The march of the crossover continues unabated – and the competition in the small SUV segment gets ever more intense.
And, with summer around the corner, manufacturers have been stepping up the fight to attract customers with new models.
Here we take a look at some of the best new crossovers available right now. If you’re looking for a new car visit www.exchangeandmart.co.uk/new-cars and www.s1cars.com/new-cars
Citroen C4 Cactus
Citroen has always done things differently and the C4 Cactus is a prime example of that. It’s innovative, quirky and practical and certainly stands out from the crowd, with its Airbump trim aimed at keeping parking dings to a minimum.
All cars have good kit, with standard spec including hill start assist, cruise control, electric windows in the front, a touch screen system and digital radio.
Mid-range adds roof bars, air con, Bluetooth and other bits, while Flair gets 17in alloys, heated door mirrors, automatic air con, auto lights and wipers, a very good reversing camera, rear parking sensors and sat nav.
On the inside it’s minimalist and functional, but not lacking in smartness. Most of the controls are within the touch screen system, so there are few physical buttons to clutter up the cabin.
Storage is everywhere, with bins front and back – the rear benefits from having push-catch windows, so the lack of need for window mechanics produces more space. The boot is a good size as well.
It’s low on running costs – CO2 on the BlueHDI diesel, for example, is a mere 92g/km, while claimed combined mpg is 80, although we managed 55 in the real world over a few hundred miles of mixed driving.
Economy on all engines is in the 60s, with CO2 getting no higher than 107g/km. The Cactus is great value package, particularly families.
With prices from £13,400, there’s value for money to be had. Keep it simple and it’s a lot of car for the cash.
As is generally the case with crossover the 2008 is based on the 208 and offers a bit more car for not a lot more money. There is a good selection of both petrol and diesel engines on offer, all with decent economy and performance figures.
It offers a fun drive and it comes up trumps on the inside too, with a smart interior with a cool dash and dials.
Base spec is maybe a bit too basic, but the rest of the range gets plenty of kit for the extra cash, with alloys, the neat 7in touch screen, Apple CarPlay and digital radio on offer, along with a rear parking aid, panoramic roof, sat nav and a reversing camera.
With prices from £16,300 the 2008 is competitive.
It took SEAT a long time to join the crossover market, which is odd given its access to Volkswagen architecture. Anyway, it’s here now with the Ateca and it’s been worth the wait.
There’s a good standard kit list - electric windows all round, air con, 5in touch screen media system, USB, Bluetooth, emergency braking, 16in alloys and more.
Options include roof rails, cruise control, climate control, wireless phone charger, electric tailgate, rear camera and much more. There’s a good choice of engines, with 1.0 and 1.4 petrols, as well as 1.6 and 2.0 diesels.
Running costs are good and the drive is easy and light. But it’s all about comfort, really, and the Ateca has a plush interior, with plenty of space and a good size boot. With prices from £18,000 you get a thoroughly smooth and quality experience.
Toyota is very much a latecomer to the crossover party, but it has arrived with quite some style. The C-HR is a new take on things, according to the Japanese manufacturer, and it’s hard not to agree.
It’s sleeker and more menacing than many rivals when it comes to looks. Revealed as a concept in 2014, the final version isn’t far removed and Toyota has also brought its hybrid powertrain to the segment.
We know how it works from various cars, including the latest Prius, which with the C-HR shares its underpinnings. It’s a 1.8 petrol married to an electric motor, generating 122hp in all – and that means super-low figures of 86g/km of CO2 and 72mpg on paper.
There’s also a traditional 1.2 petrol options, with somewhat less impressive stats of 47mpg and 136g/km. It’s a neat drive, with good grip and ride comfort, and there’s plenty of tech as well.
It gets a good size boot, though rear space is a little limited thanks to that sleek design. Toyota took its time, but it does feel like it’s done something different.
Prices start from £21,065, so you do pay a bit more to be different.
Audi is pretty experienced with SUVs – its Q3, Q5 and Q7 get rave reviews for their quality, and rightly so. And now it’s gone for the crossover market with the smaller Q2, offering another option for those looking for a higher-end offering.
It looks good and is an excellent drive, with a comfortable ride and tidy handling. Engines are efficient, torquey and powerful in the main and the interior is top notch.
The only thing to watch out for is the cost ramping up – as ever with Audi a lot of the good stuff is a cost option. But prices from £22,000 make it an attractive option for a premium crossover.