The Audi SQ2 Quattro has proved itself a credible, fairly rounded performance car during our test processes, delivering a healthy quantity of driver appeal: more of that last factor, certainly, than you might have expected to get if you’d written this off as just another opportunistic, marketing department-driven Audi S-car.

By landing four stars, it beats by half-a-star what the Cupra Ateca managed a couple of months ago. The Audi handles better than its Spanish rival, with more balance and even a bit of involvement when you go looking for it. It works better on the road, too, and has a simpler, more energetic character than the Ateca with which it’s easier to engage.

More fun than you might expect – from a crossover or an Audi S

What the car gains by being smaller and lighter than the crossover norm, mind you, must be set against what it loses on practicality. This certainly isn’t a particularly comfortable four-seater for full-sized adult occupants – and that fact only brings its value proposition further into question as a near-£40,000 car with the de rigueur options.

Still, if the job of a performance car is to be fast, composed and fun to drive first and foremost, the Audi SQ2 makes a better one than any crossover hatchback has so far.