Tuesday, May 10, 2016 6:14 pm

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hatchback_buying_guide

Crossovers are car-based sport utility vehicles, typically offered in front-drive with optional all-wheel drive.

With seating for five and nearly-car-like ride, handling and fuel economy, they have rapidly replaced sedans, SUVs and station wagons with many buyers. Indeed, this category is the fastest growing in the industry.

For 2016, the models below present great value, useful and attractive designs and state-of-the-art optional features. Three models are premium/luxury crossovers that are new to the market, and the other three are mass-market crossovers.

 

Luxury:

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC300 4MATIC

Mercedes-Benz GLC: MSRP starting at $38,950

The all-new GLC replaces the GLK model that ended production in 2015. Not boxy like the GLK, and now powered by a turbo-charged four-cylinder that is more economical than the GLK’s V6, the GLC is an improvement top to bottom–quieter ride, smoother handling and nicer interior materials. This midsize luxury crossover also offers features like a cabin fragrance and purification system. Additionally, it has Parking Assist, a very good COMAND® smartphone interface, blind-spot warning and intervention, and enhanced forward collision avoidance. A strong statement in luxury.

 

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Lincoln MKX: MSRP starting at $38,260

The MKX is Lincoln’s all-new premium midsize utility vehicle.  Based on the new Ford Edge, the MKX is a bit larger than its European competitors, but sizes up just right against other two-row, front-wheel drive based competitors like the Lexus RX and Cadillac SRX. The MKX is available with a panoramic sunroof, 21-inch wheels, a high-end audio system, cooled seats, MyLincoln Mobile telematics, and so-called Bridge of Weir® leather seats. With improved ride and handling, and an optional twin-turbo V6, vehicle performance wasn’t left out of the MKX’s reinvention. Choose wisely, as prices can grow rapidly with all of the available options.

 

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Tesla Model X: Estimated MSRP starting around $80,000

How bold are you? Have $80,000 to spend on a crossover SUV? Want to be part of a new age? Silicon Valley automaker Tesla, has launched its second electric vehicle–this time, a pricey crossover to complement its sleek Model S sedan. The rear doors are so-called Falcon-wing doors that open upwards instead of out. It looks cool, but beware of potential mechanical problems. Tesla has already reported problems in manufacturing. They are complex to get right, and to keep working correctly. The electric range is 220 to 257 miles depending on trim level. You probably can’t get one until fall of 2016 at the earliest, but put your reservation in now anyway.

 

Mass-Market:

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Mazda CX-3: MSRP starting at $19,960

The all-new subcompact CX-3 is a bit smaller than some of the other entries on this list. But we like the CX-3, much like we do the compact CX-5. The CX-3 is an all-new design and entry into the Mazda showroom. The design is fresh, and the 2.0 liter, four-cylinder engine combined with the sport tuning of the suspension makes this newcomer a fun runabout. It seats four comfortably; five is tight. Fuel economy is 29 mpg city/35 mpg highway for the AWD version, which is what we recommend for snow states. All trim levels come with a 7-inch touchscreen. If it’s just too snug for you, test drive the CX-5, which is every bit as fun and stylish.

 

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Hyundai Tucson: MSRP starting at $22,700

Hyundai is proving to be a first-class designer of vehicles. The new Tucson is roomier and seats five comfortably with superior backseat leg-room. Hyundai’s BlueLink infotainment system is one of the best for smartphone connectivity. The Limited trim level offers all the bells and whistles, and the 1.6 liter turbocharged ECO engine returns 26 mpg city/33 mpg highway. Nicely equipped and optioned with the Limited package, the Tucson will cost around $30,000.

 

2016 Sorento SXL

Kia Sorento: MSRP starting at $25,100

The 2016 Kia Sorento was completely redesigned for the start of the model year. Larger than the old one, it offers a third-row option just like the Toyota Highlander and Hyundai Santa Fe. Buyers of the Sorento get rewarded by Kia’s over-achievement on interior design and materials. Many people have not awakened to Kia’s much improved quality throughout its vehicles, but those that do sample Kia’s latest offerings will notice that Kia is trying hard to get their attention. Kia’s UVO eServices offers high-quality smartphone integration with the car.  The Sorento offers a standard 185-hp, 2.4 liter four-cylinder standard on L and LX, a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 240 horsepower/260 lb.-ft. of torque that’s standard on EX and SX Limited. A 290-horsepower, 3.3-liter V6 is available for the SX, EX, and SX Limited trim levels. The third-row seat is optional on the LX and standard on all V6-equipped models.

 

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