Our Cars: Audi Q2 1.4 TFSI Sport S tronic

31 October 2018: Is Audi's virtual cockpit worth the money?

The Details

Current mileage 5291
Claimed economy 52.3
Actual economy 43.1

The Virtual Cockpit, as Audi calls it, replaces the usual analogue dials you're used to with a TFT screen in a number of its newer models. The idea is to bring all the info you need into your field of view, rather than needing to look over at the infotainment screen.

On our Q2 Sport, it would have been a £1595 optional extra. However, we got it as part of the £1395 optional Technology pack. This is only an option on Sport models with an S tronic transmission (like ours) and on S-line and Black Edition models, and it has to be in combination with the flat-bottomed Sport steering wheel.

If you really want the Virtual Cockpit, this is the much more financially-savvy option because you also get the Audi wireless charging phone box (although you can't use it with an iPhone without the £40 charging cover), a 36-month subscription to Audi Connect Infotainment Services (basically you can use the internet in your car) and MMI Navigation Plus with MMI Touch.

The Multi Media Interface (MMI) features an 8.3-inch high-resolution colour display, touch-sensitive control panel with handwriting recognition and the ability to move and zoom on the 3D map.

Infotainment Screen Small Dials

You can choose to shrink the dials to make your view of the map larger.

In Classic View, the screen predominantly shows the speedometer and rev counter. But you can customise the Virtual Cockpit to suit your needs, so you can prominently display the map in the centre with the dials in the background if that's what you prefer.

The 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit can also show fuel level, tyre pressures, driver assistance menus and music information. Basically, it means that you’re able to use it like an infotainment system (mostly), bringing up everything from radio stations to routes on the map. 

So, is it worth the money? As with most things, it'll depend on how tight your budget is. It's a fantastic piece of tech and, honestly, if you're stumping up the cash for a brand new Audi, then you'd probably add it on. But for a fiver off £1400, you could buy a whole second car. An old car that's seen a lot of miles, but still...

Briefly looking down rather than across to a screen to see map info definitely feels more natural (and safer), but if you have CarPlay or Android Auto (which comes as standard on the Sport trim), then you have access to Apple or Google Maps, music etc for free. You don't get all the fancy info about fuel pressure and digital dials, but you also won't spend a big chunk of money just to move all that info right in front of your face.

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