In Depth

Best SUVs from the Geneva Motor Show

Automakers set to cash in on crossover craze as new family rides make their debuts in Switzerland

Car owners can't get enough of SUVs and crossovers and manufacturers are scrambling to get as many offerings to market as possible - which is why it isn't just the supercars grabbing the headlines at the Geneva Motor Show.

From automotive giants trying to capitalise on the craze to smaller marques hoping to safeguard their futures, there is a wide variety of eye-catching family friendly cars on the stands this year. Here's the pick of the best.

Audi Q2

Audi's long-awaited baby crossover has arrived. The Q2 is a small, chunky crossover for a younger target market.

It's 7.8ins shorter than the Q3, with a compact design featuring short overhangs, sloping roofline, big Audi grille out front and "vibrant" colour options.

Inside, a 5.8ins screen comes as standard and Audi's virtual cockpit instrument display system is an optional extra. Engines will start with a 1.0-litre petrol, although a 1.4-litre and a 1.6-diesel will be the only options from launch. The more powerful models will feature Quattro all-wheel drive when they are released.

Prices are set to start around £21,000 when it goes on sale in the autumn. 

Maserati Levante

Following in the tyre tracks of other luxury sports-car manufacturers such as Porsche comes the Levante, Maserati's first stab at an SUV.

The company is playing up its sporty credentials, highlighting the dynamics and aerodynamic design, which Auto Express thinks mimics the Porsche Cayenne quite strongly.

It sits on an updated version of the same platform underneath the Ghibli and Quattroporte saloons and three engine options are available at launch – two petrols and a diesel, all 3.0-litre.

The range-topping Levante S has 424bhp, which is good for 0-62mph in 5.2 seconds and a top speed of 164mph, but it's the diesel that will prove to be the most popular: the 3.0-litre unit can return almost 40mpg and starts from £54,000.

Seat Ateca

Seat has also revealed its first SUV at the show. The Ateca is a crossover-sized car set to rival the likes of the Nissan Qashqai and Renault Kadjar rather than being a fully-fledged off-roader, though.                                              

Sitting on Volkswagen group MQB architecture, it also gets the usual range of Volkswagen-sourced diesel and petrol engines, with all-wheel drive an option on the more powerful trim levels.

The cabin is taken mostly from the Seat Leon, with a five-inch display mounted in the centre of the dashboard which can be specced to come with Apple CarPlay. There's plenty of tech on offer, too, including Traffic Jam assist, which sees the car steering, accelerating and braking autonomously at very slow speeds. Prices will start around £18,000 when it goes on sale in September.

Skoda Vision S Concept

The Vision S previews an upcoming SUV from another Volkswagen group brand, though unlike the Ateca, this car – likely to be called Kodiak – is a large, seven-seat offering.

Top Gear will be pleased if the production version looks similar to the concept. The magazine highlights how the design language has been used on past Skoda concepts and how it should translate into production models soon.

Kodiak could be on sale in 2017, with a price of around £25,000.

Vauxhall Mokka X

Vauxhall presented a facelifted version of the current Mokka introduced as an "X" model, set to make a series of beefed-up cars across the Vauxhall range.

It has a revised front end, with a more aggressive, sculpted look over the outgoing model, while the dashboard has also had a makeover, leading to a cleaner, simpler-looking interior.

A new engine option is available and the price when it goes on sale later this year shouldn't change too much from the sub £19,000 tag of the outgoing model, reckons What Car? 

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