What’s the Best Compact SUV for 2017?

What’s the Best Compact SUV for 2017?

with gas still relatively affordable
compact SUVs are booming in sales popularity these cars combine
family-friendly features with a higher seating position and a little extra
utility that appeals to many shoppers we took the Chevrolet Equinox the Honda CRV
the Nissan Rogue the Jeep Compass the Mazda cx-5 and the Volkswagen Tiguan we
compared them all to the Ford Escape that’s the model that won this
comparison the last time we did it so the question is is the escape still king
of the hill and how did it shake out for everyone else let’s find out fellow
cars.com editors job ruzic and fred meyer joined me as judges on this test a
far cry from its undersized predecessor the Tiguan beat out the second-place
honda crv by the narrowest of margins thanks to plenty of seating and cargo
space with good ride and handling to match the Tiguan was perfectly pleasant
to drive in traffic it’s not the most powerful here the engine felt a little
weak and I wanted a little more like maybe a two-liter turbo where the Tiguan
does stand out is its cargo area that feels like a class larger than these
other compact SUVs falling just behind the Tiguan is the second place honda crv
a redesigned with a tour de force of safety and family-friendly features but
a little bit of a pokey drivetrain the CRV is the Swiss Army knife of this
competition the center console storage is configurable in so many different
ways it’s the size of a minivan center console storage you can put a ton of
stuff in there there are different dividers and such it’s just a great to
put a bunch of pocket items and then in the back the cargo area is very useful
it has a low load in height and it’s just massive
so we’ve complained a lot about the previous share views multimedia system
how it didn’t have a volume knob and even though it does with this new one
it’s still a band-aid on a kind of a crappy system it’s hard to use it’s very
clunky to navigate through its there’s still a lot of room for improvement
there are much better multimedia systems in this class especially what’s inside
the compass in third place is the Mazda cx-5 a redesigned SUV with a knockout
interior but a few questions on the drivability front the cx-5 is – one of
these you want to buy if you want your friends to think you spent a lot more
for the car it looks good from the outside the styling is great and the
interior materials look like a class above I don’t really know how but Mazda
snuck a luxury car into this comparison the cx-5 is really nice on the inside I
wouldn’t have any trouble hitting this car up against a $40,000 Acura or
Infiniti but where it does kind of fall short – the more premium brands is the
engine and transmission combo it’s more similar to this class of cars and a
compact SUV smack-dab in the middle the fourth-place Ford Escape drove like a
champ with an excellent multimedia system to boot but a little bit of a
smallish interior hurt its case ride and handling in the escape are really
possibly the best in this entire group ride quality is excellent really just
soaks up all the bumps and despite that handling is outstanding just really good
steering feedback limited body roll sound dynamics this is possibly the most
fun to drive on curvy roads up there with the Mazda the escape is the sleeper
of this test it fooled me last time and it pulled me again this time I go in not
expecting much but then I Drive the thing and the ride quality is great it’s
quiet the front seat is comfortable and that optional 2.0 liter with the
all-wheel drive and the transmission it’s just a seamless combination this is
just the fantastic SUV to drive unlike some of the bigger and airier feeling
interiors here the escape feels a little pinched inside it feels narrower and the
styling of the interior sort of make you feel more cockpit like more closed
in missing safety features also cost the escape a lot of points our test car
lacked important technologies like forward collision warning with automatic
emergency braking and the escape was the only model in this test not to even
offer the automatic braking the redesigned Chevrolet Equinox placed
fifth judges lauded its powertrain and connectivity but criticized some cabin
materials and handling the equinox makes you appreciate just how nice the Mazda
cx-5 is going from the equinox to the cx-5 is like stepping out of a
subcompact car and jumping into a luxury car now ride quality in the equinox is a
little bit firm but very controlled and overall a high-quality experience
handling however just doesn’t match a lot of these other SUVs very loose
steering and a lot of body roll and like the escape our equinox lacked collision
warning with automatic braking the equinox at least offers both features
but you have to go up to the top trim level and then pay even more for options
packages to get them in sixth place was the recently refreshed Nissan Rogue an
SUV with plenty of versatility but some spotty cabin materials and an outdated
multimedia system the Rogue is pretty good at everything I’m looking through
my scores there’s a lot of 7s and eights and not too much outside of that the
back seat still folds in a 40/20/40 split in the rogue and that’s a nice
feature it slides forward and backwards as well Anisa I didn’t have the best
visibility in the group but it had one feature that none of the others had and
that was 360 degrees surround view cameras which makes parking a lot easier
I wouldn’t pay the price on the sticker for this one if you’ve got it at a good
price it would be a good family value if you paid what’s on the sticker you’re
not getting what you’re gonna get in the rest of these cars in last place the
redesigned Jeep Compass assess you’ve ease interior begs questions on quality
while its powertrain and cargo situations cemented its last place
finish I really wanted to like the Jeep Compass better
I like the upscale design of the interior it looked good but some fit and
finish flaws maybe wonder about the long-term reliability of the car what
the compass does poorly it really does poorly the turn signal in washers
I feel like they’re gonna fall off and then the area around the start/stop
button it doesn’t look like it’s put together very well the build quality of
this car is definitely questionable if you’re looking for a soft ride though
the compasses suspension is certainly tuned to really suck up bumps on the
road it’s not the most controlled experience but in terms of just total
isolation the compass is one of the best in the group
the compass didn’t have a ton of cargo room but it makes up for it with one
feature that none of the other SUVs had which is a folding front passenger seat
that means if you really need to carry a ladder or something else that’s long and
narrow it could accommodate that be sure to check out cars.com for full results
and much more on these SUVs

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. I get that the Compass is the new design and you're comparing newly redesigned competitors, but Jeep's competitor for this segment is really the Cherokee. The Compass is nearly a foot shorter in length than most compact CUVs, and its price range is also lower.

  2. The 2018 Equinox has a complete fold flat passenger seat, even better than the Compass which was highlighted as a key feature. The trims of the models compared didn't seem comparable. Some base models, with a fully loaded Rogue? I also agree that the RAV4, Forester, Tucson, and Sportage should have been included or at least acknowledged for not making the cut? Seems hard to believe though.

  3. give me the cx5,the sitting comfort is outstanding,the looks are amazing,the engine its a thing you can rev it without that extra liter of gas.once you go Mazda,you never go back. thats why our next cars will be Mazda.

  4. Did Ford fix the craPboost engines? Never to match their advertised fuel economy and intakes and pipes crack and car going into limp mode in rain.

  5. Europeans always make sure their brands winning in their biased competitions and comparisons…if Cars.com compare reliability then VW would be in the garbage bin….

  6. Antara semua kereta ni aku rasa better suv kia sorento lagi,tengok cara mamat tu drive pon dah tahu ,memang power handling dia

  7. Hyundai, Tuscon wins. My uncle just got one and it's the tits, panoramic sunroof heated/ cooled seats, leather, auto rear trunk open and close, push button start. all for around 30k

  8. Why is it usually just a bunch of men making decisions as to which car is better?

    Where are the moms, the families?
    They should be the ones making the ultimate decision.

  9. I have a feeling this video was made specially for brands who paid money for this video to come out and completely irrelevant to what vehicles are best in this class

  10. Volkswagen Teguan will never beat Honda CRV and the same thing goes for Toyota RAV4 those two are clean winners in my opinion
    And naming Mazda CX-5 a luxury Vehicle is very stupid thing to do

  11. when you start looking at the vehicles. You really need to ask what your needs are and will this vehicle do the purpose you intend. I just got the 2018 Equinox LS and it has good standard features. It has what I need. Yes it would be nice to have other bells and whistles. But I have gone this long without them. So what it comes with standard ie: remote keyless entry, heated seats and push button start. Works for me. And the Apple/Android auto. And of course the back up camera. I'm good. I really haven't had any issues with any blind spots either. I find the 1.5 L turbo is just fine.

  12. Mazda fall short on transmission?! You guys never drove a Mazda seriously! screw the so-called luxury brands; Sky-active transmission is not less better than the 50K cars you can find in the dealerships

  13. I tried all of those SUV !!! CRV the best of all of them goes faster from the start then Mazda or RAV4. CRV is got the most room and the best design ….

  14. I don't buy this about Ford Escape. I test drove the Escape twice and there are people who I know who drove this too but the ride is very choppy and bad quality.

  15. Okay I'm just curious why did they put the Jeep Compass in the same competition with those guys it's not a compact it's a subcompact if anything I would have put the Jeep Cherokee in yes a little bit bigger but it actually competes with vehicles like the CX-5 the Rogue escape it competes of vehicles like that so I think that was a fail on cars.com is part and the funny thing is I tested a Jeep Compass and I didn't see any of those things coming loose. So I don't understand where they're coming up with that crap that might have been pre-production model but also then again it's a cheaper vehicle so the quality of the materials is not going to be nearly as good and if they hated the compass then they would have absolutely abhorred the Chevy Trax which was even lower quality in my personal opinion

  16. If you guys (Cars.com) want to pass yourselves off as auto industry experts, then you might want to consider the US sales leader in this segment (Toyota RAV4)…but you didn't… instead you include a car that nobody buys (Tiguan). I'm not saying to exclude the V-dub but if you could pick only one, probably go with the one that interest viewers/buyers more.

  17. This is not a fair test for the Compass. It is in it's own class. Its between subcompact and compact. So to hold it to compact only standards is not fair. Its only real competition is the Rouge Sport.

  18. I drive company cars, normally I run the milage out in 3 years, I have no horse in this race, so believe me when I say, The Escape I just had was a nice driving vehicle and quiet to drive. Just a great car. but for me it was narrow and felt small inside. i would have no trouble buying a Ford Escape after driving one for 3 years. I now have the 2018 Equinox. So far i like it. Decent ride, slightly less quiet than the Ford, Far better room inside. Easy to park and has a serious amount of new gadgets and Google play is very good. Buy the way, Escapes disconnected phone constantly. Now my phone stays connected. I use my phone in the car a lot. Hp is not there with the small 1.5 engine in the equinox, but Im not concerned, it has enough for me. Overall it would be a tough choice. Equinox might win out over the Escape for more room inside. Escape would be a great car for your wife.

  19. I will mention that the Nissan Rogue's passenger seat with recline completely flat unlike the Compass seat which partially folds forward. I'm surprised "auto journalists" wouldn't have noticed that fact since dozens of other Rogue reviews feature it.

  20. ford kuga (espcape nmae in ameroca)any day look amazing so much tech and rlly up to date I would put it second any day or buy it…

  21. as the owner of a 17 escape I find the features it has for the money i paid i am happy with it. As far as performance in the crappy weather with snow tires and awd it performs magnificently-zero complaints, room-no issues, comfortable on long and short drives, media center-awesome with nav that is so easy to operate its almost unreal, rough roads-fantastic and performance lets just say I have zero issues getting up to highway speed in a hurray I love my escape cant complain about fuel economy either. As far as advance collision warning, just one more feature that gives people a sense of not needing to not to pay attention while driving however a nice feature

  22. It's interesting that they are rating these cars with how fun to drive. Nothing about fuel economy, safety futures, cargo capacity and most importantly reliability. That's why they consider Ford to be the best from last year. Ford is the least reliable car among all. With serious engine and transmission issues. And handling? They also measure that with their opinion not with any data. Let me give you some numbers for handling and nothing to do with how it feels around the corners. There is a test that is called " the Moose test". You can find this information yourself if you want to. Ford Escape achieved this with maximum 46 miles an hour. Mazda cx5 48 and surprise surprise Nissan Rogue 50 miles an hour. So how it feels vs what they can really do in an emergency situation. They should grab little more data before they come up with a list.

  23. Wait …you don’t rate the Rav4 ….but you give review time to the Jeep Compass …hahaha I can not even take this seriously. Definitely lost respect . Just terrible.

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