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Company car allowance pics: crossovers

  • Considering taking the cash? We reveal our top five crossovers
  • Engine and trim choices highlighted
  • Could one from our list be your next new car?

Moving up the career ladder and getting the option of a company car can be an exciting time, and many will be faced with a difficult choice: opt into the company car scheme or take the monthly cash sum instead.

Lots of people who opt to take the cash decide to put the extra money towards financing a new car, either through PCP or HP deals or montly repayments on a loan.

A key benefit to making this choice is that you will have the freedom to choose the car you want as some companies only offer a couple of manufacturers. Most also put a restriction on CO2 so more powerful models never make it onto the company's user chooser list.

If you’re considering taking the cash over a company car, we’ve put together the must-have SUVs that should be considered and the engine options we would pick if we didn’t have the fleet manager to answer to.

 

1. Nissan Qashqai

There’s very little we can say about the Nissan Qashqai that hasn’t already been said. One of the best all-rounders in the segment, the Qashqai is also the biggest selling crossover here in the UK.

The latest generation Qashqai was launched last year and is available in six trims: Visia, Acenta, Acenta Premium, N-Tec, NTEC+ and Tekna. We think mid-spec Acenta Premium offers a good variety of kit for the money with front and rear parking sensors, reversing camera, panoramic sunroof, keyless entry and an array of safety kit like lane departure warning and automatic high beam all included as standard.

Engine wise there’s currently two petrol and two diesel powertrains to choose from. For optimum performance the 1.6-litre DIG-T petrol offers some strong figures, but it’s only available in top-of-the-range Tekna trim so if your allowance cannot stretch that far we’d opt for the 1.6dCi diesel which still offers plenty of power while keeping those running costs low.

Stats at a glance:

Engine and Trim: 1.6 dCi Acenta Premium

Price: £24,980

CO2 emissions: 116g/km

Fuel economy: 64mpg

Power: 128bhp

Star rating: 5 stars

Click here to read our full review of the Nissan Qashqai


2. Skoda Yeti

The Skoda Yeti is one of our favourite crossovers here at Parkers and like the Qashqai above, gets a full five-star rating in its full review.

There’s been a wide range of trims and special editions launched since the car went on sale in 2009 so you’ll be spoilt for choice here and if you need an off-road capable Yeti, then Outdoor models are on hand and equipped to deal with the elements.

Although one of the oldest models in our list here, the Yeti received a facelift at the end of 2013 which included a number of styling enhancements to keep it fresh and up to date with the competition.

Standard kit across the range is very good and there’s a wide choice of engine power on offer too. Unless you really need an off-roader our pic would be the standard Yeti is SE-L trim which bags you plenty of kit for the money. Although the 1.2-litre petrol is surprisingly quick and smooth, we would opt for the 2-litre diesel which will deliver better performance at the pumps.

Stats at a glance:

Engine and Trim: 2.0 TDI SE-L

Price: £21,680

CO2 emissions: 118g/km

Fuel economy: 63mpg

Power: 108bhp

Star rating: 5 stars

Click here to read our full review of the Skoda Yeti

 

3. Lexus NX

New to the segment last year, the Lexus NX has already created quite a stir in the industry offering supreme comfort levels and excellent equipment as standard - it’s also the biggest crossover in our list here and the most expensive to buy.

Rivalling the likes of the BMW X3 and Range Rover Evoque, the new Lexus NX is the only car in our list to be available with a hybrid powertrain. Your only other choice is a powerful 2-litre petrol engine which joined the range this year and is only available in top spec.

The 2.5-litre petrol engine when combined with electric motors offers 194bhp and 206Nm of torque and is mated to an automatic transmission.

There are five trims to choose from. We’d opt for the entry model as there’s still lots of kit available as standard including 17-inch alloys, adaptive cruise control, reversing camera, dual-zone climate control, DAB Radio, Bluetooth and Drive Mode Select – which allows drivers to tweak the car’s characteristics depending on the mode selected.

Stats at a glance:

Engine and Trim: 2.5 S CVT

Price: £29,495

CO2 emissions: 116g/km

Fuel economy: 56mpg

Power: 194bhp

Star rating: 4.5 stars

Click here to read our full review of the Lexus NX

 

4. Hyundai  ix35

Launched back in 2010, Hyundai’s small crossover can often be overlooked in what is an incredibly popular and competitive sector. Although it has the lowest overall scoring of our list here, the Hyundai ix35 scores exceptionally well in the comfort, practicality, equipment and performance sections in the review making it one of the best all-rounders you can buy.

There’s a variety of kit available as standard across the five trim levels, even entry-model ix35’s come equipped with 16-inch alloy wheels, USB and AUX connections and air-con. SE Nav spec is the one to go for though with 17-inch alloy wheels, heated seats, parking sensors, sat-nav, reversing camera, upgraded sound system and cruise control all included.

Engine wise there’s a choice of two diesels or two petrols, the most popular choice, the 2-litre CRDi diesel, would be our choice here as it offers a good balance of performance and economy.

Stats at a glance:

Engine and Trim: 2.0 CRDi SE Nav

Price: £24,200

CO2 emissions: 145g/km

Fuel economy: 51mpg

Power: 134bhp

Star rating: 4 stars

Click here to read our full review of the Hyundai ix35

 

5. Mazda CX-5

The first car to be produced on Mazda’s impressive SkyActiv platform when it was launched back in 2012, the CX-5 boasts a lightweight design and low running costs while still retaining keen performance figures.

To accompany it’s retro styling, interior space and practical features also help the CX-5 stand out from the crowd. There’s three trims to choose from, we’d opt for the top trim, SportNav as it comes loaded with kit which will make a real difference day-to-day on the road. Highlights include sat-nav cruise control, 19-inch alloys, reversing camera, keyless entry, Bluetooth, leather upholstery with heated front seats and a premium sound system.

There’s a 2-litre petrol engine and two power options for the 2.2-litre diesel to choose from, we’d opt for the lower-powered diesel for its low running costs and impressive performance credentials.  

Stats at a glance:

Engine and Trim: 2.2d SportNav

Price: £27,195

CO2 emissions: 119g/km

Fuel economy: 61.4mpg

Power: 148bhp

Star rating: 4.5 stars

Click here to read our full review of the Mazda CX-5

Still not sure which car to pick? The below features may help…

Cash vs Company Car

Guide to reclaiming business mileage

Top tax-busting diesel company cars

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