Have you crossed over to the SUV?

With manufacturers continually offering more choice of car types to meet our individual needs and aspirations, it is no surprise that SUV crossovers, marketed to compliment busy lifestyles, are rising steadily in popularity as family favourites in the UK.

When the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) released new car registration figures at the beginning of 2018, SUV crossovers Nissan Qashqai and Vauxhall Mokka X, took fourth and fifth positions respectively.

So, what is a SUV crossover, and why is it becoming so popular?

The original SUV (sport-utility vehicle) is typically fitted with four-wheel drive and generally built with mechanical parts that are specifically designed for off-roading.  An SUV is also tall, to enable the vehicle to pass over uneven terrain without scraping the bottom and has lots of interior space.

Today, family cars such as the Vauxhall Mokka or Honda HR-V are referred to as SUV crossovers. Most crossovers don’t feature four-wheel drive, as this can make the cars heavy and affect fuel economy; and they use the mechanical parts from family cars, which are designed mainly for tarmac roads.

But despite this big difference in off-road capability, the crossover and the SUV still share many of the same key characteristics: sturdiness, high driving position, and plenty of space. And this makes the SUV crossover particularly attractive to families and a frequent sight at the daily school run.

Why? Well, there are not many vehicles better for fitting in a growing family and all the equipment that comes with it! The high roof and low floor combination gives plenty of headroom, legroom and storage space; and vehicle height, tall doors and shorter sills provide easier access to load and unload.

With plenty of SUV crossover models to choose from, it’s been a difficult task, but we’ve picked out our family favourites…

Mazda CX-3

mazda cx3

Image source: Carbuyer (03/01/2018)

If you’re looking for a small crossover that looks just as good as it drives, the Mazda CX-3 could be for you. One of the CX-3’s most popular features is its reliability – according to the 2016 Driver Power ownership satisfaction survey, it was voted the most reliable small SUV you could buy at that time.

Honda HR-V


Image source: Carbuyer (03/01/2018)

The Honda HR-V is deceptively spacious despite its relatively small appearance. One of the ways this is achieved is through rear seats which flip up like cinema seats to allow tall items to stand in the footwells. There’s also a 448-litre boot, which sounds perfect for all the family shopping!

Peugeot 2008 SUV

peugeot 2008

Image source: Carbuyer (03/01/2018)

This Peugeot scores high marks for high practicality, at a relatively low price. There’s plenty of space for four or five adults, and the low floor makes it easier to load in heavy or bulky luggage. Technology fans will also be pleased to hear that most models come with smartphone connectivity, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Volvo Xc60

volvo xc60

Image source: Autocar (29/01/2018)

The Volvo Xc60 has the impressive accolade of being the safest car ever tested by Euro NCAP, a fact that will no doubt appeal to buyers with families. It is generally considered a safe, comfortable family SUV, with the added bonus of a well-designed and luxurious interior to tick those style boxes.

Vauxhall Mokka X

Mokka X

Image source: What Car? (n.d.)

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), The Vauxhall Mokka X is the fourth best-selling car of 2018 so far, with its sturdy yet compact design proving popular with families. Wide opening doors provide easy access, and practical touches such as bag hooks in the boot and the ability to fold down seats completely flat through to the front have ticked lots of buyer boxes.


And taking full advantage of the ever-growing SUV market is Audi, who are set to make the future of the SUV even more electrifying with their recent introduction of an all-electric SUV prototype ‘E-tron’ at the Geneva Motor Show.

E Tron

Image source: MotorArticles (07/03/2018)

The finished version is due to be released at the end of 2018 and will be one of four electric models set to join Audi’s range by 2020.

Explaining the importance of the E-tron’s SUV body type, Dietmar Voggenreite, Sales and Marketing Board Member for Audi said: “A lot of customers have been asking when we’ll bring this car to market. There’s certainly demand in the premium segment; it’s the right product. It’s a real SUV, with Audi design language.” 

According to research by Global Industry Analysts Inc., it is predicted that the global market for Sports Utility Vehicles will surpass 21 million units by 2020, driven by a growing need for vehicles which provide safety, convenience and comfort.

So, the only question remaining is, will you be crossing over?



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