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Best crossover cars to buy 2024

Small car costs with a little SUV muscle, these are the best crossovers on the market

Take a look at Britain’s best-selling cars and you’ll notice certain types of car dominate. On the one hand you have traditional superminis and family hatchbacks - compact, practical and affordable. On the other hand you have SUVs. Located somewhere between the two is the crossover. 

What exactly is a crossover car? That’s a good question. Back in the days when most SUVs paid at least some attention to off-road driving, a crossover was generally a car with SUV styling cues designed primarily to be driven on the road. Today, SUVs have gone mainstream. Most are driven almost exclusively on Tarmac and off-road ability is, quite rightly, a distant afterthought in the engineering process for many.

Where does that leave the humble crossover? Well, opinions will vary but there’s a variety of different cars that could be classed as crossovers on today’s market. For the purposes of this guide to the best crossovers on sale in the UK, we’ve tried to pull together a useful cross-section of the best available options. 

You have conventional compact cars with a light SUV makeover including features like roof-rails, extended whee larches and body cladding. Then, there are cars designed from the outset to blend design elements from both superminis and SUVs. In all cases, and as the name suggests, crossovers tend to define classification but their mix of qualities can be a perfect fit for those seeking a little SUV style and higher-riding practicality with low running costs and a tidy, road-focused driving experience. 

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Our expert road testers have driven every crossover that you can buy in the UK, and they’ve rounded up the best crossovers below.

The best crossover cars to buy now 

These are the best crossovers that you can buy right now, listed in reverse order

7. Subaru Crosstrek

  • Prices from £35,000

Like many of the cars on this list, the Subaru Crosstrek finds itself hovering between being a hatchback and a fully-fledged SUV. What can’t be doubted, though, is this car’s off-roading capability. Along with its robust appearance, the Crosstrek comes with four-wheel drive and a raised ride height as standard, so it’s surprisingly capable in more rural and challenging environments. 

There’s a generous helping of standard kit thrown in, too, including Subaru’s EyeSight safety technology. The downside is that all of this equipment and capability comes at quite a significant price.

6. Kia XCeed

  • Prices from £24,500

As well as the Ceed hatchback, Ceed Sportswagon and Proceed 3-door hatch, there’s a fourth member of the extensive Ceed family: the Kia XCeed. This version adds beefed-up styling and extra practicality to the Korean brand’s sensible family hatch, and with prices starting from around £24,000, it’s affordable, too.

Inside, the XCeed’s interior design is starting to feel a bit dated compared to the brand’s latest arrivals, such as the Niro, but all the essential kit is thrown in as standard. This includes an infotainment system with Apple Carplay and Android Auto, cruise control and a parking camera. If you’re thinking of using the XCeed as a family car, there’s a decent amount of space for four passengers as well as a 426-litre boot — 31 litres more than the regular Ceed.

5. Ford Focus Active

  • Best driving experience
  • Prices from £31,500
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Holding out against an increasing tide of SUVs and commercial vehicles, the Ford Focus continues to fly the flag for traditional hatchbacks in the blue oval range. If you can’t decide between a family hatch and one of the brand’s many SUVs, such as the Ford Puma or Kuga, the Focus Active acts as something of a compromise option.

As well as some exterior styling tweaks, the Ford Focus Active is fitted with upgraded suspension components which make it better at handling poor road surfaces and some light off-road challenges. Apart from this, though, the Active is virtually the same to drive as a regular Focus, which means the experience from behind the wheel is a pleasingly engaging one.

4. Honda Jazz Crosstar

  • Best for practicality 
  • Prices from £29,000

The regular Honda Jazz offers impressive efficiency and agile handling, but it isn’t exactly the most exciting supermini to look at. This is where the Jazz Crosstar steps in with its jacked-up off-roader inspired styling - although it’s still very much designed to stay firmly on the Tarmac.

The Jazz Crosstar is fitted with the same 1.5-litre e:HEV hybrid powertrain as the standard car, and this returned a respectable 55.4mpg when it faced the Dacia Sandero Stepway in our twin test. You’ll also find Honda’s useful Magic Seats in the back, which make carrying bulky items a much less daunting task than it would be in almost any other car of the Jazz’s size. If you want the added style of the Crosstar, though, you’ll need to pay a £1,000 premium over the regular model.

3. Dacia Sandero Stepway

  • Best value for money
  • Prices from £15,500
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It’s not quite a fully-fledged 4x4 like the Dacia Duster, but the Dacia Sandero Stepway offers a similarly rugged look to its SUV sibling. Being based on the underpinnings of the standard Sandero (which are, in turn, those of the previous generation Renault Clio) means the Sandero Stepway is rather good to drive, although we did find ourselves wanting a bit more power at times. 

If you can live with driving at a more leisurely pace, there’s a decent amount of passenger and boot space on offer, so the Sandero Stepway does make sense as a potential family car. It’s also one of the cheapest brand-new cars that you can currently buy in the UK. One thing that might hold you back, though, is its rather poor two-star Euro NCAP safety rating. 

2. Smart #3

  • Prices from £33,000

Some people may find it a bit ironic that one of the larger cars on this list wears a badge that’s synonymous with tiny city cars, but the Smart #3 is the second full-sized model to come from the brand’s drastic relaunch. This fully-electric crossover can cover over 200 miles on a single charge, and it certainly stands out with its smooth and curvaceous styling.

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While most of the cars on this list place more focus on being sensible, performance enthusiasts are catered for here by a full-fat Brabus variant. It’ll set you back by over £45,000 but this mad electric car will hurl you from 0-62mph in just 3.7 seconds, thanks to its 422bhp dual-motor powertrain.

1. Skoda Kamiq

Skoda has long held a reputation for being a purveyor of fine family cars, and sitting among the Czech brand’s estate cars and SUVs is the Kamiq. Look at it from the outside and this crossover is quite small in its appearance, but it’s been cleverly engineered to offer maximum practicality on the inside. It’s very well put-together, too, and even offers plenty of Skoda’s famed ‘simply clever’ touches.

Power comes from either a 1.0-litre or 1.5-litre petrol engine, and both of these are pretty frugal with official WLTP combined economy figures of up to 52.2 and 49.7mpg, respectively. There’s plenty of room for five passengers, too, while the 400-litre boot is designed to be easy to load.

Best crossovers to buy 2024

  1. Skoda Kamiq 
  2. Smart #3
  3. Dacia Sandero Stepway
  4. Honda Jazz Crosstar
  5. Ford Focus Active 
  6. Kia XCeed
  7. Subaru Crosstrek

Need a bit more space? Take a look at our list of the best small SUVs to buy...

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Shane is responsible for looking after the day-to-day running of the Auto Express website and social media channels. Prior to joining Auto Express in 2021, he worked as a radio producer and presenter for outlets such as the BBC.

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