Our performance statistics paint a picture of a fairly sluggish, one-dimensional engine and transmission here – and driving the 4 Crossback only confirms the accuracy of that representation.
Although the peak outputs look adequate enough on paper, this car is afflicted by a lack of flexibility of delivery and particularly long gearing, making it slower than it really ought to be both against the stopwatch and out on the road.
Renault’s 1.5-litre diesel Kadjar was the slowest new car we performance tested in 2015, taking more than 14sec to hit 60mph from rest.
But although the 4 comfortably beat the Renault’s mark from standing to 60mph, it’s only 0.1sec faster pulling from 30mph to 70mph in fourth gear.
So long is the 4’s gearing, in fact, that it’ll only just pull fourth gear below 30mph and takes so long to muster much turbo boost and meaningful response to the accelerator at that speed and those revs that you’d struggle to keep up with the traffic.
It’s impossible to be sure at exactly what point in its rev range that 1.6-litre engine wakes up and hunkers down, because the 4’s digital rev counter is frustratingly small and dismayingly imprecise.