Is now the best time to buy a crossover? Why it might worth waiting for the Nissan Qashqai, Ford Puma, Toyota Yaris Cross and Kia Stonic

Compact SUVs are in the accession, with more and more buyers making the switch from traditional city and small cars to these pint-sized crossovers.

The likes of the Mazda CX-3, Mitsubishi ASX, Hyundai Venue, Honda HR-V and new Volkswagen T-Cross are proving increasingly popular – even amid the current market downturn.

But because the market is so hot right now that means there are new models coming in a steady stream, which makes picking the right moment a challenge. Fresh metal is on the way in the next year or so from some of the biggest brands – here’s what you can expect.

Ford Puma – October 2020

Great blue hope may be overstating it, but Ford will certainly be hoping this all-new model does better than the EcoSport it replaces. Unlike the underwhelming EcoSport that was built in India and focused primarily on developing markets, the new Puma is sourced from Europe, so it should offer a more rounded package with better on-road manners.

The range will begin at $29,990 before on-road costs for the entry-level variant and stretch to $35,540 for the flagship ST-Line. There will be three variants all powered by a 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine making 92kW of power and 170Nm of torque. It’s only available in front-wheel drive, and sends drives through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

The Puma is due to arrive in local showrooms by early October.

Kia Stonic – Q4 2020

The South Korean brand was slow to react to the baby SUV boom but it’s quickly catching up. After the launch of the Seltos last year to fit underneath the Sportage, it will add the even smaller Stonic by the end of the year.

Effectively a taller version of the Rio, the new Korean-built Stonic will slot beneath the Seltos to give Kia a direct rival to the Mazda CX-3 and Hyundai Venue.

Kia Australia hasn’t revealed pricing and specifications but has indicated it will slot between the Cerato and Seltos in the range. So, expect a starting price in the low $20k range and stretching above $30,000 for the range-topping model.

Nissan Qashqai – 2021

Nissan's current Qashqai (pictured) is due to be refreshed soon. Nissan’s current Qashqai (pictured) is due to be refreshed soon.

Nissan is in a hurry to overhaul its range to freshen up its showroom and turn around its softening sales. The arrival of an all-new Qashqai sometime next year will be a crucial step in the right direction for the Japanese brand.

With the brand having recently unveiled its new X-Trail and Aryia SUVs, the Qashqai is next in line. Indications are it will break cover before the end of 2020 and be on sale in Australia in 2021.

While no technical details have been confirmed by Nissan, Australian boss Stephen Lester has previously told CarsGuide that he wants to have a third of the company’s fleet electrified by the end of 2022. That news, combined with European reports, suggests the new Qashqai will add a hybrid engine option – possibly the brand’s unique e-Power system – that would help in the fight against the hybrid Toyota C-HR and Subaru XV.

Toyota Yaris Cross – Late 2020

Toyota will introduce its latest compact SUV by year’s end with the launch of the Yaris Cross. Combining elements of two of its popular models – the Yaris light hatch and the RAV4 SUV – to create an all-new model that will slot under the C-HR.

That’s a further expansion of the brand’s already popular and extensive SUV range that should only help its sales success as buyers continue to shift away from passenger cars.

The Yaris Cross will land in local showrooms before the end of the year, and is built on the same TNGA-B (Toyota New Generation Architecture) platform already used by Yaris.

It will also include both petrol and hybrid powertrain options; a 1.5-litre naturally-aspirated three-cylinder or a petrol-electric hybrid making 74kW/169Nm. Both will use a CVT and be front-wheel drive only.

But the price will have to wait until closer to its local arrivals.