Thinking Ahead: The Best Crossover SUVs for 2018

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With no signs of slowing down anytime soon, auto makers are scrambling to get their products to market sooner than later. The 2018 model year booms with redesigns and new models hitting the ground. As a result there are some fantastic new models coming anytime now, especially when it comes to SUV crossovers.

It’s hard to rank the best SUV crossovers for 2018 right now, since there’s no history of their dependability. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t look forward to them. Here are 13 SUV crossovers for model year 2018 that we think you should be excited about.

2018 Volkswagen Atlas

A highly acclaimed model that could contend with the best SUV crossovers for 2018 is the VW Atlas. It takes the traditional exterior approach that everyone loves and packs a whole lotta goodness inside.

The panoramic moonroof is massive, spanning all three rows of seating. A hands-free Easy Open power tailgate is available. The 12.3-inch all-digital instrument cluster display is phenomenal. Its 480-watt Fender sound system is wonderful. A 276-horsepower V6 with 5,000-lb towing capacity, 8-speed auto transmission, and available AWD are just what you need for confident everyday driving. Furthermore,  a 6-year/72,000-mile warranty makes this vehicle a good deal for just $30,500 to start.

2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio

And then there’s this Italian-inspired masterpiece. The 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio (QF for shorthand) is a marvel with the ability to dethrone all other high-performance crossover SUVs. An available 505-horsepower 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 can reach 177 miles per hour, and performance is just one little aspect.

Alcantara interior components and premium Italian stitching surround you inside. Sparco racing seats are available. You get an infrared windshield and a race-inspired push-button start on the steering wheel. Gorgeous body lines and other Italian touches are everywhere. Be prepared to pay a premium as well, however pricing hasn’t been announced yet.

2018 Buick Enclave

It was high time the Buick Enclave received a facelift, and this is the year for it. The 2018 Buick Enclave gets a more refined look with winged LED headlights, a new grille, dual sunroofs, power liftgate and a sexy profile. Inside, sweeping lines and premium materials are all around. This SUV with three rows of seating can seat six comfortably, all cozy amid ambient lighting.

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Driver assist features are standard equipment, and there’s a fancy shmancy upgrade to the Enclave Avenir package. With power to tow up to 5,000 pounds, it could be a great business and personal SUV.

2018 Audi Q5

Audi is undoubtedly high on the list of crossover SUVs for 2018. It’s hard to ignore the Q5. It gives you a rich experience in every sense. The exterior is stunning with crisp body lines, a front end that’s fresh with LED lights on either side of the four rings, and visually captivating wheel designs. But it’s so much more than just looks.

The 2018 Audi Q5 has the features you want, and some you didn’t know you wanted. The instrument cluster is fully digital and configurable, including your navigation map. The dash-top infotainment screen is reminiscent of a Mercedes-Benz. There’s an available hands-free power liftgate, available 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen surround sound system and an available head up display.

The powertrain is impressive too. Audi Quattro AWD is optional, yet a great addition to the turbocharged 252-horsepower 2.0-liter TFSI four-cylinder. What’s even better about it is the seven-speed dual-clutch S-Tronic gearbox. It’s a great drive, and pricing starts at $41,900.

2018 Toyota C-HR

There’s room in the best SUV crossovers of 2018 for something more basic. A new model for this coming year in Toyota’s stable is the C-HR, a subcompact SUV with attitude. The last time we saw a model introduced in this fashion was the Nissan Juke, and this Toyota C-HR appeals to the same group.

It’s an entry-level Corolla in essence, but it is configured quite differently. On the outside, it has an aggressive, playful look with deeply sculpted curves and a sporty stance. The “C” stands for coupe because the rear doors are somewhat hidden. The handles are tucked up against the C-pillar.

Some interior options are included, like power locks and windows, a decent Display Audio touchscreen and dual-zone automatic climate control.

Even with the XLE Premium trim (the only other trim is XLE), the C-HR is pretty tame. It’s strictly a front-wheel-drive vehicle and powered by a 144-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder and a CVT transmission. Expect to see it sell well being at the entry level price point, starting at just $22,500.

2018 Kia Sorento

The Kia Sorento has come a long way in a short time. Its newest design is very appealing, with quad-light fog lights and LED accent lighting. The overall profile could be mistaken for a Volvo, given its strong stance and accentuated curves in all the right places.

The 2018 Kia Sorento’s cabin is impressive, especially considering the starting price is just $25,800. It has an available panoramic moonroof, heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats, and even available heated second-row outboard seats. Nappa leather or cloth, the comfort level is surprisingly good.

There are three engine options to choose from: a somewhat underpowered 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 185 horsepower, a spunky turbocharged 2.0-liter four-banger with 240 horsepower, or a 290-horsepower 3.3-liter V6. All three engine options have Dynamax AWD available among the seven different trims.

2018 Ford Flex

It’s a steady competitor in the crossover SUV segment. The 2018 Ford Flex’s squarish, wagon-like design is riveting, and two-tone paint is another daring option to stand out even more. Its horizontal side pleats add classiness, and the interior does more of the same.

While you can get the Ford Flex with the bare essential power options, most won’t. You’ll choose one with SYNC 3 infotainment, the multipanel Vista Roof, ambient lighting, and heated and cooled leather seats. There are available PowerFold third-row seats, and dual-zone climate controls are operated through the touchscreen.

Ford has made performance a key component for the 2018 Ford Flex. The base engine is a 3.5-liter Ti-VCT V6 with 287 horsepower, while the Limited can be upgraded to a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 with an impressive 365 horsepower. Intelligent AWD is available with the naturally aspirated V6, and it’s standard on the EcoBoost model. You’ll get into the 2018 Ford Flex starting at $30,300.

2018 Jaguar F-Pace

One of the best crossover SUVs for 2018 is assuredly the Jaguar F-Pace. It’s an SUV with the pedigree of a sports car, and the performance aspect is one we truly admire. That gorgeous Jaguar open front grille and thin, slanted headlights are aggressive and the overall shape screams “well-bred athlete.” The tailgate is curvaceous but the roof-mounted spoiler keeps the sportiness present.

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You’ll find all the amenities you’d expect in a Jag. There’s available head-up display, rotary dial shifter, beautiful accent leather seating choices, mood lighting, and a massive panoramic roof. An optional Meridian 825-watt sound system is used in a few trim levels too. Power options and driver assist features overflow from the F-Pace.

You have four engine options to choose from. Choose from the 2.0-liter diesel engine with 180 horsepower and over 300 lb-ft of torque, a turbocharged 2.0-liter with 247 horsepower, an upgraded 2.0-liter turbo with 296 ponies, or the top-tier supercharged V6 with 380 horsepower. All trim levels have AWD either standard or available. It’s one of the seriously awesome SUVs for 2018. Pricing starts at $42,065.

2018 Subaru Crosstrek

It’s one of the very few vehicle models that have all-wheel drive as a standard-equipment feature on all trim levels. The 2018 Subaru Crosstrek has a fresh face for this model year, albeit not very different than the outgoing model. It gains a little over an inch in length from the 2017 model and some nifty features along the way.

It’s more of a station wagon, however its Symmetrical AWD system and 8.7 inches of ground clearance bump it up with the other SUV crossovers. The liftgate is wider this year for easier access to cargo space. A Harmon Kardon sound system is available, as is perforated leather seating the Limited trim. Steering Responsive LED headlights are a great option, also on the upper trim. Come to think of it, almost all the good stuff requires the 2.0i Limited trim level.

The only engine option is the 2.0-liter BOXER flat-plane four-cylinder with 152 horsepower. You can choose a 6-speed manual transmission or a Lineartronic CVT gearbox. Pricing for the 2018 Subaru Crosstrek starts at $21,795.

2018 Mazda CX-5

A personal fave for 2018 is the Mazda CX-5. It was all-new for the 2017 model year and comes with an amazing selection of comforts. Most noteworthy is the style. It’s gone from bland to vivacious in a single redesign.

The body is sexy with curves in all the right places. The grill remains the recognizable Mazda shape, whilst the thin headlights are available as either projector-style or LED. The interior is well equipped with the dash-top infotainment screen, beautifully textured materials and the power options you expect. Upper trim levels can add Active Driving Display and leather heated seats, power liftgate and more.

The beef I’ve had in the past is the engine option, or lack thereof. The 187-horsepower 2.5-liter SKYACTIV-G four-cylinder isn’t all that hot, while the I-ACTIV AWD does a good job of keeping traction. Finally a diesel engine option is coming for 2018, although we don’t know its exact specs yet.

2018 Audi Q3

It’s a compact crossover SUV, since not everyone needs the extra bulk. The 2018 Audi Q3 is definitely one of which to take note. It has premium equipment available without the astronomical pricing.

On the outside, the body lines are straighter and a little sharper than you might expect, but it helps the Q3 command the road. In addition, brilliant LED headlights and a nifty wraparound tailgate design are sharp. You’ll get a panoramic sunroof, leather seating, front and rear parking sensors, and the usual interior power options in the Premium trim. Upgrade to the Premium Plus trim to add heated seats, power liftgate and the Audi Advanced Key.

Under the hood is the same for both trims, a 2.0-liter TFSI four-cylinder with 200 horsepower and an EPA-rated combined fuel efficiency of 28 mpg. Quattro AWD is optional on either trim as well. This crossover SUV starts at just $32,900.

2018 Chevrolet Traverse

The outgoing Chevy Traverse was clunky and very dated, while the new 2018 Chevrolet Traverse is much more of an SUV. Most of all, it’s very nice. It’s a great replacement for a minivan with seating for up to eight people, in a body style that takes cues from the Tahoe.

The 2018 Chevrolet Traverse does great things on the inside as well. Its seating is easily configurable for people or cargo with Smart Slide Seating. MyLink infotainment has come a long way since its initial introduction, and a motorized screen reveals a hidden compartment behind. Surround vision camera, adaptive cruise control, a rear camera mirror, and a slew of driver assist features are standard or available on the seven trim levels.

Under the hood is a 3.6-liter V6 with 310 horsepower and a 9-speed automatic transmission. It’s definitely powerful enough, however a more efficient engine should be made available. Chevrolet makes AWD an option on virtually every trim also, which is a nice touch. Pricing for the new 2018 Chevrolet Traverse opens up at $30,875.

2018 Volvo XC60

The 2018 Volvo XC60 is an all-new model. Furthermore, it’s one one we’re excited about. There aren’t many European models that dare to be different like the XC60. Due to the long, wagon-style hood, the tall taillights and the strong body lines,  it’s all visually captivating. Even with dramatic LED cornering headlights and accent lighting, there’s no mistaking the Volvo grille.

Inside the 2018 Volvo XC60 is just as stunning. The vertical tablet-style screen is intuitive to use for both navigation and entertainment. Interior materials are of premium quality. Bowers and Wilkins premium sound is an option, under-seat storage is standard, and an all-digital instrument cluster is available in either 8-inch or 12.3-inch designs. We can’t even begin to explain all the driver assist features, they’re all either standard or optional on the all-new 2018 Volvo XC60.

Three engine choices are available, and each include AWD as standard equipment. There’s a 250-horsepower T5, a 316-horsepower T6, and a 313-horspower Twin-Engine Hybrid T8. Prices start at $41,500 for one of the best crossover SUVs for 2018.

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