The Wild Cards
2012 VW Tiguan
In model year 2012 the VW Tiguan underwent a minor cosmetic exterior styling update that brought its front end design in line with the rest of its corporate siblings and helped mature its overall look. Yes, we do realize that the 2012 VW Tiguan has an entry price point higher than the aforementioned compact SUVs as buyers need to fork out $26,200 to get a model with an automatic transmission. VW does offer a “low price special” priced at around $22,000 but that requires buyers use a clutch pedal and not care about rolling with cheap plastic wheel covers. Despite the fact that you expect to pay on the high end for the privilege of owning this VW, take heart knowing it comes standard with superb Germanic build quality, an infectiously powerful 2.0 liter 200 horsepower turbocharged engine and an overall driving demeanor that is definitely playful. It’s not the practical choice, this VW, but it just may be perfect for you.
2012 GMC Terrain/Chevy Equinox
How quickly time flies in this class of vehicles as the Terrain and Equinox feel a bit like the dated duo in this comparison even though they are relatively new entrants in this market segment. No matter, the Terrain and Equinox appeal thanks to their smooth rides, efficient powertrains and most of all their slightly larger size which pays interior passenger and cargo room dividends. If you were looking for a compact SUV that could play like a midsize SUV then you will love the Terrain and Equinox thanks to their clever cargo hold/rear passenger seat slider that allows you to adjust legroom and cargo room relative to your needs at the time.
2013 Ford Escape
Initial reports regarding the newly redesigned 2013 Ford Escape are that it is a stylish, fun to drive and a promisingly family friendly new entry into the compact SUV segment. The Escape and the CR-V usually battled it out in years past for the top spot on the sales charts but the Ford always suffered from more quality issues than its Honda competitor. Given some of the quality niggles we had earlier this year with a 2012 Ford Focus test unit, we will have to hold out our final thumbs up to this new Escape until some quality reports come in on this particular model. At the very least, let’s just hope that MyFordTouch works now.