Crossovers represent a revolution in the automotive industry as there are a variety of types for everyone’s needs. Below are five of the best crossover SUVs in Canada.
2017 BMW X6 – Midsize Luxury Crossover
BMW invented the coupe-like SUV and caused the creation of a new niche vehicle segment with the introduction of the X6 in 2008. The X6 is a more fluid, sleeker-looking spin-off of the excellent, much boxier BMW X5. But, whereas the X5 prioritizes practicality, the X6 is content with being a performance-oriented head turner.
The 2017 X6 manages to stay ahead of its rivals by offering solid performance and an impressive list of powertrains. Of course, the exaggerated air intakes should give you an idea of what to expect performance-wise.
A turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 powers the entry-level rear-drive sDrive35i, and the AWD xDrive35i. It is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission that produces a healthy 300 horsepower and 300 lb.-ft. of torque.
An available 445 hp, twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 enables the xDrive50i model to make a 4.8-second run from zero to 60 mph. If you think this is the pinnacle of the X6’s performance, think again. There is a no-nonsense X6 M that accelerates to 60 mph in just 4 seconds, using an upgraded turbo V8 engine that pumps out a massive 567 hp.
The BMW X6 seats five, but the rear row can feel cramped for passengers taller than 6 feet. It also provides less in-cabin and trunk storage capacity compared to its competitors, and its styling compromises visibility.
2017 Porsche Macan – Compact Luxury Crossover
Porsche took the Audi Q5’s underpinnings and made a roomier, better-performing crossover that very few critics have anything negative to say about. The Macan is an impressive hot-rod crossover that has proven difficult to beat ever since its debut in 2015.
It has risen to become the automaker’s best-selling vehicle, mainly because it bridges the gap between the small Cayman and the flagship Cayenne. It is available in the base Macan, Macan S, Macan Turbo, and new-for-2017 Macan GTS trims.
The 2017 Macan offers four turbo engines starting with a 2.0-liter flat-four that gives the base model a potent 252 horsepower and 273 lb.-ft. of torque. Stepping up to the Macan S gets you a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 that returns 340 hp and 339 lb.-ft. of torque.
The Macan GTS harnesses more power from the same engine than the Macan S, with 360 horsepower and 369 lb.-ft. of torque. At the top of the ladder is the ferocious Macan Turbo that employs a twin-turbo 3.6-liter V6 to make a whopping 400 hp and 406 lb.-ft. of torque. All Macans come with AWD by default, and all engines get Porsche’s highly-responsive seven-speed twin-clutch automatic.
The Macan is the height of luxury, at least in its segment. It offers Alcantara seat centers, 18-way adaptive and heated seats, a piano black interior package, multi-zone AC, and a suede-like headliner, among other comfort features.
On the plus side, the Macan offers excellent interior space and utility, Cayenne-like specifications, a top-rated transmission, and fantastic acceleration numbers. On the downside, the back-seat space is compromised and can only fit two passengers comfortably. It can get painfully expensive depending on your options, and some people may not like the limited transmission options.
2017 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class – Small Luxury Crossover
It is amazing how popular Mercedes’ GLA-Class has become, despite only being on the market for two years. Built on the Mercedes-Benz CLA’s platform, the GLA-Class was introduced to combat the likes of the Audi Q3, the BMW X1, and the Acura RDX – and if sales are anything to go by, it’s doing a great job.
The GLA is available in three trims: the GLA250, the GLA250 4Matic, and the AMG GLA45. All trims offer a comprehensive list of tech and safety equipment. The interior is graced with genuine leather and soft-touch materials. You can also get it decked out with chrome and wood trim, for a couple extra hundred dollars.
Some of the features in the 2017 GLA-Class include a powerlift gate, keyless entry, the Dynamic Select system, Mbrace apps, and an 8-inch display screen with Apple Carplay and Android Auto integration.
The GLA250 and the GLA250 4MATIC share a 208 hp, 258 lb.-ft. 2.0-liter turbo engine mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission. In fact, the only difference between the two is the drivetrain; the former is FWD while the latter is four-wheel drive.
The AMG45 ups the ante with an upgraded 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine producing 375 hp and 350 lb.-ft. of torque, and the ability to dash to 60 mph in just 4.3 seconds.
The GLA-Class offers great options, a decent fuel economy, lots of turbo fun, and impressive driving dynamics. Still, the three-star emblem makes it pricier than most vehicles in the segment. The rear seat is also a tad cramped.
2017 Mazda CX-9 – Three-Row Mid-Size Crossover
When you think of a practical vehicle, what qualities come to mind? How about three rows, a quiet ride, and all-wheel drive? If that sounds spot on, then the 2017 Mazda CX-9 is nothing but practical. The one-year-old Mazda CX-9 leads a pack of seasoned, yet equally utilitarian, three-row crossovers on a fight against the struggling minivan.
The new Mazda CX-9 seats up to seven passengers and provides a substantial amount of storage space. The base Sports model gets cloth upholstery, a rearview camera, 18-inch alloy wheels, and the MazdaConnect infotainment system, complete with a seven-inch touchscreen.
20-inch alloy wheels, an eight-inch touchscreen display, a 12-speaker Bose premium audio system, Nappa leather upholstery, and navigation can be added with the higher trims.
All models come with a six-speed automatic transmission with standard front-wheel drive. AWD is optional. A 2.5-liter turbo four-cylinder is the only engine option. It delivers 227 horsepower on regular gas and 250 horsepower on premium. Torque is uniform at 310 lb.-ft. regardless of the fuel used.
Despite its size, the CX-9 is stylish, drives like a champ, returns high mpg numbers, and offers lots of smart features. But, the turbo four-cylinder strains a bit when fully loaded. The CX-9 is also less voluminous than its counterparts.
2017 Honda CR-V – Compact Crossover
The 2017 Honda CR-V is the fifth generation of the CR-V. It is built on the same body as the Civic, and it is larger in every dimension than its predecessor; perhaps to make room for its smaller kin, the HR-V.
The refreshed CR-V features almost unchanged interior ergonomics and layout, although the material quality has been amped up. You can expect leather upholstery, chromed plastic, brushed satin finishes, and faux-wood accents with the higher trims.
The exterior is more aggressive with dual exhaust tips, LED daytime running lights, and larger standard wheels.
A 2.4-liter direct-injected engine with 185 hp and 181 lb.-ft. of torque is standard in the base CR-V LX. The EX, EX-L, and Touring trims receive a new-for-2017 1.5-liter direct-injected turbo rated at 190 hp and 179 lb.-ft. of torque.
A CVT driving the front wheels complement both engines. Steering is handled by Honda’s Variable Electric Power Steering (EPS), and AWD is available on all models.
The 2017 Honda CR-V provides a quiet interior, a more aggressive exterior design, a comfy driving position, and increased passenger and cargo space. It also offers more power and a better fuel economy. You may not like that the infotainment system needs a lot of focus to operate, due to the smaller display interface.