Top Recommended Crossovers

Crossovers continue to supplant both the sedan and body-on-frame (i.e., truck-based) SUV in the consideration of car and truck buyers. And while ‘crossover’ may have begun as a muddled descriptive, the segment has evolved into a 2-box, unibody platform with a relatively spacious architecture sitting atop a car-like structure. In the beginning their larger bodies were often based on architectures borrowed from their sedan counterparts; today the crossover often evolves from its own specific chassis and – in many instances – drivetrain. And with the growing popularity of crossovers comes an ever-widening selection of sizes and styles. The subcompact crossover (Jeep Renegade, Mazda CX-3) is relatively new, while demand for midsize and large, 3-row crossovers is exploding; as are crossover window stickers. Expect to pay more – relative to a sedan or coupe – both at the dealership and (at least incrementally) at the pump. 

2016 Pilot

2016 Honda Pilot

For all it had going for it, the second-generation Honda Pilot was stung by one undeniable fact: it looked like a big, boxy SUV at a time when consumer favor was shifting towards car-based crossovers. For 2016, though, Honda is offering a third-generation Pilot that not only does away with the old model's brutalist looks, but also adopts bleeding-edge safety technology and fuel-efficient powertrains. The Pilot's new styling still doesn't really work, to our eyes. That's not because of the CR-V-inspired headlights or Accord-derived grille. It's not even because of the horizontally oriented, reshaped taillights. The biggest problem with the …

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$30,345 - $46,770
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Engine Engine 3.5LV-6
MPG MPG 18 City / 26 Hwy
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2016 CX-5

2016 Mazda CX-5

It's difficult for me to get excited about crossovers. I try hard not to be the stereotypical car guy: ignoring the fact that the rest of the world loves these tall hatchbacks, while yelling, "station wagons make more sense!" until I've voided my lungs of air. Deep down I am that guy, but I work around it. Historically the Mazda CX-5 is one crossover that has been quasi-immune to my knee-jerking. It doesn't weigh two tons, offers a manual transmission (in poverty spec, but still...), and looks faster than its competitors. Most importantly, the CX-5 can round a corner without …

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$21,795 - $29,870
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Engine Engine 2.0LI-4
MPG MPG 26 City / 35 Hwy
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2016 XC90

2016 Volvo XC90

In the typical understanding of gearhead parlance a "sleeper" car is one that looks slow but goes fast. Or, at least, it should go faster than it looks. A perfect execution of the sleeper concept typically involves some post-manufacture fiddling, like hacking a turbocharger and its plumbing into the engine bay of an otherwise naturally aspirated vehicle. But there are certainly instances of OEM-supplied sleepers too, where subtle badging or discrete modifications belie an impressive improvement in performance. In the from-the-factory version, just a few letters can make a world of difference: SHO, GNX and GLH all being excellent examples …

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$43,950 - $65,700
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Engine Engine 2.0LI-4
MPG MPG 20 City / 25 Hwy
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2016 Renegade

2016 Jeep Renegade

The Jeep Renegade is capable and affordably priced.It's also cute in the eyes of many, maybe excessively so in the eyes of some.For the latter group, there is the Renegade Trailhawk, with rugged looks and greater capability in rugged terrain.

More than a foot shorter than the recently launched Cherokee, the Jeep Renegade is the most compact Jeep wagon since the original 1941 Willys Jeep.It looks the part of a modern Jeep: tall and slab-sided, with oversized styling cues to accent its heritage.Flanking the familiar seven-bar Jeep grille are large, round headlights in an era when headlights no longer need to …

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$17,995 - $26,995
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Engine Engine 1.4LI-4
MPG MPG 24 City / 31 Hwy
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2016 Forester

2016 Subaru Forester

The Subaru Forester is a well-known compact crossover utility vehicle with all-wheel drive.It is Subaru's bestselling model.The Forester looks and feels more like a wagon than an SUV; in fact, the Forester pretty much invented the crossover.It adds practicality and versatility to its rugged all-weather capability.It can carry five people and their bags, if not all their back-country gear.There's a roof rack for that.It will even tow a small trailer.

Competitors include the Mazda MX-5, Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, and Toyota RAV4; but, ironically, its main competition might be the Subaru Impreza XV Crosstrek.

The base Forester 2.5i is powered …

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$22,395 - $33,795
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Engine Engine 2.5LH-4
MPG MPG 22 City / 29 Hwy
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2017 Envision

2017 Buick Envision

We're not sure of the full history of GM's decision to build cars in China, but it was years ago, and we recall it initially being about selling cars in China, not about building them there with Chinese labor and sending them to the U.S.to sell as American cars.So, before you consider the virtues of the stylish Buick Envision midsize/compact crossover, know that it's made in China.

Buick is quick to say that the Envision was designed in Detroit, for the North American market.However, it's a bit narrow for its class.Buick adds that fewer Envisions will be sold in the U.S.than …

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$34,065 - $44,960
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Engine Engine 2.5LI-4
MPG MPG 22 City / 29 Hwy
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