The 10 worst crossover SUVs on sale in 2021
Crossovers and SUVs are hot stuff right now, so hot in fact, that almost every manufacturer now offers one. That’s a good thing for shoppers, because it means there’s more choice than ever. There are plenty of great crossovers on the market in 2021, with models like the Hyundai Tucson and Toyota RAV4 leading the way. With such a tight field, there will always be some who fall behind the rest of the competition.
These cars all suffer from at least one glaring problem that means buyers should steer clear of them. Some are slow or inconvenient, some are cramped, and some are so forgettable that many readers will likely have forgotten they’re even still sold. Whatever the reason, let’s take a look at ten of the worst crossovers still on the market in 2021.
ten Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
Despite its name, the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is anything but sporty, with a fairly pedestrian engine range and mediocre handling. It’s also aging rapidly, as it’s been on sale virtually unchanged since 2011, and it feels like driving.
In such a competitive segment, manufacturers really need to give their vehicles a unique selling point in order to give their car a chance to make the year-end bestseller list. Mitsubishi’s idea is simply to offer a 100,000 mile warranty, but the problem is that very few buyers will be able to bear the thought of putting that many miles in such a lackluster car.
9 Toyota CH-R
It’s not just Mitsubishi that makes disappointing cars either, even the usually solid Toyotas have misfires in their lineup. The C-HR is one of those duds, because its sportier look doesn’t quite match its performance. Its hidden rear door handles and sculpted body make it one of the most interesting crossovers, and it’s also one of the most economical cars in its class.
That 144-hp engine lets it down, though, and its CVT transmission can cause the engine to reach annoying noise levels for such a slow car. Being a Toyota, it will probably last as many miles as its owner needs, but those miles won’t be fun to drive.
8 Nissan Murano
One of the biggest crossover SUVs on this list, the Nissan Murano isn’t wrong as such. It’s just a prime example of a car that really doesn’t offer anything its rivals don’t already do better. It’s also confusing because it competes with the Nissan Pathfinder, another car-based crossover that’s priced nearly identically.
Both cars share the same drivetrain and similar engine, and the only main difference is that the Pathfinder offers two additional seats. It’s odd that Nissan wants two very similar crossovers in its lineup at the same time. Either way, the Murano exemplifies the forgettable crossover stereotype, as it’s good to drive and quite practical, but there’s nothing exciting about it.
7 Jeep Compass
The Jeep Compass is perhaps one of the most useless vehicles in the brand’s lineup, as it’s really only there to fill a niche between the tiny Renegade and the larger Cherokee. The Compass comes with Trailhawk trim, making it a surprisingly capable off-roader, but again, so does the Renegade and Cherokee.
The Compass’s inline-four engine is adequate but never good, and it’s noticeably more cramped inside than other Jeeps. Really, it’s hard to see why anyone wouldn’t just buy a Cherokee if they wanted a decent little Jeep, which makes the Compass almost completely redundant.
6 Chevrolet Trax
The Chevy Trax has one advantage: it’s cheap. At a starting price of $22,395, it’s one of the cheapest new cars on sale, and that alone makes it hard to knock. The problem is that we want to drive. The interior is full of hard plastics and it’s sluggish on the road, being one of the slowest cars in the segment.
It doesn’t even get good fuel economy or look particularly good on the outside. It might be a low-cost entry into crossover ownership, but buyers on a tight budget are better off picking up a used example of a nicer car.
5 Buick Encore
Let’s face it: Buicks aren’t that desirable for a lot of buyers because they’re usually bought by older people. With that kind of stereotype to contend with, it would be safe to assume that Buick has released a truly peppy and exciting crossover to compete in what is usually the youth segment. But no, the Encore is as mundane as the rest of their lineup.
It’s basically a fancy Chevrolet Trax, with a nicer interior and better ride quality, but a much higher starting price. Its engine is correct and it behaves well. The problem is, for the price, it’s way too forgettable, especially when there are so many great crossovers out there. Not to mention that other motorists will assume the driver is a grandfather.
4 Hyundai Nexo
There are very few hydrogen cars on the market, and there’s a pretty obvious reason for that. Hydrogen refueling stations are only available in California, which means the Nexo is completely unable to drive in the majority of the United States.
Sure, it’s good in terms of power and drivability, and it’s a greener option than traditional gasoline. But, with a base price of over $60,000, it’s way too expensive for anyone but the most ardent of eco-enthusiasts. Especially since, you know, it can’t get out of California.
3 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross
If there’s one good thing to say about the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, it’s that at least it looks unique. It’s been updated for the 2022 model year, and in addition to an exterior redesign, it also has better driver aids and better tech as standard. Unfortunately, that’s about all it has to do, as it still lags behind in many ways.
The 152-hp inline-four engine is passable, but it’s far from fun. Add to that a yawn-inducing CVT transmission and the Eclipse Cross is about as bland as it gets, despite its quirky appearance. It also loses points for taking the name of the underrated sports car Mitsubishi Eclipse and turning it into a boring family hauler.
2 Fiat 500X
It doesn’t really need an introduction, as most car fans will probably have watched it and laughed at it at some point. The Fiat 500X is the bigger and uglier cousin of the 500 city car, and it’s now the only model left in Fiat’s US lineup. In recent years, Fiat has tweaked the design in an effort to take it from a bulbous eyesore to an endurable car, but it still looks awful.
It’s expensive too, with a starting price of $26,840. For this, buyers get a car that has average acceleration and handling, but suffers from terrible fuel economy for no clear reason. It’s also too low in the back for adults to fit in comfortably, and it doesn’t have much cargo space either. All in all, with products like this, it’s no surprise that Fiat is on the verge of being phased out in the United States.
1 Ford EcoSport
There aren’t many recent cars that have been so universally slammed by reviewers and reviewers as the Ford EcoSport. In fact, buying one is arguably worse than buying a used Prius. It’s underpowered, with a weak three-cylinder engine, and it’s surprisingly fuel-efficient for such a small car.
It’s very cramped inside the cabin and there’s a lot of road noise even at low speeds. Although it’s called the EcoSport, it’s neither eco-friendly nor sporty. The only explanation for someone buying one is simply that they must not have tested it before buying it, because it is clearly the worst crossover on sale today.
Although they are both budget electric vehicles, the Hyundai Kona and Kia Niro are aimed at slightly different audiences.
About the Author