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Little beasts for the urban jungle; Mini SUVs are this year's stylishly desirable stars.

Byline: SM1 with Quentin Willson MOTORING BGet in touch.. email me at willson@sundaymirror.co.uk

WE like our mini SUVs in the UK. So much so that car makers are busting to join this booming market of pintsized urban warriors.

This week Peugeot and Renault fielded their 2008 and Captur crossovers. After the massive success of Nissan's funky Juke, the French firms want to get their spoons in the gravy.

The Captur, based on the Clio, has raised ground clearance, an elevated driving position and fashionable body cladding, while keyless entry, parking sensors and hill assist will all be fitted as standard. But despite its bigger personality, fuel economy is claimed to be the best in its class. Prices will start from around PS13k and we should get it in the UK later this year.

Peugeot's 2008 crossover may only be two-wheel drive, but it will have standard mud and snow tyres, plus the option of having Peugeot's own Grip Control system, and will sit higher than the 208 while also sporting a rugged bodykit.

Like the Renault, CO2 for the Pug will be low and economy as high as 60mpg. The entry price will also be around PS13k.

Both these cars are global models, aimed at attracting the sort of stylish desirability that's made the baby Land Rover Evoque such a monster hit. And this is no passing fad.

The days of the workaday hatchback look to be numbered and anybody buying a new small car in 2013 should look long and hard at motors like the Skoda Yeti, Kia Sportage, Ford Cougar, Mazda CX-5, Mini Countryman and Nissan Juke.

As well as being hugely practical, they'll hold their value for much longer than a conventional hatch or saloon, selling instantly for top cash. There's also likely to be a raft of personalisation options and dramatic colours, as pioneered by the Mini.

Mind you, don't go thinking all this is new. Remember the Mini Traveller, with its half-timbered sides and twin rear doors? That was back in 1960, when it cost PS623. Happy days.

B2008 likely to be a big hit BRenault Captur can do 60mpg WHO'D DRIVE IT Fashionable families
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Title Annotation:Features; Opinion, Column
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 13, 2013
Words:363
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