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View all news Announces Subaru Crosstrek as 2018 Best Subcompact SUV Once Again

October 08, 2018
Three Newcomers Pitted Against the 2015 Winner in Intensive Head-to-Head Challenge

CHICAGO, Oct. 8, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The results of's (NYSE: CARS) 2018 Subcompact SUV Challenge are in, and the 2018 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Premium AWD beat out its competitors in the class once again. This is the second time has tested subcompact SUVs in a knock-down, drag-out battle of the best. The 2018 Ford EcoSport, 2018 Hyundai Kona and 2018 Nissan Rogue Sport vied against a newly redesigned version of the 2015 champ, the Subaru Crosstrek. Logo

"In the three years since we tested the subcompact SUV class, things have only heated up," said Jenni Newman, editor-in-chief of "This Challenge resulted in a considerable divide between the top two and bottom two finishers. As is often true in these contests, models that provide more space at a comparable price reap the benefits."

Three judges from the editorial team at individually awarded points in 13 categories for the competition: interior quality, front-seat comfort, backseat comfort, in-cabin storage, multimedia features, convenience features, handling, powertrain, ride quality, noise, visibility, city friendliness and worth the money. All categories combined for a possible maximum score of 1,000 points.

The verdict and points awarded to each vehicle resulted in the following ranking:

  1. 2018 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Premium AWD, 667 points – The verdict: Redesigned for its second go-around, the reigning champ does it again thanks to a mix of drivability, roominess, practicality and quality.
  2. 2018.5 Nissan Rogue Sport SV FWD, 644 points – The verdict: The name is a misnomer. For this class, Nissan's contender should go by "Rogue Comfort" for its comfortable ride and quiet cabin, though it's hampered by its multimedia system.
  3. 2018 Hyundai Kona SEL AWD, 525 points – The verdict: The Kona favors sport over utility or comfort, with modest cargo space, lesser ride quality and rougher edges than the other competitors – but it was also the most athletic and offers excellent value.
  4. 2018 Ford EcoSport SE FWD, 498 points – The verdict: Aside from excellent multimedia tech, Ford's U.S. version of the aging global EcoSport feels like a warmed-over placeholder awaiting a new, up-to-date subcompact SUV.

Each model was also awarded points based on the measurements of its cargo volume and assessment of associated factors, the advanced active-safety and driver-assistance features with which the test vehicle was equipped, and its grades in our Car Seat Check, which gauges the accommodation of various child-safety seats. set a price cap of $26,000 (including destination charges), as equipped, and required automatic transmissions and the availability of all-wheel drive, but left drive type to the manufacturer's discretion, which led to a 50/50 split of front- and all-wheel drive among our contestants. To read more about the results, how tested the vehicles, video of the competition, and a breakdown of the good and the bad of each SUV, click here.

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