Models That (Sometimes) Get the Cold Shoulder
Just because a car is popular doesn’t mean everyone gives it a fair shake. Not everyone wants the same car as their neighbor, which could lead to even the most recognizable cars and crossovers to be passed over simply because there are so many on the road. Likewise, sometimes cars and crossovers remain in obscurity even though they perform their intended function impeccably well. Here are 12 cars and crossovers that you may have overlooked while car shopping, either because they’re too common or because they’re not common enough.
You may be forgiven if you accidentally thought the Subaru Legacy was a Toyota Camry. Its anonymous exterior styling lets it blend into the crowd. However, underneath the vanilla looks is a practical all-weather family sedan with plenty of space for four passengers and some of the best active safety technologies available today.
The second-generation Chevrolet Volt has a more conservative look, but underneath all that is an improved Voltec plug-in hybrid powertrain that gives you up to 420 miles (676 km) of range or up to 53 miles (85 km) on electric power alone. This means you’ll have the range to get you anywhere without range anxiety or the risk of getting stranded somewhere.
You’d be forgiven not to give the Honda Accord, one of the most popular midsize cars today, a chance. You see them everywhere in both coupe and sedan body styles, and who wants to be like everybody else? However, you should give it a chance; the Accord provides a nice balance of family friendliness, comfort, agility, fuel economy, and space that few cars its size can match.
Among compact cars, the Volkswagen Golf family offers a version for everyone from the driving enthusiast to the family that despises crossovers and SUVs. Regardless of which Golf you choose, you’ll be treated to an interior that’s a cut above the rest with high-quality materials all around and plenty of interior space for your friends and/or your gear.
Although its conservative looks may put you off, the Subaru Forester puts function and practicality first. Should you want a rally-bred crossover, the Forester is one of few options thanks to the 250-hp XT model, which is essentially a WRX wrapped in a more family-friendly package.
If you’re shopping for a luxury sports sedan, you’d be forgiven if you forgot to look outside of German automakers. If you do, however, you’ll find the Infiniti Q50 as one of your choices. Available with a 400-hp, twin-turbo V-6 in the Red Sport 400 trim, the Q50 gives you prodigious power for less than what you’d pay if you’d stuck with the Germans.
For its tenth generation, the Honda Civic has reset the bar in the compact class and is now the benchmark. Offering excellent fuel economy, turbo power, great handling, plenty of tech, and a more distinctive look, the Civic is a great all-around car that’s available in sedan, coupe, and soon a hatchback body style. Look for performance-oriented Si and Type R variants for follow in the near future.
Because it essentially looks like a lifted wagon, the Subaru Outback may cause some folks in wagon-averse America to turn away. Should you join them in turning up your nose, you’d be missing out on one of the best family haulers on sale today. The Outback comes standard with all-wheel drive.
The Honda HR-V is the crossover for those who need to fit their lives into their cars but live in a place with limited space. Thanks to it sharing the Honda Fit‘s platform, the HR-V also features the Magic Seats, giving you extra flexibility for hauling any mix of people or cargo.
Yes, it still exists. The Infiniti QX50 is now longer and more spacious than ever before, but most people wouldn’t know it because the car is relatively unknown. Should you be one of those who decides to get one, you’ve essentially bought yourself the old G37 with a hatch and a little extra ground clearance.
A relative newcomer to the compact luxury sedan segment, the Jaguar XE is out to sink its claws into the segment benchmark, the BMW 3 Series. Because Jaguar isn’t as big as BMW, the number of XEs on the road will probably be a lot lower, but it’s one of the best-handling sport sedans available today and one of few than can beat the 3 Series at its own game.
Honda‘s largest crossover, the Pilot, may get overlooked due to its minivan like styling and a price that can go upward of $40,000 USD. What you get, however, is plenty of space, a 280-hp V-6, and class-above features that may cause you to think twice about buying that premium-badge crossover you’ve been eyeing across the street.