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Everything you need to know about crossover cars

Crossovers are becoming more popular in the UK, so in this article, we take a closer look at what these curiously named cars are. Essentially, a crossover is a hatchback car with sports utility vehicle (SUV) design, all rolled into one. This means that a crossover has all the practicality that a hatchback car offers, as well as the chunkier appearance of an SUV. But there are a lot more benefits of crossovers, which we’ve highlighted below!

Drivability

Crossovers tend to give drivers better visibility due to their elevated ride height. This raised height makes getting in and out of the car a bit easier if you have limited mobility. Furthermore, while crossovers may seem bulkier than hatchback cars because of their SUV-style appearance, they don’t take up any more room on the road.

While the majority of crossovers are front-wheel drive, the top of the range models sometimes come with four-wheel drive as an option. Four-wheel drive allows you greater control of the wheels when driving and is a great option for people who often go off-road or live in rural areas. You can find out more in our guide to 4x4s and all-wheel drive cars.

Fuel economy

Another advantage of crossovers is good fuel economy. This is thanks to the light weight of the car, compared with an SUV. Equally, crossovers tend to be fitted with smaller, more efficient engines. Usually, there is a good line-up of diesel and petrol engines on offer within the crossover segment. These days, some petrol engines are almost as efficient as diesels, and they tend to be less expensive to buy. However, a diesel may be helpful if you plan on taking the car out on long trips regularly. The type of power unit you select will depend very much on your needs.

Sizes

Crossovers are very popular at the moment, partly because there are quite a few sizes available within this vehicle segment.Generally, there are two groups: family-sized crossovers and smaller, compact models.

Family-sized crossovers

Examples of family-sized crossovers available on the Scheme include the likes of the Nissan Qashqai and SEAT Ateca.

The five-door and five-seater Nissan Qashqai is credited with starting the fascination with crossovers. Launched way back in 2007, the Nissan was a revelation with its elevated hatchback and SUV appearance. It was soon labelled the ‘crossover’ and took the motoring world by storm. All these years later, the Qashqai is still popular, delivering good space, comfort and practicality.

The SEAT Ateca comes with five doors and five seats, which is standard for the crossover class. The car’s square shape means the Ateca delivers decent room in the cabin and boot. The driving position is very flexible with a particularly good amount of adjustment in the seating position. Moreover, the steering wheel can be tweaked for height and reach, meaning a driver of virtually any size will be able to get comfortable behind the wheel.

Compact crossovers

The Scheme’s smaller crossovers include cars such as the Renault Captur and Vauxhall Mokka X.

The French-made Captur is the smallest crossover in Renault’s line-up, yet it is one of the company’s most popular models. This car uses the same platform as the Renault Clio hatchback, but it has raised suspension and a higher driving position. The Captur also presents more space than the Clio. This means the Captur is a good middle-ground choice if you find a Clio-sized hatchback too impractical and cramped, but don’t want a noticeably big car, either.

The Vauxhall Mokka X comes with front-wheel-drive and 4×4. Unless you plan to drive off-road, it’s advisable to stick to the standard front-wheel-drive only version because the 4×4 models increase running costs. Even though the chunky Mokka X is based on the small Corsa hatchback platform, it is practical and comes with five seats and five doors. This comfortable crossover’s seating position is commanding and upright. There is also excellent all-around visibility, due to the Mokka’s big mirrors and windows.

Choose your car

You can search all the cars available on the Motability Scheme by using the car search tool. If it’s time to renew your lease with the Scheme or if you’re new to the Scheme, find your nearest dealer and book your test drive soon or find out more about joining the Motability Scheme by requesting a free information pack.

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