2018 Crossover Buying Guide: Best and Worst Picks
Posted by: Lydia on 26/04/2018
Car fans today live in an era of great variety. There are plenty of regular and reliable rides, vintage classics, and newer types like hybrid and electric vehicles on offer. And the variety is enhanced by the creative combinations seen rolling off the assembly line.
The crossover is a fantastic example of this. Crossover vehicles can be an ideal pick for those who want to combine strength with style. But as wonderful as they can be, some models are hit-or-miss, depending on the needs of the driver. To help you identify which model is best for you, here’s a look at some of the best and worst picks for 2018.
What is a Crossover?
Because crossovers are designed to merge the best elements of two vehicle types, it can sometimes be hard to tell them apart from similar vehicles. And if you can’t tell the difference, it’s hard to know what to look for when browsing.
In their simplest form, crossovers combine the look and performance of an SUV with the comfort and interior trimmings of a ‘regular’ vehicle like a sedan. They can be the perfect combo for someone who wants the best of both worlds, but quality can vary quite a bit from one model to the next, so make sure to take that into account as you shop for vehicles.
The Best Crossovers
The Fiat 500X is an outstanding combination of sophistication and strength. Its aggressive contours on the exterior are offset by a elegant interior. This car looks race-ready while still providing a safe and comfortable ride for the kids in the back.
The whole family is sure to love spending time in this vehicle, with its cutting-edge tech like the 7.0-inch Uconnect touchscreen infotainment system presented in a retro design that makes any trip in the 500X a timeless experience.
Recent years have seen Korean car maker Kia prove there’s nothing they can’t succeed at.
Their Picanto and Stinger have been recognised as award-winning autos in their class, and now the Soul is staking a claim in the crossover market.
While this car was created as a compact design, Kia has nevertheless delivered a vehicle that feels roomy and powerful. Driving this vehicle feels like you have your hands on a sprint car designed to be street legal. And with a ton of the great additions that Kia is renowned for, like Vehicle Stability Management, this is a crossover that ticks all the boxes.
Suzuki has a rich history in manufacturing, and the Vitara is a fantastic example of it. While Suzuki is most famous for their rally cars and motorbikes, the Vitara makes a bold claim for attention in the crossover world. With beautiful handling and a driver dashboard that’s sleek and minimal, a driver can enjoy the very best in simple and pure driving in this vehicle.
The Worst Crossovers
Designed in Japan, the Mazda CX-3 takes its inspiration from the Mazda2 hatchback. And while the compact design has sold well in Japan and other markets, the daily commute and lifestyle of the average driver living in Tokyo or Yokohama differs from someone living in Sydney or Melbourne. With denser cities and smaller residences, the compact design may be the perfect fit. But for an Aussie desiring a crossover to lug a BBQ home from IKEA, it doesn’t work quite as well.
Similar to Mazda, Jeep builds a ton of great vehicles. The problem with this one is that it offers a ‘diet cola’ experience: it’s a bit of a watered-down version of the original.
If certainly might be a great choice for some drivers who want a sleeker version of the traditional Jeep. But because most Aussies trend towards owning a Jeep precisely because of its big, rugged, and robust performance, the Renegade just doesn’t quite fit the bill. And with just 103kW of power compared to a whopping 522kW in a Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, the Renegade leaves some car fans longing to drive its more powerful stablemate.
Keep an Open Mind
Car fans can be pretty particular about the quality and style of their vehicles, and there’s nothing wrong with that. If not for high standards, car manufacturers may never have had that feeling of urgency that ultimately saw iconic vehicles like the Shelby Daytona roar into being.
But it’s also necessary to have an open mind with certain types of vehicles. Just as sports cars will always offer a bumpier ride given that they sit closer to the ground, crossover vehicles try to combine performance and comfort - and that can be very tricky to perfect. So never buy a crossover you hate, but also be sure to give a second look at one you like, even if it's not love at first sight.
It’s not breaking news that the auto industry is seeing a lot of big changes right now - and they’re coming fast. 740,000 electric vehicles were sold around the world in 2016. In 2017, that number soared to 1.1 million. And we can expect to see self-driving cars on the roads before too long.
All these changes offer a number of options for someone considering a crossover in 2018.
Because this is a niche vehicle, and new types of vehicles are fast arriving on the market every day, it’s a great chance to seek out a bargain at your local dealership. There are also a number of great crossovers available secondhand, and some exciting ones set for release in 2019.
Buying a crossover will always be tempting, so be sure you give in to temptation at some point.
What other 2018 crossovers do you like? Let us know in the comments below: