Crossovers are a breed rising from think tanks across auto America. Its powerful combination of wagon/SUV/sedan features bring out the best, from a wagons large cargo room, the utility of an SUV, and the cruising power of a midsize.
Here is our top picks for best crossovers under $35K.
Honda Accord Crosstour – Knocked for its exorbitant $27,000 price tag and mixed reviews on exterior styling cargo space, and poor brakes, the Crosstour makes up for it with its agile acceleration. Its drives like an Accord on large tires, Lexus style steering, and a powerful V6 with 271HP on a five speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy is in the mid tier at 18/27 mpg. The Crosstour comes in two trims, EX and EX-L, the EX-L coming with all wheel drive.
Chevy Equinox – The Chevy Equinox delivers with excellent fuel economy (22/32), spacious interior, aggressive exterior styling, and is a bargain at $23,000 compared to competitors Nissan Murano ($28,000) and the Ford Edge ($27,000) while beating the cheaper Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 by no more than $1000 in fuel economy and room. The Equinox comes in four trims, the LS, 1LT, 2LT, and LTZ with optional all wheel drive. Safety scores are tops, winning IIHS Top Safety Pick honors for 2011.
Acura RDX – The sporty riding Acura RDX has long been an industry favorite for entry level buyers looking to enter the luxury crossover class. It comes in two trims – be and RDX with standard front wheel drive and optional all wheel drive and beats many class competitors with agile handling powered by a 2.3 liter four cylinder with 240HP, albeit to paltry 19/24 mpg. Its four year, 50,000 mile basic warranty also beats the popular 3 year, 36,000 miles so popular in this class.
Mazda CX-7 - If you are looking for a bargain and a sporty ride, look no further than the $21,000 Mazda CX-7, with its aggressive exterior, engine choices (2.5 liter engine and turbocharged four cylinder), and solid fuel economy at 20/28.
Toyota Venza – Using the same base at the Camry, the Venza offers some of the best handling in its class, 21/27 mpg, and an excellent electronics package for the price, with automatic climate control, Bluetooth, a power driver's seat, and a six disk CD changer coming as standard. However, the Venza is strongest with cargo space, offering 31 cubic feet of space which doubles with the rear seats down.