1) BMW X3
BMW’s compact luxury crossover is a prominent offering among the company’s X-line of vehicles, and is based on the 3-series platform. The second generation X3 started being manufactured in the US in 2010. The 2017 model year brings in the car’s third generation.
The X3 has been designed to be a rugged, yet intelligent vehicle with all the comforts of a city car. The X3 it provides excellent road clearance, decent power and enough boot space to run almost any type of errand.
The car is currently available in three primary variants with several optional extras. The base model retails in the US starting from $39,250. Known as the X3 sDrive28i, it comes with a 2.0 litre BMW TwinPower Turbo inline 4 cylinder engine producing 240 hp. The car’s top model is the X3 xDrive35i with a 3.0 litre turbo inline 6-cylinder engine, and a peak output of 300 hp.
2) Jaguar F-Pace
Wanting to extend their product offering and exploit the SUV design experience acquired from their association with Land Rover, Jaguar decided to design the F-Pace. In 2015 it became their first car in the compact luxury crossover segment.
The F-Pace expectably inherits the desirable Jaguar qualities of superlative handling and luxury, combining them with SUV perks such as space and a tall presence. Currently the US versions of the F-Pace are being offered with two engine variants. The smaller of these is the 2.0 litre i4 turbocharged diesel engine. Its big brother is the 3.0 litre supercharged V6. Fitted as standard on the F-PACE S, the latter produces 380 hp and is capable of 0 to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds.
The car’s aluminum intensive architecture and an all-wheel-drive system with Intelligent Driveline Dynamics software make for agile handling with minimum understeer. The interiors provide all the comfort and functionality one expects of a Jaguar.
3) Cadillac XT5
XT5 is shorthand for Crossover Touring 5. Cadillac’s midsize luxury crossover is set to become a part of an alphanumeric jumble in the making. Nomenclature aside the 2017 XT5 can be considered among the best cars in its price class, for a crossover which retails for US $39,395.
The car has been designed to be versatile and spacious, with numerous built-in safety and connectivity features. Adjustable rear sliding seats glide forward to make additional cargo room, and backwards for more passenger legroom. Cleverly designed storage spaces in the seats and doors are also handy.
The rear hatch can literally be kicked open, which is Cadillac’s idea of handsfree operation. Its height-memory function controls how high the hatch opens. The car’s radar and cameras monitor the surroundings to provide timely collision alerts.
Engine technology includes active fuel management, which turns off two of the engine’s cylinders when they’re not needed. All-wheel drive is available for those who expect to use their cars in challenging road conditions.
4) Mercedes-Benz GLC-class
Mercedes-Benz replaced its GLK-Class in 2016 with the GLC-Class. The ‘G’ stands for Geländewagen, which simply means ‘off-road vehicle’ in German. GLC therefore, is the German equivalent of SUV, C-Class. The 2017 GLC retail prices start at $39,150 in the US market.
The car’s long wheelbase, big wheels and wide track are the results of design experiments in the wind tunnel and on the track. The GLC300 packs a turbocharged 4 cylinder engine with direct injection and multispark technology to deliver 241 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque over a wide rpm range.
The GLC’s 9 speed automatic transmission is light and efficient. Quick and smooth gear shifts can also be achieved using the shift paddles. Five shift modes determine how the system transitions between gears. Its selective damping system hardens the suspension in the corners while maintaining a smooth ride quality. The car is fitted with ergonomic controls and an optional head-up display.
5) Porsche Macan
Porsche’s five-door luxury crossover was named using the Indonesian word for tiger. Five doors, five seats and an elevated stance make this SUV a practical city car. It is also a Porsche though, and the ascending centre console with control buttons emulates that of the Carrera GT sports car.
The Macan’s front engine is a 2.0 litre inline four cylinder machine with direct fuel injection (DFI) and auto start/stop functionality. It produces 252 hp at 5,000 rpm and couples with Porsche’s active all-wheel drive system to achieve 0 to 60 mph acceleration in 6.7 seconds. Top speed is 142 mph.
The basic Macan comes with the option of an air suspension with a ride-height adjustment capability that enables adjusting the vehicle’s ground clearance to three levels. This functionality is operated from a button in the car’s luggage compartment.
Safety aides include Porsche Stability Management (PSM), which is an electronic control system to maintain complete control in all driving conditions.
6) Porsche Macan Turbo
The Macan Turbo is the top end variant of Porsche’s newest and most advanced entry in the luxury crossover segment. While the regular Macan already packs a more than decent package for an SUV, the Turbo variant has been given a 3.6 litre twin turbo V6 engine that produces a peak output of 400 hp at 6,000 rpm. The Macan Turbo can shoot forth from 0 to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds, impressive for an SUV.
This car features Porsche’s new 7 speed Doppelkupplung (PDK) transmission, which essentially means it has two clutches, for odd and even gears. This gearbox allows for manual gearshift and an automatic mode, both enabling smooth gear changes with no interruption in the flow of power.
The Macan Tubo also comes with something called VarioCam Plus, which optimally manages the valves on the twin-turbo V6 to provide boosts of acceleration, maximum sustained low RPM torque and the best possible fuel economy.
7) Acura RDX
The RDX takes over from the MDX and becomes Acura’s first compact luxury crossover to hit the market. While the MDX was an entry level SUV, the RDX targets the bulkier and pricier segment of the crossover market.
The base model retails in the US starting from $35,670. Acura has tried to give the car every desirable SUV quality including spaciousness, comfort, good handling and decent power. It packs Honda’s 3.5 litre direct injection 24-valve, SOHC i-VTEC V-6 engine with drive-by-wire throttle control and variable cylinder management. It produces 279 hp and gets a fuel economy of 20 mpg in the city with 2WD.
AWD is available as an option with all models of the RDX. Transmission is 6-speed automatic with sequential paddle shifters. Other technical features include ABS and Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD).
RDX interiors feature sport seats and matching trim. The driver gets a heated 10-way power seat and keyless access.
8) Audi Q5
The Q5 is based on VW’s MLB platform and has been built since 2008. The second gen 2017 Q5 is meant to be a trendsetter and packs all the advanced technology of a modern crossover. Retail prices in the US start from $40,900.
The car comes with a choice of two engines. Audi’s 2.0 TFSI engine is standard on the Q5 Premium, while the 3.0 TFSI powers the Q5 Prestige. The Prestige also comes with adaptive xenon plus headlights and static cornering lights, navigation system with voice control, Bang & Olufsen 14-speaker sound system, Audi adaptive cruise control and Audi side assist.
Audi’s drive select technology allows the driver to select the driving mode, which changes how the Q5 responds to the road by adjusting steering, transmission shifts and throttle response. Quattro is Audi’s first permanent all-wheel drive system designed for all Audi passenger cars, and has become integral to the holistic Audi experience.
9) BMW X4
The X4 has been designed to look like a really large coupe. Cabin features such as a low seating position and optional 10-way power adjustable front sport seats add to the coupe feel.
Multiple variants are on offer. The X4 xDrive28i comes with an inline 4 cylinder TwinPower Turbo 2.0 litre engine producing 240 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. The BMW X4 M40i model on the other hand, packs BMW’s M Performance inline 6 cylinder 3.0 litre engine with a maximum output of 355 horsepower. The latter model goes from 0 to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds and gets to a top speed of 150 mph.
An 8-speed sport automatic transmission with paddle shifters is equipped as standard on all X4 models. xDrive is BMW’s intelligent all-wheel drive system, which works in tandem with Dynamic Stability Control to monitor the road’s conditions and improve traction to deliver responsive handling.
Interior features include a Full-Color Head-Up display to project the necessary information and an advanced infotainment system with wireless integration of apps.
10) Buick Envision
Buick’a mid-size luxury crossover is produced in China by Shanghai GM. The 2017 envision retails in the US starting at $34,065. The car is available with optional all wheel drive and active twin clutch. It has been engineered for responsive steering, improved cornering and reduced noise and vibration.
The Envision now comes with an innovative new safety feature called the ‘Teen Driver Mode’, which automatically enables all of the car’s safety features and silences the audio system until those in the front seat have fastened their seat belts. The expansive suite of the Envision’s available safety features includes an optional front crash prevention system, which contributes to the car’s ranking among 2016’s top safety picks.
A 2.5 litre DOHC 4 cylinder engine with VVT and a 6 speed automatic transmission featuring driver shift control is one of the powertrain options. Interior features include a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.