10 Most Popular Compact SUVs and Crossovers

Christian Wardlaw | Sep 24, 2016
2016 Toyota RAV4 SE photo

If you're looking for a compact SUV or crossover, this guide provides key information for the 10 most popular,* non-luxury, small sport utility vehicles on the market, including pricing; quality, reliability, and appeal ratings; fuel economy; safety ratings; and cargo volume. The models are listed in reverse order of sales popularity, from the 10th most popular to the most popular.

*Popularity based on calendar-year sales through July 2016

10) Jeep Renegade (62,294 sales)

2016 Jeep Renegade 75th Anniversary Edition photo

Loaded with personality, the Jeep Renegade is a subcompact crossover SUV offered in Sport, Latitude, Limited, and off-road-ready Trailhawk trim levels. Normally aspirated and turbocharged 4-cylinder engines are available, paired with manual or automatic transmissions and front-wheel or all-wheel drive.

Base Price—$18,990
Initial Quality—Not rated
Predicted Reliability—Not rated
Overall Vehicle Appeal—Not rated
Fuel Economy (city/highway mpg)—21/31
NHTSA Crash Test Rating—4 Stars
IIHS Crash Test Rating—Testing incomplete
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat—18.5 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded—50.8 cu. ft.

9) Mazda CX-5 (62,442 sales)

2016 Mazda CX-5 photo

Sporty and stylish, the Mazda CX-5 is a compact crossover SUV available in Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring trim levels. A 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine is exclusively paired with a manual gearbox in the Sport version. Most CX-5s have a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and an automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is an option.

Base Price—$22,695
Initial Quality—2 PCRs
Predicted Reliability—3 PCRs
Overall Vehicle Appeal—2 PCRs
Fuel Economy (city/highway mpg)—24/35
NHTSA Crash Test Rating—4 Stars
IIHS Crash Test Rating—“Top Safety Pick+”
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat—34.1 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded—64.8 cu. ft.

8) Jeep Patriot (75,405 sales)

2016 Jeep Patriot photo

An aged compact crossover SUV, the boxy Jeep Patriot is offered in Sport, Sport SE, 75th Anniversary Edition, Latitude, and High Altitude trim levels. Buyers choose between two 4-cylinder engines, a manual or automatic transmission, and front-wheel or all-wheel drive.

Base Price—$18,690
Initial Quality—Not rated
Predicted Reliability—Not rated
Overall Vehicle Appeal—Not rated
Fuel Economy (city/highway mpg)—20/30
NHTSA Crash Test Rating—4 Stars
IIHS Crash Test Rating—Not a “Top Safety Pick”
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat—23.0 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded—53.5 cu. ft.

7) Subaru Forester (95,111 sales)

2016 Subaru Forester photo

A compact crossover SUV, the Subaru Forester comes in 2.5i and turbocharged 2.0XT model series, and the company makes all-wheel drive standard equipment. The Forester 2.5i comes in base, Premium, Limited, and Touring trim, while the 2.0XT is offered only in Premium and Touring specification.

Base Price—$23,245
Initial Quality—Not rated
Predicted Reliability—Not rated
Overall Vehicle Appeal—Not rated
Fuel Economy (city/highway mpg)—22/32
NHTSA Crash Test Rating—5 Stars
IIHS Crash Test Rating—“Top Safety Pick+”
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat—34.4 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded—74.7 cu. ft.

6) Jeep Cherokee (118,103 sales)

2016 Jeep Cherokee Limited photo

Available with a 4-cylinder or V-6 engine, front-wheel or all-wheel drive, and in nine different trim levels ranging from the basic Sport to the luxurious Overland, the Cherokee compact crossover SUV supplies a little something for everyone.

Base Price—$24,490
Initial Quality—Not rated
Predicted Reliability—Not rated
Overall Vehicle Appeal—Not rated
Fuel Economy (city/highway mpg)—19/31
NHTSA Crash Test Rating—4 Stars
IIHS Crash Test Rating—Not a “Top Safety Pick”
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat—24.6 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded—54.9 cu. ft.

5) Chevrolet Equinox (143,202 sales)

2016 Chevrolet Equinox LTZ photo

Available with a choice between a 4-cylinder and a V-6 engine, and front-wheel or all-wheel drive, the Chevrolet Equinox is a compact crossover SUV offered in L, LS, LT, and LTZ trim levels.

Base Price—$23,495
Initial Quality—5 PCRs
Predicted Reliability—5 PCRs
Overall Vehicle Appeal—3 PCRs
Fuel Economy (city/highway mpg)—16/32
NHTSA Crash Test Rating—4 Stars
IIHS Crash Test Rating—“Top Safety Pick”
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat—31.5 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded—63.7 cu. ft.

4) Ford Escape (181,638 sales)

2016 Ford Escape Titanium photo

Three versions of the Ford Escape compact crossover SUV are available. The Escape S comes with a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive, while the Escape SE and Titanium feature a turbocharged, 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine and provide the option of all-wheel drive. Additionally, a turbocharged, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine is available.

Base Price—$23,995
Initial Quality—4 PCRs
Predicted Reliability—2 PCRs
Overall Vehicle Appeal—5 PCRs
Fuel Economy (city/highway mpg)—23/32
NHTSA Crash Test Rating—4 Stars
IIHS Crash Test Rating—Not a “Top Safety Pick”
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat—34.3 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded—67.8 cu. ft.

3) Nissan Rogue (182,181 sales)

2016 Nissan Rogue photo

Nissan sells two completely different compact crossover SUVs under the Rogue nameplate. The Rogue Select is the previous-generation version of the model, offered as a budget-priced alternative and only in S trim. The standard Rogue, redesigned for 2014, includes S, SV, and SL trim levels. Every Rogue has a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, continuously variable transmission, and available all-wheel drive.

Base Price—$24,230*
Initial Quality—3 PCRs
Predicted Reliability—3 PCRs
Overall Vehicle Appeal—3 PCRs
Fuel Economy (city/highway mpg)—25/33
NHTSA Crash Test Rating—4 Stars
IIHS Crash Test Rating—“Top Safety Pick”
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat—39.3 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded—70.0 cu. ft.

*All data in the table pertains to the Rogue, not the Rogue Select

2) Honda CR-V (195,092 sales)

2016 Honda CR-V Special Edition photo

Available in LX, SE, EX, EX-L, and Touring trim levels, the Honda CR-V is powered by a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine. A continuously variable transmission powers the front wheels or all four wheels.

Base Price—$24,745
Initial Quality—Not rated
Predicted Reliability—Not rated
Overall Vehicle Appeal—Not rated
Fuel Economy (city/highway mpg)—25/33
NHTSA Crash Test Rating—5 Stars
IIHS Crash Test Rating—“Top Safety Pick+”
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat—37.2 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded—70.9 cu. ft.

1) Toyota RAV4 (197,771 sales)

2016 Toyota RAV4 SE photo

Toyota updated and expanded the RAV4 lineup for 2016, adding a sporty SE version and introducing new RAV4 Hybrid variants. A 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and an automatic transmission come standard in the RAV4 LE, XLE, SE, and Limited. Hybrid variants have a more powerful and efficient gas-electric hybrid drivetrain and come in XLE and Limited trims.

Base Price—$25,235
Initial Quality—4 PCRs
Predicted Reliability—4 PCRs
Overall Vehicle Appeal—5 PCRs
Fuel Economy (city/highway mpg)—22/31
Fuel Economy Range Hybrid (city/highway mpg)—34/31
NHTSA Crash Test Rating—5 Stars
IIHS Crash Test Rating—“Top Safety Pick+”
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat—38.4 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded—73.4 cu. ft.





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