2021 Crossovers

In recent years the lines between crossovers and SUVs have blurred considerably. So much so that we now use the terms interchangeably. Plus, given the recent rise in popularity of this format, manufacturers like Ford have decided to bid farewell to the humble car in favor of larger and more, for the lack of a better word, masculine vehicles.

Crossovers, as the name suggests are essentially an SUV based on a car chassis. It is a unibody construction and usually a city runabout vehicle. Although, the lack of off-road capability is not a qualifying criterion for a crossover just as having a ladder frame chassis doesn’t guarantee a great off-road vehicle. Although, the crossover is more utilitarian than the SUV, its success has little to do with utility. Crossovers are also more affordable than traditional SUVs yet carry the same image and road presence. Which contrary to popular belief is the only thing that counts.

Pros and Cons of Crossovers

Pros

  • Not as expensive as SUVs
  • Some can handle mild off-roading as well
  • Utility second only to minivans
  • Road presence
  • Safety features

Cons

  • Not always city-friendly
  • Not aerodynamic, can be bothersome to drive in crosswinds at highway speeds
  • Less fuel-efficient than the cars they are based on
  • Generally have cumbersome handling

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What’s New in Crossovers for 2020?

Hyundai Santa Fe

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe The current generation Santa Fe was a recently launched crossover. It debuted first as a 2019 model but Hyundai has already given it a refresh for the 2021 model year. The front fascia gets a complete redesign. The LED daytime running lights are now sharper and the wider, curvier grille blends into the fog lamps. The cabin is inspired by the larger Palisade and comes with the 10.25-inch screen and a taller center console. Buttons now replace the traditional gear selector but AWD models will come with a rotary dial to select driving modes. No engine specs are currently available but the mid-sizer will likely continue with the 2.4-liter and 2.0-liter powertrains. Although, it will be available as a series and plug-in hybrid in other markets, the same has not been confirmed for the US. Sales are expected to commence by the end of this year.
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Toyota Venza

2021 Toyota Venza Front three-quarter static After a hiatus of five years, the Venza nameplate is back. Despite its rather challenging looks, the original crossover was quite popular among customers. Like the old Toyota Venza that bridged the gap between crossovers and sedans, the new one will bridge the gap between the RAV4 and the Highlander. When it goes on sale in late summer (hopefully) it will be available as a hybrid only. A 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with two electric motors will power the wheels and will also feature electronic on-demand all-wheel drive. Think of it as a more premium version of the RAV4.
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GMC Acadia

The GMC Acadia received a mid-life refresh for the 2020 model year which was well, much more than just a mid-life refresh. The front end is new and now gets C-shaped LED lamps as standard. It also gets a new refreshed cabin. The biggest changes however are to the powertrain. The Acadia is now available with a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder making 230 hp alongside the 2.5-liter and 3.6-liter powertrains. Also, a new nine-speed automatic transmission is now standard on the whole Acadia lineup. An off-road-focused AT4 trim is also now available. Prices start from $30,995 (incl. destination).

SEE ALSO: 2020 GMC Acadia Denali Review

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Chevrolet Blazer

Possibly the most striking design on the Chevrolet crossover fleet belongs to the Blazer. It first appeared in 2019 and has already got an update. Though it is not a facelift, Chevrolet has added a new engine to its lineup. The Blazer now gets the new 2.0-liter turbo-engine as an option on the 2LT and 3LT trims. It pairs with a 9-speed automatic just like on the Acadia and makes 230 hp, also just like on the Acadia.

SEE ALSO: 2019 Chevrolet Blazer Review

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VW Atlas Cross

Like most manufacturers today, it was only a matter of time before Volkswagen joined the SUV coupe bandwagon. Its entrant is the Atlas Cross. It is a two-row, coupe-esque SUV with muscular lines and a desire to be the most intimidating on the road. Apart from that, cabin amenities and powertrains are identical to the standard Atlas. Prices start from $31,565 for the 2.0-liter four-pot models and top out at over $50,000 for the V6 trim.

SEE ALSO: 2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport First Drive Review

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Subaru Outback

Subaru introduced a new powertrain to the Outback lineup for the 2020 model year. The company introduced the 2.4-liter turbo-four to the Outback as a part of the new XT trims that are more off-road focused than the standard Outback. The new 2.4-liter engine makes 260 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque and comes paired to a CVT gearbox only. Apart from the engine the differences in equipment compared to the 2.5-equipped trims are minimal. The moonroof though comes standard with the Limited and Touring XT trims.

SEE ALSO: 2020 Subaru Outback Review

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Subaru Crosstrek

Subaru has also added a new powertrain to the 2021 Crosstrek lineup as well. It borrows the powertrain from the Outback and along with it gets a new Sport trim as well. The engine it borrows is the 2.5-liter four-pot that comes as standard on the Outback and makes 182 hp of max power and 176 lb-ft of peak torque. The engine is, however, available with a CVT gearbox only. The engine comes standard with the Sport and Limited trims. The Sport gets an exclusive dual-function X-Mode drive selector and hill-descent control. The overall safety package of the Outback has been updated as well. It now gets adaptive cruise control with lane-centering as standard as a part of the EyeSight safety package. It is likely to go on sale by winter this year.
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Cadillac XT5

Cadillac XT5 received a significant update for the 2020 model year. Aesthetic changes are a bit of nip and tuck but the big changes are under the sheet metal. The XT5 now comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine as its new base engine. It makes 237 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. The 3.6-liter V6 sits on the higher end of the spectrum and is available with AWD. Inside, Cadillac bestows the XT5 with its latest eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system and a new instrument cluster. It also adds heated seats, LED hadlamps, lane-keep assist, lane-departure warning, and forward-collision warning as standard.
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Mercedes GLB

The GLB is probably the most talked-about model on the Mercedes-Benz 2020 lineup. It is an all-new, first-ever 3-row compact crossover from Mercedes-Benz. Yes, the third row is strictly for children and comes with child seat tether mounts as well. Inside you get the full-digital instrument cluster / touchscreen infotainment screen combo along with turbine mimicking aircon vents that have become a Merc staple. The MBUX system also comes standard though the 10.25-inch infotainment screen is optional extra. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are offered as standard.
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What’s Coming in Crossovers?

2021 Buick Envision  

Buick Envision

Buick has completely overhauled the Envision mid-size SUV for the 2021 model year. The new design is edgier and borderline sporty. Taking the glass house into consideration it looks like it is based on the Blazer. Buick has also announced that the Envision will also come with the company’s Avenir trim. It will come with a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa, and Android Auto. But will likely be optional extras. Although it will offer AEB, lane-keeping assist and collision alert as standard. Engine will be the 2.0-liter unit form the Blazer likely in the same state of tune. Prices will likely start around the $30,000 mark and it will go on sale early next year.  

Ford Bronco Sport

Via some uncovered patent filings we found out that the upcoming Ford Bronco Sport will come with a choice of two engines. It will get the 1.5-liter Dragon and the 2.0-liter GTDI. Both engines belong to the EcoBoost family but the outputs for the engines remain elusive. But if we had to guess, the 1.5 will likely make about 180 hp while the 2.0-liter turbo should be good for about 250 hp. We also know that the mini Bronco will be available in five trims namely; Bronco Sport, Outer Banks, Badlands, and the First Edition. The first edition will likely be a limited edition trim.
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