The “Crossover SUV” is a mix of the truck-like SUV and the fuel efficient family sedan with the big passenger seating and ease of a mini van.
Now the hottest-selling automobile in North America today, Crossover SUVs have hit the market lately with an array of fast-moving, classy models, mostly made for big families or those who need space and like to ride higher up off the ground.
We tried out these models and came up with our Top Crossover SUVs over $30,000:
Cadillac’s SRX is our winner for best overall Top Crossover SUV over $30,000. This sleek machine has American muscle-meets-European good looks. The SRX sports a super smooth ride and it feels more like riding a fast family sedan, rather than a goofy-looking mini van or too-big SUV.
More than that, the Cadillac SRV has superior handling, throaty engine noise, super tight suspension and a 4.6 liter V8.. We understand why Car & Driver named Cadillac SRX its “best luxury SUV” three times running.
For this year, the interior really shows off its hand-sewn-and-wrapped leather materials. The wood grain and bright chrome accents give this car upscale appeal. From the cock pit (sitting in highly comfortable, super adjustable seats), the SRX has a rather low, pimp-like feel. (The low rider in us wanted to slide down the window, put back the chair and cruise around town in this all-black bad boy with 19-inch chrome wheels.)
It’s also surprising the SRX starts at only around $37,000 for lots of amenities like the exterior styling and chrome as well as interior leather, wood, chrome and GM’s in-dash entertainment system, which we recently rated in a Top Navigation Systems story.
Another big benefit for the price is the bad ass sun roof. The thing literally slide back all the way from the front to the back seats, giving perhaps the biggest open space in a vehicle’s roof ever.
With all the good design both inside and out, we were a bit alarmed at the bad blind spot in the rear corners. Perhaps the low, pimp-like ride and the curved European rear windows aren’t a good match for a much-needed view when backing up.
It’s too bad the SRX has okay gas mileage at 15 mpg city and 22 mpg highway because that (and saving 70 percent in emissions) makes us want to go out and buy the Lexus RX 400h.
The first Crossover SUV was made by Lexus. Yes, the Lexus RX series started the crossover SUV revolution.So, we put its Lexus 400h as No. 2 on this list. In Toyota’s innovative tradition, the Lexus RX 400h was the first luxury hybrid car launched in 2006.
On our review of the vehicle, we found the interior styling to be a bit more simplified than some of the new Crossover SUV models by American and German manufacturers. The 3.3 liter V6 engine, especially the hybrid model with its groans and moans during rapid acceleration, also didn’t excite as much.
For those wanting to save the world from global warming, but still want luxury, the Lexus 400h is THE pick for low carbon emissions, luxury appeal, superior reliability and gas savings.
The Lexus 400h, both inside and out, is certainly a trustworthy commuter vehicle with superior interior styling and luxury amenities.
Our No. 3 pick is the Mercedes-Benz GL 450. This monster machine drives more like a real SUV with a high-up feel, a more bumpy suspension and room enough for seven. This bling-blong ride has one big benefit: The GL 450 hauls major ass! The 330 hp GL 450 has one of the most thrilling accelerations ever.
The ride is most definitely the most SUV-like of this bunch. Going over bumps gives you more of a back-and-forth jerky motion. But all of that can be overlooked by both what is under the hood and on the interior.
The inside is a study in luxury with all the amentities one expects from a Mercedes-Benz. There’s maple wood trim along with a saddle-stiched leather dash and upholstery is beautiful to the eye, soft to the touch and still tough for the kids. The all-power fold away seats are a dream come true for seating options and shopping expeditions.
The optional rear seat entertainment system is top notch too. The fully-loaded model we drove was almost $55,000 and worth every penny for the sheer delight in driving and entertainment.
Lincoln’s MKX is an interesting ride. From the outside, it looks rather rounded with a puffed-out grille and big back side. If you can handle the bubble-like looks, the interior is all luxe. Patterened after the super luxurious Lincoln Navigator, the MKX’s subtle beauty belies its rather racy engine. This five passenger 2.5 liter V6 bolts smoothly down the highway and is a pleasure to drive.