Best crossover: Subaru XV

By definition, a crossover is built to combine the benefits of an SUV with the convenience and comfort of a compact hatchback

The Subaru XV is by definition, the only car in the segment that does this absolutely.

The crossover segment is highly contested in the car world. After owning a hatchback, it’s the next rung on the car ladder, offering the same comforts of a hatch but with the added ride height and muscle to traverse more adventurous terrain.

The Subaru XV is a cheeky, no-nonsense character. From the ground up it’s designed as a highly capable SUV with a 2.0 Boxer engine and Subaru’s famous Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system. With 220mm of Ground Clearance, you’d be forgiven for accepting this as a full-on SUV. But… it’s also built as a compact hatch.

The engine layout and drivetrain make for an easy-to-manoeuvre, comfortable, well-built car. It’s sold in manual or CVT petrol variants, comes in a range of bold and funky colours and, in Subaru style, is packed with features including a high resolution touchscreen Infotainment system and Siri Eyes Free (so you can chat to Siri without touching your phone).

The XV’s greatest pride however, is the fact that it’s rated the safest crossover in its class. We love that it’s a niche, exclusive brand with impeccable credentials and its resale values remain robust. So if you’re about to trade in the small hatch for something with SUV prowess but has compact appeal, we have two letters for you.

— Avon Middleton