Best Crossovers For 2018

By

Automotive Editor

Brandon Turkus is CarsDirect.com’s Automotive Content Manager. He’s responsible for editing content that appears on these pages, and also represents CarsDirect’s sister sites The Car Connection, Motor Authority, and Green Car Reports in Detroit, Michigan. Before joining Internet Brands, Brandon served as a contributor for enthusiast sites Autoblog and Motor1, covering automotive news and reviewing the industry’s newest models.


, Automotive Editor - March 21, 2018

The heart and soul of the modern auto industry, today's car-based crossovers not only give consumers the ride height, commanding view, and rugged aesthetic they desire, but they do so safer and more efficiently than ever before.

This segment is more competitive than ever before, and picking the best wasn't easy. But our three winners reflect an increased emphasis on active safety systems – two of them are IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus award winners – while style continues to be a strong point with our third choice.

These are the best crossovers of 2018.

Best Compact Crossover: Subaru Crosstrek
2018 Subaru Crosstrek

Why it's a top pick: Standard all-wheel drive, a reasonable starting price, and one of the most comprehensive active safety systems on the market make the Subaru Crosstrek a smart choice. That it’s capable and fun to drive is simply a bonus. Based on the Impreza hatchback, Subaru didn't change a great deal while lifting the ride height, adding a few modest off-road touches allowing this crossover to fly under the radar as it eschews the overly-butch aesthetic and dedicated sheet metal of its competitors.

Worth knowing: The Crosstrek looks like a crossover, but it boasts genuine, real-world off-road capability, with a dedicated off-road driving mode, plenty of ride height, and one of the best all-wheel-drive systems in the business.

Honorable Mentions: Kia Sportage, Honda CR-V

Best Mid-Size Crossover: Subaru Outback
2018 Subaru Outback

Why it's a top pick: Spacious and affordable, like almost all Subarus, the Outback features standard all-wheel drive. Its EyeSight safety system is affordable and comprehensive, providing adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking for only a small premium. It's a roomy beast too, with a cavernous cargo hold that's accessed through a large aperture and a high-opening lift gate. That it's not as unnecessarily tall as some of its competition means that not only does it look better, but that cargo area is easier to access.

Worth knowing: Aside from the BRZ, every Subaru model qualifies as an IIHS Top Safety Pick or better. But you’ll need EyeSight’s capabilities to get there.

Honorable Mention: Jeep Grand Cherokee, Hyundai Santa Fe Sport

Best Large Crossover: Buick Enclave
2018 Buick Enclave

Why it's a top pick: Comprehensively redesigned for 2018, the Enclave remains the most attractive member of General Motors three-pronged approach to large crossovers. It’s sublimely comfortable inside, with a quiet ride and room for the entire family. There's seating for six adults if you snag the middle-row captain's chairs, although like most of its competitors, the third-row is really only suitable for short trips.

Worth knowing: While the Enclave is our pick, it shares a lot with the Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia, giving customers an even wider range of price points, equipment levels, and personalities when choosing their full-size crossover.

Honorable Mentions: Chevrolet Traverse, Hyundai Santa Fe

, Automotive Editor

Brandon Turkus is CarsDirect.com’s Automotive Content Manager. He’s responsible for editing content that appears on these pages, and also represents CarsDirect’s sister sites The Car Connection, Motor Authority, and Green Car Reports in Detroit, Michigan. Before joining Internet Brands, Brandon served as a contributor for enthusiast sites Autoblog and Motor1, covering automotive news and reviewing the industry’s newest models.