Winner: Land Rover LR2
Runner-Up: Jeep Liberty

This was a tricky vote for us, because it essentially breaks down into two categories: those sport/utilities (with less than a 106.3-inch wheelbase) that can run a trail and those that probably won't ever need to. At Truck Trend, we favor vehicles that have the capability and drive systems to deal with backcountry adventures, but we understand that buyers here typically have simpler, more car-oriented priorities in mind. With that said, we gravitate to one of the most expensive members of the group because of the added capability provided by the Terrain Response all-wheel-drive system. Additionally, the LR2's new chassis is light years ahead of the previous model (the Freelander), giving the new LR2 an on-road feel it never had before. In the runner-up spot, we chose the Liberty for its proven package, dedicated low-range four-wheel-drive system, and the fact you can order the wide-mouth Sky Slider roof option for $800.


Compact SUV, AWD/4WD (UNDER 106-in WB)
Vehicle Acura RDX AWD Ford Escape AWD Honda CR-V AWD
Base price $33,910 $22,175 $22,535
Wheelbase, in 104.3 103.1 103.1
Engine 2.4L DOHC I-4 2.3L DOHC I-4 2.4L DOHC I-4
Opt engines   3.0L V-6 $2250,  
Opt engines   2.3L hyb $6600  
Horsepower, SAE 240 153 (200, 133) 166
Torque, SAE 260 152 (193, 124) 161
Airbags Dual, head, side Dual, head, side Dual, head, side
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, 4WAL Disc/drum, 4WAL Disc/disc, 4WAL
Tires 235/55R18 225/75R15 225/65R15
Fuel cap, gal 18 16.5 15.3
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 17/22 19/24 (17/22, 29/27) 20/26
Max pass 5 5 5
Base curb weight, lb 3924 3183 3389
GVWR, lb 4800 4200 4400
Max payload, lb 900 1080 800
Max cargo cap, cu ft 60.6 66.3 72.9
Max towing cap, lb 1500 3500 1500
Vehicle Hyundai Tucson AWD Jeep Liberty 4WD Jeep Patriot AWD
Base price $23,395 $22,600 $17,785
Wheelbase, in 103.5 106 103.7
Engine 2.7L DOHC V-6 3.7L OHV V-6 2.4L SOHC I-4
Horsepower, SAE 173 210 172
Torque, SAE 178 235 165
Airbags Dual, head, side Dual, side Dual, head
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, 4WAL Disc/disc, 4WAL Disc/drum, 4WAL
Tires 215/60R16 225/75R16 215/65R17
Fuel cap, gal 15.3 19.5 13.6
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 17/23 15/21 22/27
Max pass 5 5 5
Base curb weight, lb 3240 4030 3108
GVWR, lb 4200 5400 4200
Max payload, lb 1000 1200 1000
Max cargo cap, cu ft 65.5 64.2 56.5
Max towing cap, lb 1500 5000 2000
Vehicle Jeep Wrangler 4WD Kia Sportage AWD Land Rover LR2 AWD
Base price $19,320 $20,170 $34,700
Wheelbase, in 95.4 103.5 104.7
Engine 3.8L OHV V-6 2.0L DOHC I-4 3.2L DOHC V-6
Opt engines   2.7L V-6 $1800  
Horsepower, SAE 202 140 (173) 230
Torque, SAE 237 136 (178) 234
Airbags Dual Dual, head, side Dual, head, side, knee
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, 4WAL Disc/disc, 4WAL Disc/disc, 4WAL
Tires 225/75R16 215/65R16 235/60R18
Fuel cap, gal 18.6 15.3 18.5
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 15/19 19/24 (17/21) 16/23
Max pass 5 5 5
Base curb weight, lb 4203 3230 4255
GVWR, lb 5200 4400 5400
Max payload, lb 1000 1200 1200
Max cargo cap, cu ft 56.5 66.6 58.9
Max towing cap, lb 2000 2000 4400
Vehicle Mazda Tribute AWD Mercury Mariner AWD Mitsubishi Outlander AWD
Base price $22,805 $23,335 $24,395
Wheelbase, in 103.1 103.1 105.1
Engine 2.3L DOHC I-4 2.3L DOHC I-4 3.0L SOHC V-6
Opt engines 3.0L V-6 $1240, 3.0L V-6 $1000,  
Opt engines 2.3L hyb $6600 2.3L hyb $6100  
Horsepower, SAE 153 (200, 133) 153 (200, 133) 220
Torque, SAE 152 (193, 124) 152 (193, 124) 204
Airbags Dual, head, side Dual, head, side Dual, head, side
Brakes, f/r Disc/drum Disc/drum, 4WAL Disc/drum, 4WAL
Tires 235/70R16 235/70R16 215/70R16
Fuel cap, gal 16.5 16.5 15.7
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 19/24 (17/22, 29/27) 19/24 (17/22, 29/27) 19/26
Max pass 5 5 5
Base curb weight, lb 3300 3341 3527
GVWR, lb 4200 4200 4600
Max payload, lb 1000 1000 1000
Max cargo cap, cu ft 66.3 66.2 72.6
Max towing cap, lb 3500 3500 2000
Vehicle Nissan Rogue AWD Subaru Forester AWD Suzuki Grand Vitara 4WD
Base price $21,195 $21,840 $21,669
Wheelbase, in 105.9 99.4 103.9
Engine 2.5L DOHC I-4 2.5L DOHC F-4 2.7L DOHC V-6
Opt engines   2.5L turbo  
Opt engines   F-4 $5500  
Horsepower, SAE 170 173 (243) 185
Torque, SAE 184 166 (241) 175
Airbags Dual, head, side Dual, head, side Dual, head, side
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, 4WAL Disc/disc, 4WAL Disc/drum, 4WAL
Tires 215/70HR16 215/60R16 225/75R16
Fuel cap, gal 15.9 14 17.4
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 21/26 20/26 (19/24) 16/21
Max pass 5 5 5
Base curb weight, lb 3426 3140 3452
GVWR, lb 4250 4000 4400
Max payload, lb 900 900 1000
Max cargo cap, cu ft 57.9 68.6 68.9
Max towing cap, lb 1500 1000 3000
Vehicle Toyota FJ Cruiser 4WD Toyota RAV4 AWD  
Base price $24,410 $23,185  
Wheelbase, in 105.9 104.7  
Engine 4.0L DOHC V-6 2.4L DOHC turbo I-4  
Opt engines   3.5L V-6 $2050  
Horsepower, SAE 239 166 (269)  
Torque, SAE 278 165 (246)  
Airbags Dual, head, side Dual, head, side  
Brakes, f/r Disc/drum, 4WAL Disc/disc, 4WAL  
Tires 265/70R17 215/70R16  
Fuel cap, gal 19 15.9  
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 15/18 20/25 (19/26)  
Max pass 5 7  
Base curb weight, lb 4050 3300  
GVWR, lb 5200 4400  
Max payload, lb 1200 1100  
Max cargo cap, cu ft 66.8 73  
Max towing cap, lb 5000 3500