Best buys Premium crossovers: BMW gorgeous little crossover steals the show
Our choice of the best of the post crossovers on the market right now
BEST ONE: BMW X2
It may seem rather odd to be recommending a car that’s more expensive, and less practical, than a mechanically identical stablemate, but that’s where we stand on the X1/X2 divide. The X1 is a fine vehicle – useful, nice to drive, high quality – but the X2 takes all of that and lifts it up a level. Its styling has not been without controversy but in the flesh it looks great, even a touch dramatic. The interior is that of the X1, but a little more cosy and enlivened with some interesting upholstery choices, which include Alcantara suede. It is most certainly not cheap, but it is sharp, even rewarding, to drive and a reminder that when BMW gets things right, few can match it. Even itself.
Best model: xDrive 20d M-Sport for €56,206 Price range: €46,628 to €57,416. Finance from €494 per month CO2 emissions: 118 to 137g/km Sum up: At last, a gorgeous even-numbered BMW X car
Won Volvo its first European Car of the Year award, and rightly so. Volvo (and its Chinese masters Geely) took a big chance in developing an all-new front-wheel drive platform for the XC40 (which it will share with the upcoming V40 hatchback) but it paid off, big-time. The XC40 looks great, is roomy inside, has a practical, clever boot and is pleasant to drive. The cabin looks great at first, but you will find a few too many cheapo plastics if you go looking for them, and for now the engine range is limited to big-and-thirsty petrols and frugal-but-unfashionable diesels. Smaller petrol engines, and plugin hybrid models, are on the way.
Best model: D4 AWD Auto Inscription for €51,950 Price range: €38,000 to €51,950. Finance from €1,029 per month CO2 emissions: 131-154g/km Sum up: Award-winning and rightly so
The Q2 looks cute. It works especially well in Audi’s mid-grey paintjob, which is technically called Nardo grey but which we call ‘Primer’. It’s a sharply proportioned car, though, with that gaping grille and lights which seem to express a slightly angry sense of surprise. The cabin is typically Audi – well thought out, beautifully made, with gorgeous touches such as perforated backlit trim panels, and all-digital instruments as an option. Best sampled with 1.0-litre 115hp TSI petrol power but there is a hot SQ2 version coming soon.
Best model: 1.0 TFSI S-Tronic S-Line for €36,960 Price range: €31,260 to €45,510. Finance from €309 per month CO2 emissions: 111 to 140g/km Sum up: Not very practical, but gorgeous and engaging to drive
Range Rover Evoque
It’s due for replacement any day now but the Evoque clings on to its place here, thanks mainly to its looks. Nice inside too, and pleasing to see that cabin quality has taken a bump upwards of late. It’s reasonably roomy too, in spite of the sloping roofline, but there’s no downsized petrol option.
Best model: 2.0 TD4 HSE Automatic for €62,750 Price range: €42,190 to €75,025. Finance from €410 per month CO2 emissions: 109 to 185g/km Sum up: Needs improved reliability but still hugely appealing
WILD CARD: Volkswagen T-Roc
Hang on. A compact VW crossover, with a price tag starting at (well) under €30,000, mixing it with the likes of BMW and VW-owned Audi? Yup, that’s where we are. The T-Roc’s appeal is not to be easily dismissed, nor is the appeal of the VW badge. It basically uses the same mechanical package as the Audi Q2, but adds a little more interior and boot space, plus a body that, while it’s not conventionally pretty, is at least as eye-catching as the Audi’s. It’s perfectly nice to drive too, even if it falls short of its promised role of being a true replacement for the lamented Scirocco coupe.
Best model: Sport 1.5 TSI for €29,750 Price range: €24,750 to €36,695. Finance from €1,029 per month CO2 emissions: 117 to 134g/km Sum up: It’s good enough to, ahem, ‘roc’ your world, even at this level
Incoming: Audi Q3, Range Rover Evoque, Mercedes-Benz MLB, Volvo XC40 plugin hybrid