By The Numbers: Comparing 2015 Compact Crossovers, Part 1

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The hot crossover market is a win for manufacturers, with the higher prices crossovers command over similar-sized sedans. And it’s a win for buyers, as these tall wagons solve a lot of problems within a small footprint. Let’s look at some key measurements in the choices for 2015.

Many crossovers pitch themselves as perfect partners in the urban errand run. So let’s look at overall length and cargo area with the rear seats up, along with steering ratio and turning radius. In this Part 1, we’ll look at mainstream brands, and Part 2 will cover their upscale brethren. From shortest to longest:


Base price range: $19,595 – 24,195
Overall length / cargo capacity: 169.1 inches / 21.7 cu. ft
Turns, lock to lock / turning diameter: 3.3 / 34.8 ft.
Manual transmission? Yes, but only on base trim


Comments: The Outlander Sport is the king of parkability, with its sub-170-inch length, and it has a Mitsu’s typically tight turning diameter. The 2015 model year brings measures like thicker door glass and more insulation to combat noise.


Base price range: $21,650 – 27,950
Overall length / cargo capacity: 173.1 inches / 25.7 cu. ft
Turns, lock to lock / turning diameter: 2.96 / 34.7 ft.
Manual transmission? Nope

Comments: The Tucson adds a bit more length and cargo capacity to the Mitsu and has slightly fewer steering-wheel turns to dig into its equally tight diameter. Changes are minimal changes for 2015, like LED tail lights for the Tucson Limited.


Base price range: $25,995 – 37,280
Overall length / cargo capacity: 174.1 inches / 23.8 cu. ft
Turns, lock to lock / turning diameter: 2.7 / 39.0 ft.
Manual transmission? Gone for 2015, was available in the 2014’s base model


Comments: The slow-selling Tiguan continues into 2015 with its short length and quick steering, but its turning radius is conspicuously wide. Changes for the new model year include expanded standard tech connectivity – but still no USB – as well as the elimination of a manual-transmission option.


Base price range: $25,995 – 37,280
Overall length / cargo capacity: 174.8 inches / 26.8 cu. ft
Turns, lock to lock / turning diameter: 2.83 / 34.8 ft.
Manual transmission? No


Comments: Kia retains its sportier-than-thou vibe over its Hyundai Tucson sibling with a slightly quicker turning ratio and a commendably tight turning diameter. An extra near-two-inches of length yields a smidge more cargo room. It continues into 2015 with its singular style and – check out that base price range – an impressive array of available features.


Base price range: $22,610 – 29,020
Overall length / cargo capacity: 178.1 inches / 34.3 cu. ft
Turns, lock to lock / turning diameter: NA / 38.8 ft.
Manual transmission? Ain’t no how


Comments: We’re hitting the meat of the crossover market with the Escape’s jump to 178 inches and an attendant bump to over 30 cubic feet in cargo area. Turning radius is wide at nearly 39 feet. Changes for 2015 are few, and the Escape retains its signature available feature, the foot-activated tailgate.


Base price range: (2014) $23,120 – 30,620
Overall length / cargo capacity: 178.3 inches / 37.2 cu. ft
Turns, lock to lock / turning diameter: 3.16 / 37.0 ft.
Manual transmission? Not here


Comments: Honda’s high-volume stalwart runs down the middle, with numbers that are better than some and worse than others. The emphasis on cargo room is seen here with its healthy 37.0-cu.-ft. measurement. Likely a continuing story into 2015.


Base price range: $21,545 – 29,220
Overall length / cargo capacity: 178.7 inches / 34.1 cu. ft
Turns, lock to lock / turning diameter: 2.7 / 36.7 ft.
Manual transmission? Yes, on the base Sport trim


Comments: A manual transmission (only on the less powerful engine, dang it), quick steering and a decent turning diameter keep the CX-5 in the top tier of the driver’s crossovers. Not much new for 2015.


Base price range: (2014) $24,435 – 29,600
Overall length / cargo capacity: 179.9 inches / 38.4 cu. ft
Turns, lock to lock / turning diameter: 2.83 / 34.7 ft. (36.7 ft. with 18-inch wheels)
Manual transmission? Nah


Comments: We’re bumping up against 180 inches here, so the vibe is getting to be more shopping-mall than parallel-street-parking. The RAV4 is still a couple inches shorter than the compact Corolla, the turning diameter is terrific, and the cargo area is big and boxy. Still waiting for all of Toyota’s 2015 RAV4 updates, but it’s doubtful much will change.


Base price range: $22,195 – 33,095
Overall length / cargo capacity: 180.9 inches / 34.4 cu. ft without moonroof, 31.7 with
Turns, lock to lock / turning diameter: 3.1 / 34.8 ft.
Manual transmission? Yes, on the non-turbocharged engine


Comments: Very tight turning diameter for its size. Shame the manual transmission is excluded from the 250-horsepower turbo engine, although the 2.5-liter it is offered on isn’t so bad. Forester sales are up, which makes sense with this car’s broad appeal. Just about unchanged for 2015.


Base price range: $22,995 – 30,095
Overall length / cargo capacity: 182.0 inches / 24.6 cu. ft
Turns, lock to lock / turning diameter: 2.56 (4×2) 2.67 (4×4) / 37.6 – 38.1 ft.
Manual transmission? You’d think so, but no


Comments: Seems like a Jeep should have a manual transmission option, and the cargo area is a bit small for its length, but the Cherokee’s solid sales figures indicate buyer acceptance of the Cherokee and its next-Jeep styling.  Changes for 2015 are small minor, like stop-start for the V6 engine.


Base price range: $22,790 – 28,280
Overall length / cargo capacity: 182.3 inches / 32.0 cu. ft
Turns, lock to lock / turning diameter: 3.1 / 37.4 ft.
Manual transmission? No ma’am


Comments: Redesigned to great effect for 2014, the Rogue continues into 2015 as a bulls-eye answer to the Toyota RAV4. It has the same mild personality, and its numbers are nothing special, but the Rogue impresses with its quality feel and thoughtful design.


Base price range: $20,150 – 21,500
Overall length / cargo capacity: 183.3 inches / 28.9 cu. ft
Turns, lock to lock / turning diameter: 3.1 / 37.4 ft.
Manual transmission? No sir


Comments: The older Rogue remains in production for the second year next to its newer self. It is a dated design; note the long length and smallish cargo capacity. Also, this is a pre-Xtronic CVT Nissan, so transmission response is early-gen syrupy. Still, only the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is cheaper. Steady as she goes for 2015.


Base price range: $25,395 – 34,545
Overall length / cargo capacity: 187.8 inches / 31.5 cu. ft
Turns, lock to lock: 3.46 (2.4L) 2.9 (3.6L, 18-inch wheels), 2.8 (3.6L, 19-inch wheels)
Turning diameter: 40.0 ft. or 42.6 ft. with 19-inch wheels
Manual transmission? Not happening


Comments: Every segment has its buster, and at nearly 188 inches, the evergreen Equinox is exactly that. It continues to sell with few changes, and so Chevrolet is pretty much leaving well enough alone, aside from market-first 4G LTE WiFi internet connectivity, which will accept connections from seven devices. The Equinox’s long wheelbase – which contributes to its riverboat-like turning diameter approaching 43 feet with the 19-inch wheels – and its smallish cargo area point to a greater emphasis on passenger space, making the Equinox more suited for the suburban kid haul.

Next time in Part 2: the upscale crossovers.