Despite being attacked in some circles as symbols of American decadance, the compact crossover is rapidly gaining in popularity. French business outlet La Tribune reports that sales of small crossovers are up 25 percent this year, with crossovers of all sizes now accounting for 10 percent of the car market.
La Tribune notes with some glee that most crossovers sold in France are infact two wheel drive and unable to go off-road; but that also means better fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions. Small crossovers, like the Nissan Qashqai and and Dacia Duster account for 90 percent of the market; big, rugged SUVs are nearly non-existant. Also popular in France are more familiar models like the Kia Sportage and Volkswagen Tiguan and premium small crossovers like the Audi Q3 and Range Rover Evoque. French motorists are apparently warming to the higher driving position, larger cargo areas and, of course, the more rugged looks.
A list of France’s 10 most popular crossovers can be found here. What’s surprising is that only one model, the Audi Q3, isn’t sold in North America. Everything else (including the Qashqai, which is basically a Rogue) would be at home in a school parking lot or outside a Target. Perhaps the disdain for crossovers among Euro-fetishists needs some re-examining?