We pick our favorite five compact crossovers that should be shortlisted.
****This list is in no particular order.
Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
We know that the Outlander Sport is dated in terms of looks and interior, but we love the Outlander Sport for its comfortable ride and high standard kit list. We also love that you can get an Outlander Sport at discounted price. The standard 2-liter four-cylinder is best had with front-wheel-drive, while the 2.4 is the best way to go if you have to have all-wheel-drive. Our only complaint with the Outlander Sport is that Mitsubishi Dealer Network is very small and also it doesn’t really feel competitive with the rest of the offerings here. We are strictly picking this one because people do care for value and this one does have that on its side.
Like: Roomy interior with styling that’s aging well. High standard kit list and you can pick up many with nice discounts.
Dislikes: Resale value is iffy, 2-liter engine while a workhorse of an engine; it feels very anemic at times especially with all-wheel-drive.
The Mazda CX-3 maybe the smallest of the compact crossovers but it is certainly not small on refinement and fun to drive factors. It really is fun to toss this little crossover in bends and there’s practically no body-roll to complain of. The ride comfort is superb and the interior build quality is also what you’d expect from a Mazda. The same 2-liter engine from the Mazda3 can be had here and is the only engine available. It’s not really bad but we just wish it had a little more flexibility where it matters most, also the interior is a little on the cramped side with a boot that’s not very generous in space. Overall, this is a crossover that should be shortlisted because what it lacks in space it makes up for it in driving experience, low running costs and refinement.
Likes: Zoom-zoom lives on despite the low horsepower figures. It’s the most fun to drive in the segment. Quality is what you’d expect.
Dislikes: The rear seat is small and the boot isn’t very room either.
The Kia Soul will always have a special place in my heart. It really is a funky crossover that’s really hard to ignore. We strongly suggest ignoring the standard 1.6 and going right for the 2-liter engine. It feels more flexible and the running costs are respectable. You can also get a 1.6 turbo at the top end which is actually quite fun to drive, the only thing missing is the optional all-wheel-drive which would appeal to those who may need all-wheel-drive in a smaller package. Interior quality has been vastly improved over the previous generation and has a sort of hipster feel that we like and the boot space is generous. It’s easy to park and easy to live with. The Kia Soul really is worthy of the shortlist.
Likes: The 1.6 turbo is exactly the spice the Soul needed. It’s roomy for five and has tons of standard kit for the money.
Dislikes: Steering feedback could be better. Resale value is not great. No all-wheel-drive option.
We like the practicality side of the HR-V. It features the magic seats of the Fit and the overall packaging is well worth consideration. The tiny 1.5-liter four-cylinder won’t win you any races but it will save you money at the pump. We however wish that Honda upgraded their infotainment system because it really is fiddly to operate. The best part of the HR-V is that it has high resale value, it’s the most sensible choice among small crossovers and it’s build quality is on par with what Honda is known for. The HR-V’s dinky dimensions make parking in tight urban streets a breeze.
Likes: Low running costs. The interior features tons of functionality for a small package.
Dislikes: The infotainment system is too fiddly to operate.
Nissan Rogue Sport
The Rogue Sport just went on sale and we do consider this one a worthy contender of the shortlist. The 2-liter four-cylinder is the only downside of the Rogue Sport. It could use more flexibility or the Juke’s turbo engine option could be optional here to help give buyers who may want more power a very interesting option. The Rogue Sport is easy to live with and has tons of features for a very low asking price. Some options can send the Rogue Sport price higher than the larger and roomier Rogue. All-wheel-drive is optional across the range is only needed if you have to have the extra traction.
Likes: The exterior and interior styling is very attractive. Very easy to live with and the running costs are low.