Crossovers are white-hot. The vehicles, which have the commanding seat height of SUVs but are built on car-based platforms, are surging at roughly the same rate that sedan sales are tanking. But that doesn’t make them good. As a trade-off for that ride height, drivers are often punished with sloppy driving dynamics, poor rear sight lines, and no more storage space than a comparable compact.
So you might think the new class of cheaper, smaller subcompact crossovers (with lengths about 10 inches shorter than a Ford Escape) would fare even worse. Not so: Three taut, functional, and fun examples challenge everything you thought about them. Here’s how: