Best crossovers for 2013

The offer of a compact and practical cruiser, possibly with four-wheel drive included, but one which also utilises a stocky and strong-looking profile, is an offer which has evidently stricken a cord with many motorists in the UK and across Europe.

With more and more manufacturers looking to start earning their share of this currently in-demand market sector, the Crossover segment faces very interesting progress through this year.

With a batch of new competitors joining already popular crossover models currently in the market, the choice in this particular sector is going to become huge. Here to establish the pick of the bunch, here is our guide to the best crossovers for 2013. This guide includes entries already on sale now from Perrys Dealerships and exciting newcomers set to arrive to select dealers later this year.

Kia Sportage

The Kia Sportage is the South Korean manufacturer’s stylish compact SUV. The crossover-style model, sensationally designed by the famous Peter Schreyer, offers two- or four-wheel drive powertrains and a choice of diesel or petrol engines.

Available in three specification levels; 1, 2 and 3, the Kia Sportage comes with 16″ alloy wheels, air conditioning, LED daytime running lights, front fog lights, automatic windscreen wipers and cruise control as standard.

Engine choices range from 1.6 or 2.0-litre petrol units, plus 1.7- or 2.0-litre diesel engines and a choice of six-speed manual or automatic transmission.

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Mazda CX-5

The Mazda CX-5 is an impressively green and stylish entry into the crossover market and has won a large number of motoring awards as a result since it hit the UK market during spring 2012.

Standard versions include alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth and cruise control.

If you do choose to upgrade to the pricier models, then the ‘Sport’ specification adds leather trim, xenon headlamps, an upgraded stereo and a reversing camera. A satellite-navigation system is also available to add to both trims for an additional fee.

Not only does the Mazda CX-5 feature copious amounts of equipment, the vehicle also provides lots of interior space. Four people will have room to luxuriate due to the plentiful amount of head and leg room.

The boot of the SUV is also huge, with spring-loaded rear seats easily able to fold down to give an almost flat load area and provide a cavernous space for luggage, shopping and whatever else you need to store in the back.

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Nissan Qashqai

The UK-built Nissan Qashqai is one of the more experienced and successful examples of a crossover market entry, and for good reason.

The car is good looking and its available now from £16,595 at Perrys Nissan Dealership in Blackburn.

Towards the end of 2012, the Qashqai range was altered with the arrival of the tech-filled 360 trim which replaced the n-tec+ specification. The 360 trim is available with all engine and transmission options including the 1.6-litre dCi diesel which returns CO2 emissions of just 119g/km and can produce 62.8mpg on its combined cycle.

Features on the 360 trim also include Nissan’s Connect with 360° Around View Monitor system. The system also integrates sat-nav functionality, Bluetooth, smartphone connectivity and more.

Four cameras are also available on the Qashqai 360 to give drivers a helicopter-style view when attempting to park. Standard features on the 360 also include 18-inch ‘Onyx’ alloy wheels, rear privacy glass and a panoramic roof.

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Vauxhall Mokka

The Corsa-based Vauxhall Mokka, released in late 2012, is a recent new foray for the British car brand.

This five-door mini-SUV is a stylish entry into a competitive market for Vauxhall. The Mokka pulls off a noticeably stockier appearance compared to many of its closest rivals, thanks in large part to the large front and rear bumpers in contrasting black, mixed with a large distinctive silver under-body.

Priced from £15,995, the Mokka is available with three engines, including two petrol units and a turbodiesel.

The standard equipment list is plentiful, including CD/Radio player, cruise control and air conditioning/climate control even on the most basic versions of the car.

The Mokka is also packed with a lot of safety protection equipment, which helped earn the mini-SUV a maximum five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP.

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Peugeot 2008

The 2008 represents Peugeot’s first entry into the crossover SUV market, and it is expected to reach UK dealers by September 2013 with prices in the region of about £13,000.

The urban vehicle shares the same platform as the Peugeot 208 supermini, but it features a longer, bulkier body along with more space for luggage and rear passengers. The 2008′s main rivals will include similar-sized mini-SUVs like the Vauxhall Mokka and the high-selling Nissan Juke.

All engine options for the Peugeot 2008 will operate on a front-wheel drive powertrain, supported by an “intelligent” traction control system which can vary the amount of engine torque fed to the front wheels. This feature along with Peugeot’s standard “Mud&Snow” tyres should give the 2008 some credible performance on off-road terrain.

Engine units for the 2008 have yet to be confirmed, but reports suggest the range will include a 1.2-litre petrol unit with 82bhp or 110bhp when turbocharged. There’s also expected to be a 1.6-litre e-HDi diesel available with 92bhp and a CO2 emissions output of just 99g/km.

Ford Ecosport

The Fiesta-based Ecosport mini-SUV could hit the UK market by late 2013, and is sure to threaten the established challengers in the crossover market.

Styling features on the EcoSport include a large front grille complemented by slim, detailed headlights. The SUV is also equipped with Ford SYNC in-car connectivity which allows drivers to make calls and select music from BlueTooth/USB-connected devices.

Ford SYNC also adds in Emergency Assistance, which contacts emergency services should there ever be an accident. Other driver assist technologies include an anti-lock brake system, Electronic Stability Program, and Hill Launch Assist.

The engine selection for the Ford EcoSport will include an impressively frugal 1.0-litre three-cylinder EcoBoost petrol engine, with outputs of either 99bhp or 118bhp available.

Chevrolet Trax

During the spring this year Chevrolet will finally release the much talked about Trax mini-SUV to the UK market, and it’ll be available from Perrys Chevrolet Dealerships in Dover and Rotherham.

The compact but stocky vehicle will be sold in two trim levels; the standard specification is called the LS trim while all other models come in the LT trim.

Engine options include a 1.6-litre petrol engine which is the only option with the standard LS trim, and is also available with LT models.

Other engine models with the LT trim include a 140bhp 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol unit and a 1.7-litre diesel, which will be the greenest engine option with CO2 emissions recorded at just 120g/km. With the diesel engine customers will pay just £30 per year in Vehicle Excise Duty.

All engines come with fuel-saving stop-start technology and a six-speed manual transmission as standard.

Renault Captur

Renault’s first ever mini-SUV for the crossover market is coming this year, and it’s the stylish Clio-based Captur that’ll be looking to establish the French manufacturer in this sector.

Measuring at a compact 4.12 metres long, the Capture bears strong similarity to the new Renault Clio hatchback but there are distinctive differences such as the contrasting roof and the stockier body panels, plus the raised ride height.

CO2 emission outputs for the range are expected to start from just 96g/km, saving customers money on Road Tax and other running costs.

Standard equipment on the Renault Captur will include rear parking sensors, Bluetooth and Renault’s R-Link multimedia touchpad with touchscreen technology.

Prices for the Renault Captur are likely to start from around £14,000 when it reaches UK showrooms during this late spring.