Kia Soul
  • Image Credit: OEM

Kia Soul

Price: $13,300 - $16,950
EPA Mileage: 31 mpg Hwy, 26 mpg City

Why We Like It: Every car on the market should not look like every other car on the market. Such is the thinking behind the all-new Kia Soul, a funky, contemporary crossover with competent road manners and a choice of fuel-efficient four-cylinder engines for a bargain price of just $13,300. Its interior feels much more expensive, too.
Subaru Forester
  • Image Credit: Subaru

Subaru Forester

Price: $20,295 - $28,495
EPA Mileage: 27 mpg Hwy, 20 mpg City

Why We Like It: The Forester is one of the most underrated crossovers on the market today. Few people realize that it starts at just around $20,000 -- a massive value considering its voluminous interior and drivability. Of course, it comes standard with all-wheel drive. The part we love most about the Forester? It's taller-than-average roof height makes for excellent visibility, even for shorter drivers.
Honda CR-V
  • Image Credit: Honda

Honda CR-V

Price: $21,245 - $27,245
EPA Mileage: 27 mpg Hwy, 20 mpg City

Why We Like It: Consistently one of the best-selling crossovers in America, the Honda CR-V follows the pattern of other iconic Honda vehicles. That is, it relies on a smooth, small engine, and quality that is above what the average buyer expects for the price. The CR-V's exterior might polarize the opinions of some, but the interior is without question one of the most user-friendly designs on the market.
Ford Escape
  • Image Credit: Ford

Ford Escape

Price: $20,550 - $27,055
EPA Mileage: 28 mpg Hwy, 22 mpg City

Why We Like It: America's best-selling crossover in the month of July was the Ford Escape. What attracts buyers to the Escape is that its clean and polished exterior is matched perfectly with its refined and smooth driving experience. The Escape (and its corporate brethren, the Mercury Mariner) features an interior that can stand comparisons to vehicles priced much higher, and when optioned with Ford's beautiful and crystal-clear navigation and audio display screen, it might just be the most eye-popping interior of the entire crossover market (in a good way).
Hyundai Santa Fe
  • Image Credit: Hyundai

Hyundai Santa Fe

Price: $21,695 - $30,545
EPA Mileage: 24 mpg Hwy, 17 mpg City

Why We Like It: Hyundai used to be an also-ran amongst the Asian manufacturers, but what a difference a year makes. Now with a refreshed product lineup encompassing sedans, crossovers and sports cars, we think Hyundai is modeling itself after Honda and Toyota during their early years in America. The company's Santa Fe crossover was one of the first products that truly made us sit up and notice; the interior fit and finish is Lexus-like, while the exterior is devoid of any of the plastic cladding trickery commonly found on some other low-end brands. The Santa Fe rides smoothly over our harsh Detroit roads, giving us a reason to recommend it to friends who want a little more "soft roader" than "off roader."
Honda Pilot
  • Image Credit: Honda

Honda Pilot

Price: $27,895 - $38,645
EPA Mileage: 22 mpg Hwy, 16 mpg City

Why We Like It: For families who need an eight-passenger vehicle but don't want a fuel economy penalty, the Pilot is a great choice. While other manufacturers tend to boast about their big, bad engines, Honda refuses to offer its Pilot with a V-8 engine, instead going for a V-6 unit. We like the Pilot's new interior, which seems to have been designed for hands large and small alike. The easy-to-use controls on the dashboard are thoughtful and easy to read (and the white-backed gauges are clear and upscale-looking).
Toyota Venza
  • Image Credit: Toyota

Toyota Venza

Price: $25,975 - $29,250
EPA Mileage: 29 mpg Hwy, 21 mpg City

Why We Like It: The Venza blurs the line between a tall station wagon and a sport-utility vehicle. A true crossover if there ever was one, the new Toyota five-passenger is rife with all sorts of interior configuration options. A fold-down dog bed makes the vehicle perfect for pet-loving empty nesters, while the high, comfy seats create the sort of comfort behind the wheel that makes us think the Venza could double as a training vehicle for teens or the perfect car to buy Grandma and Grandpa.
Audi Q5
  • Image Credit: Audi

Audi Q5

Price: $37,350 - $37,350
EPA Mileage: 23 mpg Hwy, 18 mpg City

Why We Like It: Audi's newest model is the Q5 crossover, a small utility vehicle that takes a lot of its design cues from the larger Q7. The Q5, unlike the Q7, displays a more sporting driving character and its steering feel is more like a sedan than a larger SUV. One benefit of the Q5 over some of its luxe-priced competitors is that it comes standard with Audi's quattro all-wheel-drive system. We can't wait for the diesel-equipped model to hit showrooms; it should add more torque and even better fuel economy ratings.
Volvo XC60
  • Image Credit: Volvo

Volvo XC60

Price: $32,395 - $37,200
EPA Mileage: 22 mpg Hwy, 16 mpg City

Why We Like It: Volvo's latest crossover is more like a wagon than a sport-utility vehicle, which is fine by us. Volvo essentially owned the notion of a wagon in the 1980s and 1990s and we think it's high time they return to that form. But don't confuse the XC60 with an old, boxy station wagon. The new XC60 could be confused for a much sexier Italian car, and that design leadership seems to bleed perfectly into the muted tones of the interior. We like the fast-moving (and smooth) transmission in the XC60, which found gears quickly and helped save some fuel in the city. Step-in height is rather low, too, making it easy to get in and out of without much strain.
Lexus RX350
  • Image Credit: Lexus

Lexus RX350

Price: $36,800 - $38,200
EPA Mileage: 25 mpg Hwy, 18 mpg City

Why We Like It: An icon of the cul-de-sac, the latest RX debuted earlier this year. Lexus improved the 3.5-liter V-6 engine for the new RX350 so that it produces more power (275 hp) with better mileage of 18/25 city/hwy. The transmission is an all-new six-speed automatic (up from a five-speed in 2009). Shifts are smooth, as you'd expect, and acceleration is more than adequate. Tens of thousands of moms can't be wrong.
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