Compact crossovers are hugely popular in the United States, and although their mix of interior space and an upright driving position help draw in customers, for those living in the northern states, their all-wheel drive is a big selling point.
For this TFLcar video mashup, Nathan Adlen travels Crested Butte, Colorado to check out the all-wheel-drive capabilities of three strong competitors in this segment – the sporty 2016 Mazda CX-5, the top-selling 2016 Honda CR-V, and the 2016 Subaru Forester.
The competitors tackled a snowy slalom course and uphill start to determine which system worked the best.
The CR-V is a top-level EX-L model with an MSRP of $30,495. Honda’s all-wheel-drive system is designed so that the car is mainly in front wheel drive, but power will move to the back when needed.
The Forester lists at $31,669. The Subaru uses a symmetrical all-wheel-drive system that also uses the brakes to help keep the vehicle moving where the driver wants it to go.
The CX-5 is the most expensive of the group at $33,910. Mazdas are typically known for their on-road sportiness, but the CX-5 has an all-wheel-drive system that works well in bad traction. It has an electro-magnetic coupling that engages to send power to the rear when needed. It will also determine if traction is needed and keep the coupling locked, which helps for uphill starts.
So which one has the best system? Check out the full video below to find out.