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this unproven Chinese brand, including a missing safety rating after only four stars for the earlier H9. Ford Escape, from $28,490 Ford has made a worthwhile improvement this year with this return to the Escape badge. The warranty is short at three years and the Escape is hardly a standout in such a packed field. It handily trumps the Trax but that’s not good enough when others are much better.
Mazda CX-5, from $28,690 Still not the warranty you want, three years, but the CX-5 is just about bulletproof. It’s just been renewed with a sharp starting price, so don’t expect any deals this early in the model life. First class in every area including refinement and quality.
The Sportage is definitely the one to beat. It’s a top choice with a great reputation. Take a test drive in the new CX-5 to satisfy your curiosity — but the Sportage is our winner.