They’re bold, sporty, rugged and stylish. Whether you’re a city slicker in search of a more comfortable ride or have your eyes on an off-road adventure with the family, compact SUVs will take you there. Combining the best qualities of hatchbacks and large SUVs, these crossovers are making major inroads in the South African market. With utility, affordability, reliability and fuel economy on their side, it’s no wonder this new vehicle segment has blossomed in Mzansi – and will remain here for the long-haul.
If you want to sell your car for a compact SUV, here are 5 persuasive reasons why South Africans are selling hatchbacks in favour of crossovers:
#1 More space
When the child, the pram and the dog take up all the room in your Opel Corsa, perhaps it’s time to sell your car and upgrade to a compact SUV.
There are so many affordable and reliable vehicles to choose from in this segment. The sub 4-metre Renault Kiger exudes an energetic and masculine design, plus 405 litres of boot space. Or pack in just a little bit extra in a Nissan Magnite (336 litres of boot space) or a LOT extra with the Haval Jolion (430 litres of boot space) or the impressively spacious VW T-Cross, with 455 litres of ‘trunk room’.
Not only do these vehicles offer ample luggage capacity, but also roomier interiors to make those long road trips more comfortable and tolerable.
#2 Better handling on & off the off-road
The compact SUV market segment began as late as 1983 and, according to Car and Driver, this crossover range became popular because these vehicles are ‘right sized, right priced, and blend car-like refinement with a touch of utility’.
Crossovers were designed for the urban jungle, but have the capacity to traverse uneven terrain, steep hills and muddy pathways better than hatchbacks.
And with on and off-road conditions varying so much from province to province in SA, and potholes strewn across most roads, crossovers give motorists better confidence to handle rugged city, township and farm terrains.
Their added weight makes them that much steadier on the road, keeping them stable when strong winds or torrential rains kick in.
The natural agility of a compact SUV is due to their added height, giving drivers a little boost in comparison to the average VW Polo Vivo, Ford Figo or Hyundai Grand i10 (though these vehicles are great alternatives for students or those in search of a nippy runaround).
#3 Greater practicality
If you need to sell your hatchback for something bigger and more versatile, but don’t have the cash to splurge on a large SUV, crossovers are bound to tick all the boxes when it comes to practicality. They’re:
- Easier to park in cramped malls on a Saturday morning at month-end
- Simpler to manoeuvre through the tight streets and twisting dirt roads
- More practical for fitting into almost any garage without needing to measure them up
- More affordable than large or medium-sized SUVs and sometimes even on-par with high-end hatchbacks
- Uncomplicated to mount chunky items like bicycles or surfboards on the roof or attached to the boot.
#4 Added safety
Crossovers are fast becoming go-to family vehicles in South Africa (mostly due to their size and ability to handle a few dirt roads), but that means they must take safety seriously.
- Elevated seating provides drivers with greater visibility to spot potential hazards
- Most are armed with parking sensors, brake assist, rearview cameras and monitoring systems to alert you of any obstacles in your vicinity
- Many come standard with 4 or more airbags to cushion drivers and passengers in the event of a collision
- Their sturdy roll cage makes them less likely to incur serious damage in comparison to many hatchbacks.
#5 Greater resale value
Compact SUV car sales have taken a big leap in South Africa over the last 5 years, outselling hatchbacks for the first time in 2021 and driving on a similar trajectory in subsequent years.
Their increased demand makes them more viable to sell and better at holding their value than their hatchback competitors.
Editorial credit: Rakhmat Darmawan / Shutterstock.com
This means that when you sell your car for a compact SUV, your’e making a more long-term investment with potentially greater rewards when selling for an upgrade a few years down the line.
A couple of cons
Before we get carried away and make it seem like crossovers are the only worthwhile vehicle segment to buy in the 21st century, let’s list a few negatives (most of which can be overcome through careful argument – if you’re attempting to convince your spouse 😉):
- Crossovers are generally less fuel efficient than hatchbacks due to their increased weight. However, due to the popularity of this vehicle segment, they’re a lot more economical at the petrol pumps than a decade ago. For example, while a small Suzuki Swift alleges 4.9 litres per 100km, a Suzuki Vitara Brezza boasts 6.2 litres per 100km.
- Compact SUVs generally incur more costly running expenses due to their larger tyres and more up-to-date technology (but in comparison to large SUVs, these costs are trivial).
- Small SUVs have higher price tags than hatchbacks. The Kia Sonet is more expensive than the Picanto, the Toyota Urban Cruiser more costly than the Starlet, and the Mazda CX3 more dear than the Mazda 2 (but all for the good reasons listed above).
Sell your hatchback with Weelee
Now that you’re sold on the fact that compact SUVs are the future in the South African automotive landscape, and beginning to eye out which model of new or second-hand crossover would best suit your needs, selling your car shouldn’t be a hassle.
Want a safe, simple and fast way to sell your hatchback for a competitive price? Choose Weelee and begin the search for a compact SUV with some start-up ka-ching already in your pocket.