Top 5 compact crossoversBy Hanleigh Daniels 17 October 2013 | Categories: News
Crossovers are rising in popularity due to their jack-of-all-trades appeal and above average ground clearance. Here are our top 5.
5. Subaru XV 2.0i Lineartronic CVT
110 kW; 196 Nm; R309 000
The XV (review) is definitely not the belle of the crossover ball, as the Japanese car maker adopted a boxy, tough design that only manages to pull in the gazes thanks to an attention seeking bright orange colour scheme and two-tone (silver and black) 17" aluminium wheels. Backing up the can venture off the beaten track look is a great ground clearance of 220 mm and Subaru’s legendary symmetrical all-wheel drive system, helping the XV go where rival crossovers fear to tread. On the interior, things are well screwed together, with the XV offering plenty of interior head- and legroom for both front and rear passengers, whilst the boot offers 310 litres of loading space (771 litres by folding the rear seats down). We appreciated the inclusion of hill start assist that prevents you from rolling backwards when stopping on an incline.
4. BMW X1 sDrive18i
110 kW; 200 Nm; R352 500
With the X1 BMW opted for an estate with a raised ride height design, rather than the big imposing SUV look associated with the X5 and X6. Beneath the bonnet resides a 1995 cc four cylinder petrol engine delivering enough power to bring up 100 km/h on the speedo in under 10 seconds. Even though brand appeal and style are the X1’s trump cards, fuel efficiency is also a big draw card with the combined fuel usage cycle (town and highway driving) averaging less than 8 litres per 100 km. Unfortunately the X1 is the most expensive car in this comparison and despite that, not the best equipped crossover either. To get additional features such as automatic air conditioning, buyers would have to fork out an additional R24 900 for the interior comfort package.
3. Nissan Juke 1.6 DIG-T Tekna AWD CVT
140 kW; 240 Nm; R322 500
Nissan’s Juke 1.6 DIG-T AWD CVT (review) offers one of the best automatic transmissions in the smooth-as-silk CVT. Also on offer is oodles of grip thanks to its all-wheel-drive system, despite the Juke not being as capable off road as the XV. This system is meant to keep the driver in control on those rain soaked tar roads and dirt back roads, and is not meant for serious bundu-bashing sessions. In terms of styling, the Juke boasts a love-it-or-hate-it design package that prioritises head turning appeal above interior space for rear passengers and the boot. The Juke is definitely not as fun to drive as the X1 for instance, but it did manage to match the Beemer’s claimed fuel usage figures in Eco mode, wherein we managed to obtain 8.5 litres per 100 km.
2. Honda CR-V 2.0 Comfort
114 kW; 192 Nm; R316 000
Like most of the cars in this comparison the CR-V is more of a versatile crossover than an all terrain SUV. If offers plenty of style and practicality thanks to its 589 litres boot which can be expanded to 1146 litres when the split rear bench seat is pushed down. In terms of standard features, CR-V buyers will not be left wanting and includes, amongst others, remote central locking, electric windows, dual-zone climate control with rear ventilation, ABS, stability control, as well as a tyre deflation warning system. Performance via the CR-V’s 1997 cc i-VTEC inline 4 cylinder is also brisk enough to compete within this segment thanks to a 10 second 0-100 km acceleration time and 190 km/h top speed, all whilst the combined cycle fuel usage figure is just 7.7 litres per 100 km.
1. Ford Ecosport 1.0L Fox GTDI Trend
92 kW; 170 Nm; R224 000
At the heart of the Ecosport’s appeal lies an inline three cylinder turbo-charged petrol engine that produces enough shove to allow the Ford to reach 100 km/h in 12.7 seconds before powering on to an illegal top end of 181 km/h. Although these might not be the quickest figures in this comparison, the Ecosport does deliver class leading economy with a combined-cycle fuel usage figure of a mere 5.7 litres per 100 km. Equally as impressive is the amount of standard options you get for your money, including remote central locking, dual front airbags (driver and passenger), ABS, plus side and curtain airbags. More importantly, the Ford might not be the only car to offer Bluetooth audio streaming, but it is the only vehicle with a built-in infotainment system as standard, namely Ford’s Sync. This system packs features such as hands-free telephony and USB music integration for music, and helps this Blue Oval crossover reach the summit of our crossover countdown.
*Crossovers boasts design elements from SUVs such as the higher ride height and blends these with features from other vehicles like a station wagon or hatchback.
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