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Audi Q3
Mercedes-Benz GLC
Infiniti Q30
Suzuki Vitara
Mazda CX-3
      • October 16, 2016
      • Fashionably functional
      • The modern crossover is proof that a dose of good style can rev up the driving experience

Jonathan Tan

MORE than just a means of transport with ample space for passengers and a spacious boot to match an active lifestyle, the modern crossover has successfully blended style with practicality.

This is often characterised by a sleek profile, svelte contours, and an ability to cope off the beaten track while handling like a regular hatchback, albeit with a more commanding presence, thanks to a slightly taller ride height.

Is this everything a driver could want?

You be the judge of that.

Mercedes-Benz GLC

Handsome, refined and athletic are some adjectives that are automatically associated with the new Mercedes-Benz GLC, the German luxury car manufacturer’s mid-sized crossover.

Immediately noticeable is the car’s well-toned physical appearance, which exudes a charming confidence to perform under any conditions.

Drivers will find the 211bhp, 350Nm of torque, and permanent four-wheel in the base model’s 2-litre turbocharged engine more than adequate for road conditions here. And with five different drive modes, and off-road specific functions, the car will be able to adapt to anything asked of it.

Passengers will delight in the ample head and legroom in the car’s plush interior. An added benefit for older passengers, young children, and even pets, is the increased foot space by the doors which makes it easier for them to get in and out.

Infiniti Q30

With its super sleek profile, curvaceous form and aggressively slim headlights, Infiniti’s brand new Q30 is one of the sportiest and sexiest crossovers around. While it does come across shorter than some of its crossover peers, it is sharp enough to make its presence on the road.

Available with a 1.5-litre turbo-diesel or 2-litre turbocharged engine, the Q30 is so smooth and easy to drive that you won’t even notice the miles go by on long road trips.

As Nissan’s luxury marque, Infiniti has acquitted itself well with an interior cabin built with comfort in mind. The well-appointed cabin looks and feels premium, while the ergonomic seats ensure comfort even during long trips.

The car offers some 430 litres of real estate in the boot, good for a medium-sized luggage and then some shopping.

Mazda CX-3

As Mazda’s nifty little CX-3 compact crossover shows, good things do come in small packages.

It may share the same platform as the nifty Mazda 2, but the Japanese car maker has put the CX-3 through a gruelling crossfit training programme that sees it gain some mass, grow a little taller and wider, while still maintaining the same handsome fascia that is so appealing from Mazda’s KODO design language.

Besides being ideally sized for active individuals who love the extra 100 litres of space in the back, the CX-3 has a zest for the open road with a sprightly 2-litre engine offering 156bhp on tap.

Audi Q3

The refreshed compact Audi Q3 takes on a more sophisticated appearance in keeping with its stature as an executive’s choice. The single-frame front grille is now more pronounced, while the car’s LED headlights give it a more purposeful appearance.

On the inside, the car boasts a generous 460 litres of boot space for all sorts of gear while passengers will find the snazzy interior a snug place to be in.

Crossovers may be larger and heavier than a regular hatchback, but the new Q3 lets none of that extra weight show in its performance. Instead, it delivers a polished performance with agile driving dynamics that will engage the driver without compromising comfort.

The car is available in 1.4-litre or 2-litre variants.

Suzuki Vitara

Unlike its mud-plugging peers of yore, the new Suzuki Vitara has matured into a fine urbanite with an outward elegance comparable to cars in the premium segment of the market. What it sheds in ruggedness, it gains in trendiness and visual appeal.

Engineered for the city, the car is driven by an economical 1.6-litre engine paired with a new six-speed automatic gearbox.

In keeping with its off-roading heritage, the car possesses a proprietary ALLGRIP system that drives power to all four wheels whenever road conditions might compromise grip.

Built with the driver in mind, the car is not only easy to handle in the narrow confines of city roads, but also comes fully equipped with a raft of features to make driving a breeze.