Are you in the market for an SUV/Crossover? Well, the best time to buy might well be in the fast approaching spring season. SUVs and trucks are usually in high demand just before winter and somewhat less so in the spring and summer. Thus, now is a good time to see how such SUVs/crossovers compare!
USA Today did a comparison of nine family-focused SUVs. They were called ‘SUVs,’ however, they are technically crossovers. These vehicles include good interior space and cargo areas but light weight combined with the drivability of a car. Their engines are small but powerful and provide relatively good fuel economy (compared to the past larger SUVs). And at this stage of the automotive game, they rank closely regarding dependability. Therefore, at least with top rated of the group, it comes down to your personal preference.
The vehicles in this comparison are priced at $29,000 or less. The in-formation was provided by Cars.com, USA Today, and the PBS MotorWeek automotive program.
USA Today states, “The testing by experts and a family aimed to see which compact crossover offers the best value – the best package of convenience, features and performance at a price within reach of middle-class families at no more than $29,000.”
And as provided by USA Today, the results were:
No. 1 2011 Chevrolet Equinox. Total points 797.3. Price as tested: $28,560. The Equinox is described as having many family-friendly features such as dual fold-up DVD screens, a back-up camera and a power lift up gate. Additionally, the fit and finish was found to be excellent with a distinct luxury feel. It is a highly comfortable vehicle to drive. The fuel economy of the Equinox is rated at 22 mpg city and 32 mpg highway.
No. 2 2011 Dodge Journey. Total points 737.6. Price as tested $25,240. The Journey is descried as providing a supple and quiet highway ride and a well finished interior. The doors at the read open to 90 degrees, which is especially useful for baby carriers. The interior features many storage areas including under floor storage bins. The Journey is described as the most ‘vacation ready’ vehicle of the group. The Journey is equipped with the only V6 engine of the group (the others are equipped with four-cylinder engines). The fuel economy of the Journey is rated at 17 mpg city and 25 mpg highway.
No. 3 2011 Kia Sportage. Total points 708. Price as tested $27,795. The Sportage has a very modern looking exterior design with a bit of toughness added in. On the inside, this crossover has some very nice features such as projector style headlights and LED daytime running lights as seen on more expensive vehicles. As with the others on down this list, the Sportage had a bit of a rough ride and higher noise level than the Equinox and Journey. The fuel economy of the Sportage is rated at 22 mpg city and 31 mpg highway.
No. 4 2011 Subaru Forester. Total points 666.6 Price as tested $28,343. The Forester is the only crossover in the group of nine to have all-wheel drive (and by the way, it is one of the best all-wheel drive systems in the auto industry – Subaru has it nailed). The Forester’s rear cargo area has many parent-friendly features. Additionally, the Forester was the best handling of the group. Furthermore, the outward visibility is very good in all directions and the seating capacity if highly flexible. The fuel economy of the all-wheel drive Forester is rated at 21 mpg city and 27 mpg highway.
No. 5 2011 Hyundai Tucson. Total points 666.2. Price as tested $23,945. The Tucson has a sophisticated look on the inside and outside. The Tucson has excellent handing for a front-wheel drive crossover. Additionally, it has many features (considering the price) such as navigation, iPod integration, and partial leather seats. The Tucson’s ride is challenged by rough pavement. The fuel economy of the Tucson is rated at 22 mpg city and 31 mpg highway.
No. 6 2011 Honda CR-V. Total points 652.8. Price as tested $28,645. The CR-V offers a ton of rear seat legroom. Additionally, the CR-V is a very good all around performer as it has a comfortable ride, agile handing, and a very smooth shifting automatic transmission. The fuel economy of the CR-V is rated at 21 mpg city and 28 mpg highway.
Why have I stopped at number six? Well, you deserve a vehicle at the top of the list! Be sure to look for my upcoming articles that report on each of these crossovers in greater detail. Until then, all the best driving!
Kyle Busch is the author of “Drive the Best for the Price…” He welcomes your comments or car questions at his auto web site: www.DriveTheBestBook.com. Become Kyle’s friend on Facebook and Twitter.