Head-turning style with (some) utility
The very first SUVs were essentially just boxes on wheels made for hauling people and cargo around. But the growth of the crossover and SUV market has allowed automakers to branch out and get creative. Utility vehicles now come in all shapes and sizes, giving consumers a wide variety of choices ranging from mild and vanilla to wild and funky.
Here are 16 crossovers and SUVs that feature convention-defying styling.
Volvo’s smallest crossover is also its most heavily stylized, with cool design accents like small headlight clusters, a clamshell hood, and kinked rear quarter windows that give the illusion of a massive C-pillar. The XC40 injects a nice dose of youthfulness with its avant-garde exterior and it comes in colors that draw eyes to it the moment it drives by. Check the box for the optional black or white contrast roof on the R-Design and Momentum trims, respectively, for maximum curb appeal.
With a coupe-like silhouette on a high-riding SUV body, the X6 is the very definition of polarizing. But whether you love it or hate it, you have to admit its quirky design gives it an unmistakable appearance on the road.
The term crossover has been stretched recently thanks to small utility vehicles that barely offer any ground clearance and only come in front-wheel drive. One such model is the Toyota C-HR, which has a low-slung body, angular front and rear fascias, and radically raked rear liftgate.
Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Convertible
One of only two SUVs available as a drop-top, the Range Rover Evoque Convertible lets you take in the sun while going off the beaten path. However, the lack of two doors and a hatch give it an awkward look with the roof up. Whether you have the fabric top in place or folded, the Evoque Convertible will turn heads for its novelty factor and unusual design.
Among compact crossovers, the Kia Sportage is one of the most attention-grabbing. Its aggressive front fascia features high-mounted headlights reminiscent of Porsche SUVs, which lends it a look you might not expect from a mainstream utility vehicle. Additionally, its short hood and bulbous body give it a stubbier appearance compared to its sleeker competitors.
Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe
Following in the footsteps of rival BMW, Mercedes-Benz created the GLE Coupe for SUV customers who want a swoopy look at the expense of cargo volume. Opt for the AMG GLE 63 S, and you’ve got an SUV that’s high on sport, low on utility, and an expert at inducing head scratches in public.
Fiat’s sole crossover is adorable and packed with personality. The retro-chic 500X is at its quirkiest in vibrant colors such as red, orange, yellow, and baby blue. The crossover’s round shape adds to its character, making it more distinct. The 500X takes the bubbly shape of the 500 city car and blows it up to cute ute proportions, proving that crossovers can be quirky and stylish, especially with an injection of Italian flair.
The Jeep Wrangler is a legend when it comes to its off-road capability, and it looks very different from other SUVs on the road. The only true body-on-frame SUV available as a convertible, the Wrangler is also available in a two-door configuration. The Wrangler’s design stays true to its heritage with design cues you can trace all the way back to the original Willys Jeep of the 1940s. Whether you buy it for its styling or its capabilities, the Wrangler is anything but your typical SUV.
The Hyundai Kona is the Korean automaker’s first subcompact crossover and it debuts the brand’s new design language for utility vehicles. Its body armor-like cladding, floating roof, and top-mounted LED daytime running lights give it a unique, yet polarizing look. Opt for the all-electric Kona EV and you get an even more extreme exterior design that deletes the gas version’s grille and body cladding.
As the X3’s less practical sibling, the BMW X4 follows in the tracks of the larger X6 with a coupe-like roofline of its own. Unlike the first generation, which had a taller greenhouse, the latest X4 is swoopier thanks to a longer body and thus a longer, more gradual roof rake. To further distinguish the X4 from the more practical X3, BMW gave it the M Sport suspension as standard.
Even though it’s more conventional than its (indirect) predecessor the Juke, the Nissan Kicks offers plenty of style points and a look that gives it a more youthful vibe. For the most visual pop, pair the two-tone exterior with wildly colored wheel inserts and interior trim. For maximum head-turning style, customize your Kicks through Nissan’s Color Studio program to truly make it your own.
The Jaguar I-Pace is the first all-electric crossover to challenge Tesla, and it’s also one of the most eye-catching. Looking like a low-slung four-door fastback from the future, the I-Pace can raise itself up for additional ground clearance when needed.
Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe
The Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe is the baby brother of the GLE Coupe, and like its larger sibling it slaps a fastback rear end on an SUV body. Like others of its breed, the GLC Coupe’s sloping roofline gives it an unconventional shape, allowing it to stand out even more at the cost of some utility. Unlike the standard GLC crossover, the GLC Coupe also has its own unique suspension tuning for improved handling.
The second-gen Mini Countryman is larger than its predecessor, but has retained its trademark quirkiness. Available in a wide variety of vibrant colors, the Countryman is as customizable as ever. Like every other Mini, you can personalize it to your heart’s content with dealer accessories and options including Union Jack decals, a contrasting roof, racing stripes, illuminated interior trim, and more.
Inspired by the Jeeps of old, the Renegade is boxy, rugged-looking, and exactly what a baby Jeep should look like. The Renegade backs up its appearance with more off-road capability than you’d expect from a subcompact crossover.
BMW already has the coupe-like X6 and X4, but why stop there? Like those more expensive models, the X2 is a sportier-looking version of another vehicle in BMW’s lineup, in this case the X1. But unlike its larger siblings, although the X2 has a lower roof and smaller greenhouse, the crossover otherwise sports a more conventional look. Still, this small crossover places a big emphasis on exterior styling with standard 18-inch wheels, a raked liftgate, and a BMW roundel badge placed on the C-pillar as a tribute to the classic 3.0 CS.