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TEST Audi Q2, Kia Stonic, Renault Captur, Volkswagen T-Cross: how a strict mistress can ruin driving pleasure

The global car market is under the spell of the SUV and the crossover. In the Netherlands it is more nuanced. If we look at the sales figures for 2021, we see that the Dutchman has not yet given up the traditional hatchback. This varies greatly by brand. In the case of compact SUVs, the bestseller Renault Captur (5231 units) outperformed the Renault Clio (4587) in 2021. But the Volkswagen T-Cross (2494) was no match for the Volkswagen Polo (8009). How different it is with Kia! There, the Stonic (3116) eclipsed the Rio (545) by far. At Audi, the reverse is true, the Q2 (965) clearly lagged behind the Audi A1 (1359).

Before kick-off, the Renault Captur is on the winning side

With those numbers in mind, we can hardly wait to hit the road with the cars. Is the Dutch car buyer right? When assessing the driving characteristics, do we also put the Captur at one, the Stonic at two, the T-Cross at three and the Q2 at four? That’s the question. We put zeros on the scoreboard, give a referee ball and offer all candidates the opportunity to score maximum. Let’s kick off!

Volkswagen T-Cross drives exemplary

During a test of compact cars with turbo engines, we expect a small party on the test track. But as it turns out, most candidates behave like tame lambs. The Volkswagen T-Cross actually does nothing wrong. Even at high cornering speeds, it does its thing nicely. The steering and chassis never leave the driver in the dark. On the limits of grip, they don’t have any treacherous tricks up their sleeve.

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Steering Kia Stonic offers little feeling

The Kia Stonic also presents us with no nasty surprises, although the steering and the braking system offer too little feeling. As a result, it is not always easy to steer him every lap via the ideal lines around the circuit. If you steer too hard into a corner, the car slides out prematurely on its front wheels. And if you go too fast on the gas when you leave the corner, the inner front wheel will let you know with a groan that it disapproves of your behavior.

Renault Captur has a strict mistress

‘Dynamics’ may be a French loanword, but it wasn’t invented by the Renault Captur. The ESP behaves like a strict mistress with a short fuse. Every spark of sportiness is suppressed with a refined tap of the ruler. This is especially noticeable on the slalom. It is completed very safely, but also quite slowly.

Audi Q2 eagerly dives into the bend

Although the Audi Q2 only has 10 hp more than the Renault Captur, it is a completely different car on the test track. With the adaptive chassis in sport mode, he eagerly dives into the bend. In doing so, it is supported by the passively co-steering rear axle. Because the steering and the braking system clearly show what is possible, you dare to increase the speed on a winding route. Also with a partially deactivated stability system. Even before we have all the points in a row, it is clear that the Audi is the best driving car.

You can read the full comparison in Auto Review 4/2022including all measurements in terms of performance, consumption and space.

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