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Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

The A2 is only available with small engines but then again there's not much weight to move around thanks to the aluminium body. That said the entry-level 1.4-litre petrol unit can feel underpowered at times, however it is fine for town driving and economy is 46mpg. The other petrol is a 1.6 FSI unit (available from 2002) which offers much better pace and feels more lively, especially noticeable when joining motorways or dual carriageways.

0-62mph takes 9.8 seconds yet economy is an impressive 48mpg. The most cost effective model is the 1.4-litre TDI. It's a three-cylinder engine which means it has a characteristic sound but it can also be a little on the noisy side, especially at high revs. In gear pace is reasonable though and it feels quicker than its 0-62mph time of 12.3 seconds suggests.

Best of all is an average economy figure of 66mpg and CO2 emissions of below 120g/km, making it cheap to tax. Originally available with 73hp, a more powerful 88hp version was introduced in early 2004. This brought the 0-62mph time down to 10.9 seconds while economy remained unchanged.

The compact A2 is very different from other Audi models but it still drives well. The steering is light which is great for nipping through town, although it doesn't offer much feedback from the road on more twisting routes. It's enjoyable nonetheless and corners predictably and safely although the gearchange can be imprecise. There's also quite noticeable body roll, which is even more evident when the car is fully loaded.

However, it cruises quietly and comfortably on the motorway thanks to a superb ride.