With its “best of both worlds” disposition, there’s a lot to like about crossovers. But there is a huge difference in standard features. While they all have alloy wheels, touchscreen infotainment, and backup cameras standard, not everyone offers additional features on the base model. If you love a huge features list for a low price, here’s where you should start looking at these available used crossovers.
Buick positioned the Encore between entry-level competitors like the Honda HR-V and luxury crossovers like the Lexus NX. They did their homework, and created a best-seller. Buyers love the quiet, airy cabin and upscale feel to the materials. The Encore is about the same size as an Audi Q3, and that’s the vehicle that most closely resembles on test drives, but with a couple of cool base model features. First, there’s more rear headroom here than in most subcompact crossovers, and the rear armrest is hard to find in competitors at any price. The two-way adjustable lumbar support in the front seats is hard to find in this class, and the front passenger seat pulls a Marie Kondo and folds completely flat if you need lots of storage. Get the 2016+ model for increased horsepower, torque, and gas mileage.
The Equinox is an outsized compact, which also accurately describes its options list. It’s tempting to get one of the higher LS or LT trims of the Equinox, as you get a lot of bonuses for the money, like 4G LTE WiFi, six USB ports, heated front seats, and reclining rear seats. Not bad, but the base model isn’t lacking for features either. You’ve got a 7-inch display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (which is STILL not standard everywhere). Then there’s GM’s exclusive safety/utility feature of OnStar, which can do everything from security and safety, to hands-free calling and navigation. Keyless entry and push-button start are nice to have and still somewhat rare in other base models, but are standard in every ‘nox. While the optional 1.6-liter diesel engine isn’t available in the base trim, it is worth a mention here for being so rare in this class.
So you like the Equinox, but need more than five seats? Mazda has what you need. The CX-9 is a large 7-seat crossover, unique in the category for Mazda injecting some of their “Zoom-zoom” driving fun into a utilitarian crossover. You may buy one for the cargo and passenger space, but at least you’ll enjoy the drive to the soccer field. You’ll also enjoy the standard features, which lean heavily towards safety. First, there’s the cool LED headlights and daytime running lights, and the convenience of 3-zone climate control, and dual USB ports and 120V outlets. If you tow, the traction control system includes Trailer Stability Assist. There’s also standard blind spot monitoring, hill start assist, and Smart City Brake Support, which can stop the vehicle in emergency situations. And something standard with every CX-9, but totally class exclusive: Car and Driver named it the best mid-size SUV for 2017 and 2018.
Something happened with cars in 2016, and like some of the above models, the Tiguan improved inside and out. The Tiguan S is the base model, offering features like LED tail lights, roof rails, heated side mirrors, aside from its chiseled good looks. The VW carries a huge standard warranty too. While most vehicles in this class are offer a 4-year, 50,000 mile warranty, the Tiguan delivers a 6-year, 72,000 mile transferable warranty, meaning on average, and additional year of driving coverage. If something goes wrong, you still have the factory warranty to cover you. It’s also a winner for space, as the Tiguan is one of the biggest crossovers in the compact class, making passenger and cargo space a standard feature. Finally, safety is standard too, with five stars in the EU’s NCAP test, and “Good” from the IIHS.