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, high-riding utility vehicles. 

SEE ALSO: Toyota RAV4 vs Hyundai Tucson: Which Compact Crossover is Right for You?

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. The crossover is more utilitarian than the SUV, though 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 moderate 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

Subcompact Crossovers

One of the hottest segments amongst crossovers right now is also the one with the smallest vehicles. Subcompact crossovers are all the rage as automakers abandon subcompact and so-called city cars in favor of tiny crossovers. Many of these models do not even offer all-wheel drive, as they are essentially high-riding subcompact hatchbacks with rugged styling. Entries here include the Hyundai Venue, Kia Soul, and Nissan Kicks.

SEE ALSO: 2021 Nissan Kicks Review: Rebranding the Modern City Car

There are subcompact crossovers that offer available all-wheel drive like the Ford EcoSport, Chevrolet Trax, and Hyundai Kona, but these are still best used in the city or a cottage dirt road at most. If you want a small crossover that can still tackle off-road trails there are options out there, like the plucky Jeep Renegade.

What’s New in Crossovers for 2022?

Hyundai Tucson

Hyundai's compact crossover is all-new this year and is available in a variety of configurations. There's the regular version that is available with either front-wheel or all-wheel drive that comes with a naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine. For those wanting a bit more power and efficiency, there's also an all-wheel drive hybrid model as well as a plug-in hybrid that too comes standard with all-wheel drive. Regardless of which vehicle is selected, all of the Tucsons come well equipped and with well thought out interiors. 
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Toyota Corolla Cross

Toyota finally plugs the gap between the the compact RAV4 crossover and the diminutive, front-wheel drive only C-HR. The Corolla Cross is designed to compete head-to-head with the likes of the Subaru Crosstrek, Mazda CX-30, and Kia Seltos. It comes standard with a 169 hp engine and Toyota's full Safety Sense 2.0 package that includes lane departure alert, pre-collision braking, adaptive cruise control, and lane tracing assist.  

SEE ALSO: 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross Second Drive Review: What’s in a Name?

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Nissan Pathfinder

Nissan's mid-size crossover was fully overhauled this year and vastly improved. A new nine-speed automatic transmission is now paired with the venerable 3.5-liter V6 engine and can drive the front-wheels or all four. The vehicle design is more squared-off and rugged than the outgoing model, and the interior feels more modern. It still has one of the largest towing capacities for a crossover, rated at an even 6,000 lbs. when properly equipped. All Pathfinders come standard with Nissan's Safety Shield 360 system. 
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Hyundai IONIQ 5

Hyundai has introduced the brand's first purpose built electric vehicle, the IONIQ 5 crossover. Unlike the original IONIQ, the new 5 does not offer a hybrid or plug-in hybrid variant. Power for the EV comes from either a 225 hp motor on rear-wheel drive models, or a combined 320 hp from a pair of motors on all-wheel drive versions. Range for the IONIQ 5 is rated at 303 miles (488 km) for rear-wheel drive vehicles and 256 miles (414 km) for all-wheel drive editions. Hyundai has done a good job of making the IONIQ 5 look futuristic without it bordering on bizarre. 
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Jeep Compass

The Jeep Compass received a significant refresh this year, updating the crossover's design inside and out. The vehicle now looks more like a baby Grand Cherokee which isn't a bad thing. Power comes from a 2.4-liter four-cylinder paired up to a nine-speed automatic transmission. Lower trim levels can be had with front-wheel drive while mid to top trims come with all-wheel drive only. The Compass Trailhawk remains one of the most capable compact crossovers off-road. 
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Volkswagen Taos

This appears to be the year of the small crossover, that saddles the line between compact and subcompact, as here is yet another new entry. Battling in the same segment as the previously mentioned Toyota Corolla Cross and Jeep Compass, the Volkswagen Taos is a completely new vehicle from the German automaker. Powered by a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine, the Taos can be had with front or all-wheel drive. Depending on which drivetrain is selected, it comes with either an eight-speed automatic or 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. 

SEE ALSO: 2022 Volkswagen Taos Review: Second Drive

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Mitsubishi Outlander

2022 Mitsubishi Outlander First Drive Review

Mitsubishi's gasoline-powered compact crossover is all-new this year and rides on a different platform than before, one that's shared as part of its automotive alliance. The stylish Outlander is powered by a 181 hp four-cylinder engine that's paired to a CVT. Like most in the segment, it can come with front or all-wheel drive. But unlike most compact crossovers, it continues to offer seven-passenger seating. The Outlander PHEV is still available as well, but continues to be built on the older Outlander platform. 
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Other Highlights from the World of Crossovers?

Ford Mustang Mach-E

Ford's all-electric Mustang Mach-E was introduced last year as a performance EV crossover. Not a lot has changed this year which is fine as the vehicle is already very good as is. 
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Kia Telluride

Kia's large Telluride three-row crossover is one of the best in the segment. It combines power, comfort, convenience, and technology in an attractive package. 

SEE ALSO: 2021 Kia Telluride Review: Living Up to the Hype

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MINI Countryman

MINI's core models received a styling update this year, including the Countryman crossover. A more premium entry than most in the segment, the Countryman emphasizes driving fun and style more than most of its competitors. 
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Chevrolet Equinox

Chevrolet's compact Equinox crossover received a styling refresh this year, adorning a tweaked look all around. New this year also is a sporty looking RS trim.
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Honda Passport

The Passport is Honda's most rugged off-road crossover and this year it received updates to emphasize that fact. But if that's not enough, there is the new TrailSport trim level that adds even more of an off-road look and appeal. 
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Subaru Forester

While on the topic of off-road special editions, there is the Subaru Forester Wilderness. All-new this year, it elevates the Forester's already impressive capabilities to traverse rutted trails with extra ground clearance and A/T tires. The entire Forester lineup received a refresh this year as well. 

SEE ALSO: 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness Review: First Drive

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Mazda CX-5

And another compact crossover to receive a refresh this year is the Mazda CX-5, although it's more of an evolution of the previous styling rather than a radical departure. The available turbocharged engine increases power this year, up to a total 256 hp.
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2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer
2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer
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$19,000 - $27,000 26/30 mpg
2021 Ford EcoSport
2021 Ford EcoSport
view 7 trims
$19,995 - $27,715 23/29 mpg
2021 Hyundai Kona
2021 Hyundai Kona
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$20,400 - $29,450 25/29 mpg
2021 Chevrolet Trax
2021 Chevrolet Trax
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$21,400 - $23,820 24/29 mpg
2021 Mazda CX-30
2021 Mazda CX-30
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$21,900 - $29,950 24/31 mpg
2021 Kia Seltos
2021 Kia Seltos
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$21,990 - $27,890 25/30 mpg
2021 Subaru Crosstrek
2021 Subaru Crosstrek
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$22,245 - $27,995 22/29 mpg
2021 Jeep Renegade
2021 Jeep Renegade
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$22,850 - $28,700 21/27 mpg
2021 Buick Encore
2021 Buick Encore
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$23,200 - $25,220 24/29 mpg
2021 Hyundai Tucson
2021 Hyundai Tucson
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$23,700 - $33,450 21/25 mpg
2021 Chevrolet Equinox
2021 Chevrolet Equinox
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$23,800 - $33,000 25/30 mpg
2021 Jeep Compass
2021 Jeep Compass
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$23,915 - $30,815 22/30 mpg
2021 Kia Sportage
2021 Kia Sportage
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$23,990 - $35,150 19/24 mpg
2021 Buick Encore GX
2021 Buick Encore GX
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$24,200 - $30,600 26/29 mpg
2021 Subaru Forester
2021 Subaru Forester
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$24,795 - $34,895 26/33 mpg
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