Mixing hatchback practicality and trendy SUV style, the crossover car segment is booming in the UK.
A key added ingredient to the success of crossovers and small SUVs is the efficiency of two-wheel-drive variants that offer a car like driving experience, with similar levels of economy and overall running costs. It's a far cry from the gas-guzzling image that used to afflict the 4x4 SUV sector of old, yet crossover owners still benefit from the rugged styling and commanding driving position that are traditional SUV trademarks.
When you take all these factors into account, it's no surprise that the best crossovers are an extremely popular choice with families.
Many of the bestselling models in this class, like the Nissan Qashqai, Skoda Yeti and Mazda CX-5, have some key points in common: plenty of interior space, a range of efficient engines and a strong record for reliability. The Skoda Yeti, in fact, is a Driver Power winner - it was voted the best car to own for three years in a row.
The success of crossover models like the Nissan Juke, Peugeot 2008 and MINI Countryman has seen a new type of crossover emerge, based on superminis. These smaller models take the formula on another step, with even lower running costs - although there is less space in these cars than the larger alternatives.
As with any type of car, you need to make sure you're clear on what you need a crossover for before you buy one - certain models excel in different areas.
It's likely a two-wheel-drive version will suit you just fine and we'd probably avoid a crossover altogether if you're intending to do any serious off-roading and go for a proper 4x4 instead. Plus, the top-spec 4WD crossover models tend to be expensive to buy and suffer from poorer fuel economy than the front-wheel drive variants.
You might think that a diesel engine is your only voice for top fuel economy figures, but don't be so hasty - take a look at the petrol engines on offer as well. Modern petrol engines are more efficient than ever, and will cost less to buy than a diesel. So, if you're unlikely to cover a high mileage, it would be worth considering a petrol. Whatever you choose, though, the style and practical virtues of a crossover are bound to ensure this segment continues to boom.
Click through the links on the left to see which crossovers and small SUVs are our favourites.