You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

The Big Test: Subcompact Crossovers

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 6/22/2015 William Walker, Christian Seabaugh

The Big Test: 2015-2016 Subcompact Crossovers There's a theory in the study of generations that after a set time the traits that define one generation repeat for a future generation.

I'd argue that the auto market responds to the same generational shifts. Take a look at the average car that someone in the 1930s would drive, such as the Chevrolet Standard Six. Cars were two-box sedans that efficiently used all the space allotted by the car's wheelbase, and because of the poor quality of the pre-interstate highway American roads, these sedans rode high for better ride quality.

Sound familiar? It should. Two-box designs to maximize interior volume and storage? Check. High ride to handle crumbling urban roadways? You got it. These subcompact crossovers are the auto industry's answer to those early requests, remade for the millennial generation.

Some, such as the Nissan Juke SL and Subaru XV Crosstrek, are established players. Others—the 2015 Chevrolet Trax LT, 2016 Honda HR-V, 2015 Jeep Renegade Latitude, and 2016 Mazda CX-3—are new to the scene.

Subaru Crosstrek prices, photos, and reviews

RIDE & HANDLING

On the ride front, it's tough to beat the Subaru XV Crosstrek. Thanks to the longest wheelbase and the most ground clearance in the group, the Crosstrek's ride impressed us on our driving loops. "Most comfortable ride yet," logged associate editor Scott Evans. "It doesn't give up a lot in handling, either." At least not subjectively. Objectively, the XV was near the back of the handling pack—thanks to its economy-oriented CVT, the tall crossover lapped the figure eight in 28.0 seconds at a 0.60 g average.

The Jeep Renegade is another ride quality standout. The Renegade's ride is firm yet forgiving. The Renegade will toss its driver around a bit on some severe undulations, but it's never punishing. "Jeeplike" is probably the best way to describe it. At the track, the Renegade lapped the figure eight in a lengthy 28.4 seconds at 0.61 g. Associate online editor Benson Kong said it offered "sharp and immediate braking and steering reflexes." The Trax and HR-V fell somewhere in the middle. The Trax generally had good road manners, though some thought the Chevy exhibited excessive body roll during cornering. The Honda's ride was on the harsher side for a CUV with non-sporting pretensions, but none of us really found it objectionable. The HR-V lapped the figure eight in 28.0 seconds while averaging 0.62 g, and the Chevy took 29.2 seconds at 0.56 g.

These six subcompact crossovers are the auto industry’s answer to century-old requests, remade for the millennial generation.

Research the latest Nissan Juke on MSN Autos

The pocket rockets from Mazda and Nissan were best in test for handling. Both the CX-3 and Juke live up to their sporty designs. The CX-3's ride is stiff but never punishing, with digital director Chris Clonts noting that the CX-3 "handles highway expansion joints and medium hits really well with no bucking." Said Evans, "You could have some fun with this one." Overall, the Juke's ride quality is a mixed bag. The Nissan handles large bumps well, but it gets brittle quick over washboard sections of road. The CX-3 and Juke were neck and neck during our handling tests. The Mazda did a 27.6-second lap at 0.66 g, and the Juke lapped the figure eight in 27.1 seconds at 0.67 g.

2015 2016 Subcompact SUVs© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 2016 Subcompact SUVs

PERFORMANCE

Though at-limit performance seldom matters to the average buyers, it's helpful to know where a vehicle's strengths and weaknesses lie. In a straight line, the quickest of the bunch not surprisingly is also the most powerful. The Nissan Juke is powered by a 1.6-liter, turbocharged I-4 making 188 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque. That power is routed through a CVT to a driver-selectable all-wheel-drive system that features three modes: front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, and all-while drive with torque vectoring. Our Juke accelerated from 0-60 mph in 7.4 seconds and through the quarter mile in 15.8 seconds at 88.9 mph. The Nissan's CVT responds well to passing maneuvers, as well, as evidenced by its 3.7-second 45-65 mph time.

Outside the confines of our test track, the Juke was an entertaining dance partner. From its polarizing sheetmetal to its powertrain, the Juke "is assembled around the notion that driving should be fun," noted Kong. By and large, driving the Juke is just that: fun.

The Jeep Renegade most effectively balanced style with function, hands down.

"Fun" is also a word that can be used to describe the Mazda CX-3. The CX-3 is powered by a 2.0-liter I-4 that produces 146 hp and 146 lb-ft of torque mated to a six-speed automatic and all-wheel-drive system that uses ambient temperature and windshield wiper status—in addition to the normal array of vehicle sensors—to determine when and how much power needs to be routed from front to back. Down about 40 horsepower from the Juke, the Mazda needed 8.6 seconds to hit 60 mph and 16.6 seconds to power through the quarter mile at 83.0 mph. The 45-65-mph pass took 4.6 seconds.

Although the Mazda was slower at the track than the Juke, you wouldn't know it from behind the wheel. "Even more engaging than the turbocharged Juke," wrote associate online editor Jason Udy. Clonts: "It's not as fun as driving a Mazda3, but it definitely has that same 'fun-to-drive' soul."

The Jeep Renegade tailed the Mazda. In the Jeep's case, the largest engine and most transmission ratios net it mid-pack performance numbers. The Renegade is motivated by a 2.4-liter I-4 that makes 180 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque paired with a nine-speed automatic and a driver-selectable all-wheel-drive system. Like most Jeeps, the Renegade is available with multiple all-wheel-drive systems. In our Renegade Latitude tester's case, that means Jeep Active Drive, which includes an all-wheel-drive lock button in addition to user-friendly, driver's choice of Snow, Sand, and Mud modes. The Renegade's clunky nine-speed automatic limited it at the track, giving it a 9.0-second 0-60 time and a 16.9-second quarter mile time at 80.8 mph. The Jeep needed 4.8 seconds to accelerate from 45-65 mph.

Jeep Renegade slideshow and pricing

2015 2016 Subcompact SUVs© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 2016 Subcompact SUVs

On the road, the Renegade is far better to drive than its numbers suggest. The Jeep feels quick and confident off the line and has exceptional road manners. Its transmission is the only question mark, as the gearbox occasionally exhibited hard shifts and hiccups during our looping. On more than one occasion it struggled to figure out which gear it should be in. "The Jeep bewilderingly will switch between holding a gear and switching too many gears, all on the same stretch of road," Kong said.

Honda's HR-V wasn't far behind the Renegade. Under the HR-V's hood sits a 1.8-liter I-4 that produces 141 hp and 127 lb-ft of torque and is paired with a CVT and an all-wheel-drive system. The HR-V needed 9.5 seconds to hit 60 mph, 17.3 seconds to finish the quarter mile at 82.2 mph, and 4.8 seconds on our pass test, but the numbers don't tell the whole story.

"If you ever want moderate or better acceleration, you'll be disappointed; it's a dog on the freeway," Evans said. Kong: "I don't remember the 1.8 sounding this strained in the Civic … the CVT logic has the engine pinging redline while merging onto the freeway." I thought everyone was making something out of nothing, but even if the HR-V isn't the slowest vehicle of the group, it feels slower than it is. The overworked engine combined with excessive cabin noise is the likely culprit, as some of the slower contenders get to speed without drama.

An available Wi-Fi hot spot is a Chevy bonus. (Millennials love Wi-Fi.)

The Trax packs the smallest engine of the bunch yet was only the second slowest in this group. The Trax gets going courtesy of a 1.4-liter, turbocharged I-4 making 138 hp and 148 lb-ft mated to a six-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. The Trax needs 10.1 seconds to hit 60 mph and 17.5 seconds to complete the quarter mile at 78.2 mph. The passing test took the Trax 5.8 seconds. Although we normally like small turbocharged engines, we're no fans of the Chevy's setup. Power is adequate at best, and the Trax is really let down by both turbo lag and a transmission that's reluctant to shift out of top gear.

Research the Chevrolet Trax on MSN Autos

Despite its 2.0-liter flat-four making a class-average 148 hp and 145 lb-ft of torque, the Subaru was left huffing and puffing in the dust. The XV needed 10.3 seconds to accelerate from 0-60 mph and 17.7 seconds to finish the quarter mile at 79.3 mph. The Crosstrek managed to stave off a test-worst passing performance, needing 5.6 seconds to pass from 45-65 mph. Despite being slow at the track, you wouldn't know it out in the real world. The Subaru doesn't feel as slow as its numbers suggest as long as you don't ever firewall the throttle. Although wide-open throttle can be a chore for the XV, moderate throttle has the Subaru accelerating nicely without the sense that the engine is being overworked.

EFFICIENCY

One of the major reasons automakers expect small crossovers to draw young buyers is because they cost less at the pump than bigger SUVs. In order to see which CUV is the most miserly, we handed the keys off to our Emissions Analytics team for some testing. But first, a confession: We don't have Real MPG numbers for the XV Crosstrek, as our equipment wouldn't play nice with Subaru's ECU. That said, after three weeks of testing we have no reason to doubt the XV's 26/34/29 mpg city/highway/combined EPA score.

Latest Honda HR-V pricing guide

Of the remaining five vehicles that we could test, the CX-3 came out on top, exceeding its EPA fuel economy of 27/32/29 mpg with a 28.6/34.4/30.9 Real MPG score, a 6 percent improvement around town, 8 percent improvement highway, and a 7 percent improvement combined.

The HR-V wasn't far behind the CX-3. EPA-rated at 27/32/29, the HR-V also outperformed its official government scores, achieving 27.7/32.7/29.8 Real MPG. That's a 3 percent, 2 percent, and 3 percent improvement over EPA numbers on city, highway, and combined cycles, respectively.

Outside the confines of our test track, the Juke was an entertaining dance partner.

The Nissan Juke was 1 more mpg back. Officially rated at 26/31/28 mpg by the feds, the Juke scored 26.1/32.2/28.5 Real MPG. That's slightly less of an improvement than its fellow Japanese countryman: negligible change in the city but a 4 percent gain on the highway and a 2 percent gain combined.

2015 2016 Subcompact SUVs© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 2016 Subcompact SUVs

According to the EPA, the Chevy is good for 24/31/27 mpg; however, we found that it got 23.7/30.5/26.3 Real MPG in our testing. That makes for a disappointing 1 percent loss in the city, 2 percent loss on the highway, and 3 percent loss combined.

Like its fellow foreign-built American crossover, the Jeep Renegade won't be winning any awards from Greenpeace, netting an EPA score of 21/29/24 mpg and 21.7/27.5/24.0 Real MPG, meaning the Jeep scored 3 percent better in the city cycle, lost 5 percent on the highway cycle, and came out even on the combined cycle.

COCKPIT/CABIN

CUVs are supposed to have some semblance of utility integrated into their designs, allowing them to go places and carry things your run-of-the-mill sedan can't. Given the market for these crossovers, that utility line easily gets blurred; according to automaker research, the target for these CUVs is a 20- to 30-year-old, college-educated, childless, and "style-conscious" urbanite who enjoys weekend outdoor activities. In short, these CUVs aren't intended to be family vehicles. Some automakers took that data to heart. Others didn't.

The Mazda CX-3’s interior is gorgeous—and not just for the segment.

Mazda followed that market research. The CX-3's interior is gorgeous—and not just for the segment. It features a mix of white leather and suede, all set off with contrasting stitching, attractive metal trim, and comfortable front seats. "If you're going to pay $30,000 for a compact crossover, this interior is a good way to go," senior production editor Zach Gale said. The CX-3's small dimensions make the back seat and trunk a bit less welcoming. Evans said it "definitely feels like a small vehicle." Although the CX-3's interior is cozy, the Nissan Juke's is more on the cramped side. It's not that there's significantly more space available in the CX-3. It's that the Juke doesn't use the space as efficiently, wasting valuable room on things such as the motorcycle tank-inspired center console. The back seat and luggage accommodations are compromised, too. Udy, after his tried and true method of sitting behind the driver's seat with it in his preferred driving position, said, "I can sit behind myself fine, but I don't really want to." The trunk area also suffers greatly due to the Juke's quirky styling. "It's so bad there's a warning sticker on the tailgate about 'large' luggage interfering with the hatch," Evans said. For all the quirkiness that surrounds the Juke, we did appreciate a few of its touches, such as its 360-degree camera system and the neat drive info screen in the lower part of the center stack.

The Chevrolet is another vehicle undone by questionable interior quality. The Trax's cabin was a mishmash of chrome and both brushed and polished aluminum mixed with black and brown cloth/leatherette upholstery. There were also a handful of glaring panel gaps. As for the positives, I'll let Kong weigh in: "Materials aside, the interior is packaged pretty well. Four easily accessible cupholders up front, AC receptacle on the center console's rear, high second-row bench to bolster leg space, and plenty of storage pockets up front." An available Wi-Fi hot spot is another bonus. (Millennials love Wi-Fi.)

The HR-V’s interior was the most versatile, especially behind the front seats.

The other three competitors did a better job of balancing style, comfort, and cargo space. The HR-V's interior was the most versatile of the bunch, especially behind the front seats. The Honda's rear Magic Seat bench really helps, folding every which way: up, down, flat, split—you name it—allowing the Honda to swallow up loads far larger than its dimensions would seem to accommodate. Those Magic Seats also managed to be comfortable, though taller staffers noted that headroom was tight. We were also fans of the Honda's asymmetrical dashboard layout and the versatile cupholders that could double as hideaway storage for cell phones and other devices. Design aside, the front seats were less welcoming than the back. Multiple editors complained about feeling cramped and uncomfortable in the front of the HR-V. "I think Honda may have been too fixated on the area from the second row and back," Kong said.

The Subaru Crosstrek’s spacious cabin screams quality and function.

Although the design of the XV's interior won't win it any awards, the Subaru is a nice place to be. The Crosstrek's massive greenhouse promoted a general sense of spaciousness in the cabin while also giving the driver exceptional visibility. The Subaru's cabin screams quality and function, thanks to soft, supple leather and an easy to use infotainment system. "The seats are amazing," Kong said. "So supportive, and you could commute for hours in them." Both the first and second rows won high marks for comfort, and all appreciated the large cargo capacity that the XV offers.

The Jeep Renegade most effectively balanced style with function. Its interior included an assortment of high-quality cloth, leather, and plastics. From the solid "thunk" the doors make when slammed to the many Easter eggs throughout the cabin, the little details in the Jeep's interior do much to give the impression that the Renegade is a high-quality vehicle. It's spacious, too. The high roofline means that even 6-foot-4-inch Gale is comfortable in the back seat, and the short rear overhang doesn't come at the detriment of cargo space.

NOTABLE FEATURES

Chevrolet Trax

If there were an award for the most cupholders, the Trax would snag it.

2015 Chevrolet Trax LT AWD© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Chevrolet Trax LT AWD

Jeep Renegade

It’s the only vehicle here with driver-selectable off-road modes, operated via a knob found at the bottom of the center stack. Also, Easter eggs: 16 hidden design elements at last count.

2015 Jeep Renegade Latitude 4x4© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Jeep Renegade Latitude 4x4

Nissan Juke

It’s purple! It’s also the only one here with torque-vectoring all-wheel drive. The switch to turn it on is curiously positioned near the driver’s left knee.

2015 Nissan Juke SL AWD© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Nissan Juke SL AWD

Mazda CX-3

The Mazda helps drivers keep their head up and eyes on the road with its neat pop-up head-up display.

2016 Mazda CX 3 Grand Touring AWD© Provided by MotorTrend 2016 Mazda CX 3 Grand Touring AWD

Honda HR-V

Those “magic” folding rear seats have four configurations: normal, utility mode (seats folded flat), long mode (seats, including front-passenger seat, flat), and tall mode (rear seat cushions flipped up).

2016 Honda HR V EX L AWD© Provided by MotorTrend 2016 Honda HR V EX L AWD

Subaru XV Crosstrek

Need to get your muddy mutts back from the dog park without dirtying up your car? Toss ’em in XV’s hatch area and hose out the mat when you’re done.

2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek

SAFETY

While safety might not be as high of a priority for a target CUV buyer as it would be for a family with a baby, it's still an important metric when purchasing a new car.

As of this writing, the only contenders that have been crash-tested by NHTSA and the IIHS are the Trax, Juke, and XV Crosstrek. Of the three, the Juke is the least safe. On NHTSA tests, the Juke earns three stars for frontal collisions, five stars for side, and four stars for rollover for an overall four-star score. On IIHS tests, the Juke gets a Poor rating for the small-overlap test and a Good score on moderate-overlap, side, roof strength, and head/seat restraint.

The Chevy and Subaru scored Good ratings all around in IIHS tests. The Trax is an IIHS Top Safety Pick, and the XV is a TSP+, thanks to its available EyeSight active safety technology. Although both earned five stars overall from NHTSA, the Trax and XV differentiate themselves a bit on scores. The Trax earns five stars on every test but rollover, where it earns four stars, and the Crosstrek gets five stars on side-impact and four stars in the other tests.

VALUE

There are two ways at looking at value: the Wal-Mart way and the Costco way. The Wal-Mart way often sees shoppers going for the cheapest option; the Costco way is characterized by seeking the most bang for your buck, even if it means spending more.

Followers of the former will probably be tempted by the Honda HR-V EX-L trim with navigation, as it comes loaded at $26,720.

As for those Costco shoppers, look no further than the Mazda CX-3. With good looks, great fuel economy, and a full suite of active safety tech for our tester's estimated $30,035 sticker (official pricing hasn't been announced as of this writing), the CX-3 is a smart way to go.

COST OF OWNERSHIP

Many buyers fail to think about how much a vehicle will cost over its lifetime. To find out which CUV is lightest on the wallet, we went to IntelliChoice to assess the five-year cost of ownership for our group of CUVs.

You can see the full cost of ownership breakdown below, but the Subaru was far and away the cheapest vehicle to own. It starts at the dealer, where XV buyers will benefit from its $29,650 target purchase price, the second-lowest of the group. Subaru buyers further benefit from the second-lowest insurance and fuel costs, third-lowest repairs cost, and—here's the kicker—the lowest depreciation of the group. Whereas buyers of the five other CUVs will have to deal with their vehicles losing half their value over 5 years, the Subaru will only depreciate $10,143. The Crosstrek will cost its owners $3,500 less over five years than the next-cheapest vehicle.

 Chevrolet Trax LT AWDHonda HR-V AWDJeep Renegade Latitude 4x4Mazda CX-3 AWDNissan Juke SL AWDSubaru XV Crosstrek
Avg State Fees$394 $405 $414 $417 $410 $420
Depreciation$14,010 (54%)$13,658 (48%)$14,961 (50%)$16,434 (52%)$14,232 (51%)$10,143 (36%)
Financing$2,506 $2,717 $2,845 $3,016 $2,698 $2,683
Insurance$6,598 $7,261 $7,057 $7,728 $7,932 $6,699
Fuel$8,836 $8,234 $9,748 $7,472 $9,427 $8,103
Maintenance $2,162 $1,770 $2,139 $2,102 $2,833 $2,523
Repairs483.00681.00587.00$729 $665 $663
5-Year Cost of Ownership$34,989$34,726*37,751$37,898*$38,197 $31,234
Intellichoice Target Purchase Price$26,120 $28,330 $29,651 $31,428 $28,116 $27,952
*Estimated
PURCHASE PRICE: Target purchase price includes destination and average applicable state taxes applied to a transaction price between invoice and retail, based on applicable incentives.


CONCLUSION

The XV offers the best ride and Cost of Ownership; a roomy, high-utility interior; near-top fuel economy; and a Top Safety Pick+ rating, all of which easily overshadow its weak objective performance. Objectively, the Jeep, too, is a weak performer, yet it still garnered two first-place votes, thanks to an engaging personality and a stylish, commodious cabin. But its temperamental transmission and recent stop-sale over "software issues" are reasons for concern.

The Mazda is a tough sell when considering Cost of Ownership, but its athletic performance, ritzy cockpit, and best fuel economy make it our second favorite here. Our favorite packaging? From the second-row Magic Seat back, the HR-V, no question. Meanwhile, the Trax boasts solid safety, and the Juke tied with the CX-3 as most fun, but neither had enough extra to elevate their rankings.

RANKINGS

1st Place: Subaru XV Crosstrek

Highly competent on paper and on the road, the XV won us over by virtue of its loveable go-anywhere nature, nice road manners, and good looks; its low cost of ownership, high fuel economy, and roomy cabin further push it on top of the heap.

2nd Place: Jeep Renegade

It's hard not to be charmed by this little Renegade, though its personality far outweighs its actual merits. The Jeep may be stylish, and comfortable but if FCA spent half as much time working on the nine-speed to make it smoother and more efficient as it did on the Jeep's Easter eggs, you'd be looking at the winner.

3rd Place: Mazda CX-3

Attractive, efficient, and nice to drive. If the CX-3 were less expensive, cheaper to own and would fit more junk in the trunk, we'd be looking at the complete package.

4th Place: Honda HR-V

A highly fit (pun intended) hauler is let down by a noisy cabin, uncomfortable seats, and poky engine.

5th Place: Chevrolet Trax

Solid on safety and value, the Chevy's biggest problem is a bland personality that lets it get lost in the shuffle.

6th Place: Nissan Juke

We adore the Juke's fun-loving personality (and its purple paint!) but not enough to overlook the rest of the package.

TREAT YOURSELF: UPSCALE SUB-LUX ALTERNATIVES TO OUR BIG TEST SUBCOMPACT CUVs

2016 Buick Encore Front Three Quarter In Motion 05© Provided by MotorTrend 2016 Buick Encore Front Three Quarter In Motion 05

Sometimes you just want to "treat yo self" to something a little nicer than the mainstream. Sometimes that means opting for Chipotle over Taco Bell or In-N-Out over McDonald's, and sometimes it even means Buick over Chevrolet. For those looking to take a step up on the luxury scale into a premium subcompact CUV but aren't ready to make the full leap into a luxury crossover, there are a handful of enticing options.

For those who might otherwise be enticed by the Chevrolet Trax, General Motors also offers up the almost identical Buick Encore. I say almost because the Encore is decidedly more luxurious than the Trax. Although the Trax's interior is a mishmash of different fabrics and plastics of varying grades, the Encore's cabin is finished in leather and wood trim and encased in acoustically laminated glass to keep the unpleasant noise the 1.4-liter, turbo I-4 generates out of the cabin. The Encore also gets a more advanced infotainment system, a traditional instrument cluster, and genuinely handsome exterior sheetmetal. Loaded, a Buick Encore could be driven off the lot for a touch under $32,000.

2016 Buick Encore Cabin 01© Provided by MotorTrend 2016 Buick Encore Cabin 01

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles also has an in-house solution for subcompact crossover buyers who might want something a bit more premium: the Fiat 500X. Mechanically identical to the Jeep Renegade, the 500X differentiates itself inside. Jeep takes a utilitarian slant with the Renegade's interior; the 500X is all about providing an upscale experience — slightly nicer leather and more fashionable colors. Pricing for the Fiat 500X isn't all that different than the Renegade. A loaded example comes in around $33,000.

2016 Fiat 500X Trekking Plus Front End 03© Provided by MotorTrend 2016 Fiat 500X Trekking Plus Front End 03

Last but not least, we have a vehicle that just about every entrant in the segment, both mainstream and premium, benchmarked: the Mini Countryman. One of the few in the segment that doesn't currently share its platform with a "lesser" brand, the Mini Countryman offers up the performance, luxury, and customization options premium buyers want but without any of the pretensions that come from a dedicated luxury brand. A Mini Countryman Cooper S comparably equipped to the Fiat and Buick can be had out the door for around $35,000.


 2015 Chevrolet Trax LT AWD2016 Honda HR-V AWD2015 Jeep Renegade Latitude 4x4
POWERTRAIN/CHASSIS
DRIVETRAIN LAYOUTFront-engine, AWDFront-engine, AWDFront-engine, AWD
ENGINE TYPETurbocharged I-4, iron block/alum headI-4, alum block/headI-4, alum block/head
VALVETRAINDOHC, 4 valves/cylSOHC, 4 valves/cylSOHC, 4 valves/cyl
DISPLACEMENT83.2 cu in/1,364cc109.8 cu in/1,799cc144.0 cu in/2,360cc
COMPRESSION RATIO9.5:110.6:110.0:1
POWER (SAE NET)138 hp @ 4,900 rpm*141 hp @ 6,500 rpm180 hp @ 6,400 rpm
TORQUE (SAE NET)148 lb-ft @ 1,850 rpm*127 lb-ft @ 4,300 rpm175 lb-ft @ 3,900 rpm
REDLINE6,500 rpm6,700 rpm6,400 rpm
WEIGHT TO POWER23.4 lb/hp21.9 lb/hp18.7 lb/hp
TRANSMISSION6-speed automaticCont. variable auto9-speed automatic
AXLE/FINAL-DRIVE RATIO3.53:1/2.65:15.44:1/2.22:13.73:1/1.79:1
SUSPENSION, FRONT; REARStruts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; torsion beam, coil springsStruts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; torsion beam, coil springsStruts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar
STEERING RATIO16.1:115.2:115.7:1
TURNS LOCK-TO-LOCK2.72.72.7
BRAKES, F;R11.8-in vented disc; 10.6-in disc, ABS11.5-in vented disc; 11.1-in disc, ABS12.0-in vented disc; 11.0-in disc, ABS
WHEELS6.5 x 16-in, cast aluminum7.5 x 17-in, cast aluminum7.0 x 18-in, cast aluminum
TIRES205/70R16 96H M+S Continental ContiProContact215/55R17 94V M+S Michelin Primacy MXV4225/55R18 98H M+S Kumho Crugen Premium
DIMENSIONS
WHEELBASE100.6 in102.8 in101.2 in
TRACK, F/R60.6/60.6 in60.4/60.6 in60.6/60.6 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT168.5 x 69.9 x 65.9 in169.1 x 69.8 x 63.2 in166.6 x 74.2 x 66.5 in
GROUND CLEARANCE6.2 in6.7 in7.9 in
APPRCH/DEPART ANGLE13.1/24.9 deg18.5/21.3 deg21.0/32.1 deg
TURNING CIRCLE36.7 ft37.4 ft36.3 ft
CURB WEIGHT3,227 lb3,093 lb3,369 lb
WEIGHT DIST., F/R61/39%59/41%60/40%
TOWING CAPACITYNot recommendedNot recommended2,000 lb
SEATING CAPACITY555
HEADROOM, F/R39.6/38.8 in37.6/38.3 in41.1/40.5 in
LEGROOM, F/R40.8/35.7 in41.2/39.3 in41.2/35.1 in
SHOULDER ROOM, F/R54.1/52.8 in56.8/54.5 in55.9/55.1 in
CARGO VOLUME BEH F/R48.4/18.7 cu ft55.9/23.2 cu ft50.8/18.5 cu ft
TEST DATA
ACCELERATION TO MPH
0-30 3.2 sec3.6 sec3.2 sec
0-404.85.24.7
0-507.37.16.6
0-6010.19.59.0
0-7013.412.512.0
0-8018.516.416.5
0-90---
PASSING, 45-65 MPH5.84.84.8
QUARTER MILE17.5 sec @ 78.2 mph17.3 sec @ 82.2 mph16.9 sec @ 80.8 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH118 ft127 ft114 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION0.76 g (avg)0.84 g (avg)0.78 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT29.2 sec @ 0.56 g (avg)28.0 sec @ 0.62 g (avg)28.4 sec @ 0.61 g (avg)
TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH2,000 rpm1,600 rpm1,600 rpm
CONSUMER INFO
BASE PRICE$24,820 $22,045 $24,290
PRICE AS TESTED$25,315 $26,720 $30,035
STABILITY/TRACTION CONTROLYes/yesYes/yesYes/yes
AIRBAGSDual front, f/r side, f/r curtain, front kneeDual front, front side, f/r curtainDual front, front side, f/r curtain, driver knee
BASIC WARRANTY3 yrs/36,000 miles3 yrs/36,000 miles3 yrs/36,000 miles
POWERTRAIN WARRANTY5 yrs/100,000 miles5 yrs/60,000 miles5 yrs/100,000 miles
ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE5 yrs/100,000 miles3 yrs/36,000 miles5 yrs/100,000 miles
FUEL CAPACITY14.0 gal13.2 gal12.7 gal
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON24/31/27 mpg27/32/29 mpg21/29/24 mpg
ENERGY CONS., CITY/HWY140/109 kW-hrs/100 miles125/105 kW-hrs/100 miles160/116 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB0.73 lb/mile0.67 lb/mile0.81 lb/mile
REAL MPG, CITY/HWY/COMB23.7/30.5/26.3 mpg27.7/32.7/29.8 mpg21.7/27.5/24.0 mpg
RECOMMENDED FUELUnleaded regularUnleaded regularUnleaded regular
*SAE Certified
**Test results unavailable


 2016 Mazda CX-3 AWD2015 Nissan Juke SL AWD2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek
POWERTRAIN/CHASSIS
DRIVETRAIN LAYOUTFront-engine, AWDFront-engine, AWDFront-engine, AWD
ENGINE TYPEI-4, alum block/headTurbocharged I-4, alum block/headFlat-4, alum block/heads
VALVETRAINDOHC, 4 valves/cylDOHC, 4 valves/cylDOHC, 4 valves/cyl
DISPLACEMENT121.9 cu in/1,998cc98.8 cu in/1,618cc122.0 cu in/1,995cc
COMPRESSION RATIO13.0:110.5:110.5:1
POWER (SAE NET)146 hp @ 6,000 rpm188 hp @ 5,600 rpm148 hp @ 6,200 rpm
TORQUE (SAE NET)146 lb-ft @ 2,800 rpm177 lb-ft @ 1,600 rpm145 lb-ft @ 4,200 rpm
REDLINE6,500 rpm6,400 rpm6,500 rpm
WEIGHT TO POWER20.5 lb/hp16.9 lb/hp21.9 lb/hp
TRANSMISSION6-speed automaticCont. variable autoCont. variable auto
AXLE/FINAL-DRIVE RATIO3.89:1/2.33:15.69:1/2.15:13.70:1/2.29:1
SUSPENSION, FRONT; REARStruts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; torsion beam, coil springsStruts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, anti-roll barStruts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, anti-roll bar
STEERING RATIO13.3:1 (est)16.5:114.1:1
TURNS LOCK-TO-LOCK2.62.52.8
BRAKES, F;R11.6-in vented disc; 11.1-in disc, ABS11.7-in vented disc; 11.5-in disc, ABS11.6-in vented disc; 10.8-in disc, ABS
WHEELS7.0 x 18-in, cast aluminum7.0 x 17-in, cast aluminum7.0 x 17-in, cast aluminum
TIRES215/50R18 92V M+S Yokohama Avid S34215/55R17 93V M+S Goodyear Eagle RS-A225/55R17 95H M+S Yokohama Geolandar H/T G95A
DIMENSIONS
WHEELBASE101.2 in99.6 in103.7 in
TRACK, F/R60.0/59.9 in60.0/59.3 in60.0/60.0 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT168.3 x 69.6 x 60.9 in162.4 x 69.5 x 61.8 in175.2 x 70.1 x 63.6 in
GROUND CLEARANCE6.1 in6.6 in8.7 in
APPRCH/DEPART ANGLE15.0/23.0 deg (est)21.8/24.9 deg18.0/27.7 deg
TURNING CIRCLE34.8 ft36.4 ft34.8 ft
CURB WEIGHT2,988 lb3,178 lb3,235 lb
WEIGHT DIST., F/R59/41%60/40%59/41%
TOWING CAPACITYNot yet ratedNot recommended1,500 lb
SEATING CAPACITY555
HEADROOM, F/R37.6/37.2 in38.6/36.7 in37.2/37.7 in
LEGROOM, F/R41.7/35.0 in42.1/32.1 in43.5/35.4 in
SHOULDER ROOM, F/R53.5/50.4 in53.6/51.4 in55.6/54.2 in
CARGO VOLUME BEH F/R42.3/10.1 cu ft35.9/10.5 cu ft51.9/22.3 cu ft
TEST DATA
ACCELERATION TO MPH
0-30 2.8 sec2.8 sec3.6 sec
0-404.44.05.4
0-506.25.57.6
0-608.67.410.3
0-7011.49.713.7
0-8015.112.618.1
0-90-16.2-
PASSING, 45-65 MPH4.63.75.6
QUARTER MILE16.6 sec @ 83.0 mph15.8 sec @ 88.9 mph17.7 sec @ 79.3 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH117 ft119 ft125 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION0.85 g (avg)0.85 g (avg)0.81 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT27.6 sec @ 0.66 g (avg)27.1 sec @ 0.67 g (avg)28.0 sec @ 0.60 g (avg)
TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH2,000 rpm1,750 rpm1,700 rpm
CONSUMER INFO
BASE PRICE$23,125 (est)$27,765 $22,445
PRICE AS TESTED$29,650 (est)$28,225 $27,645
STABILITY/TRACTION CONTROLYes/yesYes/yesYes/yes
AIRBAGSDual front, front side, f/r curtainDual front, front side, f/r curtainDual front, front side, f/r curtain, driver knee
BASIC WARRANTY3 yrs/36,000 miles3 yrs/36,000 miles3 yrs/36,000 miles
POWERTRAIN WARRANTY5 yrs/60,000 miles5 yrs/60,000 miles5 yrs/60,000 miles
ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE3 yrs/36,000 milesN/A3 yrs/36,000 miles
FUEL CAPACITY11.9 gal11.8 gal15.9 gal
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON27/32/29 mpg26/31/28 mpg26/34/29 mpg
ENERGY CONS., CITY/HWY125/105 kW-hrs/100 miles130/109 kW-hrs/100 miles130/99 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB0.67 lb/mile0.69 lb/mile0.67 lb/mile
REAL MPG, CITY/HWY/COMB28.6/34.4/30.9 mpg26.1/32.2/28.5 mpgN/A**
RECOMMENDED FUELUnleaded regularUnleaded premiumUnleaded regular
*SAE Certified
**Test results unavailable

2015 2016 Subcompact SUVs© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 2016 Subcompact SUVs

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from Motor Trend

Loading...

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon