In the world of crossovers, the 2012 Subaru Forester is like a rugged pair of boots. This little trucklet can go anywhere thanks to 8.7-inches of ground clearance, and Subaru’s proven Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system. Its ‘boxer’ engine will be as reliable as the Ol’ Faithful Geyser, and the cheapish interior materials (see: Hard Plastic) will be easy to clean. If you want a luxurious fashion-mobile, look somewhere else. But if you want an SUV that drives like a car, and plows through snow like a truck, then the 2012 Subaru Forester is for you.
#9 – 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan
Most of the people that buy a crossover, will never venture far from a Starbucks. So just forego all the pretense of off-roading, and get a CUV that’s actually worth driving. Such is the case with the 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan. It’s a stylish Urban Utility Vehicle, with the eager little engine (2.0 liter turbo-4 / 200-hp) from the 2012 VW GTI. The 2012 VW Tiguan drives like a small sports sedan, and it has one of the best interiors in the business. It’s a bit pricey, and the electronics will probably become ‘glitchy’ over time. But the 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan is one of the nicer compact crossovers on the market today.
#8 – 2012 Mazda CX-9
Many enthusiasts consider Mazda to be the Japanese BMW. Their cars handle brilliantly, and even their economy-minded cruisers (like the 2012 Mazda 3i Skyactiv) can turn any commute into an arcade game. So naturally, their family wagons have a bit of the Fun DNA, built right in. Precise steering, immediate throttle response, 4-wheel independent suspension, these are just some of the ingredients that make the 2012 Mazda CX-9 so compelling to drive. You won’t mistake it for a sport sedan, but it’s pretty entertaining for a 7-seat crossover.
#7 – 2012 Ford Flex
Most crossovers are designed to blend into Suburbia. But the 2012 Ford Flex isn’t. It was designed to make a statement, while delivering surprising levels of luxury and convenience. The 355-hp twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 isn’t bad either.
#6 – 2012 Chevrolet Equinox
What do you get when you combine all the best features of your competitors? Why, the 2012 Chevy Equinox of course! Designed to resemble a Greatest Hits CD, the 2012 Chevrolet Equinox LTZ has all of the modern conveniences that you’d expect in a crossover. It’s relatively inexpensive, and the 2.4 liter equipped Equinox also gets 32 mpg on the highway. If you have a Costco card, and detest the idea of paying $5 for a cup of coffee, then have we got a family bus for you!
#5 – 2012 Honda CR-V
The family crossover market is all about safety & security. You want the people and stuff that you lug around to be protected from injury and mechanical breakdowns. Then you want your finances to be secured from excessive depreciation. Enter the 2012 Honda CR-V. No other small crossover on the market offers such a compelling mix of comfort, versatility, and reliability. And when your kids are done shoving animal crackers into the air vents, you’ll probably be able to recoup a considerable portion of your investment.
#4 – 2012 Kia Sorento
In the last few years, Kia has transformed itself from a purveyor of generic transportation devices, into a genuine car company. They now have a portfolio of compelling vehicles, with an equally compelling price list. One of their most popular offerings is the 2012 Kia Sorento; A stylish 7-passenger crossover, with all the bling & bobbles that a modern family needs. You can have a full glass roof, an air conditioned seat, AWD, and a fancy infotainment system, for thousands less than you’d expect. And the 2012 Kia Sorento even comes with a 100,000 mile warranty too!
#3 – 2012 Chevrolet Traverse
In this day and age, driving a minivan is a social no-no. People still want that kind of practicality, but they want it to look like an SUV. Enter the 2012 Chevy Traverse. This fullsize crossover was styled to look like an SUV, however it’s about as useful off road as pair of stiletto heels. On the plus side, there’s a cavernous interior, with room for 7-8 screaming kids. And the 288-hp V6 in the 2012 Chevrolet Traverse LTZ is pleasantly powerful. If you really need the practicality of a minivan, but just can’t bring yourself to buy one, the 2012 Chevrolet Traverse is a good alternative.
#2 – 2012 Toyota Highlander
The best way to describe this midsize crossover is a ‘cold glass of water’. Now, water by itself, isn’t very exciting. But on a hot summer day, cold water is the best thing ever. Similarly, the 2012 Toyota Highlander isn’t very exciting by itself. But after a long day of running errands and fighting traffic, you’ll appreciate the subtle refinements that this midsize crossover has to offer. The engines are smooth and responsive. The ride is surprisingly comfortable, and the interior is a relaxing place to be. The 2012 Toyota Highlander might be on the pricey side, but you’ll get your money’s worth.
#1 – 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee
Now technically considered a crossover, the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee is one of the best all-rounder’s on the market. You get plenty of room for the family, and their stuff. It’s nice to drive. And when properly equipped, you can raise the suspension for 10-inches of ground clearance, then engage Jeep’s legendary 4WD system to climb a mountain, or just tame a snow covered driveway. You can literally go anywhere, and do anything in the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee, which makes it the #1 Crossover of 2012.