Looking for versatility and style? A crossover SUV may fit the bill.
Crossovers are some of the most exciting cars on the roads today. It seems every major auto manufacturer out there has released at least one crossover vehicle. The increase in popularity of crossover vehicles is not a surprise, as they have many benefits. So, what exactly defines a crossover SUV? The main distinction is in the vehicle's platform/chassis. Typically, an SUV is built on the same chassis that a truck would be built on. With a crossover, on the other hand, the vehicle has many of the features of an SUV, but is typically built with the same "body-on-frame" design that a passenger vehicle or sedan would have. And while there may be a little bit of contention between car enthusiasts over what constitutes an SUV or a crossover, one thing is for certain: crossovers are in very high demand.
There are many reasons why you may be looking to hop on the crossover bandwagon. Perhaps you want to enjoy the spacious design of an SUV without sacrificing fuel economy, or maybe you want to enjoy tight handling and a smooth ride all at once. Either way, you may be wondering which crossover SUVs are worth your time to test drive.
How we compiled our list
Our top 10 list of crossover SUVs was compiled based on CarMax vehicle sales data from January 1, 2017, through October 31, 2017. Check out our list below:
Those looking for a luxury crossover cannot go wrong with the Lexus RX 350, which was completely redesigned for the 2016 model year. This five-passenger crossover features two trim options and a wide range of standard features, such as 18-inch wheels, privacy glass, selectable drive mode settings, premium upholstery, and much more. The ride height is also among the highest in its class. And with the 2016’s base trim’s standard 3.5-liter V6 engine and optional all-wheel drive, you'll enjoy added power and rapid acceleration.
Sporting a surprisingly graceful design for an automaker known for their rugged trucks, the GMC Terrain is a great choice for those looking for a crossover SUV. One of the most notable standard features in the 2016 Terrain is the acoustic windshield and noise-cancellation system, which provides an incredibly quiet ride. It is also available in a wide range of five trim options with engines ranging from a basic 2.4-liter four-cylinder to a 3.6-liter V6, depending on your preferences. Towing capacity on this model year can range from an estimated 1,500 to an impressive 3,500 pounds, depending on your engine and equipment.
For those looking for a crossover SUV with a bold, eye-catching design, the Nissan Murano is an ideal choice. In terms of size, the Murano is quite a bit larger than the Nissan Rogue, though interestingly enough, the 2016 Rogue can seat up to seven, whereas the 2016 Murano is designed to seat five. The Murano offers more in the way of overall cargo space, so this might be a better option for drivers who prioritize storage space over passenger space. Its 2016 model comes in four different trim options, with standard, base trim features including LED lighting, privacy glass, and a rear-view camera.
If you liked what you saw in the Toyota RAV4 but wished for something with a little more space, the Toyota Highlander could be a great choice. Boasting a spacious cabin with comfortable seating and five different trim options, the 2016 Highlander is a great crossover pick. One of the most unique features of this vehicle is the option to select which second-row seating configuration works best for you: bench seating, which offers room for three adults sitting side by side, or more comfortable captain's chairs. The latter option seats just two passengers, but it also comes with a nifty side table and more comfortable seating for longer trips. The 2016 Highlander also includes a standard towing package on all trims with a V6 engine, which may come in handy for weekend adventures.
If you're looking for something a bit more compact than the Ford Flex, the Ford Escape is a great choice. The Escape is a two-row crossover, but offers improved handling and fuel economy over the Flex. For example, in the standard 2.5-liter, four-cylinder found on the 2016 base trim, drivers will enjoy an estimated 25 mpg combined.** The 2016 version also comes in three different trim levels, with generous standard features that include a rearview back-up camera, voice controls, and keyless entry. Drivers will also enjoy easy smartphone integration and a standard six-speaker sound system in all 2016 releases.
Those in the market for a two-row crossover SUV with a more compact design may be well-suited for the Toyota RAV4. The 2016 model year saw updated exterior styling for a sleeker look, as well as a hybrid option. Available in four trim levels, standard features on the 2016 RAV4 include blind-spot mirror, privacy glass, a rearview camera, and 60/40 split seating. The 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine is rather generic, but comes in your choice of front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive and offers an impressively quiet and pleasant ride even at highway speeds.
Drivers of the Ford Edge tend to enjoy its generous amounts of passenger space and cargo room, as well as its easy handling and maneuverability on the road. The 2016 Ford Edge is available in four trim options, along with the optional new Sync 3® infotainment system that was not available in previous model years. This two-row crossover comfortably sits five people and has several different upgrades and options available. If the 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that comes standard on the base 2016 trim isn't enough, there is also the option of upgrading to your choice of two different V6 engines for added power.
The Equinox is one of the larger crossovers on the market, bordering on the size of a smaller SUV. Its 2016 model year is available in four trim options and comes with some impressive and practical standard features. These include a new touchscreen interface in the 2016 model year, as well as split second-row seating for easy folding. For those who opt for an OnStar® subscription, there's even the option to add a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot to your vehicle. And those who want added power beyond the standard four-cylinder engine have the option to upgrade to a 3.6-liter V6!
Those looking for high functionality at a low price will enjoy the Honda CR-V crossover. The 2016 model is available in five different trim options (with the SE trim being brand new for this model year) and comfortably seats five passengers. Compared to many other crossovers on the market, the CR-V also sits higher above the road, feeling like you're driving an SUV, but with the maneuverability and handling of a smaller car. And with 37.2 cubic feet of space, the CR-V has excellent cargo space in its class. This, combined with wider doors and ample head/leg room, will have you forgetting you're in a crossover!
The Nissan Rogue is one of the more compact crossover SUVs on the market, with the 2016 edition boasting a sleek and aerodynamic design and three different trim options: the S, SV, and SL. Depending on the trim you choose, you'll enjoy either two- or three-row seating (the latter is available on the 2016 S and SV models). The bare-bones trim on the 2016 Rogue offers some basic features that will come in handy, including remote keyless entry and split-rear folding seats, as well as a rearview camera and Bluetooth® connectivity. One of the most impressive aspects of the Rogue is its interior, which is luxuriously designed and more reminiscent of a luxury SUV. The 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that comes standard on the 2016 Rogue reaches an estimated average of 28 mpg combined,** which is pretty high for a crossover of its size.
Whether you're looking for a crossover with two or three rows of seating, four-cylinder or V6 engine, or any specification in between, crossovers offer a diversity of options.
Ready for a test drive? Check out some crossover SUVs at your local CarMax.
Looking to learn more? Check out our 10 Best Compact SUVs list and other related articles below:
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- SUV Buying Guide: Top Compact, High-Mileage, and Third-Row Seat Models
- Top 10 4WD and AWD Cars of 2016
- Top 10 Cars & SUVs for Winter
- Top SUVs of 2016
- Which Car Type is Right for Me?
- The 16 Most Popular Used Cars for Families on the Go
- Top 7 Trucks for Towing
- <Top 10 Minivan Features for Families
*Various factors may impact towing capacity, including weight of passengers, cargo, and options/accessories.
**Based on EPA estimates for when vehicle sold as new. See fueleconomy.gov. Fuel economy may vary for reasons like driving conditions and vehicle history.
Unless otherwise noted, information relating to these featured vehicles comes from third-party sources, including manufacturer information. Product and company names may be trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of third-party entities. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by these entities.