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The Crossover revolution: Why so many are on the trail of a new one for 2015

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Ford's large SUV the Edge

Ford's large SUV the Edge

Ford's large SUV the Edge

EVERYONE wants one and manufacturers are tripping over themselves trying to make them. So what is so special about these compact crossovers/SUVs?

The key thing, the experts say, is that they can merge the looks of nearly anything: SUV, estate, coupe.

They are also taller - people love the driving positions - and give a lot of flexibility on seating and luggage space.

With the success of the initial few front runners, other makers took note and responded. They are doing so with a vengeance now. So supply and demand are driving the surge in buying.

The level of increase is extraordinary and represents a sea change in the sort of vehicle we will see in far greater numbers on our roads.

It also reflects the public's demand for greater personalisation of their cars - and what is in them.

And manufacturers' ability to respond more quickly is a contributory factor. They can react to feedback they get from motor shows, for example, where they have traditionally shown off outrageous concepts.

More often than not nowadays those concepts spark sufficient reaction and interest for (usually) muted down versions to be made surprisingly quickly.

We've had the big SUVs for many years but many analysts would argue that the (mainly) two-wheel-drive, small/compact crossover/SUV only really began stirring five or six years ago.

Growth has been exponential since with massive numbers bought and predicted to be purchased over the next few years. Those who have lost out (but may bounce back in 2015) include executive saloons, and family hatchbacks.

Back in 2010 family SUVs accounted for 7.5pc of the car market. In 2015 the forecast is for 22.2pc or nearly one-in-five. If the total market next year is 110,000, we are looking at 24,200 or so new compact crossovers on Irish roads. The revolution is in full swing.

Indo Motoring