Test Drive: Crossover SUVs

If the sign of a maturing market segment is diversity, the humble crossover SUV is all grown up. Here are two distinctly different models that illustrate our point.
Test Drive: Crossover SUVs

Even though your childhood memories of the carnival may have taken on a rosy glow over the years, the adult reality is that these traveling funfairs can sometimes be a bit sketchy. That said, the new Kia Carnival is anything but.

In fact, the only thing about this rolling Carnival that’s liable to give you pause is its layout. This midsize crossover amounts to a likeable combination of a traditional SUV’s styling and the functional details of a minivan.

While uncommon, the design works surprisingly well. The more rugged profile dilutes any soccer mom-related stigma, while wide-opening, sliding side doors make it an ideal way to get the entire family to and from the fair.

The 7- or 8-passenger interior has adult-sized legroom throughout. There’s also a generous 40.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row and 86.9 cubic feet behind the second.

Figure in excellent power and handling and a long list of standard comfort, tech and safety features and Kia Carnival becomes one of the most entertaining rides in town.

MPG (City/Highway): 19/26

 

2022 Infiniti QX60

Peruse the average parking lot and you’ll quickly understand our world has no shortage of luxury cars. Yet, the all-new Infiniti QX60 blows them all away in the practicality department.

This classy-looking midsize crossover nicely combines the best qualities of high-end sedans and über-useful car-based SUVs in a sleek package. The top-of-the-line Autograph model we tested offered comfortable seating for up to seven passengers in three rows, done up in quilted leather upholstery and a genuine wood-trimmed dash. The heated/ventilated front seats with massage are a particularly nice touch.

There’s also a cargo hold with a healthy 14.5 cubic feet of room behind the third row, and more than 75 cubic feet with all the rear seats folded, not counting the handy underfloor storage bin.

Under the hood is a 295-hp, 3.5-liter V6 that delivers brisk acceleration. Front-wheel drive is standard, while all-wheel drive is an option. The ride quality is luxury-car smooth and, though the handling isn’t exactly sporty, the suspension is well-tuned enough to make hustling the QX60 along a curvy stretch of road enjoyable.

MPG (City/Highway): 21/26

 

Looking for a new ride? Check out more car reviews at AAA.com/TestDrive.

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