Sport utility vehicles have become a lot tamer recently, losing some of the qualities that make up the vehicle’s acronym. This comes as a result of more families choosing to buy SUVs instead of minivans. Once car makers realized who was buying SUVs, they started catering to their needs. Nowadays, if you want a sporty SUV, you really have to get a CUV, or crossover utility vehicle. These vehicles give customers who want a sportier ride what they’re looking for, while still providing plenty of space and comfort.
Besides its sporty look, the Mazda CX-5 deserves to be on this list because of its lightweight and reasonable power. While the 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine isn’t actually very big, it is a neat little engine. Mazda’s new SKYACTIV engine technology makes for better performance all around, but it feels bigger and meaner than others of its size because of the light weight of the CX-5. Mazda also paid attention to the suspension and braking of the CX-5, and offers the option of all-wheel drive, making this Mazda especially easy and fun to handle on the road.
The Ford Escape wouldn’t have always been on this list. In the past, it wasn’t very sporty, but Ford has tried to go for a sportier, more fun ride. The new Escape has plenty of engine options, but if you choose the 2.0 liter, 240-horsepower EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine, you’ll be driving one heck of a sporty CUV.
The Juke is aptly named; it’s quick and nimble. The Juke almost drives like a car, but it has most of the features of a small SUV. It’s a true crossover vehicle. Its short wheel base and lightweight body make it especially fun to drive on curvy roads, and with the option of all-wheel drive, you’ll be able to take on all kinds of roads in many different conditions. The Juke is powered by a turbocharged 1.6 liter, 188-horsepower, 4-cylinder engine. This small but capable engine will shoot the Juke to 60 mph in about seven seconds.
The Equinox is a versatile vehicle, which absolutely includes a sporty side. Of the two engine options for the Equinox, the 3.6 liter, 301-horsepower V6 engine is definitely the sportier. It will get you from 0 to 60 mph in 6.7 seconds, and, like other vehicles on this list, it can be equipped with all-wheel drive. The Equinox is a great vehicle for parents who need the utility and space of an SUV but want something a little less bulky and more fun to handle.
Acura’s RDX is a car you can really play around with. The 3.5 liter, 273-horsepower V6 engine makes that possible. The RDX is available with all-wheel drive, meaning you’ll be able to handle different kinds of terrain, and still enjoy driving without feeling like your bones are going to shake apart. Acura, like Mazda with the CX-5, took great pains to make the RDX a lightweight vehicle, meaning the engine will feel bigger and better than it actually is.