- Our pick of the best secondhand soft-roaders
- All for less than £10,000
- Find out which models we rate the highest and why
Thanks to its added fuel efficiency, manoeuvrability and sleeker looks over a full-sized SUV, the crossover has become increasingly popular over the past few years.
If you like the chunky looks and never intend to stray too far off-road, each of these best crossover cars can be had for the same price as a conventional hatchback.
If you’re looking to buy a used crossover car and have a budget of about £10,000, these cars come with sharper looks and a raised seating position included in the package.
Pros: Looks, handling, generous equipment list
Cons: Ride on 18-inch wheels, slightly cramped rear
The CX-3 is one of the best-packaged compact SUVs on sale, with its chunky styling and practical cabin all dressed with eye-catching styling. With smaller dimensions than most it doesn’t feel the largest crossover inside, but it does feel larger than the Nissan Juke with no shortage of headroom and adequate shoulder space.
It’s well-equipped with alloy wheels, all-round electric windows and air-conditioning, while being cheap to run too. It only just inches over our £10k budget.
We’re big fans of the way the CX-3 drives with its impressive body control and high levels of grip. The lower-powered petrol with two-wheel drive is our favourite, thanks to its ample performance and smooth power delivery. We’d recommend choosing one of the SE or SE-L models for the smoother ride on 16-inch alloy wheels.
Parkers rating: 4.5 stars
New price: £17,865 - £25,065
Used price: £10,950 - £19,475
Fuel economy: 44 - 70 mpg
Insurance group: 13-19
Pros: Agile, fun to drive, plenty of interior space
Cons: Lacks the chunky looks of its predecessor, gutless 161bhp, 2.0-litre diesel engine
The second-generation Ford Kuga is based on the same platform as the Focus, with engaging handling and lots of useable everyday technology. It's much better suited to road driving than tackling rough tracks, though. The handling is so good that the Kuga goes straight to the top of the class in that sense. The chunky looks of its predecessor may have gone, but you do get lots of interior space, high safety standards and a well-built interior.
Crammed with kit, standard equipment includes Ford’s Quickclear heated front windscreen, cruise control, bi-xenon headlamps and air-conditioning. The lower-powered 138bhp 2.0-litre TDCi is our pick of the engines; it’s refined, the most economical and comes with a good spread of power.
Try and seek out one fitted with the City Pack to include front and rear parking sensors for maximum manoeuverability.
Parkers rating: 3.7 stars
New price: £21,450 - £35,815
Used price: £8,660 - £24,305
Fuel economy: 36 - 64 mpg
Insurance group: 14 - 27
Pros: Roomy interior, sharper looks, more tech and safety kit than before
Cons: Bulkier than its predecessor, still no off-roader
The original Nissan Qashqai was one of the first cars to popularise the crossover genre. Unlike its predecessor though, this current model arrived to great acclaim in 2014 as a five-seater only. However with added technology, sharper looks, more efficient engines and better quality throughout, this is a worthy compromise for most.
As before, not all models are four-wheel drive, but that’s not a bad thing as the increase in efficiency and economy from the front-wheel drive models make for lower running costs.
On the road the Qashqai performs very well despite feeling bulky. It’s very easy to drive with safe, assured handling, and an impressive lack of engine noise at motorway speeds. Fuel economy and CO2 emissions are attractive across the range, with even the largest petrol engine averaging a claimed 50mpg with CO2 emissions of 132g/km.
Parkers rating: 4.4 stars
New price: £18,955 - £30,235
Used price: £8,980 - £21,480
Fuel economy: 47 - 74 mpg
Insurance group: 13 - 21
Pros: Heritage, four-wheel drive ability, funky looks, low running costs
Cons: Interior plastics disappoint, limited engine choice
The Suzuki Vitara fathered the SUV crossover craze when it launched back in 1988. Nearly 3 million examples have been produced worldwide since then, with Suzuki hoping its 4x4 reputation, value-led specification and heritage will help conquer the growing number of rivals.
The torquey diesel is the engine of choice if you don’t require an automatic, and there is a choice of front- or four-wheel drive. Drivers can toggle between Auto, Sport, Snow and Lock modes on the move.
With a range of personalisation options available, you should be able to find one that stands out from the crowd.
Parkers rating: 4.4 stars
New price: £15,159 - £24,809
Used price: £9,045 - £20,000
Fuel economy: 49 - 70 mpg
Insurance group: 11 - 23
Pros: Spacious, high kit levels, good value
Cons: Bouncy ride, high CO2 emissions, restricted visbility
With generous kit levels, acres of space and a decent choice of engines, this third-generation Kia Sportage is raising the bar even higher in the crossover sector.
All models have air-conditioning, all-round electric windows, rain-sensing wipers, cruise control and Bluetooth.
The choice of three diesel engines have plenty of low-down punch, but become quite rowdy and coarse when overtaking or tackling steeper inclines.
Parkers rating: 3.5 stars
New price: £17,320 - £29,020
Used price: £7,080 - £22,365
Fuel economy: 34 - 55 mpg
Insurance group: 12 - 18
Pros: High-quality interior, comfortable and refined, impressive levels of equipment
Cons: Steering lacking in feel
The distinctive looks may not be to everyone’s taste, but the ix35 represents a huge leap forward for Hyundai in terms of interior quality, exterior design and refinement.
Despite the off-roader appearance, most models are two-wheel drive, helping it to lead the way in economy and emissions too.
Its surprisingly compact dimensions also make it easy to park. Regardless of trim level, all models are well equipped with each ix35 coming with alloy wheels, parking sensors, Bluetooth, air-conditioning and a USB connection.
There is a downside though, as the Hyundai comes with a firm ride that transmits many lumps and bumps from the road’s surface, so it’s definitely worth a test drive.
Parkers rating: 4 stars
New price: £16,195 - £28,195
Used price: £5,560 - £19,700
Fuel economy: 37 - 54 mpg
Insurance group: 14 - 22
Pros: Retro looks, spacious cabin, practical features, quality interior
Cons: High CO2 emissions, some essential kit missing as standard
Small on the outside but with a spacious cabin inside, the rugged-looking 500X adds to the successful 500 range, offering itself in two flavours: one for young inner-city buyers valuing style and image above anything else, and one with genuine off-road capability for those with outdoor lifestyles.
Whichever you opt for, there are 12 body colours and eight different alloy wheel designs. Front-wheel drive models will benefit from small cost savings with lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, while all models come with alloy wheels, air-conditioning and cruise control.
Parkers rating: 4 stars
New price: £15,250 - £26,470
Used price: £6,710 - £16,895
Fuel economy: 42 - 68 mpg
Insurance group: 5 - 16
Pros: Easy to drive, eye-catching looks, low running costs, lots of kit
Cons: Seats too firm and lack side support, relatively small boot
The Captur is Renault’s first attempt at a small crossover, combining the spacious elements of a people carrier with the looks of a 4x4. Think of it as a Renault Clio on stilts and you’re not far off. Reinforcing this is not a fully blown off-roader, the Captur is only available with front-wheel drive and is powered by a range of economical, small-capacity engines.
Parkers rating: 4 stars
New price: £15,105 - £22,750
Used price: £6,345 - £14,455
Fuel economy: 50 - 78 mpg
Insurance group: 9 - 16
Pros: Incredibly cheap to buy, lots of interior space, rugged enough for family life
Cons: Base models don’t have air-con, some interior plastics fragile
Available with two- or four-wheel drive, the Duster is an affordable crossover with plenty of kit as standard and a drive set up for comfort.
One of the main selling points of the Duster is the cheap list price from new, which means you can pick a much younger, used example here in comparison with the others featured in this shortlist for the equivalent price.
Its practicality is better than the Nissan Qashqai and Hyundai ix35 too, with more load space than both with the seats folded.
Parkers rating: 3.5 stars
New price: £9,550 - £17,055
Used price: £4,195 - £14,275
Fuel economy: 35 - 64 mpg
Insurance group: 5 - 12
Pros: Stand-out looks, practical family car, lots of kit as standard
Cons: Dark interiors can look drab, no automatic gearbox, 4x4 only available on diesel
The Mitsubishi ASX has often been overlooked in the crossover market but this translates into a great second-hand buy with lower prices. We prefer the diesel engines thanks to their broad spread of power, and their availability with front- or four-wheel drive. While the ASX may not be the last word in refinement, its running costs are competitive. There’s a generous amount of kit with plenty of space for four adults but it’s a shame the interior is drab. At least all models come with alloy wheels, all-round electric windows and air-conditioning.
The ASX is surprisingly rewarding to drive too, feeling quite nimble around town and competent as a cruiser on motorways.
Parkers rating: 3.8 stars
New price: £16,254 - £28,904
Used price: £4,440 - £21,980
Fuel economy: 47 - 61 mpg
Insurance group: 13 - 26
Top buying tips for crossover cars
Signs of off-road use
Look for signs of wear and tear on the exterior. With less ground clearance compared with a typical SUV, scuff marks could indicate signs of use in tougher environments.
Do you need to tow?
Thanks to the smaller dimensions, engine capacity and typically two-wheel drive configuration, there will be a compromise in towing capacity. A Mazda CX-3 has a tow limit of 1,200kg, while the slightly larger Range Rover Evoque can tow between 1,500kg and 1,800kg. A diesel engine would provide a more relaxed drive too if this is the case.
Avoid sportier trim levels for maximum comfort
Demand for large, sporty-looking SUVs has grown over the past decade and this has resulted in manufacturers offering models with bodykits, larger wheels and stiffer suspension. While some result in marginally improved handling characteristics, they result in a negative effect on ride quality. Those designed with a sloping roof can also impede on rear passenger headroom.
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*Prices correct at the time of publication and are all subject to change.