The crossover has become one of the hottest selling new vehicle classes of the last decade, far surpassing the modern family sedan and the ever-popular full-size SUV. What makes the modern crossover so unique is the fact that it combines the car like the handling of a full-size sedan with the off-road characteristics of an SUV model which has made for a highly popular and versatile mode of transportation for most modern families.
Unbelievably, the original crossover craze was started by the original Toyota RAV 4 which combined on-road car-like handling with a one of a kind package.
What we always liked about the crossover is the range of versatility that the model has offered buyers who want something more traditional without sacrificing the tall driving position that an SUV has to offer. The traditional SUV models are generally worse on gas, and thus the crossover can be a welcome addition that is not only better on fuel economy but also a much lighter and easier car to drive. You never want it to feel like it is a challenge to drive, and many times this is how a lot of larger vehicles can feel.
The crossover has created a new breed of a sports utility vehicle that is a lot easier to drive, while still being a versatile asset for any driver who needs either option seven-passenger seating or just the high seating position of an SUV. The crossover managed to evolve, which makes for a winning combination of style and comfort.
25 2016 FIAT 500X
Yes, there is a Fiat on this list, and it is the 500X. You might not think that this little Italian made car is that capable off-road but it actually is. The model which is actually the basis for the Jeep Renegade is quite a capable little car that manages to suck you into a comfortable cockpit while also offering the car like driving characteristics that we have come to know and love from the Fiat brand.
We definitely enjoy this model very much, and the one of a kind design really leaves us satisfied.
24 2019 Rolls-Royce Cullinan
The old saying if you can’t beat them join them holds true for the Rolls-Royce Cullinan because there're already two high dollar entries on the crossover market now. But, the Rolls-Royce Cullinan is more than just a Phantom on steroids, this is actually a capable and fun to drive crossover that will definitely show you where your $300,000 is going.
With an adjustable off-road suspension and a sports mode, the Rolls-Royce Cullinan is capable and stylish, and the interior is also what you would expect out of a Rolls.
23 2019 Jeep Renegade
The littlest Jeep on this list, the Renegade is the stylish crossover that has been on the market for a few years now. What makes this teeny-tiny Jeep a viable option is the fact that it combines the trail rated capability of the much larger Jeep models, while still offering a compact little crossover that utilizes all of the aspects that make consumers want to drive one of these cars.
We like what the Jeep Renegade offers, and the one of a kind styling is beyond unique -we think this model will continue to be a popular choice.
22 2019 Lamborghini Urus
Perhaps another unique SUV model that we never thought that we would be seeing is a Lamborghini model called the URUS. While not the first SUV to have ever been offered by the sports car maker, the URUS is definitely one of the most mainstream and beautiful choices, to say the least.
Not only is the URUS striking to look at but the model is also quite a unique choice with one of the fastest production engines around, and don’t even get us started on the notable interior.
21 2019 Bentley Bentayga
Who would’ve thought ten years ago that one day we would be feasting our eyes on a Bentley SUV model, and what a beauty it is? The Bentayga is something unique that offers a true serious blend of off-road performance that is not generally seen on an SUV - especially in this massively expensive price range.
The Bentayga was tested extensively off-road by automotive journalists including those at Motor Trend magazine, and with adjustable ride height and some serious off-road traction, the Bentayga can handle terrain as well as the pavement in Beverly Hills.
20 2019 BMW X5
For years the BMW X5 has been an alternative SUV model for those who want the superior driving characteristics of a BMW, but still, need the versatility that an SUV can offer. There is nothing puny or lackluster about the X5, and the model has steadily improved with every model year and gotten closer to offering a one of a kind vehicle.
We like the X5 and all of the notable features that it offers, which make for a one of a kind SUV that can handle itself in just about every situation that you might put it in.
19 2019 GMC Acadia
GMC is the brand that is known as “Professional Grade”, and in recent years the GMC Acadia has become a better seller than the well known Yukon model. Consumers are eating the Acadia up, with its one of a kind handling and the superior styling that has made the crossover a serious contender for most family vehicle buyers.
We like that the Acadia has seven-passenger seating, and the one of a kind styling really helps set the bar to where the GMC brand is trying to go in the future.
18 2019 Dodge Durango
There was a point in time when the Dodge Durango was one of the most innovative SUV models on the market, being the first midsize SUV to offer full seven-passenger seating. This was great for consumers who needed the additional interior room but didn’t want to spring for a full-size SUV that was either bad on gas or just a pain to drive.
The Dodge Durango continues to be sporty and easier to drive option, even including the optional Hemi V8 engine which is known for its legendary performance.
17 2019 Infiniti QX80
There is no questioning Infiniti's dominance in the crossover game, offering one of the first ever crossover SUVs in the world years ago in the FX series. The QX continues to be a viable option for the luxury consumer who needs the off-road capability that many new crossovers offer, while not sacrificing the interior space of much larger SUV.
The QX80 has many innovative features which make it handle great on and off-road, and this makes for a winning combination of style and performance.
16 2019 Jaguar I-Pace
The Jaguar brand has blown the doors wide open in the last couple of years, working to completely revamp their image after the sad state of models that we affectionately call the X-Type and the S-Type.
The Jaguar brand has introduced a bevy of new and innovative models including the I-Pace, which is an innovative new crossover SUV that combines all of the unique features that we have come to expect in a crossover while also offering the one of a kind luxury that you would come to expect from the Jaguar brand.
15 2019 Lexus LX
Lexus has been in the Crossover SUV game for some time now, and the models that are offered by the luxury brand continue to get better and better. We like everything that the LX series has to offer, and with the model's roots being the Land Cruiser, the model is surprisingly capable off-road.
Lexus has always excelled when it came to the crossover market, which is why the RX series is one of the best selling models to have ever been sold. We like everything that the LX has to offer, and the model is surprisingly capable.
14 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE
Mercedes-Benz actually offers quite a few notable models that have been on the SUV market for decades, and the GLE is one of the most well known current models. What the GLE offers is a serious blend of performance and off-road performance - we have come to expect nothing less from the German automaker.
The GLE series is both a beautiful combination of style, and the one of a kind performance that the model offers is stellar which makes for a stellar crossover.
13 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
The Mitsubishi brand which has long been known for sports sedans and the legendary Monteiro franchise has recently shifted the brand's entire lineup into the crossover market.
The Outlander has long been an attractive choice for those that want a capable and compact UTE, it is also known for its quality and attractive exterior. Mitsubishi is known for making exciting cars and the newest generation of the Outlander is quite a memorable choice, not to mention the affordable sticker price.
12 2019 Range Rover Evoque
Okay, so when you first look at the Evoque you are probably thinking that this is not a very capable off-road vehicle. But, during the original road testing done by Motor Trend magazine, the Range Rover Evoque has quite the surprising off-road capabilities, and this is thanks to the world-renowned technology that land rover puts into each and every one of their vehicles.
The Evoque is different, and that’s okay because this crossover has its own personality and is one of the most capable vehicles that you can drive.
11 2019 Toyota RAV4
Being the originator of the crossover market, the RAV4 constantly has to innovate to stay ahead of the pack. The current model RAV4 is more capable off-road than ever, while also keeping true to the car like driving characteristics that made the model popular in the first place.
We like everything about the RAV4, and Toyota continues to make the vehicle look like the handsome little UTE that it should which bolsters the vehicle's reputation as well, both on and off-road making for a great crossover.
10 2016 Chevrolet Trax
Oh, the little Chevrolet Trax, how we love you. This little crossover UTE is one of the current offerings from GM in their extensive crossover portfolio. The Trax is not only surprisingly capable off the pavement, but the model is also a lot roomier than you would come to expect and this is a good thing.
Naturally, the Trax is capable, sold as an Opel in some of the coldest parts of the world where traction is a very import aspect of owning a vehicle.
9 2016 Dodge Journey
Then there's this, the Dodge Journey. This unique vehicle has been in our lives since the 2009 model year, and it continues to get improvements along the way. The Journey is perhaps the most SUV like offering out of all of these crossovers, and just from the stance to the way that it looks the Journey is a capable and handsome crossover that can take you to the grocery store as well as the snow.
We like the Journey, and the affordable price tag is an added bonus.
8 2016 Ford Explorer
Although the obvious choice on this list, the Explorer has in recent years gone from being a full body-on-frame SUV to becoming a crossover model. The current Ford Explorer has kept a lot of the charm that the original model possessed and with a one of a kind design and a very comfortable assortment of features the Explorer is a very capable off-road entry that will take you just about anywhere that you want to go in style and substance.
Nevertheless, this is just one of the many attractive crossovers offered by Ford now.
7 2016 Mazda CX-9
Mazda has come a very long way with their crossover entries, and the CX-9 manages to provide a capable and stylish off-road capable crossover that still manages to drive like a car on the pavement as well. We like everything about the CX-9, and there is nothing that we would tell Mazda to leave out because the current package is one of the most capable and comfortable entries currently on the road.
The CX-9 is the family-friendly crossover that doesn’t forget its roots, and the long company heritage for fun driving cars.
6 2016 Nissan Murano
So, what we have right here is the Nissan Murano, which has long been one of the most capable and versatile crossover vehicles on the market. The current generation of the Murano has improved in many aspects over the previous years, and it still offers a comprehensive alternative to many of the more bland models that are currently on the market. We’re looking at you, Dodge....
The Murano is not only sporty, but the vehicle is also quite versatile at going off-road which is quite impressive.
5 2016 Honda CR-V
Along with the original Toyota RAV4, the Honda CR-V basically defined what is the crossover marketplace that we see now. Both of these innovative little UTES were based on a car design, which in turn created an easy and fuel-efficient driving experience that buyers ended up loving.
The current Honda CR-V leads the pack in terms of quality and features, but the CR-V has also always been a very capable choice at going off-road as well which makes the little crossover UTE a winner.
4 2016 Subaru Outback
Don’t let Subaru fool you, the Outback is still one of the best crossover models that you can take off the road. The Subaru Outback has always been a favorite for the family car sector, and the available AWD means that the car handles beautifully off of the beaten path.
This is what has made Subaru a winning brand and a great alternative to the more traditional automakers that have always taken up the family car segment. Subaru is a bit of a different choice and one that many of us thoroughly enjoy driving.
3 Toyota Venza
The Toyota Venza is a one of a kind crossover that was offered by Toyota as an alternative to the full-size SUV offering that was on the market at the time. Although the Venza never became a hot seller by any means, the model was quite a capable choice at going off the beaten path.
Unfortunately, the buying public didn’t seem to go for the unique looks of the Venza which was one of the more modern Toyota models to hit the public scene. We like the Venza, although it was discontinued a few years ago.
2 Suzuki Vitara
Before the demise of the Suzuki brand in the U.S. market, the Vitara was always a lightweight offering that was more than capable of being an off-road UTE. The final model which was crossover based was a more refined vehicle that managed to find a loyal following and is still sold in many parts of the world.
We liked everything that the Vitara offered, and the real-time 4WD was a notable addition that makes for a winning combination of capable style and performance.
1 Suzuki XL-7
Then we have the Suzuki XL-7, one of the first crossover vehicles to ever hit the market. From the unique exterior styling to the massive interior volume, the Suzuki XL-7 was a winning combination of style and interior space, and this is why many growing families were fond of the interesting little crossover.
It's also interesting to note that the XL-7 is based on the Chevrolet Equinox, which is one reason why the vehicle might seem a little familiar to the many Chevy diehards.
Sources: Edmunds, Motor Trend