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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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