CHICAGO, Nov. 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Cars.com has teamed up with MotorWeek and USA Today to determine the segment leader in its Subcompact SUV Challenge. The current lineup of subcompact SUVs on the market was put to the test to determine the best overall performer. With the help of five expert judges and a local Denver couple shopping for a new subcompact SUV, Cars.com evaluated seven of the most popular models: the 2016 Chevrolet Trax, 2016 Fiat 500X, 2016 Honda HR-V, 2015 Jeep Renegade, 2016 Mazda CX-3, 2015 Nissan Juke and the 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek. After extensive testing, the 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek earned first place.
"The XV Crosstrek ranked highest with the expert judges and was the favorite of the in-market couple," said Patrick Olsen, Cars.com's editor-in-chief. "This subcompact SUV felt like the 'grownup' of the group, with an oversized cargo area and a delightfully quiet ride. Overall, it did the best job of packing in impressive, high-tech safety features, ample creature comforts and a great ride for a low price."
Subcompact SUVs, a fairly new segment that's growing in popularity, offer car shoppers a cost-effective alternative to more traditional SUVs. "Although automakers are largely marketing these small SUVs to millennials, they are a good alternative for any traditional SUV shopper. Despite their size, they pack in nearly all of the amenities of their larger siblings, and buyers are gravitating toward them," according to Olsen.
The tests resulted in the following ranking:
1. 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek
2. 2016 Fiat 500X
3. 2016 Honda HR-V
4. 2016 Mazda CX-3
5. 2015 Jeep Renegade
6. 2015 Nissan Juke
7. 2016 Chevrolet Trax
Cars.com's regular series of Challenges provides shoppers with transparent, unbiased information about their options within a specific vehicle segment and helps them narrow down their selection based on extensive testing. To compete in the Subcompact SUV Challenge, each vehicle had to come with all-wheel drive as an option and could not be more than $27,000. The testing process included:
- A 205-mile course on varying road types to test each vehicle for real-world MPG
- Round-robin testing, where multiple experts drove each vehicle back-to-back on the same course to test ride, handling, comfort, acceleration and more
- Testing by real-life consumers who are in the market for a new subcompact SUV to evaluate features, cargo space, ride and more
For full results and scoring details on the Subcompact SUV Challenge, or any recent Cars.com multicar comparisons, visit www.cars.com/news.
Launched in 1998, Cars.com, a TEGNA Inc. (NYSE: TGNA) company, is an award-recognized online destination for car shoppers and owners that offers information from experts and consumers to help research, price and find new and used cars, as well as information around service and repair for car owners. With more than 31 million monthly visits to its web properties, Cars.com offers millions of new and used vehicle listings, expert and consumer reviews, side-by-side comparison, build and price tools, unbiased editorial content and much more. In 2015, Cars.com introduced a new service and repair feature to help consumers find the right service provider and understand how much to pay with the fair-price estimator tool. Cars.com puts millions of car buyers, and now owners, in control of their shopping process with the information they need to make stress-free buying, selling and servicing decisions.