The now very popular crossover vehicle is celebrating 10 years since Nissan launched the Qashqai. Nissan’s pioneering Qashqai was really a gamble at the time without them really knowing for sure how it would be received.
Needless to say since the first Quashai rolled off the production line, demand for crossovers has soared. The crossover combines the practicality and comfort of a family car with the high driving position of a SUV or 4x4 and it really hit the sweet spot with the UK public.
….So here are our top 5 recommended crossovers for 2017 along with reviews, we’ll start with the Qashqai as that’s where it all began:
THE NEW 2017 NISSAN QASHQAI
The Qashqai has firmly established itself amongst Britain’s favourite new cars, in 2017 new sales of the Qashqai in the UK has only been surpassed by favourites like the Ford Focus, Fiesta and VW Golf.
From the outside the latest Nissan Qashqai model has some minor tweaks that further enhance its looks including a V-Motion front grille and redesigned bonnet. Inside the Qashqai and the addition of new technology is where the concentration is on this latest model. There’s a new look steering wheel and dash with updated ‘infotainment’ system too. The Qashqai achieved the full 5 stars in NVAP safety tests and boasts plenty of driver aids and safety tech, new in this model is automatic pedestrian detection for the emergency braking system. There’s also a new reversing aid and a rear cross-traffic alert system which gives early warning of any vehicles that are entering your reversing path.
The Qashqai comes in 5 models the entry-model the Visia is well-enough equipped and includes front and rear one touch electric windows, electric parking brake, hill start assist, stop/start system, DAB radio/CD player with 5 inch TFT screen plus USB and Bluetooth support, manual air con with pollen filter and cruise control with functions mounted on the steering wheel.
The Visia also boasts a pretty long list of security features including ABS with EBD, electronic stability programme (ESP), driver, passenger, side and curtain airbags plus intelligent trace control and intelligent ride control.
The Acenta is the next grade and adds dual zone climate control, automatic headlights & windscreen wipers, front fog lights, 17 inch ‘Aero’ alloy wheels, a leather finished steering wheel and interior ambient lighting.
The N-Connecta model is where Nissan step things up, this model has enough equipment and gadgets to keep just about everyone happy. It improves on the Visa and Acenta models adding 18 inch two-tone alloy wheels, NissanConnect Evo 7 inch touchscreen entertainment systems with sat nav, the smart vision pack including: intelligent traffic sign recognition, high beam assist, intelligent emergency braking system, front and rear parking sensors, intelligent rear view mirror, a lane departure warning systems, around view, start push button, rear privacy glass and roof rails. We like this model and think it offers more than enough to make the vast majority of people very happy.
At the top of the range is the Tekna adding 19 inch alloy wheels, a premium Bose audio 8 system with 8 speakers, part leather interior with heated front seats and Nissan’s safety shield technology. The Tekna+ is top of the range adding a premium leather interior, electrically adjustable driver's seat with memory function and a panoramic glass roof with one touch electrically controlled shade.
Engines-wise you get a range of 1.2 petrol plus 1.5 and 1.6 diesels and there is a 4WD option with the 1.6 diesel. The 1.5 diesel is pretty clean and economical and our pick, it’s pretty quiet and should have enough power for the practical family car. If you really need a bit more power and have the budget for a bigger outlay and higher running costs go for the 1.6 diesel.
The Qashqai offers enough gadgets, safety and comfort for everybody and it’s now better looking inside and out than ever before.
The N-Connecta model with the 1.5 diesel engine for most, if you need a bit more power or 4WD then go for the 1.6 diesel options but bare in mind the extra initial price-tag and running costs.
Lots of equipment even on entry-level models, gorgeous looking car, lots of driver assist and safety equipment.
Semi-autonomous driving technology is in the pipeline but it won’t make an appearance until next year’s model is rolled out.
THE NEW 2017 RENAULT KADJAR
The Renault Kadjar is possibly the closest thing to the Qashqai, it shares the same platform as the Qashqai and an engine range consisting of a 1.2 petrol turbo plus 1.5 and 1.6 diesels, the 1.2 petrol and 1.5 diesels are available with both manual and auto gearboxes. As with Qashqai we prefer the 1.5 diesel as it’s the smoothest option.
The Kadjar is not quite as refined as the Qashqai when it comes to the interior but Renault have done a pretty good job. It does however match the Qashqai in other areas including scoring the full five stars in NCAP safety tests, plus you’ll find slightly cleaner diesel engines and it trumps the Qashqai marginally with a slightly bigger boot.
Expression+ is the entry-level model featuring daytime running lights, front fog lights, manual air con, DAB radio with Bluetooth, automatic parking brake, tyre pressure monitoring and cruise control.
The Dynamic Nav is the next model and it adds plenty of equipment over the Expression including 17 inch alloy wheels, automatic dual zone climate control, a 7 inch multimedia system with touch screen and sat nav, hands-free keycard, and the visio system (lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition and automatic low/high beam). We like the Dynamic Nav model with the 1.5 diesel engine, it’s just a shame it doesn’t come with parking sensors. If you really can’t do without parking sensors you might as well upgrade to the Dynamic S Nav model which is equipped as standard with front and rear parking sensors as they come at a hefty additional cost on the Dynamic Nav model.
The top two models are the Signature Nav (adds to the Dynamic S Nav model with panoramic sunroof, synthetic leather and cloth interior, BOSE sound systems with 8 speakers, full LED headlights, and leather steering wheel). The Signature S Nav further adds a rear parking camera, blind spot warning, leather interior, heated front seats, hands free parking and 360 parking sensor.
Choose the 1.5 diesel manual engine, if you can do without parking sensors save yourself over £1000 and get the Dyanamic Nav model, if parking sensors are a must pay the extra for the Dynamic S Nav model.
All round solid vehicle, a big boot for vehicle in its class, diesel engines are cleaner than the Qashqai.
Not quite as refined as the Qashqai but a very close second.
THE NEW 2017 MAZDA CX-5
The Mazda CX-5 will offer you a bit more passenger and boot space than the Qashqai and Kadjar. It comes in just two models the SE-L Nav and Sport Nav and at first glance you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s a bit pricey, however the two models pack a lot of equipment, driver aids and tech in for the price and inside the latest models have been given a facelift that gives them a premium feel.
The SE-L models for example comes as standard with 17 inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, LED front fog lights, front and rear electric windows, climate control with speed limiter, start/stop button, dual zone climate control, front and rear parking sensors, automatic headlights, rain sensing windscreen wipers, heated folding door mirrors, privacy glass. You get a very nice 7 inch touchscreen equipped voice control and just about every function, it comes integrated with a DAB radio/CD, sat nav plus the ‘Aha’ and ‘Stitcher’ apps which add internet radio, facebook and twitter support.
The Sport Nav model adds 19 inch gun metal alloy wheel, power tailgate, leather interior, a BOSE sound system, keyless entry, a reversing camera and traffic sign recognition.
There are 2.0 litre petrol and 2.2 litre diesel engines with manual or automatic gearboxes, there’s also an AWD option with the 2.2 diesel. We like the 2.2 diesel with manual transmission; it’s pretty responsive and can pull the CX-5 from 0-62mph in about 9.6 seconds with an official fuel economy of 57mpg (combined), although it’s not as clean as some of the rival vehicles on this list.
Go for the 2.2 diesel the SE-L model is packed with equipment and tech but if you really want to push the boat out go for the Sport Nav.
Good size boot, tons of equipment and tech as standard, premium feel inside.
Diesel engines not as clean as rival vehicles on this list.
THE NEW 2017 MITSUBISHI ASX
The ASX is something of a departure for Mitsubishi with its mainstream eye-catching crossover looks and styling. Inside the vehicle you get a nice functional dash, although it doesn’t have the stylish appeal of the Qashqai or the premium feel of the Mazda CX-5, an unfair comparison given that the ASX is cheaper than its rivals, at the time of writing this review deals for the entry-level ASX 2 model were little over £14,200.
The first thing you should know about the entry-level ASX 2 is its only available with the 1.6 petrol engine. Equipment-wise for the price there are no complaints here and for people on a budget that doesn’t extend to a Qashqai for example this is a very nice cheaper alterative. As standard it comes with 16 inch alloy wheels, anti-lock brakes with EBD, ESS & BA, stability and traction control, hill start assist, front fog lights and daytime running lights, privacy glass, keyless entry, air con, electric windows, front, side and curtain airbags, radio/CD/MP3 player with Bluetooth and USB support, leather gearstick and steering wheel with audio mounted controls. When you consider the price, it really does offer excellent value for money.
The ASX 3 model adds 18 inch alloy wheels, bi-xenon headlamps with washers, keyless operation, start/stop button, climate control, cruise control, heated front seats, 6 inch display with DAB radio/CD/MP3 player and Bluetooth support, automatic lights and windscreen wipers, and reversing camera. You get the choice of 1.6 petrol or diesel engine with this model, we recommend the diesel it’s much better on running costs and the petrol engine offers no obvious performance or drive advantages.
The ASX 4 adds on-demand 4WD with push-button drive, a panoramic glass roof, leather trim interior, a 7 inch touchscreen with sat nav and aluminium foot pedals.
The ASX 5 adds premium leather interior trim and floor mats, heated seats and rear twin USB sockets.
Both the ASX 4 AND ASX 5 models have the option of a 1.6 diesel AWD (manual) or a 2.2 diesel AWD (automatic) engine.
The ASX 3 offers plenty of equipment choose the 1.6 diesel engine and keep your running costs low.
Great value for money, very nice exterior styling.
Entry-level model needs a diesel option.
THE NEW 2017 RENAULT KOLEOS
The Renault Koleos, the Kadjar’s bigger brother is more of a compact SUV than crossover and much more of a true 4x4 than the other vehicles on this list. It’s a meaty looking vehicle, spacious inside with clever storage ideas and a high-level of safety equipment.
Engine-wise there’s a 1.6 litre dCi 130 (2WD) and a 2.0 litre dCi 175 (4wd). We highly recommend the 1.6 for lower running costs, 128 CO2 g/km and 57.6 mpg (combined) if you don’t need the 4WD option, surprisingly it has more grunt than you might expect pulling a vehicle of this size and it’s smooth enough on long motorway journeys. However if you want the 4WD then you have to go for the 2.0 litre (manual or automatic), so running costs will be higher, 148 CO2 g/km and 50mpg (combined) for the manual.
Choosing a trim-level is a simple business with the Koleos you have two options, the Dynamic S Nav and Signature Nav both models being very well-equipped.
The Dynamic S Nav features 18 inch alloy wheel, keyless entry, front and rear electric windows, dual zone climate control, a 7 inch touchscreen with sat nav, voice recognition and support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, front and rear parking sensors, a rear parking camera and panoramic sunroof.
The Signature Nav adds part leather interior, heated front seats and a bigger 8.7 inch touchscreen.
The cheaper Dynamic S model still offers a ton of equipment as standard, if you NOT interested in the 4WD then you’re in luck the 1.6 2WD diesel is it’s surprisingly responsive and offers decent running costs.
Lots of safety equipment, driver aids and tech as standard, a good choice if you need 4WD.
More expensive option than other vehicles on this list.