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2018 Subcompact SUV of the Year: C-HR, Crosstrek or Qashqai?

A hot, and hotly contested, category! By ,

Auto123.com will be crowning winners of the 2018 Auto123.com Awards for best vehicles of the year on November 22 in Toronto. We’ve already unveiled the three finalists in each of the 17 categories; today we look in more detail at the Subcompact SUV of the Year finalists.

Toyota C-HR
Its daring styling signals that the C-HR is designed to attract Millennials. Despite the absence of available all-wheel drive and the relative tepidness of the engine, the driving experience it delivers is a pleasant one, thanks in large part to an advanced new platform. What’s more, this urban crossover is surprisingly roomy given its modest dimensions, and that big interior is blessed with quality fit and finish. And of course there’s that legendary Toyota reliability. More details on the C-HR.

Photo: Toyota

Subaru Crosstrek
The second-generation Crosstrek blew us fairly away during our first test of it in Japan. Inheritor of Subaru’s extensive know-how in all things all-wheel drive, and of the company’s focus on the needs of active car owners, it has a distinctive and sporty look to go with its practical format that adapts well to a variety of needs. The driving dynamics are more inspiring than before, and the car is as solidly built as ever. What’s more, the sticker price makes it an even more interesting choice. More details on the Crosstrek.

Photo: Subaru

Nissan Qashqai
A well-proportioned body, good driving dynamics and a base price of just $19,998 add up to this mini-Rogue being a serious contender in this hotly contested category. The Qashqai offers pretty close to the same roster of commodity features as its larger sibling, and the cargo space in the rear is very respectable. We came out of our road test confident of the value this SUV offers, which is all the more impressive for it being a totally new model. More details on the Qashqai.

Photo: Nissan