10 Most Popular Compact SUVs and Crossovers

Christian Wardlaw | May 16, 2019

If you're looking for a compact SUV or crossover, this guide provides an overview for each of the 10 most popular,* non-luxury, small sport utility vehicles on the market. The models are listed in reverse order of popularity, from the 10th most popular to the most popular.

*Popularity based on calendar-year sales for 2018

10. Mazda CX-5 (150,622)

Stylish on the outside and upscale on the inside, the Mazda CX-5 is offered in five trim levels, the top two equipped with a new-for-2019 turbocharged 4-cylinder engine whipping up 250 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft. of torque. Load a CX-5 up with equipment, and it’s a luxury SUV in all respects but brand name.

9. Jeep Compass (171,167)

Jeep’s Compass meets a variety of needs, from an affordable front-drive grocery getter to a rugged, off-road-ready SUV. Baby Grand Cherokee styling and eight different trim levels make the Compass appealing, and here’s a fun fact: it has more cargo space than a Cherokee.

2019 Subaru Forester Touring photo

8. Subaru Forester (171,613)

Subaru’s redesigned Forester might look the same as it ever has, but it’s built on a new and safer platform. The turbocharged engine option is gone, leaving Subaru’s stalwart 182-hp 2.5-liter 4-cylinder. As always, all-wheel drive is standard, something to keep in mind when assessing this SUV’s value proposition.

7. Jeep Cherokee (239,437)

Eight different versions of the Cherokee are available, with a choice between three engines and front-wheel drive or one of three AWD systems. Latitude trim is about value, Trailhawk trim is about legit off-roading, and Overland trim is about luxury. Cargo space is tight, though.

6. Jeep Wrangler (240,032)

Everybody knows what a Jeep Wrangler is. Summarized, it’s about as much fun as you can have on four wheels. Choose between 2-door and 4-door body styles, soft or hard top configurations, a turbocharged 4-cylinder or a V6 engine, and several trim levels. They all have 4-wheel drive. And they’ll all put a smile on your face.

2020 Ford Escape photo

5. Ford Escape (272,228)

Ford’s aging Escape is ripe for replacement, which means dealerships will be eager to sell the 2019 model. Four trim levels are available, along with three engines, two of which are turbocharged. All-wheel drive is an option. There is value to be had here, just be sure to check the Escape’s crash-test ratings before buying.

4. Nissan Rogue (322,694)

With the 2019 Rogue, Nissan offers one of the few compact SUVs available with a third-row seat and one of the few with an optional hybrid drivetrain. Choose between S, SV, and SL trim, pick between the 170-hp 2.5-liter 4-cylinder and the 176-hp hybrid powertrain, decide whether or not you want AWD.

3. Chevrolet Equinox (332,618)

Chevy’s popular Equinox is available in four trim levels with three compelling engine choices. In addition to the standard turbocharged 1.5-liter 4-cylinder, a more powerful 252-hp turbo four is an option. Or you can get the 1.6-liter turbo-diesel, which gets almost 40 mpg on the highway. All-wheel drive is optional.

2019 Honda CR-V photo

2. Honda CR-V (379,013)

One of the largest small SUVs you can buy in terms of passenger and cargo space, the Honda CR-V comes in four trim levels, each available with all-wheel drive. The base LX trim has a tried-and-true 184-hp 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine. Other versions get a 190-hp turbocharged 1.5-liter 4-cylinder.

1. Toyota RAV4 (427,168)

Redesigned for 2019, the Toyota RAV4 lineup offers a more rugged look in six different trim levels. The standard 2.5-liter 4-cylinder makes 203 hp, while the more efficient RAV4 Hybrid makes 219 hp. The XSE Hybrid is the sporty one, the Adventure is the off-road-ready one, and the Limited is the luxurious one.

 

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