As of October 2014, crossover SUVs have overtaken midsize sedans as the best-selling vehicle segment in the United States. With literally dozens of competitors, automakers have to be on their A-games in order to get shoppers to open their checkbooks. In this list, we present 12 of the best crossovers.
Arranged alphabetically, they represent a variety of sizes, prices, and capabilities. Some emphasize passenger and cargo room; others are surprisingly sporty; and still others will take you surprisingly far on a gallon of fuel.
This cross-section of best crossovers includes five-passenger compact-class models through “large-midsize” versions that can seat up to eight. Most offer some for of electronic blind-spot alert, forward-collision warning, and pre-collision braking as ways to help keep you safe. Advanced infotainment systems can keep you connected by streaming Internet audio, making restaurant reservations, remembering where you parked at a crowded shopping mall, and even turning the vehicle itself into a rolling WiFi hotspot.
Note that the base prices sited include the manufacturer’s destination fees, which average around $800. No matter what you choose, each of our picks here does most everything a buyer in this segment could need. You won’t go wrong with any of the crossovers on this list.
Chevrolet Traverse Base price range: $31,870-$44,810
While technically a midsize-class crossover SUV, Traverse boasts room and comfort levels that are on par with similar-purpose large-class vehicles. Standard seating is for up to seven or eight passengers, depending on trim level selection. Seven-seat versions can be upgraded to accommodate eight at no extra charge. All share the same engine: a 3.6-liter V-6 unit that produces 281 horsepower in the base Traverse LS and mid-line LT and 288 in the top-end LTZ. Though its power is competitive, Traverse is among the heaviest crossover SUVs of its size at a few pounds shy of 5,000. This means acceleration is not as snappy as you might expect, and its EPA city/highway combined fuel-economy ratings 18-19 mpg put it toward the back of the pack. Those extra pounds work to its advantage when it comes to ride quality, as Traverse ably smothers all but the most severe pavement imperfections. It also seems to have a few more layers of sound insulation than its rivals as the only sources of outside noise come from the engine during full-throttle acceleration and a bit of wind rustle around the outside mirrors. The former isn’t even an annoyance because the motor’s sound wouldn’t be out of place in a luxury sedan costing thousands more. Drivers and passengers can enjoy numerous available creature comforts, including one of the most user-friendly infotainment systems in the business and built-in 4G LTE high-speed data service that turns the vehicle into a mobile WiFi hotspot. If you want to carry lots of people and/or stuff and do it with a high degree of refinement, put the 2015 Chevrolet Traverse near the top of your shopping list.