The crossover class is a juggernaut, steamrolling sales of MPVs, hatchbacks and family saloons in its path. There’s no escaping it – buyers just like the combination of rugged styling, a high ride height and the feeling of security that a bulky crossover provides.
But as with every car class, not all crossovers are created equal and there are some real standouts on the market. We’ve sorted the wheat from the chaff and rounded up 10 of the best crossovers on sale today.
The Seat Ateca shares most if not all of its components with its siblings from the Volkswagen Group, but manages to retain a distinct identity – and for that, we love it. Thanks to a combination of a stiff but comfortable ride and really well-judged controls it’s one of the best crossovers on the market to drive, but it’s also spacious and feels premium inside.
Add in a list price lower than its Volkswagen Tiguan sibling and sharp exterior styling and the Ateca is a real winner.
Citroen C3 Aircross
The old Citroen C3 Picasso was one of the victims of the crossover craze. A compact MPV, it was ditched in Citroen’s range and replaced by this – the C3 Aircross.
With far more rugged styling, the Aircross is more styling and eye-catching than its older brother, but retains that car’s practicality and ease of driving.
The Dacia Duster has a unique selling point. It’s not just one of the cheapest crossovers you can buy today – it’s one of the cheapest cars, full stop, with a starting price of under £10,000.
Surprisingly that low price tag doesn’t have you scrabbling around in the dark ages either. Sure, the basic engine is a bit gutless, and bottom-spec models don’t even come with a radio, but step up a few trim grades and for the price of a basic city car you’ll get a very decently-equipped crossover with bags of room. It’s well worth considering if you’re on a budget.
It took Volkswagen a while to get in on the crossover game, but it didn’t hesitate in making up ground.
Launched just last year, the T-Roc boasts trademark Volkswagen quality and style, along with a strong range of engines. It’s also one of the best driving — thanks largely to the engineering input of Karsten Schebsdat, of Porsche fame.
It might surprise you to know that the Kia Sportage recently celebrated its 25th anniversary, over four model generations. Where does the time go?
Of course, since its introduction in 1993 the Sportage has undergone a total transformation, morphing from rough-and-ready South Korean tat into a genuinely good urban crossover. The current model is bang up-to-date, with refinements such as an optional hybrid powertrain and plush interiors.
Mazda has a habit of producing some real hidden gems – cars that may not enjoy the sales success of their rivals but often beat them in key areas. The CX-5 is one of those, enjoying a great reliability record, good looks and most importantly, an absolutely brilliant drive.
The DNA of the MX-5 is alive and well in its crossover sibling, and the CX-5 is both entertaining and comfortable without being overly firm or sporty. It’s a genuine delight from such a non-premium manufacturer.
Although small in the broad scheme of things, the Vitara is the largest car Suzuki currently makes — and it’s also one of the best.
Not only does it look pretty good, but offers serious value for money, bags of practicality, competitive levels of efficiency and perhaps above all, Suzuki reliability. There’s no wonder it’s the brand’s best-seller in the UK.
Ford Fiesta Active
The Ford Fiesta is probably the best new car on the market — as sales figures will show — so it seems obvious a crossover version would be just as good.
Albeit little more than a slight ride height increase and some ‘rugged’ aesthetic tweaks, the Fiesta Active has all the ingredients for success. It maintains the impressive driving experience the regular hatch is so famed for, and brings a more commanding driving position. Better still, it actually offers improved ride quality over the car it’s based on.
The Qashqai is arguably the car which started the crossover craze, with Nissan choosing to produce it instead of the traditional Almera hatchback way back in 2007. Over a decade on, things have changed, but the Qashqai continues to retain its crown as Britain’s best-selling crossover.
And why shouldn’t it? Qashqais have proven easy to drive, easy to live with and easy to own, cheap to run and capable of slotting effortlessly into family life. Sure, it’s not the most exciting choice, but family transport rarely is.
The supposed ‘budget’ arm of the VW Group has produced a really premium-feeling crossover in the Karoq. It’s actually around the same size as the Seat Ateca or VW Tiguan, but rivals the smaller Seat Arona for price.
There’s bags of room inside and the usual array of Volkswagen Group petrol and diesel engines under the bonnet. Add in sharp styling and Skoda’s excellent dealer service and you have a product that should provide faithful service for many families.