One thing is clear when you visit the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show: the Sport Utility Vehicle has never been hotter. Especially in the compact segment, adventurous-looking newcomers are multiplying – something made possible by cross-brand platform sharing.
The rise of the SUV success in fleet started in 2008, if we take a closer look at the statistics of Dataforce. In 2010 the SUV segment represented 10 percent of the model segment mix for Europe’s biggest 7 countries. Since then, the segment has constantly been expanding. Supported by the permanently growing offer and the unique charm of the SUV which combines sportiness, practicality and roominess, the segment is the leading one today and is expected to reach a market share of 27 percent of the vehicle segment mix in the European True Fleet market by the end of the year. While the first SUVs were a sort of on-road derivates of off-road giants, the future success of SUVs will lie with their compactness, which is not only appreciated by the public, but also fits into the strategy of going green, light but safe.
Citroën C3 Aircross
The new C3 Aircross is the reincarnated C3 Picasso, which took a survival course and plays with elements like modularity and personalisation. Body, rooftop and interior colours together create a choice of 80 combinations.
The second generation of the popular family SUV does not seem very different from the first model, but Dacia gave its new Duster a more up-to-date face and a spacious interior with softer materials. In terms of value for money, this new Duster keeps sailing the same course.
Hyundai Kona/Kia Stonic
Hyundai knows how to seduce with SUVs. Its Tucson / ix35 has always been a worldwide bestseller. Now Hyundai goes for the compact SUV segment with a young and dynamic crossover that joyfully translates the new design language Hyundai and sister brand KIA have introduced. An electric version is expected by 2019 – at least at the Hyundai side. Kia might introduce a hybrid.
The E-Pace is Jaguar’s first compact-performance SUV. It’s the little sister of the very popular F-Pace that was launched last year. The compact SUV is 4,395 mm long and has a 2,681mm wheelbase, which makes it similar in size to the Range Rover Evoque. The E-Pace claims to be one of the most connected and smart vehicles in its class.
The Czech brand of the Volkswagen Group continues its SUV expansion. After the launch of the Kodiaq it’s now time for the successor of the Yeti, the new Karoq, which will take on the likes of the Peugeot 3008. Its assets are the integration of a fully digital dashboard and a high-class connectivity infotainment system.
The Spanish subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group gets its compact SUV, too. The VW T-Roc derived SEAT Arona makes infotainment and customization into an art. And as you can expect from the brand, all is infused with Latin emocion, reflected by the vivid colours.
If Skoda and SEAT come with a new more compact crossover SUV, Volkswagen can’t stay behind. The T-Roc expresses exactly what you expect from Volkswagen: quality, advanced safety systems, connectivity and powertrain efficiency.