Criticized by some, adored by most, small crossovers continue to be all the rage these days. They’re so popular, more and more automakers are pumping out performance versions to lure in buyers that used to go for hot hatches. In the luxury realm, Audi Sport made the rather controversial move to launch an SQ2 rather than to give enthusiasts an S1, let alone an RS1.
The baby go-faster crossover from Ingolstadt was pitted against the BMW X2 M35i and the Volkswagen T-Roc R in a series of duels organized by Carwow. The first order of business was to line them up in a drag race and see which one is quicker in the quarter mile. On paper, these should be pretty close as all have turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engines, all-wheel drive, automatic transmissions with launch control, and just about the same horsepower.
But while the Audi SQ2 and VW T-Roc R weigh just about the same at 1,510 kilograms and 1,575 kg, respectively, the BMW X2 M35i is substantially heavier, at 1,685 kg. On the flip side, it has more torque than its rivals from VAG. It’s worth mentioning the Bimmer features a torque-converter eight-speed auto whereas its rivals have a dual-clutch, seven-speed ‘box.
Even though the BMW was the quickest off the line, the other two eventually managed to catch up. In the end, the slowest at start actually won the race – the T-Roc R – followed by the X2 M35i and the SQ2. Being so close, all three were clocked in at 13.4 seconds in the drag race.
Carwow then spiced things up with a couple of rolling races from 50 mph showing that the slowest car at the beginning is not necessarily the slowest overall. As the speeds got higher, the BMW seemed to have some extra power at its disposal and took the win in both duels.
The series of tests ended with braking hard from 70 mph to see which of the three potent crossovers needed the least distance to reach a full stop. Unsurprisingly, the X2 M35i was dead last, partially due to its higher curb weight. As for the other two, the VAG crossovers were evenly matched, which isn’t all that surprising since they share a lot of the mechanical bits.