Crazy for crossovers

Segment gains in popularity

June 27, 2017
by Lesley Wimbush

From the June 2017 print edition

In recent years, the Crossover segment has exploded in popularity. So much so that it has now overtaken the mid-size sedan as the favourite choice among Canadian buyers. Here is a roundup of some of the currently available models.

Fiat 500x

Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

The Fiat 500x takes the 500’s style and wraps it around a compact SUV. But the 500x offers more space, and available all-wheel drive. There are four trim levels Pop, Sport, Trekking and Lounge. Base Pop trims come with 6-speed manual and a 184hp turbo-charged 4 cylinder—front-wheel drive only. Optional is a 180 hp 2.4L 4-cylinder and 9-speed automatic. All Fiat 500x have seven airbags, air conditioning and remote keyless entry. Top trims have leather seating, rear park assist, backup camera, 6.5” touchscreen, dual pane sunroof, lane departure warning and lane keeping assist, emergency brake assist, wrapped steering wheel, navigation and Sirius XM radio.

Mazda CX-5

Image: Mazda

Mazda is known for style and driving dynamics and the CX-5 is a good example. Handling and sharp steering make it the enthusiast’s choice, and its roomy, stylish interior and top safety rating should please everyone. There are two engine choices: a 155hp 2.0L 4-cylinder mated to either an automatic or six-speed manual; or a 184hp 2.5L 4-cylinder available only with 6-speed automatic. All-wheel drive is available across trim levels. Standard are Mazda’s G-Vectoring control, rearview camera, 7.0” touchscreen, and 17 inch alloys. GS models get a power lift gate, heated steering wheel and front wiper de-icer. Top-spec GT trims add LED fog lights, and heated rear seats.

Nissan Juke

Image: Nissan

The Nissan Juke has three trim levels, SV FWD, SV AWD and SL AWD. Base SV models come with 6-speed manual and front-wheel drive, and CVT standard on the other two trims. There’s one engine: a 1.6 litre 4-cylinder with 188hp. Features include push-button start, heated front seats, Bluetooth and backup camera. Upper trim levels get NissanConnect connectivity with Navigation, Around View Monitor with moving object detection, leather seats and Rockford Fosgate audio system. Sporty Nismo models have tuned suspension, 18” wheels, alcantara bucket sets and aerodynamic body kit. Priced from $20,698 to $30,178.

Chevrolet Trax

Image: Chevrolet

Chevy’s tiniest crossover gets a few changes for 2017. The redesigned fascia brings the Trax in line with Chevy’s other SUVs with the same large grille flanked with wider headlights. The rear end receives new taillights and faux skid-plate like rear fascia. Standard are a 7.0” touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and rearview camera. Upper trims get LED lighting, twin tailpipes, 4G LTE wifi, blind spot monitor, lane departure wanting, rear cross traffic alert and forward collision warning. A turbo-charged 1.4 litre 4 cylinder puts out 138 horsepower through a six-speed auto to the front, or all four wheels depending on trim level. Priced from $19,795 to $32,095.

Kia Niro

Image: Kia

The Niro is a hybrid with a consumption of 4.5L/100 km. Even the base Niro comes loaded with standard features like LED running lights, 16” alloys, heated front seats and steering wheel, 7” touchscreen. The Niro’s powered by a 1.6L four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor and 1.56 kWh lithium-ion battery for a combined output of 138hp and 195 lb. feet of torque. The hybrid system is mated to a 6-speed dual clutch transmission. Upper trims get Harman Kardon premium audio, steering wheel mounted controls, navigation, wireless streaming, heated and ventilated leather buckets, 10-way adjustable driver’s seat, proximity key. Priced from $24,995 to $32,995.

Honda HR-V

Image: Honda

The HR-v debuted last year and is unchanged for 2017. A subcompact, two-row crossover that’s available as a front or all-wheel drive model, the HR-V offers plenty of space. It’s powered by a 141 hp 4-cylinder engine paired with a continuously variable transmission, but FWD models can also choose the six-speed manual. Standard equipment across the three trim levels (LX, EX and EX-L Navi) includes heated front seats, display audio system, rear-view camera, Bluetooth, and 17” alloy wheels. EX and EX-L Navi models get Honda’s LaneWatch Display, and the EX-L Navi is equipped with lane departure and forward collision warning systems. Priced from $21,150 to $29,147.

Mitsubishi Outlander

Image: Mitsubishi

The Outlander is Mitsubishi’s largest crossover, with three-row seating for up to seven passengers and 1,792 litres of cargo space. For 2017, the Outlander offers all-wheel-drive on even the base model, a refreshed interior, and updated technology including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There are two power train choices: a 166 hp 2.4L 4-cylinder mated to a CVT, or a 224 hp 3.0L V6 with a six-speed automatic with paddle shifters. Standard equipment includes ABS, hill start assist, traction control, and electronic stability control. Optional on upper trims are blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, lane change assist and forward collision mitigation. Priced from $28,524 to $37,824.

Subaru Crosstrek

Image: Subaru

Subaru’s entry-level Crosstrek returns for 2017 with a new Limited Edition. The Kazan features Pure Red paint, a black front grille, sunroof, rear spoiler, black exterior badging and unique wheels. Inside there are aluminum pedals and red stitching. Standard are 5-speed transmission, all-wheel-drive, back-up camera, 6.2’ touchscreen, Bluetooth and 17” wheels. Moving up through trim levels adds heated side mirrors and seats, leather seats, colour driver’s information display, and automatic climate control. Options include sunroof, and the EyeSight safety suite. Underhood is a 148 hp 2.0L flat-four engine, mated to either a 5-speed, or CVT. Priced from $26,995 to $34,295.

Toyota C-HR

Image: Toyota

The name stands for “Coupe High Rider”—Toyota’s funky crossover is a front-wheel-drive urban runabout; there’s no all-wheel drive available. The sole power train consists of a 144 hp 2.0 4-cylinder mated to a CVT. Standard equipment includes 6-way adjustable cloth bucket seats, leather-wrapped wheel, Bluetooth, USB port, backup camera and dual-zone climate control. There are only two trims: the XLE and XLE Premium, which adds heated front seats, 8-way adjustable driver’s seat, blind-spot monitoring, rear-cross traffic alert, proximity entry and start. There’s only one option package; two-tone paint with white roof and mirror caps. Priced from $24,690 to $26,290.

Buick Encore

Image: Buick

The Buick Encore has a new grille framed by redesigned headlights, LED taillights, chrome exhaust tips and 18-in. wheels. The cabin has a redesigned dash and centre stack, 8-in. touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and 4G LTE wifi. The engines carry over, a 1.4L 138 hp turbo-charged four-cylinder, or 153 hp 1.4L turbo-four cylinder; both mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is optional. Standard equipment includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 4G LTE wifi, backup camera, satellite radio, Bluetooth, 8-in. touch screen and OnStar. Upper trims feature leather, heated steering wheel and LED headlights. Priced from $23,195 to $34,195.

Hyundai Tucson

Image: Hyundai

Hyundai’s smallest crossover was completely redesigned last year with more space and smoother ride. The Tucson offers two engines: a 164hp 2.0L 4-cylinder with 6-speed automatic transmission, and a new 175hp turbo-charged 1.6L 4-cylinder mated to a new 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. Either power train is available with all-wheel drive. Standard equipment includes 17” alloys, heated mirrors, air, height adjustable driver’s seat, Bluetooth, rearview camera,USB, cruise control and satellite radio. Upgrades include hands-free power lift gate, leather wrapped wheel, heated leather seats, LED headlights, Navigation, panoramic sunroof, ventilated seats and forward collision warning. Priced from $24,999 to $38,699.

New Jeep Compass

Image: Jeep

Jeep’s compact Compass is all-new, inside and out with new engine and transmission, new AWD system and all-new tech features. Power comes from a 2.4L Tigershark 4-cylinder, with 180 hp/175 lb. ft. While front-wheel-drive models get the 6-speed automatic, all-wheel drives come with a new 9-speed auto. There’s a choice of three UConnect touch screens: 5”, 7” or 8.4”—the larger two come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Standard features include seven airbags, premium fog lamps, roof rails, acoustic windshield, lower body cladding, steering wheel mounted cruise control, stability control, electronic roll mitigation, brake assist, hill start assist, tire pressure monitoring system. Options include: heated steering wheel, rear air conditioning, rear USB ports, forward collision warning, LaneSense departure warning plus, blind spot monitoring, backup camera, and rear cross path detection. Priced from $24,900- $34,895.

Ford Escape

Image: Lesley Wimbush

A perennial leader in Canada’s compact CUV segment, the Escape had dropped to third place in the last couple of years. 2017 brings comprehensive updates that retain most of its popular styling elements, while bumping up the tech, comfort and power. Joining the base 2.5L engine are two new turbo-charged Ecoboost 4-cylinders: a 1.5L putting out 179hp and 177 lb. ft, and a 2.0L with 245 hp and 275 lb. ft. A six-speed automatic is the only transmission choice. The interior has been elevated by the use of more premium materials, and tech takes a leap forward with standard Sync 3 Connect with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a FordPass App that lets you communicate with your car by smartphone. Standard and Start/Stop on all Ecoboost-equipped Escapes. Newly available tech includes adjustable adaptive cruise control, enhanced active park assist, heated steering wheel, pre-collision asset, and HID headlights. Priced from $38,000 to $51,900.

Mercedes Benz GLA

Image: Mercedes Benz

Arguably the only true premium CUV in this group, the GLA is Mercedes’ tiniest crossover and based on the CLA Class sedan. Selling well since its recent debut, the GLA receives only minimal changes for 2017. These include new wheels, front and rear bumpers, new fog lights, and LEDs for upper trims. Front wheel drive is standard, with optional AWD. Also standard is an 8” touchscreen, rearview camera, and hands-free power rear hatch. Optional tech includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Dynamic Plus adaptive suspension, Distronic Plus suite of full safety tech. Two engines are available, a 2.0L turbo- four-cylinder with 208 hp and 248 lb. ft of torque, or the AMG GLA 45’s turbo-four cylinder with 375hp and 350 lb. ft., both mated to a 7-speed DCT automatic. Priced from $38,000 – $51,900.