damage the body, it can be expensive to fix due to the aluminium panels and general scarcity of parts. Insurance won’t make much of a dent in your wallet though, with the A2 sitting in groups 11 to 17.

Our verdict of the Audi A2

4.0 rating

4 / 5 Gumtree rating

Twenty years ago, the Audi A2 was a futuristic car that got just a bit ahead of itself. Times have caught up with it, and for a small outlay you can pick up a practical vehicle that's also something of a modern classic.