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Mazda, Audi, Mini, and Jeep spring a new crop of crossovers

Crossover mania hits this spring with new crossover SUVs from many automakers. Those who prefer a little more sport can look to the Honda Civic Type R or Audi A5 Sportback.

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Roadshow staff
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Toyota CH-R

Price: $22,500

Availability: April 2017

The outlook: Toyota enters the compact crossover market late to the game, following existing models such as the Nissan Juke, Mazda CX-3, Jeep Renegade and Honda HR-V. These many examples, however, suggest popularity, but Toyota forgot one thing in its offering: The C-HR is front-wheel-drive only, with no all-wheel-drive version offered.

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2 of 9 Wayne Cunningham/CNET Roadshow

Mini Cooper S Countryman

Price: $26,100

Availability: March 2017

The outlook: Mini reengineers its Countryman model, a premium compact crossover, on a new platform, giving it even better road manners. Its 6.5 inches of ground clearance comes in a little low for offroading, but it is one of the few crossovers where you can get all-wheel-drive and a manual transmission.

Nissan Rogue Sport
3 of 9 Chris Paukert/CNET Roadshow

Nissan Rogue Sport

Price: TBD

Availability: Spring 2017

The outlook: Nissan has offered this smartly styled five-seat crossover in Europe for generations now, and it's come in for a surprising amount of acclaim for its sharp handling and well-rounded character. In bringing this "cute-ute" to the US, Nissan has nixed the model's tough-to-pronounce name, Qashqai. Newly christened as Rogue Sport, this model slots underneath the larger, less charismatic Rogue. It should be cheaper, too.

2018 Audi Q5
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Audi Q5

Price: TBD

Availability: Spring 2017

The outlook: Audi's best-selling Q5 crossover is new from the ground up with a lighter chassis, a more fuel-efficient Quattro all-wheel-drive system that decouples the rear axle when it's not needed and refined looks both inside and out. It will pack plenty of available tech goodies, too, including a Bang & Olufsen sound system, Wi-Fi hotspot capabilities and Audi's slick 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit configurable display.

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5 of 9 Antuan Goodwin/CNET Roadshow

Mazda CX-5

Price: $24,045

Availability: March 2017

The outlook: The Mazda CX-5 was already one of our favorite compact SUVs for the money. Now in its second generation, the CX-5 moves upmarket with a more premium cabin and amenities and a more refined, grown-up ride, all for not much more cash. Thankfully, its playful handling hasn't changed much in the transition.

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6 of 9 Wayne Cunningham/CNET Roadshow

Jeep Compass

Price: TBD

Availability: Spring 2017

The outlook: Jeep gives the Compass a major makeover halfway through its 2017 model year, so call this one a 2017.5. It takes the place of the former Compass and Patriot models. The new Compass mirrors the design of the Grand Cherokee in a smaller format. As with other Jeep models, the Compass in Trailhawk trim goes places most cars can't, while lesser trims have different capabilities.

Alfa Romeo Stelvio
7 of 9 Drew Stearne/CNET Roadshow

Alfa Romeo Stelvio

Price: TBD

Availability: Summer 2017

The outlook: Alfa Romeo's Giulia sports sedan may be the model that's nabbing Super Bowl commercials and magazine covers, but make no mistake, it's the Stelvio that Alfa is banking on. The Italian's comeback won't be easy, but its first SUV should help. It's flat-out gorgeous, and we're expecting a fantastic chassis to mix it up against rivals from Audi, BMW, Jaguar and Porsche.

Like the Giulia, top-end models get a twin-turbo 2.9-liter V6 good for a faintly ridiculous 505 horsepower, but most Stelvios will hit showrooms wearing a 2.0-liter turbo with 280 hp. That still sounds like enough power for a whole lot of fun.

Honda Civic Type R
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Honda Civic Type R

Price: TBD, but estimated in the mid-$30,000 range.

Availability: Spring 2017

The outlook: Not only is the 2017 Civic Type R the first Civic Type R in the US, it's the first Honda-badged Type R to come over. That's a Big Freaking Deal for long-time enthusiasts.

With a turbocharged I4 pumping out 306 horsepower as well as a body that includes adaptive dampers and active rev-matching, not only will this be the best performing Civic ever, it's also one of the most technologically impressive.

Audi A5 Sportback
9 of 9 Josh Miller/CNET

Audi A5 Sportback

Price: TBD

Availability: Spring 2017

The outlook: Audi has shown good success with its A7 model, a four-door car with a hatchback, and it looks to follow that up with this smaller A5 Sportback model. The A5 originally came out as a coupe, and the Sportback version will be an addition to that model, likely offering the same driveline. The A5 Sportback will give buyers the sharp looks of a coupe with the practicality of a sedan and a hatchback.

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