Few people could have predicted the momentous rise of the crossover. Combining hatchback looks with a higher ride height and SUV styling cues, as well as reasonable running costs, it’s little surprise crossovers have proved a big hit with consumers, who have been snapping them up in their droves.
As a result, almost all car manufacturers now offer at least one crossover in their ranges. It means there’s an almost bewildering number to choose from, but we’ve put together a list of some of the best.
Seat’s dinky Arona may be based on the firm’s Ibiza hatchback platform, but it feels a far larger car than that supermini. Plenty of interior space and a decent boot mean that it’s a great option for families, while the raised ride height gives a more commanding view of the road ahead.
A range of efficient engines are available but, more than anything, the Arona is excellent to drive – which certainly helps it to stand out in this crowded segment.
The Seat Arona represents great value for money too, with prices starting at £17,150.
Another Volkswagen Group car, the Karoq, is a great example of applying big-car looks to a vehicle on a much smaller scale. It shares much of its visual characteristics with the larger Kodiaq, but its smaller footprint means it’s not as intimidating to drive – particularly for those who aren’t used to an off-roader-style vehicle.
Build quality is top-notch, and there’s even a ‘Scout’ version, which incorporates proper 4-wheel-drive tech to help it on the rough stuff.
Skoda’s Karoq is competitively priced too, with the range kicking off from £21,945.
The name BMW may bring images of sleek saloons or dynamic convertibles to mind, but the German firm is a dab hand at making ‘lifestyle’ vehicles too. Its X-range of cars cater for those who want BMW build quality and prestige, but a little more go-anywhere ability on top.
The X2 is the latest addition to the range, catering for the crossover segment. It’s arguably one of the most dynamically capable cars in its class, with excellent body control and surprisingly good grip levels. It’s an expensive option here at £29,275, that’s for sure, but it does deliver a well-rounded driving experience worthy of that increased price tag.
Hyundai’s funkily-styled Kona sits on the more compact end of the crossover size spectrum, but that makes it no less worthy of consideration. It’s well built, available with a range of efficient engines, and is refined out on the road too.
There’s also an all-electric version – the Kona Electric –if you’re looking fora zero-emissions option. It’s an impressive product, and with 279 miles of range between trips to the plug, one of the best electric cars range-wise on sale today.
Despite being packed with technology, the Hyundai Kona still offers exceptional value with prices starting from £17,305. Although you may have to join the extensive waiting list, the Kona Electric starts from £27,250.
Volvo has been on somewhat of a roll recently, with cars such as the V90, S60 and XC90 bringing excellent build quality and typically Scandinavian paired-back looks to market. The XC40 is the Swedish firm’s compact SUV crossover, and it manages to live up to the precedent set by its larger stablemates.
A high-quality interior and excellent level of in-car entertainment sets the XC40 apart from rivals, as do a range of efficient petrol and diesel engines.
With prices starting at £28,100, it proves that great build quality and clever design doesn’t have to cost the earth.
The 3008 combines everything consumers love about Peugeot; a comfortable ride, striking looks and excellentdriving manners around town. Its appeal is only bolstered by good standard equipment levels, and a sparkling drive – the 3008 is far more enjoyable to drive than you might expect.
Like many cars in this list, it’s available with a good range of efficient diesel and petrol engines, while the 6-speed manual gearbox is light and effortless to use.
As with the other cars in Peugeot’s range, the 3008 is priced incredibly well, starting at £25,080.
Though the Mazda CX-3 has been around for a little while now, it’s no less impressive. One of its standout features is the way it drives; grip levels are excellent, while the car’s steering has a meaty, well-weighted feel to it.
It means that you can actually revel in driving the CX-3, safe in the knowledge that it’s backed up by great practicality levels and rock-solid build quality.
Mazda’s CX-3 starts at £19,395.
Honda’s CR-V may not be the most interestingly styled car on the market, but it’s easily one of the most well-rounded in terms of equipment, drive and efficiency. A new hybrid version emphasises the CR-V’s efficiency even further, promising lower running costs and better emissions.
It’s also available with 7 seats, which makes it a great option for larger families. And of course, being a Honda, it shouldn’t cause too many reliability headaches, either.
The CR-V does command a bit of a premium, but go easy with the options list and it shouldn’t break the bank, with prices starting at £26,310.
The Mini Countryman takes the cutesy, retro-inspired looks which have won the smaller hatchback legions of fans and applies them on a larger scale. The Countryman may be bigger than the Hatch in all areas, but it’s no less appealing as an overall prospect.
It handles excellently, for a start, and though it commands a reasonably hefty premium, it justifies it through plenty of standard equipment and very good build quality. A plug-in hybrid version means there’s a low-emission version too.
As a result of that Mini badge, the Countryman is priced higher than other similar size vehicles on this list – it starts at £23,390 – particularly considering its relatively compact proportions.
Citroen C3 Aircross
Citroen’s C3 debuted a new, funky look and this was quickly transformed into a larger canvas in the form of the C3 Aircross. Roof rails, chunky plastic bumpers and a range of bright colours give the Aircross a distinctive look, while efficient engines and an ergonomically-sound interior mean there’s plenty of substance to back up the visuals.
Its compact size means it’s well-suited to urban areas too, though good refinement levels allow it to be comfortable and quiet on the motorway as well.
Offering a whole host of standard equipment, the C3 Aircross is priced remarkably well, starting at £16,655.