Best and Worst SUVs for 2016 and 2017

Born by blending the genetic makeup of the car with that of an SUV, most crossovers aim to seamlessly blend utility and a touch of off-road capability—although one of our entries is the quintessential off-road SUV—with a touch of car like refinement. In general, they avoid the dismal fuel mileage or unwieldy handling characteristics of the colossal truck-based vehicles that predate their existence. Now the marketplace is crowded with so many of these vehicles that simply sorting through them can be a daunting task. But never fear: We’ve assembled these rankings of the players to help you zero in on which one is right for you.

Customer Reviews

“One thing about reading C&D is that you never even need to look at the number one ranking because you know it’s going to be a Mazda. Just take the money and run guys! Makes me wonder if they actually even drive them. Anyway, other than that, it’s an interesting list. Refreshing to see the Escape ranked as 3 as it is indeed a very nice vehicle. Also refreshing to see the RAV down in 8th place where it belongs, (along with most of what Toyota builds. Surprised to see where Subaru was placed and the Jeep CJ should have been included. I had a chance to rent a Honda CRV when I last traveled and, my goodness, it is a sweet vehicle!”

A crossover or crossover utility vehicle (CUV), is a vehicle built on a car platform and combining, in highly variable degrees, features of a sport utility vehicle (SUV) with features from a passenger vehicle, especially those of a station wagon or hatchback.

Using the unibody construction typical of passenger vehicles instead of the body-on-frame platform used in light trucks and the original SUVs, the crossover combines SUV design features such as tall interior packaging, high H-point seating, high center of gravity, high ground-clearance or all-wheel-drive capability – with design features from an automobile such as a passenger vehicle’s platform, independent rear suspension, car-like handling and superior fuel economy.

A crossover may borrow features from a station wagon or hatchback, such as the two-box design of a shared passenger/cargo volume with rear access via a third or fifth door, a liftgate – and flexibility to allow configurations that favor either passenger or cargo volume, e.g., fold-down rear seats.

Crossovers are offered with front wheel drive, rear wheel drive or all-wheel drive configurations. Crossovers are typically designed for only light off-road capability, if any at all.

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