Must-see affordable options within the crossover SUV market

Crossovers for cheap

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Mazda CX-3
Mazda CX-3

By George Kuruvilla

Published: Thu 9 Jun 2022, 5:30 PM

Arguably, the fastest growing segment is the crossover SUV. This marriage of car and SUV has become the go-to for many people around the globe for many reasons, including having a better vantage point from the driver’s seat, the ability to get across shallow sands and kachcha parking with ease, added luggage space and finally, the perception of added safety over the similar-size sedan equivalent. Crossovers are not just dominating the market, there is also a wide variety to choose from which can make the whole exercise of car purchasing daunting for some. In an effort to ease your grief, we’ve listed out some of the newest and most affordable crossovers — in no particular order — ones with a starting price of about Dh50,000.

Mazda CX-3

The CX-3 is the hidden gem. The minimalist-but-chic design, inside and out, combined with quality materials and larger-than-average 2.0-litre engine, makes it a rather good buy. If you enjoy driving and like a next-to-luxury look and feel, the CX-3 maybe the way to go.

>> Powertrain: 148 PS 2.0-litre 4-cylinder; 6-speed automatic; front-wheel drive

>> Fuel economy: 15.3 km/l

>> Price: Dh72,500

Nissan Kicks

The current gen’ Kicks got a facelift in 2021 and is a much more powerful proposition. It now has amongst the bonniest cheek bones in the league. And with that 1.6-litre 4-cylinder engine, functional feature listing and available Bose audio system, it is a decent way to show up at places. Some say that if you ignore some of the hard plastics, it’s a keeper.

>> Powertrain: 118 PS 1.6-litre 4-cylinder; CVT; front-wheel drive

>> Fuel economy: 15.4 km/l

>> Price: Dh61,900 – 82,900

Chevrolet Groove

For 2022, the Groove is the fresh face from the brand with the bow tie. The fashion forward styling and a comfortable interior (a Chevy trait) make it a competent run-about vehicle. Traditionally, residual value of American vehicles, Chevrolet included, isn’t spectacular, but thanks to strong brand loyalty driving motorists to own it for longer negates that effect.

>> Powertrain: 110 PS 1.5-litre 4-cylinder; 6-speed automatic; front-wheel drive

>> Fuel economy: 15.9 km/l

>> Price: Dh59,700 – 67,000

Toyota Raize

Raize is the new entrant for 2022 from the largest car manufacturer in the world. Like its siblings, this is a hard one to pass. Power comes from either a turbocharged 1.0-litre or a naturally aspirated 1.2-litre engine. We even gave it a thrashing around Dubai Autodrome track and though it couldn’t keep up with the rest of the pack, it certainly got us across the finish line, without turning into spare parts. Yes, it is resting on the laurels of world-renowned reliability and residual value, but only time will prove its worth in that respect.

>> Powertrain: 87 PS 1.2-litre 4-cylinder or 97 PS turbocharged 1.0-litre 4-cylinder; CVT; front-wheel drive

>> Fuel economy:

20.2 – 19.3 km/l

>> Price:

Dh57,500 – 62,500


On average, the X35 is the cheapest car here. Yet, it doesn’t shy away from the spotlight — be it when judged for exterior aesthetics or cabin styling. And so, it begs to be shortlisted, especially if your priority is price. Chinese vehicles have been

questionable in the past, but they also manufacture the iPhone. Hence, they are also capable of magic. The 4-speed automatic, though, is an artefact, technologically speaking.

>> Powertrain: 116 PS 1.5-litre 4-cylinder; 4-speed automatic; front-wheel drive

>> Fuel economy: 14.7 km/l


Dh50,000 – 55,000

Fiat 500X Cross

The 500X is the Italian alternative to the MINI Countryman at a discounted price. It is also the most powerful of the pack and also has rugged looks to go with the optional 18-inch wheels and all-wheel drive. If you are looking for something to stick out of the crowd, this is your answer. A Beats audio system is also part of the package. Reliability isn’t the brand’s forte, but it’s climbing the ranks.

>> Powertrain: 140 PS / 170 PS turbocharged 1.4-litre 4-cylinder; 6-speed dual-clutch automatic; front-wheel drive / all-wheel drive.

>> Fuel economy: 14.9 – 13.5 km/l

>> Price: Dh69,000 – 99,000

Suzuki Jimny

There is nothing quite like the Jimny especially at this price point. This new generation vehicle, which is in its fourth year comes equipped with the underpinnings of a good off-roader right off the shelf, like an old-fashioned ladder frame chassis, commendable approach/departure angles, a limited-slip differential, and a low-range gear. Add some mods and it becomes a true ship of the desert. No wonder it has been perennial fav’ among off road enthusiasts who have to work with a budget. Granted, it isn’t the quickest and there is a whole of plastic inside, but you get what you paid for.

>> Powertrain: 102 PS 1.5-litre 4-cylinder; 5-speed manual or 4-speed auto; four-wheel drive

>> Fuel economy: 114.5 – 13.3 km/l

>> Price: Dh72,000 – 78,000

Hyundai Creta

It’s been established, the Korean manufacturers have now built their kingdom and are on the onslaught with cars like the Creta. The first generation was a very decent vehicle and the sales show. The second gen vehicle’s contemporary bodywork, feature listing and improved reliability is bound to invite itself into many homes. The 433-litre cargo capacity and Bose speakers are a plus too!

>> Powertrain: 115 PS 1.5-litre 4-cylinder / 140 PS turbocharged 1.4-litre 4-cylinder; CVT / 7-speed automatic; front-wheel drive

>> Fuel economy: 16.9 km/l

>>Price: Dh66,000 - Dh78,000

Other notable mentions include Renault Duster, Suzuki Vitara, Opel Crossland X, Peugeot 2008, MG ZS, MG RX5, Kia Seltos, Ford EcoSport, Haval Jolion, Hyundai Kona, Chevrolet Captiva, Borgward BX5, Changan CS35 and the Chery Tiggo 4.

For exact prices and availability, please check with the local distributor for these respective models.

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