Home / Social media / News / Compact SUVs are getting faster, so here's a drag race starring MINI Countryman JCW, VW T-Roc R, Audi SQ2 and BMW iX2.


Regular car and hot hatch sales have been in a steady decline for some automakers for various reasons, one of them being the rise of the compact SUV. They usually offer similar styling but have a bit better ground clearance and more cabin space which translates to a more practical mode of transport. Young families buy them because there’s space for, well, a young family’s needs. Sporty types buy them because there’s enough space for the gear they need for whatever sport they do and the ever-so-slightly raised ground clearance makes it easier to get to the places where extreme sports take place. In the circles we run in, they’re often bought and given the usual stance car suspension treatment to take away that ride height, because as Mr Mooloo from VAG Cafe says, making practical cars impractical is a way of life. Part of that is probably because the Mk8 Golf took so long to get here that they all bought Tiguans and slammed them, and when the Mk8 did arrive it was so expensive that they bought T-Rocs and T-Crosses and did the same. That extends to Audi too, buying models like the Q3 and Q5 and making them impractical is just the SA way. The Q2 has been here a few years and we’re yet to see one with the same treatment, but if the SQ2 arrives, we’ll bet good money that it will take less than a month to see one become impractical with some tasty wheels and proper suspension. It’s likely the same in other countries too because SA does get a lot of inspiration from the modifying types across the pond. On to the video at hand. The Carwow crew have assembled a handful of these compact crossover/SUV types to see which is quicker in a straight line, and the results of this may just sway some previous hot hatch owners to take a closer look at these kinds of cars.

The assembled contingent of cars for this round of heads-up drag racing is a strange bunch, but they’re all market segment competitors and have pretty close stats, well on paper at least. There are two from the BMW stable, a BMW iX2, the electric representative, and the new MINI Countryman in John Cooper Works specification. The others hail from the VAG and come in the form of the Volkswagen T-Roc R and the Audi SQ2. The MINI Countryman JCW features a turbocharged 2.0-litre 4-cylinder motor that’s rated at 220 kW with 400 Nm of torque. The underpinnings see an all-wheel drive setup and power is directed to all four wheels via an 8-speed auto transmission. It’s the 3rd heaviest at 1,735 kg with its stablemate bearing the BMW badge being the heaviest at 2,020 kg. That’s obviously thanks to the battery pack needed for the electric powerplant. The BMW iX2 features dual electric motors that send power to all four wheels, and they combine to produce the most power here at 230 kW. The VAG cars share the MQB A1 platform, and that means they’re twins of sorts, just not the identical kind. Both cars are fitted with Volkswagen’s popular turbocharged 2.0-litre 4-cylinder lump that’s rated at 220 kW with 400 Nm of torque - identical to the JCW. Both cars use a 7-speed dual-clutch DSG transmission and both are all-wheel drive. The Volkswagen T-Roc R is a little heavier at 1,575 kg with the Audi SQ2 being the lightest of the lot with a 1,535 kg mass. Looking at the stats for this shootout reveals easily the closest pairings we’ve seen in a Carwow drag race comparison, so the results should be quite close. No matter the result, the T-Roc R is the one we’d opt for to make impractical.

Take a look at the YouTube video from the Carwow crew that pits a handful of the coolest compact SUVs around representing four brands (two automakers) and their popular segment offerings. Being VAG fans, our money is on the T-Roc, but we do quite like that new Audi. We'd like the MINI to lose for no particular reason: 300hp SUVs: MINI v BMW v VW v Audi DRAG RACE | carwow

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