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Four New Small Family Crossovers To Watch


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Gauging by the signs of the times, maybe good things really do come in small packages. Make that super-small packages, in the case of the smallest crossovers now in or coming soon to the U.S. market. Since family cars come in varying sizes, who’s to say that these small – or tiny, as the case may be – CUVs don’t fill the need of one or more family members?

In any event, here are four new small family crossovers that Family Car Guide thinks are worth taking note of.

2011 Nissan Juke

2011 Nissan Juke

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2011 Nissan Juke – With its direct-injected 188-horsepower 1.6-liter turbocharged in-line four-cylinder engine and available torque-vectoring all-wheel drive (AWD) system, the 2011 Nissan Juke offers plenty of power in a stylish small package. Mated with a six-speed manual (in front-wheel drive) or continuously variable transmission (CVT) in AWD models, Juke posts laudable fuel economy numbers as well: 27 mpg city/32 mpg highway (FWD models) and 25 mpg city/30 mpg highway (AWD models). Standard safety features include anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic stability control (ESC), traction control (TC), and six airbags. The price isn’t bad either, with starting manufacturer’s suggested retail prices (MSRP) from $18,960 to $25,300. Nissan clearly hopes to attract young buyers with the stylish Juke.

2011 Mini Cooper Countryman

2011 Mini Cooper Countryman

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2011 MINI Cooper Countryman – The all-new, four-door MINI Countryman debuts for 2011 in three models: Countryman, S Countryman, and S Countryman ALL4. Prices range from $22,350 to $27,650. MINI says the Countryman features “go-kart handling,” along with seven airbags, “ample cargo space,” and “stellar fuel efficiency.” The base engine is the 121-horsepower, 1.6-liter in-line four-cylinder that achieves an EPA-estimated 27 mpg city/35 mpg highway (manual) and 24/35 mpg (automatic). The Cooper S Countryman and S Countryman ALL4 have a twin-scroll turbocharged engine that makes 181 horsepower; fuel economy is 26 mpg city/32 mpg highway (in the S Countryman ALL4 it’s 25 mpg city/31 mpg highway). Some call it a wagon, others a small SUV. Whatever you call it, the 2011 MINI Cooper Countryman has lots of personality, style, performance, and fuel efficiency in a four-passenger package.

2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

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2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport – Slotting in under the Outlander (and 14 inches shorter), Mitsubishi’s all-new compact crossover 2011 Outlander Sport is the first Mitsubishi to feature dent-resistant front fenders made from recycled plastic. It also carries five passengers, starts at $18,495 to $22,995, is powered by a 148-horsepower 2.0-liter in-line four-cylinder engine, and has available AWD. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 24 mpg city/29 mpg highway in FWD models, and 25/31 mpg with AWD. Premium features include hill-start assist, 710-watt audio, Bluetooth phone and audio. Standard safety technology includes seven airbags, ABS, active stability control, and all-wheel traction control. Options include panoramic sunroof, navigation system with 40-gigabyte hard drive, and super-wide range high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps (standard on SE models).

2011 BMW X1

2011 BMW X1

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2012 BMW X1 – While it hasn’t arrived yet, look for BMW’s smallest SUV yet, the 2012 BMW X1, to arrive sometime this year. According to various reports, the BMW X1 is just over one inch wider, three inches longer, and four inches taller than the BMW 128i coupe. Power for the xDrive 28i – the only model confirmed yet for the U.S. -- comes from the 258-horsepower 3.0-liter in-line six-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed automatic with AWD.  Expect six airbags, ABS, stability and traction control, and and EPA-estimated fuel economy in the 18-20 mpg city/27-29 mpg highway range. As for pricing, a good guess for this small upscale crossover is that it’ll be in the area of $33,000 to $35,000.


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Comments (8)
  1. I think FC got it wrong, only the BMW would be a good choice.
     
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  2. SCF, thanks for the comment. The BMW X1 sure is one excellent choice, but it is more upscale as well. Isn't it nice to know there are other more affordable options if consumers are looking for a much-smaller CUV? Anyway, we report, you decide. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.
     
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  3. Sat in the Mini Countryman. I'm impressed by the roominess and especially the high mileage. The other CUVs in this article are about the same size but mileage is much lower.
     
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  4. Hi Suzanne,
    I think you missed one that is under your radar. It's the Kia/Hyundai SUV with the 2.0 liter turbo. Not only will it have around 260hp but expect to get close to 30mpg highway mileage. This will be a strong contender when we see gas at $4/gal come shortly.
     
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  5. Juke ? Really, or did they use the wrong vowel? I am looking at the KIA Sportage EX LUX w/AWD but they sell like hotcakes and would like to see the color from a real as opposed to paint blotch. Any one see RED? and any coment about the KIA or have web-links?
     
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  6. Matt and Steve, you're absolutely right about the 2011 Kia Sportage (and virtual twin Hyundai Tucson), although these are slightly longer in overall length and wheelbase than Juke, MINI and Outlander Sport, but about spot-on with BMW X1 (reportedly). Great to see new small CUVs coming to market, though, right? Thanks for your comment as well, Rich.
     
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  7. Thank you Suzanne for agreeing with me about the Kia Sportage.
    We are seriously looking at a 2011 Kia Sportage as appose to a Honda CRV to replace our 2004 Honda Accord because of how badly Honda Customer Support has been with dealing with a transmission problem we have with the Accord.
    Do you have any inside scoop as to when the Kia Sportage will come out with the 2.0 Turbo? This will be the one to watch IMHO.
    Thank you
     
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  8. Matt, I did some digging and it looks like the Kia Sportage SX with 2.4-liter, 256-horsepower Turbo GDI engine will arrive "later this year," according to Kia media reps. Sorry there's nothing more specific, but this is one Sportage that's probably worth the wait.
     
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