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The Best Crossovers Under $25,000

Crossovers are the fastest growing segment of the auto industry. As gas prices have remained depressed over the last couple of years, small car sales have tanked and buyers have gone crossover crazy.

The competition is fierce among automakers, and the quality very high. That makes choosing tough when it comes time to sign up for a new vehicle.

Autoblog editors have picked some of the best crossovers priced below $25,000 to give you a head start when narrowing choices. Our criteria is as follows: utility, performance, features, safety, value. These choices represent the best overall values in the category when all those those factors are weighed.
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2016 Mazda CX-5

Historically the Mazda CX-5 is one crossover that has appealed to both enthusiasts and family types. 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 wobbling like a Slinky at the top of the stairs. For the 2016 update, Mazda upgraded the in-cabin experience along with the requisite nips and tucks to the exterior. These updates and its existing dynamic charms make the CX-5 one of the CUVs we at Autoblog recommend the most to potential shoppers.

Mazda CX-5 Information

Mazda CX-5
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2017 Ford Escape

The 2017 Ford Escape is a big improvement on what was an already remarkable crossover, and the customer-focused changes pay dividends to the Escape faithful. The Escape gathers a nicer interior, a quieter ride, more powerful engines and more engine options, and rewarding handling into a package that costs less than before. The redesign is also quite handsome. It's all enough to make the Escape compete with the class leaders on equal footing.

Ford Escape Information

Ford Escape
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2016 Honda HR-V

Honda's HR-V is the right size for city dwellers who want some CUV practicality they can actually park. It's comfortable for long hauls, and the powertrain – which couldn't be described as sporty – is smooth and efficient. The HR-V also has a solid suite of safety tech, but you don't have to rely on the cameras and bells and whistles. The driver's side mirror has an extended-view distortion to the glass, and visibility is great.

Honda HR-V Information

Honda HR-V
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2017 Chevrolet Trax

The facelifted Trax is hitting dealerships in fall 2016, and 
Chevy has brought it closer in style to the brand's stalwart sedans, the Cruze, Malibu and Impala. The CUV also gets Chevy's seven-inch MyLink infotainment system that buyers can option with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and 4G LTE support. Active safety tech like side blind zone alert, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision alert, and lane departure warning are available on the 2017 model, too. It may be mechanically identical to the last Trax, but these updates will be welcome to buyers looking for a compact CUV with character.

Chevrolet Trax Information

Chevrolet Trax
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2016 Mini Cooper Countryman

The standard Mini Countryman is a bit of an odd duck against the backdrop of 'normal' small crossovers like the Mazda CX-5 and the Ford Escape. Apply the same winning Mini formula to a CUV, and you get a smaller-than-average entry in the segment, one that is far more entertaining to drive than the norm, more stylish inside and out and pretty expensive when cross-shopped. That list of qualities doesn't appeal to all crossover shoppers, sure, but it intrigues a big enough list that the Countryman has reason for being.
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2016 Dodge Journey

The Dodge Journey has been soldiering on for quite a long time. Compared strictly with its competition, it's a bit dated. Then again, it's also an exceptional value considering the space inside. Its MSRP is in line with the smallest CUVs around, but it's a reasonably-sized three-row familymobile. Short of a used minivan, this is the most economical way to move seven people around that we can think of. Savvy buyers can probably find deep discounts to make the value proposition that much more substantial.

Dodge Journey Information

Dodge Journey
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2017 Kia Sportage

There are plenty of choices in the CUV market, so why pick the Sportage? For one, it's bigger than its predecessor, and space is something that CUV buyers value greatly.  In addition, the Sportage sports a lighter, stiffer body, a redesigned suspension, and new engine tuning. The Sportage offers two powertrain options (a 2.4-liter and a turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder) that have been tweaked for greater efficiency. While this front styling is polarizing, the competitive price and 18 percent greater cargo volume are appreciated.

Kia Sportage Information

Kia Sportage
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2016 Nissan Rogue

For 2017, the Rogue gets some revised styling that brings it closer in line with the larger Murano. But other than some internal tweaks and a new hybrid model, this is basically the same Rogue that has been crushing Nissan sales records for a couple years now. It has the perfect balance of handsome looks, functional equipment, efficiency and value – sticking to the same formula that made the first-generation model so successful while offering the latest crop of creature comforts in a more modern package.

Nissan Rogue Information

Nissan Rogue
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2017 Subaru Forester

The Forester was Subaru's best-selling vehicle in the US last year, and holds that title so far in 2016. A refresh to the Forester for the 2017 model year adds more tech, and updated face, and a quieter interior. Most significant among the updates is a an upgrade to Subaru's Eyesight safety system, but the tweaked styling isn't bad either. We'd be shocked if the updates weren't icing on the cake for buyers already flocking to the model.

Subaru Forester Information

Subaru Forester
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2016 Jeep Cherokee

The Cherokee's unusual mug generated some controversy when it was launched, but the styling has aged well. In the meantime, the Cherokee is a strong seller for Jeep. Buyers appreciate the comfortable interior, the user-friendly UConnect system, and plenty of options to lux up your Cherokee to higher levels of comfort and refinement. Don't forget it's also one of the more capable offroaders on the list, a rarity in the CUV class.

Jeep Cherokee Information

Jeep Cherokee
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