Crossover reviews

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2021 Nissan Ariya

2021 Nissan Ariya

Nissan flexes its EV muscle harder with the 2021 Ariya all-electric crossover

In the wake of the success it had with the LEAF EV, Nissan is extending its ambitions in the crossover segment with the futuristic-looking Ariya, an all-electric crossover based on the Ariya prototype shown in 2019 in Tokyo.

As you’d expect, the styling cues flaunted by that Ariya - inside and outside - have a clear correspondent in Japanese tradition. The Ariya is available in 2WD and 4WD guise. Customers can also pick from one of the two available battery packs. We’ll get into more detail below.

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2020 Audi Q4 Sportback E-Tron Concept

2020 Audi Q4 Sportback E-Tron Concept

It is essentially the standard Q4 e-tron but in a much sexier Sportback avatar

Audi is arguably the most active brand today when it comes to EVs. The company had announced a bold claim that it will launch 20 new EVs by 2025, and surprisingly, it seems to be on track.

The German automaker has added yet another vehicle to its EV portfolio, the Q4 Sportback e-tron, which happens to be its seventh fully electric vehicle. The company revealed the concept version for now and the real deal is expected to go on sale sometime in 2021.

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2022 Audi Q4 e-tron

2022 Audi Q4 e-tron

The Q4 e-tron is shaping out to be a well-spec’d product with a big price advantage over the Tesla Model Y

The Volkswagen Group has made some phenomenal strides in recent times. From being caught in Dieselgate a few years back to running a few of the most proactive brands in electrification today, the German group has come a long way. One of its most prominent brands, Audi, also has a few electric models in the works. The automaker’s next electric vehicle will be the Q4 e-tron, which was previewed at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show.

Audi recently revealed that the SUV will launch at the end of 2020 and is set to go on sale in 2021. Although it might be the brand’s fifth EV, there are a lot of eyes on it since it will be the first four-ringed electric vehicle to be pinned on Volkswagen’s MEB architecture. It was recently spotted performing cold-weather tests in Northern Sweden.

Update 7-6-2020: The Audi Q4 E-tron has finally be spied out on public roads and, unlike the mule we saw earlier this year, this baby is looking pretty close to production ready. Check it out in the spy shots section below.

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2021 Opel Mokka-e

2021 Opel Mokka-e

Revolutionary design makes the Mokka-e a downright looker

Opel/Vauxhall’s first all-electric SUV is called Mokka-e and comes with a radical design that’s far from what the Mokka has been showing since its inception.

Aided by the fusion with the PSA Group, the Germans seem to have finally found a direction for their future lineup, both design- and powertrain-wise, at least as electrification is concerned. Here’s all you need to know about the new Opel Mokka-e.

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2021 Kia Seltos - Driven

2021 Kia Seltos - Driven

The Kia Seltos - a car that avoids the flaws commonly found in the subcompact crossover market

The subcompact crossover class has so much potential. Best-selling “compact” models like the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, and Chevrolet Equinox have gotten fantastically spacious, refined — and expensive. A modern CR-V or RAV4 is just as big, fancy, and costly as midsize models used to be. For lots of people, they’re still a great deal: for as little as $25,000, you get ample space for four or even five adults and their stuff, all the latest advanced safety features, a fully featured touchscreen infotainment system, and great gas mileage. But lots of people don’t need or even want something this big, or at least aren’t eager to pay for it. So most automakers now offer a subcompact model that’s smaller and less expensive than their compact.

What’s puzzling, though, is how flawed most of these subcompact crossovers have proven to be. Many of them are polarizing styling statements, sometimes with looks that compromise their utility even more than their scaled-down dimensions do. A surprising number of them offer no all-wheel-drive. Some suffer from execution flaws like underpowered yet inefficient engines, compromised interior layouts, or clumsy driving dynamics. Each model that gets a lot right has also had at least one serious flaw — whether it’s the fun-to-drive but cramped Hyundai Kona and Mazda CX-3 and CX-30; the spacious but slow, noisy Honda HR-V; the pleasant but overpriced Nissan Rogue Sport; the off-road-ready, on-road-jerky Jeep Renegade and Subaru Crosstrek; or a host of other would-be contenders. That’s to say nothing of the ones that, well, don’t get a lot right. Why, oh why, couldn’t someone just take everything that people love about a compact crossover and simply make it a little smaller and less expensive?

At long last, that call has been answered. The all-new 2021 Kia Seltos is a mechanical cousin to the Hyundai Kona, but it’s taller and longer. And that’s just what was needed to address the Kona’s lower, more car-like seating position and its tight rear seating. This makes the Seltos the first truly well-rounded subcompact crossover, delivering all-around competence with no disastrous downsides. It’s handsome, functional, fun to drive, fuel-efficient, and affordable. While no car is perfect — certain buyers will gravitate toward the specific advantages of some Seltos competitors — this is the only subcompact crossover that has something for just about everyone.

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2020 Nissan Murano - Driven

2020 Nissan Murano - Driven

An SUV that covers all the bases well but doesn’t excel in any of them

The Nissan Murano has been around for quite some time now and is fairly popular in the market. It isn’t the best-selling SUV in the segment, but it rakes in decent sales numbers for the Japanese automaker.

Named after an Italian city, the Murano slots between the Rogue and the Pathfinder in Nissan’s lineup. The Murano’s last generation change came back in 2015, which means the next-gen is on the horizon. The company has given the SUV a few facelifts that make it look fresh, though. The Murano arrived at TopSpeed’s HQ recently, and here are our impressions about this SUV.

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2020 Audi Q5 55 TFSIe by ABT – The First ABT-Branded Hybrid You Can Buy

2020 Audi Q5 55 TFSIe by ABT – The First ABT-Branded Hybrid You Can Buy

How does 420 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque sound?

ABT and Audi kind of go together like peanut butter and jelly. Just this year alone, we’ve seen a handful of ABT-tuned Audis, like the bonkers RS6-R Avant, the RS Q8, and the RS6 Avant. Now, ABT has managed to take the Audi Q5 55 TFSIe, one of Audi’s latest plug-in hybrids, and give it a healthy dose of extra grunt that pushes it well beyond its original specification.

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2020 Subaru Outback - Driven

2020 Subaru Outback - Driven

Strong competition from a wagon-turned crossover in an unforgiving segment

The Subaru Outback started like as a full-fledged station wagon that was based on the Legacy back in 1994. In those 16 years, the Outback slowly evolved from your everyday wagon to what is, essentially, a crossover by today’s standards. As such, the competition is fierce, and with the sixth-gen Outback hitting the market for the 2020 model year, we thought it would be a great idea to see just what it has th

at sets it apart from the many models on the market. Fortunately for us (and you, of course), Subaru was kind enough to let us get behind the wheel of an Outback Onyx Edition XT for an entire week. This is what we’ve learned.

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2020 Hyundai Kona - Driven

2020 Hyundai Kona - Driven

It really is the baby Hyundai that could - as long as you have the turbo engine

The Hyundai Kona is a strong competitor in the subcompact SUV market, and it’s made itself known in the two short years it’s been on the market. The Toyota C-HR and Honda HR-V both claim their own fame as being top contenders, so we decided to see just how well the Kona can hold up now that it has actually established itself on the market. So, we decided to ask for a test car, and next thing we knew, the Kona was rolling up to Topspeed HQ with its gray paint finish and silver highlights. This is our experience and thoughts after spending a whole week with the Hyundai Kona.

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2022 BMW iNext Electric SUV

2022 BMW iNext Electric SUV

The iNext is touted to be BMW’s flagship product in the EV segment

When BMW launched the Vision iNext concept at the 2018 Los Angeles Motor Show, it took the world by surprise. It was supposed to be the next big thing to come out of the company’s stable, but all people could talk about was that gaudy grille that eclipsed everything else.

The crossover with the Bavarian DNA is designed to combine advanced autonomous systems, connectivity, and electrification blended into one recipe that is touted to be the company’s flagship electric product. The model sits on a new platform and will provide the building blocks for the automaker moving forward. Is this a preview of what we can expect from BMW 10 years down the line?

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2021 Chevrolet Traverse

2021 Chevrolet Traverse

Chevy is finally getting back on track in terms of design after a momentary lapse

Chevy’s SUV lineup is going through a lot of hustle and bustle lately. In December last year, the American automaker revealed the all-new Tahoe and Suburban. A month later, they reincarnated the Trailblazer moniker to add a seventh SUV/Crossover in the lineup.

Now, they have refreshed the Traverse. The Traverse wasn’t a good-looking vehicle until 2018 when it went through a rejig. The SUV is a bit more attractive now and that resulted in sales going up. In 2019, the Traverse recorded its best sales figures since its inception, and Chevrolet decided to keep the upward trend going by refreshing it again for the 2021 model.

The 2021 Chevy Traverse hasn’t gone through a lot of changes, but it is different from what we’ve been seeing in the last two years. This new model now looks meaner, sharper, and a lot more aggressive. The biggest difference comes in the form of new safety tech that Chevy seems to be introducing on all its refreshed models. The previous big change worked like a charm for the Traverse, but can this refresh replicate the same?

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2020 Dacia Spring Electric Concept

2020 Dacia Spring Electric Concept

Your new affordable urban EV is on its way

Dacia is finally joining the electric car bandwagon and to signal that intent, the Romanian Renault-owned carmaker has unveiled the Dacia Spring electric prototype which will spawn a road-legal car towards the beginning of 2021. Once that happens, the all-electric Dacia model will be Europe’s most-affordable all-electric vehicle.

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2020 Renault MORPHOZ concept

2020 Renault MORPHOZ concept

The Morphoz Concept represents a future where cars transform and what’s yours isn’t always yours

Renault, like all other automakers, were forced to skip the Geneva Motor Show, but that sure didn’t stop it from unveiling what will probably be written in history as the weirdest futuristic concept of 2020. The Morphoz is, essentially, a vehicle that can transform based on range need, from a shorter, city car to a longer travel car. It sounds like the Morphoz will be a city car by default and would require you to stop by a station and swap to a larger battery if you plan to take a longer trip. The batteries, whether in the car or not, will be used to power infrastructure when not in use. I tend to speak too soon about a lot of things, but I’m going to come right out and say that this thing will never see production, but it could represent the future of automobiles, so here’s what you need to know about it.

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2020 DS Aero Sport Lounge Concept Car

2020 DS Aero Sport Lounge Concept Car

Whenever DS flexes its luxury muscle, we should all pay attention

Over the past decades, luxury has been associated with what we could call analogue concepts: fine leather, wood veneer, exquisite quilting, and silky-smooth fabrics. These days, however, luxury goes hand in hand with technology, too.

Sure, not everybody approves of that, but even the most fanatical skeptic might have second thoughts after getting a glimpse of the DS Aero Sport Lounge. We’re gonna offer up a lot more than that in the words below.

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2020 BMW X3 M Competition by AC Schnitzer

2020 BMW X3 M Competition by AC Schnitzer

German tuner jolts Bimmer’s performance crossover to life

AC Schnitzer knows its way around BMW models. That knowledge comes in handy when we’re talking about a comprehensive aftermarket program for one of Bimmer’s resident performance crossovers, the X3 M.

You’re probably thinking the same thing. The X3 M already has 510 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. It doesn’t need more power than what it already has, right? Well, don’t tell that to AC Schnitzer. The German tuner isn’t interested in what’s already there; it’s in the business of imagining what it could become and bringing that scenario to life. The product of all that is this extensive tuning program that not only adds a slew of aerodynamic improvements to the X3 M, but, more importantly, also adds more power to what is already a powerful performance workhorse.

AC Schnitzer hasn’t announced pricing details for the X3 M Competition program, but rest assured, expect to pay somewhere in the vicinity of $20,000 to $30,000 for the program alone.

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2020 Lotus SUV

2020 Lotus SUV

The pure British proposition to the cool Porsche Macan

The idea of a Lotus crossover might make some fans of the British sports carmaker a little squeamish, but if Lotus is going to stick around, it’s going to need a higher-volume model with more mass-market appeal. Lotus revealed that it’s developing a compact crossover in 2017, but we still don’t know much about its underpinnings and design. However, a batch of patent images that surfaced the Web provided some hints as to what the British crossover will look like, and our designer created a rendering of the vehicle.

So what do we actually know about this crossover so far? First, it will be built in China and launched exclusively in that market before expanding to Europe and Japan. No word on U.S. availability just yet, but it’s very likely that North America will get it too. Second, Lotus aims to win SUV enthusiasts with one of the lightest and most dynamic vehicles on the market. "The SUV market changes as well – it’s not just cars that are six feet high and wide now, it’s a huge market that’s becoming more segmented. There is a niche within that for a Lotus crossover that is light and aerodynamic and handles like nothing else," former Lotus CEO, Jean-Marc Gales told Autocar in October 2017. Lotus began testing the crossover in 2019, but the prototype is just an old Lynk & Co 01 model. As a reminder, Lynk & Co is owned by Geely, the same Chinese company that owns Lotus (and Volvo for that matter).

Updated 06/24/2019: Our spy photographers caught the very first mules for the upcoming Lotus SUV out for the first testing session.

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2020 Nissan Rogue - Driven

2020 Nissan Rogue - Driven

This aging compact crossover still has the goods

It’s far too easy for car aficionados to dismiss an aging vehicle. “Just look at that dashboard — straight out of 2014. And that hopelessly uncompetitive engine, ugh; to keep up, it needs at least 11% more horsepower. Junk!”

Now, we’d never suggest that cars never fall behind the curve. Quite the contrary, it happens all the time in today’s fast-paced marketplace. But when a vehicle gets the important stuff right from the start, especially if it also benefits from updates over the years, it can still be a great choice in its segment throughout its lifespan. And that’s precisely the case we’re finding with the 2020 Nissan Rogue compact crossover, one of America’s best-selling vehicles. The Rogue still brings a handsome face, a pleasant driving experience, great gas mileage, and a spacious cabin. And it’s now laden with advanced driver-assistance technology, even on the base model.

True, the Rogue hasn’t changed much since its current generation debuted as a 2014 model. Yes, its interior still has the sort of humdrum plastics and plain shapes that most newer competitors have moved away from. And its 170 horsepower is undoubtedly on the low side for the segment these days. The Rogue isn’t one of the compact crossovers that brings a high degree of luxury, sporty performance, or overall pizzazz. But we’d challenge its critics to spend a week in one, study how it compares to its competitors, and still write it off as a tired relic. We found the Rogue to be a solid family vehicle at compelling prices, and we were pleasantly surprised by how much we enjoyed our time with it — and with the glowing praise it received from passengers. Prices start at $26,39, including destination charge.

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2021 Porsche Macan GTS

2021 Porsche Macan GTS

Porsche has released the all-new Porsche Macan GTS after a short hiatus, and this time around it pushes things to the next level with a more powerful engine, reworked chassis, and exterior features that make it standout in the pack.

On the outside, the Macan GTS features new front and rear fascias, new side skirts, and a handful of black trim pieces for extra flare. On top of this, you’ll be able to spot the new GTS by the 20-inch RS Spyder Design wheels which are, you guessed it, dressed in Satin Black. On the inside, you’ll find plenty of Alcantara, including on

The seat center inserts Center console armrests Door trim panels

You can also opt for the GTS interior package that includes leather and accent stitching in Carmine Red or Chalk. The multifunction sport steering wheel can also be had here, and it’s actually exclusive for the Macan GTS, if you can believe that.

The big news here is the 2.9-liter V-6 under the hood. It delivers a cool 375 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque – that accounts for an extra 15 ponies over the previous model. It’s also enough for a 4.7-second sprint to 60 mph and a top speed of 162 mph. Adaptive air suspension is also available and, with it, the suspension will be lowered by 0.39 inches (10 mm.) Pricing for the Macan GTS starts at $71,300 and you’ll be able to get your hands on one starting in summer of 2020.

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2022 BMW iX2

2022 BMW iX2

BMW’s X2 family keeps on growing

The BMW X2 is barely two years old as a model and it’s already headed down the path of electrification. A prototype version of Bimmer’s relatively new compact crossover has been spotted in the snowy abode of Sweden, and while it’s easy to assume that said model is the plug-in hybrid variant of the X2, the truth is that it’s not.

This crossover is the test mule of the iX2, the all-electric version of the X2 crossover that will be launched sometime in 2021 or 2022. The spy photos captured the iX2 prototype sans any camouflage and that’s not by accident. Visually, it’s still the X2 but that little sticker that says “electric test vehicle” confirms that, other than a few design changes, this prototype is an all-electric crossover hiding in the X2’s clothing.

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2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA

The all-new Mercedes-Benz GLA is here and it borrows a lot of design cues and tech from its larger peers

Mercedes-Benz has officially unveiled the new GLA, the A-Class-based crossover whose first-generation was a popular choice among buyers. The new Mercedes-Benz GLA, however, takes a lot after its bigger brothers design- and tech-wise, and that’s a very good thing.

The new GLA is 4.1 inches higher (now 63.4 inches) and 0.6 inches shorter (now 173.6 inches) than the model it replaces. This means you get more headroom, but Mercedes-Benz highlights that now there’s even more legroom in the rear (38.4 inches, compared to 33.9 inches in the previous model). The U.S.-bound 2021 GLA has an aerodynamic coefficient of 0.30, which will contribute to low levels of wind noise inside the cabin as well as a reduction in fuel consumption at higher speeds. What’s more, Mercedes is so confident that the GLA can pull its own weight off the beaten path that it offers the Off-Road Engineering Package as standard on the GLA 4Matic.

On the inside, the GLA receives the highly-acclaimed MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment setup. Rear headroom, however, takes a 0.3-inch plunge (now 38.1 inches instead of 38.4), but shoulder room is more generous (now 54.8 inches instead of 53.1 inches, a 1.7-inch increase). Trunk capacity is also better in the new GLA, measuring 15.4 cubic feet, a 0.5 cubic feet increase from the previous model’s 14.9 cubic feet rating.

The safety bundle is a hefty one, especially if you opt for the optional Driver Assistance Package. Here’s what you get:

Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC Active Steering Assist Active Speed Limit Assist with Traffic Sign Assist Evasive Steering Assist Active Lane Keeping Assist Active Brake Assist Pre-Safe PLUS

In the U.S., the non-AMG 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA can be had with a four-cylinder, 2.0-liter, turbocharged gasoline engine bolted to an eight-speed 8G-DCT automatic transmission. The powerplant makes 221 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 258 pound-feet of torque between 1,620 rpm and 4,000 rpm. You can pick between the GLA 250 or the AWD GLA 250 4Matic. Performance-wise, Mercedes-Benz estimates that the 2021 GLA needs 8.6 seconds to reach 60 miles per hour from a standstill en route to a top speed of 130 miles per hour.

No words on pricing yet, but the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA launches in the U.S. in the summer of 2020, so we’ll know more as its market debut closes in.

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2019 Nissan Rogue - Driven

2019 Nissan Rogue - Driven

In a world where SUVs and crossovers constantly evolve, the Nissan Rogue falls in the middle

The Nissan Rogue is in its second generation, but it has been soldiering on since it was introduced in 2014 with only a mild facelift in 2017 and a safety equipment update in 2018. With all of the wide selection of compact SUVs on the market, we thought it would be a good idea to see how the aging Rogue holds up on an oh-so-competitive market. Does the Rogue’s appearance, interior comfort, safety systems, and technology hold up against the ever-growing crop of small crossovers or is Nissan in dire need of majorly updating the Rogue? Well, we found that out for ourselves and more – this is our experience with the 2020 Nissan Rogue.

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2020 Jeep Renegade - Driven

2020 Jeep Renegade - Driven

After spending a week with the Jeep Reneage, we’ve learned a lot about what has changed and what hasn’t

The Jeep Renegade entered the market back in 2014 as a 2015 model and, despite the fact that it was expected to replace the Jeep Compass, the two models share a home in Jeep’s Lineup. The Renegade has changed a little bit with each model year, but the first official facelift didn’t happen until 2019 when a handful of subtle tweaks offered up a marginally fresh look. Curious to see how the updated Jeep Renegade compares to the launch model that we drove back in 2015, we asked FCA for a new loaner, and this is our thoughts after a week-long experience with the 2020 Jeep Renegade.

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