Best used crossovers and small SUVs
The great thing about crossovers and small SUVs is that they're usually based on a supermini within that manufacturer's range, meaning they usually share the same underpinnings and engines. As a result, the running costs are typically lower than the average mid-sized family SUV, which weigh more and are less efficient for the most part.
With popularity of compact SUVs and crossovers having surged over the course of the past decade, there are now plenty of examples to choose from on the used car market. We've compiled a list of the best and most practical ones available.
- Ford EcoSport
- Dacia Duster
- Renault Captur
- Nissan Juke
- Vauxhall Crossland X
- SEAT Arona
- Citroën C3 Aircross
- Kia Stonic
- Hyundai Kona
- Peugeot 2008
Ford are pretty savvy when it comes to the design of cars, which is why they have a reputation for building great all-rounders. The EcoSport is no exception; it has good looks and a well-equipped interior as standard on all trims across the range.
Refreshingly, despite the high-riding nature of the EcoSport, it's also a fun car to drive when the roads get twisty because it shares the same underpinnings as the Ford Fiesta. In addition, the EcoSport's compact nature makes it easy to manoeuvre in towns, while the 356-litre boot can accommodate the weekly shop with ease.
The 1.0-litre EcoBoost has been a revelation across the Ford range, and comes in two variants: 125bhp and 140bhp. Likewise, there is a 1.5-litre EcoBlue diesel engine with two variants (100bhp and 125bhp). Up to 53.3mpg is available in the petrol models, while the diesels can achieve up to 67.3mpg.Search Used Ford EcoSport
Critics have, and continue to, celebrate the sheer value of the Dacia Duster. Here's a car that offers more value than it has any right to, so it's easy to see why sales have been so strong since the original was introduced to the UK in 2012.
The great thing about the Duster is you'll never feel short changed, regardless of the specification you choose. For example, opt for the 'Comfort' trim and you get cruise control, a 7-inch touchscreen with sat-nav and Bluetooth, and a rear camera that includes parking sensors.
If the incredible value isn't enough for you, then you may be interested to know that the Duster is a surprisingly capable off-roader if you select a four-wheel drive variant. So not only is the Duster immensely practical due to the large boot (411 to 445 litres) and interior, it can cut it with some of the best when the tarmac runs out.Search Used Dacia Duster
You'd be forgiven for thinking the Captur looks like a regular Renault Clio that's been raised a few inches. The reality is you're not too far off, because both cars share the same platform. In essence, it means the Captur offers a fun driving experience but comes with added practicality.
There are three petrol engines and a sole diesel unit to choose from, all of which offer excellent fuel economy and plenty of grunt on the move.
Perfect for daily duties, the Captur boasts a few minor features that make a big difference everyday. For example, the rear seats can slide back and forward to accommodate passengers of all sizes. In addition, the 422-litre boot is very generous for a car in this sector, and storing various everyday items - such as a pushchair - is simple work thanks to the boot's wide opening.Search Used Renault Captur
The original Nissan Juke certainly created quite the stir when it was released all those years ago, mainly because of it's unique appearance. Not only did it make a big impression, but the original Juke sold like hotcakes. So it was no surprise to see Nissan introduced a successor in 2019.
Completely renewed throughout, the second-generation of Juke boasts sleeker styling alongside a tech-laden interior. There was only one engine available at launch, which was a turbocharged 1.0-litre petrol that can return between 44.1 and 47.9mpg with little effort.
Compared to its predecessor, there's more head and knee room for passengers sitting in the back. In addition, the 422-litre boot is a substantial 60 litres bigger than the original, making this generation of Juke the one to have if you prioritise practicality. All-in-all, the Juke is a great crossover that represents excellent value for money.Search Used Nissan Juke
Vauxhall Crossland X
The Crossland X is the perfect compact crossover for families who prioritise a vast amount of interior space and comfort. Typical of Vauxhall, they haven't tried to revolutionise the SUV, instead they have nailed the basics. The result is a great all-round family car that is cheap to run on a daily basis and immensely practical.
The range of petrol and diesel engines all provide excellent fuel economy while returning low emissions, essential for keeping running costs down on a daily basis. In addition, servicing and maintenance costs are affordable, with reduced rates available for members of Vauxhall Service Club.
Inside there's a raft of technology and safety features; traffic sign recognition and lane departure warning come as standard, while the likes of dual-zone climate control and rear parking sensors are available further up the range. Thanks to the large amount of head and leg room inside, you can be guaranteed the children will never be uncomfortable.Search Used Vauxhall Crossland X
SEAT were relatively new to this sector of the market when they released the Arona in 2017. The Arona doesn't disappoint because it maintains the superb driving dynamics that SEAT are renowned for but adds more practicality.
There are three petrol and two diesel engines to choose from, with a 7-speed DSG automatic gearbox available alongside a standard 6-speed manual. Regardless of your engine and gearbox choice, you can expect good economy and high levels of refinement.
The infotainment system that comes as standard is guaranteed to make every journey more comfortable too, not that you'd ever be uncomfortable thanks to the supportive seats and supple ride.
Huge amounts of leg and head room make the Arona a great car for family duties. And with a generous 400-litre boot, you will never struggle for storage space when shopping or going on a road trip with your family.Search Used SEAT Arona
Citroën C3 Aircross
The C3 Aircross is perfect if you're looking for a small SUV that is incredibly stylish and modern. Typical of Citroën, the styling is very striking from all angles, without being unnecessarily aggressive. The interior is as comfortable as it looks, with supportive seats and plenty of space in the back.
The C3 Aircross isn't a case of style over substance either, it's quite the opposite. Stiffer anti-roll bars were fitted to the Aircross alongside new dampers to ensure the ride remains comfortable and composed on Britain's roads. There's a choice of three petrol engines and two diesels, all of which are efficient and refined.
Inside you'll find plenty of leg and headroom, enough to accommodate passengers who are long in the leg. Thanks to the supple ride and comfortable seats, the C3 Aircross is great for long distance driving. The extra ground clearance helps massively on muddy tracks whilst providing a better view of the road from the cockpit.Search Used Citroën C3 AIRCROSS
As a brand, Kia have truly redefined themselves over the course of the last decade. Every car in their line up now boasts fantastic styling, great powertrains and advanced technology. The Stonic is much of the same recipe, but with added urban character. It's even one of the few cars that look good in yellow, which is important.
The Stonic is based on the same platform as the Kia Rio, which makes it nimble on the open road and through town. There are two petrol engines and a sole diesel engine available, all of which offer good mid-range pulling power for an effortless drive.
Kia have been very generous with the standard equipment on the Stonic. Air conditioning, satellite-navigation and parking sensors are all included regardless of the specification you choose. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto even come as standard, essential for slick smartphone connectivity.Search Used Kia Stonic
Hyundai have been making some exceptional cars in recent years, continuing with the Kona. The bespoke styling is guaranteed to turn heads, while the top of the range 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine provides enough poke to take the boredom out of daily driving.
Whereas many car makers fall into the trap of making crossovers relatively sedentary to drive, Hyundai want to make a car that is both practical and fun to drive. The gurus at Hyundai have set the chassis up perfectly for Britain's road, neither over or underdamped (i.e. not excessively bouncy).
The petrol and diesel engines all provide plenty of punch for ample progress. A manual gearbox (automatic available) comes as standard on all variations except for the Premium GT, which utilises a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. There's even a hybrid or electric option for eco-friendly motorists.
The interior of the Kona is typical of Hyundai, well-thought out and very well-equipped. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available should you want optimised connectivity to your phone so it's worth keeping an eye out for models equipped with them.Search Used Hyundai Kona
There are a variety of stylish crossovers on this list, but none quite have the flair of the Peugeot 2008. This generation of 2008 was a big improvement over its predecessor, which is impressive considering how well-received that model was.
The stylish cabin boasts something called i-Cockpit, which is a digital instrument cluster that can be configured to display a variety of useful driver information. It complements the vibrant touchscreen that occupies the top of the centre console.
Space is generous to say the least. The 434-litre boot offers no loading lip and can accommodate just about everything you can think of (within reason), while the split-folding rear seats allow carrying capacity to grow to 1,467 litres.
There are a variety of petrol and diesel engines. Performance and efficiency is impressive regardless of your choice, so ultimately it depends on what you need the car for and how many miles you do in a year.Search Used Peugeot 2008
Plenty of choice with Evans Halshaw
Getting yourself behind the wheel of a crossover or compact SUV is a great idea if you want your next car to have extra practicality, but you don't want something quite as big as a large SUV. There are plenty of crossovers to choose from on the market, such is their popularity, but you certainly won't go wrong with any on this list.
If you've decided that a larger car would be best for you, then why not take a look at the best used family SUVs that are currently available? Alternatively, if you need more car buying advice, have a look around our blog section.