Best Crossover SUV That Money Can Buy
Alright, so you’ve gone to the dealership and checked out all the SUV’s and realized that you don’t want a semi-truck and a second mortgage, but you still can’t commit to a sedan because your neighbors will all laugh at you.
Understandable. I mean, who hasn’t been in that position before? Your only other option is a crossover so naturally, you’re here to learn about the best crossovers you can get.
Realistically you belong in a badass station wagon, but maybe you need something to get you down a dirt road once in a while, which is why you are shopping for a crossover. If you’re still not sure which vehicle you belong in then refer to our segment: “SUV vs CUV – what’s the difference?“.
The beauty of CUVs is that they blend the utility of an SUV with the driving capabilities of a sedan. They usually have plenty of passenger amenities but are an easier car to commute in daily.
The CUV kind of ticks all of the boxes when you think about it. It’s not as huge as an SUV and actually has a degree of “sportiness” that the SUV is lacking.
Now that we are past the all the legal stuff, let’s get on to the meat and potatoes.
The 5 Best Crossover SUVs
- Subaru Outback
- Audi Allroad
- Volvo V60 Cross Country
- Audi SQ5
- Porsche Macan
Don’t be fooled by their size. What’s that saying all those small chicks on Instagram have in their bio? “Though she may be small, she is mighty”.
These are sort of like that, but much more legit.
The Subaru Outback is one of those cars that drive by and you don’t really notice it. It just sort of blends in well. It’s not flashy and really doesn’t evoke emotion but is that really such a bad thing?
There’s something to be a said about function over form and a car that just works well. Not every car has to pretend to be something it’s not and the Outback isn’t pretending to be anything other than what it is. And what is it?
It’s a daily driver capable of taking a family of four off the beaten path that comes in six trims, but the only one you really care about is the top-of-the-range 3.6R Touring.
All trim levels come with a CVT (continuously variable transmission) which the auto industry really just needs to shitcan. Transmission aside, the Outback has an attractive interior and plenty of storage to boot.
Subaru’s symmetrical all-wheel drive is a damn good system and comes standard on all models in the range. Pricing starts at $25,895 and tops out at $38,690 making it a much more attractive option than even some of the smaller SUV options.
No crossover guide would be complete without the Audi A4 Allroad Quattro. It might not be a hearty off-road vehicle, but it definitely exceeds the demands of most shopping in this segment.
For those who don’t know Quattro is Audi’s all-wheel-drive system and is renown for being the bee’s knee’s when it comes to AWD. If anyone tells you different punch them straight in the mouth.
I’m kidding violence never solves anything.
The A4 Allroad is a true Audi boasting a beautifully sculpted interior made with high-quality components and performance that far exceeds the technical specs on the order sheet. It comes standard with a 252-hp turbocharged 2.0-Liter four cylinder engine and a seven-speed dual clutch transmission.
The combination makes for superbly responsive driving and the shifting is so good it will put the proverbial icing on your morning commute.
The only weather condition that might interfere with this car is hail and with it’s “Offroad” mode the A4 Allroad can tackle the morning commute and dirt roads with ease. It seats up to five and has four doors and a hatchback. Pricing starts at $44,950 and in typical Audi fashion, stops where you want it to.
Volvo V60 Cross Country
I’ve said it once and I will say it again, Volvo’s are known for reliability. The V60 is five seater four-door hatchback with higher ground clearance than most SUV’s.
Enough room for 2 kids and a full grown labrador in the backseat make it perfect for families or weekend excursions. Did I mention pretty? This car is beautiful.
The V60 Cross Country comes standard with all-wheel-drive and 250-hp under the model designation T5 AWD. Do yourself a favor and spend the extra $4,000 on the middle-of-the-range T6 AWD which comes with 316-hp and 295-lb.ft. of torque.
Thank me later. If you’re really fancy you can go all in on the Ocean Race Edition.
Whichever trim you end up in the Volvo V60 Cross Country is an extremely capable vehicle and can store everything you need for a weekend retreat on the trails with 40 inches of storage and optional roof containers to keep a tent in.
Pricing starts at $56,000 for the T6 AWD which is the only trim you would consider.
One of the things that crossovers are beginning to do well is blur the lines of performance and utility. It’s strange because the very definition of an SUV starts with the word “sport” but leaves much to be desired once you’re in the cockpit.
The Audi SQ5 leaves very little to be desired. It looks mean, drives mean and it’s technically a crossover.
The Audi SQ5 is the sporty big brother to the already critically acclaimed Audi Q5 (The “S” stands for “shit yeah son”) and comes equipped with sport-tuned suspension, a 354-hp twin-turbocharged 3.0 Liter V6 and of course Quattro.
It’s accompanied by a cockpit straight from NASA and has sport-bucket seats in the front along with an ultra cool flat-bottom steering wheel that you didn’t know you needed till you have to drive a car without one.
The SQ5 is the first non-hatch on the list but is a five-door five-passenger vehicle complete with roof racks and quad exhaust. Equip it with the ultra-posh quilted seats and you have the best of all worlds in this beauty.
Pricing starts at $54,300, but do yourself a favor and spend the extra $4,000 on the prestige trim and please, don’t skimp on the carbon fiber. For more information read our full review of the 2018 Audi Q5.
The winner: Porsche Macan
Don’t be fooled by all of the well-to-do mom’s driving these things. They are bad to the bone and they look incredible. Distinctive Porsche styling and an order sheet that comes in a binder make this thing the coolest, and the most expensive, on the list. If you have the money then you need to treat yo’self.
Go for the “S” edition that comes with a 340-hp Twin-turbo V6 and will rocket to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds. If you’re one of the people reading that has a country club membership, spare no expense and go for the turbo edition.
The interior looks and feels like a Porsche with seating for five and a couple of sport bucket seats up front.
Off-road, on the track or in the elementary school pick-up line, there simply is not a better crossover on the market today save for the chassis sharing, and delicious SQ5 which is considerably cheaper.
Pricing on the Macan S starts at $55,400, just a little cheaper than a base Chevy Tahoe and oh so much sweeter. The Macan S is the answer to the crossover vs SUV problem.
As SUV’s continue to balloon in price and Crossovers continue to look more like lifted sedans, the Macan S hits all the sweet spots of sport, utility, and compact.
Easy to commute, park, and take down a dirt road the Macan S is the only real choice on the crossover list if you need to have one.
The Best Crossover SUV Final Thoughts
This list takes elements of price point, quality, and most importantly driver satisfaction into account and represents what I feel is the best the segment has to offer for a fair cross-section of buyers.
If I had my choice, all automakers would move in the direction of Audi and Porsche who seem to prioritize performance and utility over everything else. The term Crossover shouldn’t evoke the same nausea that the term SUV does.
This list proves you can acquire everything you need in an SUV in a smaller package and then some. In most cases, these Crossovers are cheaper than entry level SUV’s and offer far better performance and everyday utility.
However, if you are one of the few that need a full-sized third-row having SUV, check out our post: The 5 Best Luxury SUVs.