Blending the versatility of an estate with the sculpted looks of an SUV but without the bulky dimensions, the crossover market is fast becoming one of the most popular in the UK. And when you consider these compact models are generally well-priced, maneuverable and practical it’s no wonder they are the go-to vehicle for many drivers.
The two-wheel drive variants offer a car-like driving experience, with similar economical performance and running costs. This stands in contrast to gas-guzzling reputation of the 4x4 SUV sector, however crossover owners still cleverly benefit from the masculine styling and commanding driving position that are the hallmarks of the traditional SUV. All together making these small vehicles a very 21st century offering suitable for all types of drivers. So whether you are looking for a feeling of space, are a family on the school run or someone who likes to take their dogs for a run, crossovers make the perfect companion.
Now you have decided crossovers or small SUVs are right for you, which is the perfect make and model? Read on for our top picks
The Renault Kadjar cuts an imposing figure. With a prominent front end and stylised details this small suv, originally launched in 2015, cuts a dashing figure on the roads. Inside and the Kadjar feels sporty and roomy thanks to an enhanced dashboard and high spec materials – helping to impart a quality feel.
Its performance doesn’t disappoint either. Good to drive and with a range of powerful yet economical engines, choose from four trim levels: the entry-level, air con-equipped Expression+, the mid-spec Dynamique Nav and Dynamique S Nav, while at the top of the range is the Signature Nav. Boasting a generous amount of accessories, including a Bose stereo, 19-inch alloy wheels and touchscreen nav, ensures that those all-important luxurious touches are nicely catered for too.
The original small suv, and according to some, still the best. Launched for the first time in 2006, the ground-breaking Nissan Qashqai was lauded for its looks, performance and design. A decade on and the winner of many awards, the Qashaqi is now in its second generation and has kept up with car trends to offer styling that is more refined than the original.
On offer is a sensible range of engines, drivers can choose between two petrol and two diesel engines, with nothing bigger than 1.6-litre in size. Fuel consumption figures range from 47.1-74.3mpg and CO2 figures are in the 138g/km region, which means they’re economical for regular use. There are five trim levels on offer, starting with the relatively well equipped Visia model, rising through Acenta, N-Connecta, Tekna and the range-topping Black Edition.
One of the most accessible – and as a result, arguably the best crossover car deal, the Dacia Duster comes with a starting price tag of under £9,000. This economical pricing means it's competitive enough to take on other more established brands.
While Dacia has been under Renault ownership since 1999, the it wasn't introduced in the UK until 2012. The Duster was the first car it sold here, and it became the signature for the company’s budget range. The range has grown since then, and now comprises Access, Ambiance, Ambiance Prime, Laureate and Prestige trims with the Laureate being the most appealing.
16-inch alloy wheels and satin chrome trim outside, a leather steering wheel and more decorative touches inside, help to impart a more premium feel.
The Q2 offers a car-like driving experience and a commanding road presence, all neatly packaged in a small and sleek SUV crossover body. Highly desirable and with a stunning interior, the Audi Q2 delivers a premium feel with an abundance of luxurious touches.
The highly innovative engine range includes a 1.0-litre and a 1.4-litre that can turn off half the engine when not needed. Upgrading from the SE trim to Sport makes the Q2’s bumpers body-coloured rather than black and improves the interior trim, adding cutting-edge designer touches to the bodywork between the rear doors and the boot.
Safety is as you would expect from Audi with the Q2 scoring five out of five in its Euro NCAP safety tests. All cars come with autonomous emergency braking in addition to mandatory safety systems like electronic stability control and anti-lock brakes.
Staying with the premium sector, the Range Rover Evoque is Land Rover’s most successful ever model. Brimming with technology, capability and style, the Evoque is one of the most popular go to small suvs on the roads today. Typified by great styling inside and out, smooth and efficient engines and superb off-road ability, the Evoque has been a firm favourite since its release in 2011.
The Range Rover Evoque Cabriolet is the most recent addition to the line-up. Including a five-door and three-door ‘coupe’ model there are several trim levels to choose from. The SE is the entry-level offering, although the spec is rather upmarket all the same and includes electric and heated leather front seats, 180-inch alloy wheels, power folding mirrors, and lane departure warning. The SE Tech adds InControl Touch Nav, Xenon headlamps with washers and high-beam assist, plus blacked-out exterior brightwork.
The SEAT Ateca, released in 2016, is the first-ever crossover from Spanish car manufacturer, SEAT. Generously praised by industry experts the Ateca has gone on to win awards including ‘Crossover of the Year’ courtesy of AutoExpress. Widely considered to be one of the best designed SUVs of its kind the Ateca boasts a wide range of high performing efficient engines and a well-tuned chassis.
Based on the same platform as the SEAT Leon means the Ateca has access to the full range of Volkswagen Group engines. Two petrol and three diesel units offer power outputs ranging from 114bhp to 187bhp, with options to perfectly suit private and company buyers.
In the UK, the majority of Ateca sales are expected to be achieved through mid-spec SE models.
The Mokka X is the most compact SUV from Vauxhall and in 2015 was listed as one of the 10 best-selling cars in the UK. This impressive statistic is no doubt due to its popularity with drivers who have positively responded to the choice of five engines, generous equipment levels, and impressive low running costs.
The most economical Vauxhall Mokka X is the 109bhp 1.6 CDTi with ecoFLEX additions. Appealingly, Mokka Xs sit in low insurance groups, ranging from eight for the Active 1.6 petrol to 15 on the highest-spec Elite Nav 1.6 CDTi models. This means any version should prove to be cheap to insure compared to the alternatives.
Euro NCAP gave the Mokka crossover a five-star crash test rating and this included a 100 per cent safety assist score.
The Kia Sportageoffers great value, a spacious and practical interior and generous equipment levels. For new Kias the added benefit of a seven year warranty is a very attractive proposition for many drivers. Now in its fourth generation, the Sportage was first introduced as a compact SUV in the late 1990s.
Choose from two 1.6-litre petrol and 1.7-litre and 2.0-litre diesels, available with varying power outputs. The interior of the Sportage has improved over the years, and there’s plenty of space, too, especially in the back. Seats are reassuringly supportive and the dashboard is elegant and well built, while there’s no shortage of storage, either inside the car or in the practical boot. The seating position is high and open visibility is excellent. Most versions of the Sportage are available with four-wheel drive, but for those looking for an automatic gearbox the 2.0-litre diesel or 1.6-litre turbo petrol units will ably deliver.
Highly manoeuvrable and easy to drive around town, the BMW X1 offers class leading interior space, comfort and fuel economy.
Trim levels range from the basic SE, through to Sport, xLine and top-spec M Sport. All of these compact crossovers come with sat-nav, 17-inch alloy wheels and a power-assisted tailgate. Sport models benefit from an enhanced spec which includes bigger alloy wheels and contrasting stitching, while xLine cars add leather and a set of LED headlights.
UK drivers can choose between three diesel and one petrol engine. A 505-litre boot is generously proportioned by comparison to the competition. Fold the rear seats down and you’ll reveal an impressive 1,550-litre load area.
Boasting a stylish design, roomy interior and innovative touches, the HR-V from Honda also offers plenty of equipment and is well built.
There are two engines available – a new 128bhp 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol, which is quiet and smooth, and a 1.6-litre i-DTEC diesel. Depending on trim the 1.5 will return between 49.6mpg and 57.6mpg when fitted with the six-speed manual gearbox. Upgrade to the CVT auto and this rises slightly, while the diesel returns between 68.9 and 70.6mpg.
The touchscreen multimedia system is the same system found across the Honda range, as is the multifunction steering wheel, although the infotainment is a bit fiddly to use, with assorted sub-menus to navigate through for most functions.
The HR-V achieved a five-star Euro NCAP rating. Entry-level S models come with Honda’s City-Brake Active System as standard, while SE or EX models feature Honda’s Advanced Driver Assist System, which employs a range of safety sytems. Radar sensors, forward- and rear-facing cameras as well as Forward Collision Warning, Traffic Sign Recognition, Intelligent Speed Limiter, Lane Departure Warning and High-beam Support System.
To find out more about these vehicles as well as the best crossover car deals contact your local Lookers dealership today.