Article by William Byrd and republished from AutoTrader.com/Oversteer
Modern crossovers are notoriously derided as “mall crawlers” with no real off-road ability. However, most are available with all-wheel drive and sport a higher ground clearance when compared to their sedan and wagon cousins. So are they really that inept off-road? Recently, I was one of the first journalists asked to join the Trail Trek Tour, which is an off-road challenge that tested seven all- and 4-wheel drive crossovers on a grueling off-road course. So which will be the best: the Toyota RAV4, Kia Sportage, Mazda CX-5, Volkswagen Tiguan, Honda CR-V, Jeep Cherokee or Hyundai Kona? Let’s find out!
See full article at AutoTrader.com/Oversteer : I Tested 7 New Crossovers on an Off-Road Course
Article by Tim Esterdahl and republished from DigitalTrends.com
We gave it a try anyway.
Why? Frankly, we were invited to, and it wasn’t our plastic we thought we’d be shattering.
In the sporadic rain near Woodstock, Virginia, we joined up with the inaugural Trail Trek Tour to drive seven compact crossover vehicles with seven other automotive judges. The mission was to take these compact crossovers places, well, heck probably their own engineers didn’t think they could go before – off-road.
The competitors for this challenge ranged from the formidable 2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk to the subcompact 2018 Hyundai Kona, with similar ground clearance of a Prius. We also had a 2018 Toyota RAV4 Adventure, 2018 Kia Sportage, 2018 Mazda CX-5, 2018 VW Tiguan, and a 2018 Honda CR-V.
We bashed them over rocks, sloshed through standing water, and slipped along two muddy trails inside the George Washington National Forest, to see what today’s CUVs are made of – and which reigns supreme.
See full article at DigitalTrends.com : We dragged 7 crossovers onto 4WD trails to see what breaks, and who makes it
Article by Paul Strauss and republished from TheAwesomer.com
We joined up with a team of men’s lifestyle and automotive experts in the woods of Virginia to see if seven everyday crossover utility vehicles could handle a rugged off-road course, and to pick our favorites. Read on for our top picks and the overall winners from the first Trail Trek Tour.
Our diverse array of competitors included the Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring, Hyundai Kona SEL, Toyota RAV4 Adventure, Kia Sportage SX Turbo, Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk Elite, Volkswagen Tiguan SEL Premium, and Honda CR-V Touring. Other than the 2019 Jeep, all of the vehicles were 2018 models, equipped with all-wheel or four-wheel drivetrains, and were 100% stock, including their tires and wheels. Our judging criteria for the day gave equal weight to capability, utility, and styling.
While the trails we hit in the George Washington National Forest weren’t the most daunting off-road courses, they offered plenty of rocks, ruts, loose dirt, and a heaping helping of mud thanks to the rainy days leading up to our outing. They certainly were much more challenging that the roads that most owners of these daily driver crossovers will ever take their vehicles on.
See full article at TheAwesomer.com : Trail Trek Tour 2018
Article by Byron Hurd and republished from LeftLaneNews.com
From the moment the term “crossover” was coined to describe the “cute ‘utes” that fall somewhere between conventional cars and SUVs, they’ve been scorned by those who embraced those conventions. Lacking both the ruggedness and capability of a body-on-frame SUV and the hunkered-down handling and style of sedans and hatchbacks, crossovers fought an uphill battle against prevailing automotive wisdom to become the marketplace staples they are today.
Purists still tend to eye them with disdain, but are these soft-roaders as impotent off-road as some think, or are they perhaps more capable than we tend to give them credit for? Enter the Trail Trek Tour‘s Compact Crossover Off-Road Challenge–the first-of-its-kind event established to test that hypothesis. It was organized by media, for media, with a judging pool made up of diverse voices and perspectives. Seven outlets were represented, seven crossovers were wrangled. We set off for Woodstock, Virginia, to see how much trouble we could get into (and out of) with our charges. If it sounds like fun, well, that’s because it was. Sometimes, this job is pretty cool.
See full article at LeftLaneNews.com : CUV showdown: Compact crossovers tackle the Trail Trek Tour
Article by Hansen Lukman of Shifting Lanes and republished from DriveTribe.com
Watch your run-of-the-mill crossover commercial and you’ll see these jack-of-all-trades vehicles conquer all types of roads. The scenes normally encompass morphing roads, from city streets to back-roads, and finally to an off-road trail for the weekend camping trip. That last part is very crucial, as the manufacturers are making you the promise that SHOULD you finally decide to get off your ass on the weekend and do something outdoorsy, you can. However, despite all of the commercials showing some level of off-road capability, the reality is that not all crossovers are created equal.
Thankfully, there are competitions like the Trail Trek Tour, designed to get to the bottom of the crossover pileup, to assess its off-road ability. Yours truly, was invited to drive down to Woodstock, VA to take seven popular crossovers through the George Washington National Forest trails and judge them on Style, Utility, and Capability.
See full article at DriveTribe.com : 7 Crossovers Do Battle On An Off-Road Course And There Was One Clear Winner