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Small Crossover Comparison Test

Photo: Sébastien D'Amour
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Vincent Aubé
Good things indeed come in small packages

Small Crossover Battle: Five Contenders, One Winner 

Small crossovers have been an increasingly popular type of vehicle over the past year or so. Usually built on a sub-compact car platform, they’re a very big deal right now and most automakers are either offering or developing one as we speak.

With their reduced size, these people-haulers prove quite nimble around town. Meanwhile, their ground clearance gives them an edge over cars when tackling snow. They look pretty cool, too; although they won’t draw crowds into showrooms like more traditional and mainstream SUVs -- at least not yet. 

The newcomers
Launched in 2011, the Nissan JUKE is arguably the pioneer of the small crossover genre. Since January of this year, four new players have hit the scene including the Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3, Jeep Renegade, and Fiat 500X. Naturally, a comparison test was in order. And yes, we even included the oddball JUKE.  

Of course, we could have also considered the Subaru Crosstrek, Mitsubishi RVR, and Chevrolet Trax, but they’re kind of getting old, plus we already pitted them against each other in a previous comparo. However, we were curious to find out whether Nissan’s small crossover is still relevant today. 

As usual, we evaluated several key aspects and grouped them under four different themes: Design, Comfort and Versatility, Performance, and Overall Appeal. We drove the vehicles on the highway, then on a series of twists and turns across the Montreal suburbs, and finally in low-speed city traffic. 

So, which one came out on top? Here are the results:


Vincent Aubé
Vincent Aubé
Automotive expert
  • Over 17 years' experience as an automotive journalist
  • More than 60 test drives in the past year
  • Participation in over 200 new vehicle launches in the presence of the brand's technical specialists