The 7 Best Compact SUVs and Crossovers to Buy in 2024
Compact SUVs and crossovers (generally considered the same thing) are usually based on smaller hatchback models and use the same engines but have raised suspension and often have a more rugged appearance. It is a type of car that in recent years has completely eclipsed traditional saloons and hatches when it comes to sales.
The compact SUV/crossover craze kicked off around 17 years ago with the launch of the Nissan Qashqai, and to give some indication of how popular it is in the UK, the Qashqai was the best-selling car in the UK in 2022 – the first time ever that it had That title is claimed by something other than a traditional saloon or hatchback – while it is in second place in 2023, bested only by…yes, another crossover, the Ford Puma.
Although it’s not to everyone’s tastes, it’s easy to see why modern car buyers have to buy compact SUVs; Its operating costs are not much different from those of a hatchback or supermini, but higher ride heights give owners a more controlled driving position while helping to eliminate potholes and speed bumps that can result in a lower fare.
Naturally, the longer stature and more massive design of the crossover provides increased road presence over hatches and sedans, a key factor for many car owners.
However, some crossovers are better than others, so we’re taking a look at some of the best examples on the UK market right now, from affordable to luxury, with petrol, diesel, hybrid and electric power.
Priced from £17,295
Let’s get the bad points of the Dacia Duster out of the way: the interior isn’t well finished, so it feels a bit cheap inside and buyers will have to do without the latest technology and safety features. However, the Duster has a lot in its favour, especially when it comes to sheer value.
Prices start from just over £17,000 and standard specification is decent, although you can add amenities such as smartphone mirroring and a reversing camera, both displayed on an 8-inch touchscreen.
The 113bhp 1.5-litre turbocharged diesel model is the right model, as the engine is a thrifty and willing unit. Most buyers won’t get much use out of four-wheel drive models, but if the occasional need to cross a muddy field or cruise a farm track is a priority, the Duster is a car with impressive off-road capability.
And there’s an all-new model due to arrive in 2024, complete with a beefier look and even hybrid power. This means that trades should be made on the current model, as traders look to shift inventory.
Price starting from £ 25,640
Here’s the best-selling car of 2023. It took the title in the same year that the long-awaited Ford Fiesta was axed, which was sad news in some ways – but at least the Puma is far from unacceptable. substitute.
Not only is it the best-driving compact SUV ever, handling corners with aplomb (particularly the smile-inducing ST version), but it’s a practical machine too.
The 410-litre boot is competitive in its class, but the highlight is the ‘Megabox’ feature under the boot floor which provides the perfect storage space for wet and muddy shoes, or even ice cubes and drinks on a summer’s day (a plug allows the liquid to be drained before driving).
“It’s as if this car was designed by a real person with a real life,” said Puma’s Jeremy Clarkson.
Priced from £30,075
Kia may have made some bold design decisions when it comes to the Niro (which is slightly larger than the old model) but in terms of packaging there’s not much to touch on, with a spacious interior despite it being the smaller sibling to the Sportage.
The Niro’s main appeal comes in its choice of electric powertrains, with full hybrid, plug-in hybrid or all-electric models to choose from.
Both hybrid models use the same 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, with the 139bhp full hybrid model offering good full economy without needing to be plugged in. The plug-in hybrid model is more powerful, with 180 horsepower and a reasonable 40 horsepower. Miles of electric range before needing a gasoline engine, making it the perfect choice for single-car families who make mostly short daily trips but occasional longer trips.
The 201bhp pure-electric Niro EV, with its 64.8kWh rear battery and 288-mile range, is our pick of the range, despite its improved performance, smooth and easy power delivery, and emissions-free driving.
Toyota Yaris Cross
Priced from £24,855
Just as the Ford Puma is based on the Fiesta supermini, the Toyota Yaris Cross is built on the Yaris’ underpinnings.
The Yaris Cross’s styling won’t tug at the pulse, and it’s not exactly naughty on the road, with only one power unit option under the bonnet – a 1.5-litre petrol engine mated to an electric motor, with power going through an uninspiring CVT gearbox – so it’s really a car for those who buy with their heads and not With their hearts.
But it’s included here for a reason. This power unit is very economical indeed, delivering 60mpg or so, and the ride quality is good. Despite its small size, it makes the most of its small dimensions.
The Yaris Cross also comes with Toyota’s enviable reputation for reliability, something backed by a three-year warranty and an additional year of warranty with every major dealer service until the car is 10 years old (or covers 100,000 miles).
Price starting from £ 27,120
We named the Nissan Qashqai the Small SUV/Crossover of the Year in 2021, when the current model was launched, and it has since been a huge hit with the public. Not that we claim any credit for it or anything, you understand…
The appeal of the Sunderland-built Qashqai is down to fresher styling, a much-improved interior, plenty of smart tech, decent mild-hybrid powertrains, and reasonable pricing.
Qashqai sales in 2023 saw an additional boost thanks to the introduction of the e-Power model, a series hybrid that drives the wheels via an electric motor but uses a motor to keep the batteries charged.
The Qashqai has grown in size in recent years, but so have its rivals, so it still falls firmly into the compact SUV/crossover segment.
Priced from £31,500
Hyundai, like its Korean sister company Kia, has gone through such a transformation in recent years, going from a cheap and cheerful manufacturer of solid budget engines to the truly desirable and arguably class-leading products it is today. A good example of this is the latest model from Tucson.
Available with petrol, mild-hybrid, full-hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains, the Tucson is defined by its striking front-end design, including the massive grille into which the ‘parametric headlights’ are precisely integrated.
The interior is a high-quality — and high-tech, as you’d expect from Hyundai — interior that’s both spacious and practical, but the best thing about this all-wheel-drive crossover is that it drives well. It’s refined, comfortable, and will deliver excellent fuel economy across the board.
The Plug-In Hybrid range is worth checking out. It has 261 horsepower, for solid performance, and also the ability to travel up to 38 miles on its electric power alone – and not emitting anything from its exhaust while doing so.
Price starting from £54,105
This is one of our unsung heroes and because it hasn’t received the love it deserves from the motoring press (we think), it’s a fairly rare car on UK roads. Hyundai’s luxury motor, Genesis, built the GV60 from the ground up as an electric car (and thus not based on an existing gasoline-powered model), which means it’s roomy for its size and rides very well, thanks in part to adaptive damping.
There’s a dual-motor sports version that’s not the quickest out there on the roads but with a four-second 0-62mph acceleration that will absolutely blow your socks off, and a boost button on the steering wheel, allowing maximum power for 10 second blasts, appeals to Formula fans 1 in us (and the inner child). But even the base models feel fast, smooth and quiet.
The interior is futuristic and well appointed, with nice contrast stitching and (mostly) premium materials. The centerpiece is the crystal ball between driver and passenger, which rotates when the car is turned on to reveal the drive selector dial.
With a range of up to 321 miles, fast charging and ‘car loading’ technology, which lets you power devices using the car’s battery, there’s a lot to be achieved. The ownership experience with Genesis is also higher; The brand offers a personal assistant to assist you in the buying and ownership process, with a “We Come to You” policy not only for test drives but for maintenance as well – cars are picked up and delivered at your convenience.