Economical performance, modern style, and high-tech amenities define some of the best compact SUVs on the auto market. Such family-friendly vehicles must also have the latest active safety features that lower the risk of accidents in normal driving conditions. Models that earn the Top Safety Pick rating by the IIHS are surely considered reliable enough for any family.
The top-rated compact SUVs also have convenient connectivity options that are optimized for smartphones, tablets and other gadgets that modern passengers bring along. Digital radio channels significantly expand the on-board entertainment options in such high-tech vehicles. Having affordable starting prices and optional premium packages, the following five SUV models offer a good combination of entry-level luxury with cutting-edge safety and dynamic off-road performance.
The 2017 Honda CR-V
The CR-V base trim runs on the 2.4L i-VTEC engine which is naturally aspirated. A single scroll turbo engine propels all of the other editions. Surprisingly, this aggressive powertrain yields a peak fuel economy of 34 MPG on the highway and 28 MPG in the city. Both engines are fully compatible with the Real Time All-Wheel Drive that offers all-season and all-terrain performance. This signature AWD gets torque through a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that has the Sport Mode.
Offering live broadcasts of hundreds of music channels, Pandora Internet Radio is standard in the Honda CR-V. In the EX and above, you have access to over 100 stations on SiriusXM Satellite Radio. Only the Touring model can be furnished with a nine-speaker audio system that blasts 330 watts. This premium edition also has the Song By Voice feature integrated into the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation system.
The Honda Sensing package makes the CR-V one of the safest vehicles in its class. By precisely monitoring the distance to a car that’s ahead of you, the Collision Mitigation Braking System can prevent an accident. Similarly, the Road Departure Mitigation System looks for the slightest deviation from an intended path. The Adaptive Cruise Control can keep the CR-V at a safe distance from another vehicle that’s in front. Additionally, the Honda Sensing technology manages the Blind Spot Monitoring and Lane Keeping Assist System. Installed in the front cabin, the SmartVent side air bags highlight the superb passive safety design of this Honda.
The 2017 Nissan Rogue
Driven by the 2.5L QR25DE engine, the Nissan Rogue gets up to 33 MPG on the highway and 26 MPG in urban settings. This four-cylinder engine seamlessly works with a continuously variable transmission that has the patented Xtronic label. The Active Trace Control, all-wheel drive and Hill Start Assist highlight the Rogue’s versatile capabilities.
All the connectivity features in this model are accessible through the NissanConnect platform. You’ll find iHeartRadio, Pandora, and SiriusXM Satellite Radio on the menus of a 7.0-inch touch screen. Google Search and Twitter are also already installed in this signature multimedia suite. An audio system by Bose is available to enrich your music-listening experience in the Rogue.
The Intelligent Safety Shield essentially adds a virtual co-pilot to the Rogue’s modern cockpit. You can rely on the Forward Emergency Braking to make split-second decisions in situations that may lead to accidents. The Lane Departure Prevention also takes immediate action to help you steer the vehicle out of the path of a car’s that coming from the side. The Moving Object Detection is another class-leading driving aide that’s available in this smart Nissan SUV. During a crash, the Nissan Advanced Air Bag System will deploy in two stages to cushion the driver and front passenger.
The 2018 Chevrolet Equinox
Powered by gasoline, the Chevy Equinox’s 1.5L and 2.0L turbocharged engines are suitable for aggressive performance. Capable of dishing out 240 lb-ft of torque at low tachometer readings, the 1.6L turbo diesel engine is rated at just under 40 MPG on the highway. A nine-speed automatic transmission and the StabiliTrak technology keep the Equinox rolling smoothly.
A Wi-Fi network by OnStar delivers endless entertainment for all the passengers in this Chevy SUV. The 4G LTE speeds ensure that everyone in the vehicle can stream HD videos and music at the same time on smartphones or tablets. You can also turn on the MyLink multimedia system that’s synced with a seven-speaker sound system by Bose.
When the Equinox moves slower than 50mph, the Low-Speed Forward Automatic Braking is ready to respond to any imminent threat of a crash. The three-mode Forward Collision Alert gives you some time to manually apply the brakes in a critical situation. Your blind spots are fully covered by the Side Blind Zone Alert, which works with the Lane Change Alert to prevent lateral collisions. Equipped with the IntelliBeam headlamps, this Chevy gives you extra reassurance for driving on dark roads. In the event of an accident, you can rely on the OnStar services to receive prompt assistance.
The 2017 Hyundai Tucson
Paired with the EcoShift dual-clutch transmission, a turbocharged 1.6L engine gives the Hyundai Tucson up to 175hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. The other powertrain configuration includes a naturally aspirated 2.0L engine and the SHIFTRONIC six-speed automatic transmission. Both GDI engines are enhanced by the Drive Mode Select. Maximum efficiency is achieved by the Eco trim, which is rated at 32 MPG on the highway and 28 MPG in the city.
Music in the Hyundai Tucson is delivered by the Infinity sound system. You can scan HD Radio and SiriusXM Satellite Radio channels on this audio system that comes with the Clari-Fi technology. Additional entertainment could be imported to the vehicle’s infotainment system that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
As the most expensive trim in the Tucson’s lineup, the Limited exclusively has the Automatic Emergency Braking that’s mated to the Pedestrian Detection. The Lane Departure Warning is optional in this premium edition. Some of the Tucson trims include the Blind Spot Detection and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert at no extra cost. All trims also have rear cameras that provide an extra set of eyes for backing up. With a valid subscription to the Blue Link Connected Care, you’ll be in good hands during an accident or other emergencies.
The 2017 Toyota RAV4
The Toyota RAV4 is an Ultra-Low-Emission Vehicle II (ULEV-II) that runs on a 2.5L I-4 engine. Featuring the dual VVT technology, this compact powertrain gets an average fuel economy of 30 MPG on the highway. A six-speed automatic transmission system works with the Dynamic Torque AWD to deliver superb off-road performance.
While cruising in the RAV4, you should turn on the 7.0-inch Entune multimedia system that offers an array of music channels on Slacker, Pandora and iHeartRadio. Six standard speakers play hits on these digital radio broadcasts. You can also upgrade to the 11-speaker JBL GreenEdge sound system that produces flawless acoustics.
Accident-mitigation features in the RAV4 are powered by the Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) technology. Capable of identifying cars and pedestrians, the Pre-Collision system virtually eliminates your risk of a forward collision. You should also embrace the Dynamic Radar Cruise Control that’s most effective at highway speeds. The Steering Assist and Lane Departure Alert are other active safety features that are integrated into the TSS-P suite. Additionally, all seats in this compact Toyota SUV have a Whiplash-Injury-Lessening (WIL) classification.