Crossovers have become a huge sensation here in the UK. Whereas people traditionally opted for either a hatchback or a larger SUV, the crossover has created a niche where you’re able to get a bit of both in a package that is still easy to live with.

Some of the best crossover cars are in the used market, too. The explosion in interest means there are more crossovers on the second-hand market than ever before, helping to reduce costs while giving that sense of style that crossovers bring.

Hybrid engines in some models make running a crossover even cheaper, too.

The best used crossover cars

We’ve used our extensive motoring expertise to highlight some of the best crossover cars, with a number of different sizes, engine options and colourways so that you’re able to find the best car for you.

Below are our picks of the best used crossovers you can buy:

  1. Dacia Duster
  2. Nissan Qashqai
  3. Renault Captur
  4. Skoda Kamiq
  5. Kia Sportage
  6. Mazda CX-5
  7. Volvo XC40
  8. Seat Arona
  9. Volkswagen T-Roc
  10. Citroen C3 Aircross

1. Dacia Duster (2018-present)

There can be no better option for a value-orientated crossover buyer than the Dacia Duster. Routinely one of the cheapest new cars available in the UK, the Duster makes for a compelling used purchase due to its robust build quality and chunky, go-anywhere looks.

The Duster’s boxy shape means that it’s able to offer plenty of headroom inside, too, while a reasonably sized boot can take up plenty of luggage. It’s available with both two- and four-wheel drive as well, so if you’re in area prone to mud, snow or ice then the added security of four driven wheels could make the Duster untouchable in this company.

Diesel-engined Dusters will be the cheapest to run in the long term, but the petrol variants won’t cost the earth either. There’s also a quirky ‘bi-fuel’ model which combines petrol and LPG gas to provide a frugal alternative to the norm.

Best Features

  • Chunky design means that the Duster has the look of a true off-roader
  • Wide range of engine choices ensure that there’s a powertrain to fit different types of budgets and requirements
  • Low cost from new means that the Duster is exceptionally good value as a used purchase

Things to consider

  • A lower cost does mean that the Duster isn’t quite as high-quality inside than other crossovers
  • Diesel engines can be a bit agricultural and rattly, but they’re frugal and quiet at speed
  • Four-wheel drive versions will be more costly to run and they’ll incur more tax, too

2. Nissan Qashqai (2014-2021)

We couldn’t talk about the best crossovers in the UK without mentioning the Nissan Qashqai. It’s actually the car which is touted as the originator of the segment and one of the key drivers behind its huge explosion in success.

As it has matured over the years, the Qashqai has become ever more ‘premium’ with improved materials and better technology introduced in the process. We’re big fans of the second-generation Qashqai – built between 2014 and 2021 – as it’s got loads of interior space and a robust interior that’ll stand up to family duties without breaking a sweat.

It’s available with both petrol and diesel engines, as well as the choice of either manual or automatic gearboxes. All versions get loads of must-have features, too, such as air conditioning and cruise control – though higher-spec versions gain kit such as larger alloy wheels and a panoramic sunroof.

Best Features

  • The Qashqai has been a huge popular model, so that means there’s loads of choice on the used market
  • It’s got a really practical interior that provides plenty of space for driver and passengers
  • The Qashqai has been set up to be really comfortable on all types of roads so it’s great for longer journeys

Things to consider

  • As a popular family car, the Qashqai can be prone to wear and tear inside so make sure you inspect things closely
  • Again, the school run can be punishing for a car so check Qashqais for curbed alloy wheels and damaged trim
  • A significant facelift came in during 2017 so look for cars built after that if you want sharper looks and more interior tech

3. Renault Captur (2013-2019)

Renault’s Captur delivers on the crossover formula perfectly. It’s one of the best small crossover SUVs, bringing a relatively compact footprint that makes it easy to park and live with in town. However, it also benefits from an upright design which means you get a slightly elevated and confidence-inspiring view of the road ahead.

It shares a lot of its makeup with the Clio, but brings that crucial increase in ride height. Like the Clio, the Captur has a pleasant interior and a driving style that really feels at home in urban areas with light steering and good visibility.

Practicality is also top-notch in the Captur. It’s got a well-sized boot and you can slide the rear seats forward and back, allowing you to prioritise either rear-seat legroom or boot space depending on the situation.

Best Features

  • The Captur is a really great compact SUV – it’s not too large so it’s a doddle to park up
  • Entry-level versions get loads of equipment such as air conditioning and automatic lights
  • Petrol and diesel engines are both available

Things to consider

  • The Captur is only available with front-wheel drive, so if you need a more ‘go-anywhere’ option with four-wheel drive you might need to look elsewhere
  • Entry-level 0.9-litre engines feel a bit underpowered – particularly if you’re driving with a full car for most of the time
  • The Captur was given a mid-life facelift in 2017 to add redesigned bumpers and more chrome trim

4. Skoda Kamiq (2019-present)

The Kamiq delivers everything you’d expect from Skoda. It’s well-made, is packed with loads of helpful features and is quiet and refined too. It’s the smallest crossover SUV that Skoda currently offers, so it’s ideal for people who want a spacious car that doesn’t feel overly large or intimidating to drive.

Skoda has made a name for itself with its ‘Simply Clever’ range – a variety of features which make everyday life a bit easier – and they’re all present on the Kamiq. There’s a funnel on the windscreen washer fluid bottle to help prevent spillage, for example, while a handy clip on the windscreen is ideal for keeping parking tickets safe and displayed.

But cool features aside, it’s the Kamiq’s comfortable, efficient and quiet driving experience which really shines through.

Best Features

  • All Kamiq models get plenty of tech as standard, including safety assistance systems such as autonomous emergency braking
  • The Kamiq has a relaxation-focused driving style, so while it may not be as sharp to drive as rivals it’s definitely one of the most refined – particularly on the motorway
  • The level of head and legroom you get in the Kamiq is more like that which you’d get from a larger SUV – so it’s great for larger families

Things to consider

  • The Kamiq hasn’t been on sale for as long as others here, so it may be priced higher as a result
  • The softer suspension means the Kamiq can have a tendency to lean through the bends
  • Only petrol and diesel engines are available – no hybrids

5. Kia Sportage (2016-2021)

The Kia Sportage has been absolutely instrumental in changing this brand’s perception here in the UK. It’s a well-priced and attractively-styled car which manages to feel far more premium inside than you might expect, while good levels of standard equipment make it a really good value proposition – particularly for families.

We really like how well the Sportage drives, too, but it’s all helped by the knowledge that Kia’s impressive seven-year warranty could still be available on some used models. It just means there’s a safety net should something go wrong – though Kia’s cars have a great reputation for reliability anyway.

There’s loads of equipment included as standard on the Sportage including must-have features such as air conditioning and Bluetooth smartphone connectivity. Higher-spec versions add in great features such as bi-xenon headlights and sportier design packages too.

Best Features

  • The Sportage’s styling is really eye-catching so it’s great for people who like a car with presence
  • The interior of the Sportage is really solid and not prone to squeaks or rattles
  • The Sportage’s boot is well-sized and has a low load lip, making it a breeze to load in larger items like a buggy

Things to consider

  • Kia’s warranty lasts for seven years – and is transferable between owners – so even if a younger example costs slightly more you’d be better off going for it to get the cover
  • Mild-hybrid technology was introduced into later diesel versions so they’ll be a good bet if you’re after superior efficiency
  • Sportages are packed with tech – so make sure everything works as it should

6. Mazda CX-5 (2017-present)

Mazda is one of those car manufacturers that doesn’t scream and shout about its presence. It just creates attractive, good-to-drive cars that are built to last.

That’s particularly evident with the CX-5. It’s one of Mazda’s largest SUVs but it drives like a much smaller car with handling which feels inspired by the famous MX-5 sports car and that’s what makes it one of our best crossover cars. But – and what’s important for this list – it’s practical and very nicely finished inside. We also like that the CX-5 has brilliantly intuitive controls for the heating and ventilation – they feel familiar even if you’ve never driven a Mazda before.

This generation of CX-5 boasts impressive onboard technology, and it’s well-priced despite having plenty of equipment. All versions get climate control, front and rear parking sensors and cruise control, for example.

Best Features

  • The CX-5 has a really solid build quality which ensures it’ll take on all types of busy family duties with ease
  • The engine range is simple – with only a handful of petrol and diesel powertrains – so you just need to choose your preferred fuel type
  • The CX-5 has some excellent colour choices so you can really make it stand out from the crowd

Things to consider

  • The CX-5 is available with both two- and four-wheel drive – the former will be more frugal and cheaper to tax
  • Though the CX-5 handles well, it might be a little too firm for some drivers
  • You’ll need to opt for a car built after 2019 in order to get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto included

7. Volvo XC40 - (2017-present)

Volvo has really pivoted away from its traditional estate car background to become a leader in the SUV market. In fact, it has recently announced that it will no longer sell new estate cars in the UK, bringing an end to a long heritage of practical Swedish load-luggers.

But the XC40 is an example of how good Volvo has become at making SUVs. It’s a compact model but has acres of space inside, with the XC40’s boxy yet stylish design meaning that it’s got more headroom than you might expect.

It’s also available with a range of efficient engines, while a fully electric version is also available. While these might command a bit more money than a regular petrol or diesel-powered XC40, they’re a stylish way of getting behind the wheel of a used electric crossover. They’re quite a bit quicker than you might expect, too.

Best Features

  • The XC40 has a simple and elegant interior with classic Scandinavian stripped-backed appeal
  • Material quality is great throughout while the controls are intuitive and easy to use
  • All passengers have plenty of space to stretch out and get comfy

Things to consider

  • If the XC40 is too small, then Volvo does also offer a great range of larger SUVs including the XC60
  • Plug-in hybrids will be cheaper to run, but expect to pay more for them over regular petrol versions
  • The fully-electric XC40 will be the most costly, but will also be the cheapest to run overall

8. Seat Arona (2018-present)

When you think of SEAT, it’s likely that you’ll imagine cars like the Ibiza or Leon. These days, however, the brand is a big believer in SUVs and crossovers, with its most compact model – the Arona – being a great example of what it can do when it comes to raised-up models.

The Arona is actually based on the same platform as the Ibiza, which means that it’s not overly large and could be ideal for someone new to the crossover segment. But despite this compact footprint, it still gets the slightly raised-up driving position that gives an elevated view of the road ahead.

Plus, with efficient engines and low overall running costs, the Arona isn’t going to be as costly to live with as other crossovers. There aren’t any hybrid or electric options, however – though the petrol engines are pretty efficient anyway.

Best Features

  • The petrol engines that the Arona is offered with are strong and surprisingly punchy given that they’re quite small
  • The Arona has loads of good storage options inside so you can keep the cabin clutter-free
  • The ride quality is superb on the Arona – even on larger wheels it remains comfortable and supple

Things to consider

  • The Arona is quite compact, so might not suit larger families or drivers who often take a lot of passengers
  • There are no electrified powertrains available on the Arona
  • Sportier models with larger wheels do ride a little more firmly – so avoid these if you want the best possible ride quality

9. Volkswagen T-Roc (2018-present)

Though Volkswagen might be best known for cars like the Golf and Polo, these days it’s the German manufacturer’s range of SUVs that are the more popular options.

The T-Roc serves as the middle-ground in Volkswagen’s range of SUVs, sliding in between the compact T-Cross – which is the same as SEAT’s Arona – and the larger Tiguan. You could argue that because of this it provides the best of both worlds.

It’s certainly got the looks on its side, with a premium-feeling exterior that looks a step above the rest of the pack. The interior is well-made, too, while a large boot is a surprising bonus for such a compact car. Plus, at the top of the range sits a performance ‘R’ version which can rival a lot of sports cars with its rapid acceleration. It has four-wheel drive, too, and there’s even a convertible version.

Best Features

  • The T-Roc’s interior is brilliantly solid, with loads of great materials used throughout
  • The infotainment system included on most cars is intuitive and looks smart, too
  • The range-topping ‘R’ model is breathtakingly fast but still delivers reasonable efficiency

Things to consider

  • Given their popularity, T-Roc models do tend to hold onto their values quite well – so expect to pay a bit more than other crossovers
  • Versions on larger wheels have a firmer ride so aren’t as comfortable
  • Though fast, the ‘R’ version will cost more to maintain given its expensive tyres and brakes, among other areas

10. Citroen C3 Aircross (2017-present)

The Citroen C3 Aircross is a great example of a crossover that doesn’t need to cost the earth. It’s quite classically ‘Citroen’, too, as it’s comfy over poor surfaces and robust enough inside to deal with family life.

We also like the somewhat quirky design of the Aircross, with early versions coming with distinctive ‘Airbumps’ which not only gave this high-riding C3 a more eye-catching look but also helped to protect it from car park dings. They’re cheaper to replace than metal, after all.

Underneath the bonnet of the C3 Aircross you’ll be able to find a range of efficient petrol engines and while diesel versions were available, they weren’t as commonly bought as new cars so will be harder find on the used market. Inside, there’s a good amount of space and a surprisingly large boot too.

Best Features

  • The quirky looks of the C3 Aircross hark back to other eye-catching Citroen models
  • The interior is really robust and the boxy shape means there’s plenty of headroom
  • Running costs will be super-cheap for the Aircross while repairs and maintenance shouldn’t be too pricey either

Things to consider

  • Though robust, the interior plastics in the C3 Aircross aren’t as high-quality as those in rivals
  • The small-capacity engines in the Aircross can be a little loud at high speeds, so motorway drivers might want to look elsewhere
  • The Airbumps were removed in later models, so those who aren’t a fan of the look of them will need to opt for one of these

Why should you buy a used crossover?

The size of a hatchback with the ride height of an SUV

Crossovers represent a great ‘middle ground’ as they’re just as practical as a regular hatchback – sometimes more so – yet have that increase in ride height that can inspire a little extra confidence in drivers

Stylish and on-trend

Manufacturers often give their crossovers a chunkier, go-anywhere design with some more interesting features compared with ‘normal’ models, so they’re great for drivers who like to make an entrance

Easy to live with

The more compact end of the crossover spectrum – with cars like the Seat Arona or C3 Aircross – brings vehicles with a smaller overall footprint which makes them an ideal option for drivers in areas where space is at a premium – so parking needn’t be a chore

Plenty of choice

Because they’ve become so popular, there are loads of great crossovers available on the used market so you’re able to get the very best price on a number of different models and engine setups.

What should you consider before buying a used crossover?

Fuel type

Crossovers are now available with a variety of powertrains, so you need to think about which could suit you best. An electric one, for example, will be great for those looking for rock-bottom running costs, but you’ll need to make sure you’ve got adequate charging spots

Size vs running costs

There are loads of different sizes of crossover, so try thinking about how much space you need. A larger crossover will be great for big families – but if you don’t need the space, then you could choose a smaller version which will be less expensive to run

Personal preferences

Personalisation is a big part of the crossover experience, so bear in mind that there will be loads of different colours and trims to choose from with each model – you’ll be able to find one which fits your personality ideally

Driving experience

Remember, some crossovers are a little larger than regular hatchbacks – so make sure you drive one first to make sure you’re happy

Tips for finding and buying a used crossover

Reading reviews and guides before you make a decision can provide you with some interesting insights into some of the great used crossover options out there.

But what about when you’ve found that ideal car? Well, we’d always advise conducting a thorough road test so that you can listen out for any squeaks and rattles. Press all the buttons to ensure that they work and, if you’re using your car to take small children, why not bring them along to see if they can get comfy in the back seats?

We’d always advise getting a history check on any potential purchase, too. These can be done online and will flag up any outstanding finance or other potentially problematic issues.