For my husband and I the “ten-year itch” is coming, but it’s not what you think. It’s time for us to trade in our older family truckster and get something new. We mutually decided that with the one son off to college, and the other two getting bigger, there wasn’t that need for the Sherman Tank size, gas guzzling car, so we decided on a compact SUV. Of course, we couldn’t just go by what we saw on the ubiquitous commercials that run during NFL games, we had to do our own research. So here is what we found when looking at the new compact SUVs and Hybrids.
Trust me, we are the type to that go kickin’ and screamin’ to the dealership and hate taking on additional debt, but the time had come. What has made the bad medicine easier to swallow is that gas prices are not getting cheaper any time soon, and the newest technology and luxury advances are game changers, even from just a couple of years ago. So, if you absolutely have to make a commute those features make it easier. We’re not going to pit the compact SUVs against the Hybrid SUVs but give you the info on both so hopefully help you make an educated decision that’s best for you.
The new compact SUVs are by definition smaller than their predecessors and get much better mileage, however they do sacrifice some of that cavernous space in the back that could comfortably sleep a small family. However, this new version of ‘give n’ take’ seems to provide the perfect balance and here are our favorites in the sector in no particular order.
Among our favorite crossovers is the BMW X3 where they have managed to implement the luxury that you have come to expect from Bavarian Motor Works based on their 5, 6, and 7 series just in a compact package. Comfortable leather interior, 10-way power adjustable front seats, classic woodgrain trim, and the faux-leather dash and door coverings step things up from some of the others in the class. Electronically, the iDrive infotainment system provides almost a full complement of features except for Android Auto compatibility. Apple CarPlay comes standard but you’ll have to pay an annual subscription fee after the one-year free trial expires. A small, 6.5-inch infotainment display is standard, but opt for navigation and a much larger 10.3-inch display replaces it atop the X3’s center stack. Bluetooth phone connectivity and one USB port are standard, unfortunately every other infotainment feature is offered as an optional extra, including that second important UPS port for those of you who plan to taxi teens that are surgically attached to their phones.
Porsche Macan – We are fans of the Macan for many reasons and we’re not alone. It’s also on Car and Drivers 10 best SUVs list, as well as Consumer Reports. What we like about is that it drives and feels like a sports car, only with the usable back seat and cargo space. But don’t let the pretty face fool you, this thing is a beast. Sporty with 20-inch wheels, but strong because of a 434 hp twin turbocharged 2.9-liter V-6. In fact, the turbo should reach the mile per minute mark in a mere 3.8 seconds. Techies will wallow in 2 USB ports, Apple CarPlay connectivity, and standard mobile Wi-Fi package. Those closer to the vest will appreciate the standard 4-yr 50k mile warranty also on the powertrain.
Volkswagen Tiguan – We think you get the picture that the profile view of almost all of the cars in this class are going to be relatively the same. Two doors, hatchback trunk, decent space in back but a little on the smaller side for 4 adults, but a really good fit for 2 adults and 2 kids. The Tiguan had the highest safety rating of those tested for those of you that rate that on the top of the checklist. It is priced on the lower end of the spectrum at 28k but we suggest stepping up wo the SE model with provides much more value for the dollar. The engine is a 184-HP, turbocharged 4-cylinder mighty mite. On the inside is a 8-inch infotainment system, with keyless access, leatherette seats that are both heated and powered. Also a panoramic sunroof, remote start, and an option for a seven-seater for those with a bigger family for $600 more.
These are a few to get you started, check back next week for the complete list of the top Hybrid SUVs of 2020.