What’s the best Brand new small off-road worthy Crossover that you can buy?
In other words, what’s the best all-wheel-drive brand new Crossover this year?
We at The Fast Lane Car are lucky to drive a different car every week so we’ve had the chance to drive many (if not most) of the best, new, small all-wheel-drive crossovers on the market. Think of a small crossover as a vehicle that has all-wheel drive (AWD), is efficient, (usually) with six-inches of ground clearance and is affordable. Most of these vehicles have a platform that is shared with a car and, usually, they are offered in a front wheel drive variant.
Off-road trails for us mean the scenic beauty of Boulder, Colorado and its amazing ORV (off road vehicle) trails.
Yes, we are fully aware that automakers build these vehicles without much of a thought for hardcore off-roading, so we came up with a novel way to test each vehicle. The Fast Lane Car uses a specific trail for a majority of their off road testing. This trail progressively gets harder the higher you go. Not only do the obstacles get harder, the elevation rises sharply making every vehicle work harder. Even turbocharged crossovers have a rough time with power.
Why do we test these vehicles in ways few owners would dare contemplate?
It’s quite simple: if a crossover can handle our testing on difficult terrain, at high altitude, with lots of weight, in a harsh climate… imagine how they’ll do driving their owner up to a ski resort. If a crossover does well when The Fast Lane Car plays with it, imagine how secure it will be when driven through a nasty storm. That’s right, we drive them hard to give you, the consumer, a good snap-shot of what these crossovers are capable of.
So, without further delay, here are the top 4 new Crossovers that we’ve driven in 2012 that we think are best off-road worthy new rides to buy this year.