There are many reasons why cars with high driving positions have appeal. They’re easier to get in and out of, they give a more commanding view of the road than a traditional hatchback and they sit high enough to avoid glare in the rear-view mirror when driving at night. It’s no wonder, then, that there are more of them on the market than ever before.
Here are our favourites:
10. Kia Soul
Its boxy bread van styling might not be to everyone’s tastes, but the Kia Soul is certainly distinctive. It’s also massively practical, with a big boot and wide opening doors. Its upright styling affords a lofty position, yet dynamically the Soul is one of the better high driving position cars as it’s based on the platform of the C’eed hatchback, which is one of the sharper cars in its class.
9. Dacia Duster
The Duster is terrific value, and although the entry-level model isn’t actually a four-wheel-drive, it retains SUV-style ride height, giving the driver a raised view of the road ahead. Lower trim levels are rudimentary and basic, but in many respects they’re all the better for it, as the Duster is the very definition of no-frills motoring.
8. MINI Countryman
Those who bought original BMW MINIs when they first came out in the early 2000s are now of an age where they have families of their own, and MINI’s answer is to expand its model range to ensure they stay loyal to the brand. The Countryman wears its MINI DNA via its distinctive styling, great handing and vibrant interior, yet it has a raised ride height and chunky SUV-style looks.
7. Hyundai Kona
Hyundai’s Kona is the new kid on the crossover block, and manages to combine SUV practicality with coupe-style looks. It’s both striking to look at and also entertaining to drive, especially the 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol turbo model. Interestingly, there’s no diesel option, though an electric powertrain is slated for 2018.
6. Volkswagen Tiguan
Suburbia has fallen in love with the Tiguan, with the Golf-based crossover rapidly becoming one of VW’s best-selling models. The current model is lower and wider than its predecessor, meaning it has better dynamics, while the fit and finish are as high class as we’ve come to expect of Volkswagen. The high seating position also gives a commanding view of the road.
5. Volvo XC40
Due to go on sale this month, the XC40 is Volvo’s smallest ever SUV and the first car to be built on its new Compact Modular Architecture. It’s both chunkier and funkier than other Volvo models, while its elevated driving position and compact dimensions make it the ideal choice of car for battling your way around the urban jungle.
4. Renault Captur
Barely bigger than a Clio supermini, but with a raised driving position, chunky bumpers and beefed up suspension, the Captur is one of the best small crossover options, while its striking styling and funky interior design, complete with an array of personalisation options, keep it near the top of its class. It’s pretty good value, too.
3. Land Rover Discovery Sport
Created to replace the Freelander, the Discovery Sport is the smallest and cheapest model in the Land Rover model range. It’s also a useful seven-seater, while the naturally high ride height gives a commanding view of the road. Terrific to drive and benefitting from strong residual values, the Sport is understandably popular among family motorists.
2. Nissan Juke
The car that created the compact crossover niche is still one of the most popular and convincing models in the sector, thanks in no small part to its uniquely distinctive styling. The British-built Juke enjoys a raised driving position, but with the dynamics and packaging of a small hatchback. The ease of access and ride height appeal to older drivers as well as youthful ones who are attracted to its looks, making the Juke a hit with all types of buyer.
1. Audi Q2
It has been on sale for over a year, but there’s still a four-month waiting time to get your hands on Audi’s smallest SUV, such has been the impact of the German company’s compact crossover. A host of big car features, car-like dynamics and chiselled good looks have made the elevated driving position Q2 hot property, with excellent residual values to boot.