Compact crossover SUVs are super-popular right now. Just look at how many Nissan Rogue models are available for sale in the USA at the moment – eight derivatives over four trims – and likely to increase in number in the future. It’s a similar story over in the competition’s camp. There are nine Honda CR-V derivatives to choose from. Toyota is out in front though, with no fewer than 11 RAV4 models offered, including hybrid and Prime models. And we have not even touched on the multitude of other vehicles available that are classified as compact crossovers.
The main reason why everybody is making a compact crossover SUV nowadays is that it is the most popular type of car in America – besides trucks, that is. If you discount the obligatory Ford F-Series, Ram, and Chevrolet Silverado trucks that take up the first three sales positions every year, compact crossovers are the next in line. The RAV4 sells at a rate of over 400,000 units per year in the US and the CR-V sits at well over 300,000 units per year. Chevrolet sells over 270,000 Equinoxes per year and Nissan over 220,000 Rogues. These are just the most popular models – here are a few of the rest – and this is by no means an exhaustive list:
- Tesla Model Y
- Mercedes-Benz GLA, GLB, and GLC
- Audi Q3, Q3 Sportback, Q5, and Q5 Sportback
- Volvo XC40 and XC60
- Volkswagen Tiguan and ID.4
- Ford Bronco Sport and Escape
- BMW X1, X2, X3, and X4
- Subaru Forester
- Mazda CX-5
- Lincoln Corsair
- Buick Encore
Why Are Compact Crossovers So Popular?
Simply, because they satisfy people’s appetite for SUVs at a more palatable price. The compact crossover has an increased height and ground clearance, giving drivers a better view ahead and better rough-road ability. They might not all be AWD, but just being able to tackle a bad gravel road without the fear of grounding the underbelly goes a long way towards justifying purchasing that tent. What’s more, they take up less road space than a mid-size sedan, but have generous interior and cargo space, thanks to their higher stance and more vertical interior volume. Some models even have seven seats, even if the third-row back seat is only for children. Lots of engine and drivetrain options are offered too.
When You Go Crossover, Go Hybrid
The problem with a high-riding car is that it is usually heavier and has more wind resistance than a low-riding sedan with a similar drivetrain. As a consequence, its fuel economy is also worse in comparison to a normal car. If you don’t want to compromise on gas mileage, you can still get excellent miles per gallon by choosing a hybrid crossover instead. They are more expensive to buy than the normal models, but they usually offer some electric-only driving and decent performance. On top of all that, they address the efficiency failings of compact SUVs.
Here are a few popular hybrid compact crossover examples:
- Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. Starts at an MSRP of $28,800 and returns 41/38 mpg city/highway.
- Toyota Venza Hybrid. Starts at $32,570 and returns 40/37 mpg.
- Honda CR-V Hybrid. Starts at $30,560 and returns 40/35 mpg.
- Ford Escape Hybrid. Starts at $28,265 and returns 44/37 mpg.
- Lexus UX Hybrid. Starts at $34,500 and returns 41/38 mpg.
- Lexus NX Hybrid. Starts at $39,420 and returns 33/30 mpg.
- Hyundai Tucson Hybrid. Starts at $29,050 and returns 37/36 mpg.
Americans have never been as spoilt for choice in the new-car market as today and long gone are the days that sedans, station wagons, trucks, and minivans were the only options available to them. However, so bewildering are the choices now offered that you will do well to read more than one review of every model you are considering. Go on a test drive in each to compare features, drivetrain configurations, and the like to make sure which one is the best for you.