CARS.COM — Compact SUVs are hot, hot, hot among consumers today. Shoppers like how much cargo they can carry, their relatively decent fuel economy and their usefulness. In 2015, buyers can get all sorts of features that might not have been available just a few years ago: Bluetooth streaming audio, blind spot monitoring and even adaptive cruise control.
To pull together this Challenge, we opted for compact SUVs that cost less than $28,000, including the destination fee, and achieved EPA combined city/highway mileage ratings of at least 26 mpg. That left us with eight potential competitors (in alphabetical order):
- 2015 Chevrolet Equinox
- 2015 Ford Escape
- 2015 GMC Terrain
- 2015 Honda CR-V
- 2016 Mazda CX-5
- 2015 Nissan Rogue
- 2015 Subaru Forester
- 2015 Toyota RAV4
All the automakers except Ford were able to find SUVs for us to test. Ford said it was unable to find one in its press fleets that met our requirements.
We picked the price based on Cars.com’s listings for compact SUVs that came with the features we know are popular with families. After four days of testing outside of Baltimore with experts from Cars.com, USA Today and “MotorWeek” as well as a real-life family, here’s a video on how each car performed: