Crossover Vehicles Quickly Catch Consumer’s Eyes

Mini vans and sport utility vehicles were all the rage in the 1990s as parents searched for vehicles that would accommodate their families and all of their recreational gear. But as gasoline prices continue to climb, people are looking for vehicles that offer more space than a conventional car, but with better gas mileage than an SUV or mini van. Crossover vehicles satisfy that need.

Toyota was the first auto manufacturer to introduce a crossover to the market, when it introduced the RAV4 in 1995. Subaru followed quickly by introducing the Outback. Once other manufacturers could see the popularity of these two models, they quickly began to introduce their own models.

In traditional SUVs, the body and the frame of the vehicle are two separate pieces that are welded together. Crossover SUVs are built from one piece that combines the frame and body. This reduces the weight of the vehicle, making it more fuel efficient. They offer all wheel drive but they are not capable of the serious off-roading that can be done in an SUV and they cannot tow the heavy loads that an SUV can.

Most Car Makers Offer Crossovers

Crossover Vehicles - Toyota RAV4

The list of crossover vehicles now includes models such as the Lexus RX 300, Honda CR-V, Nissan Murano, Volkswagen Touareg, Toyota Highlander, and Ford Edge. A vehicle, such as the newly designed Ford Explorer, is sometimes referred to as crossover SUV. This is because it is now being designed with a one-unit frame and body but it still retains its truck-like looks.

Naming the best crossovers is a difficult endeavor since each offers its own features that may attract buyers. For fuel consumption, some of the best choices include the Chevrolet Equinox which gets 32 miles per gallon, the Honda CR-V and RAV4 with 28 miles per gallon, and the Ford Escape, offering 31 miles per gallon. Hybrid crossover vehicles offer consumers even greater gas mileage.

Some of the best-rated crossover cars include the affordable Kia Sorento, Honda Crosstour, Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Edge, and Toyota Venza, as well as the luxurious Cadillac SRX, Mercedes Benz R350, and Volvo XC60.

CUVs Are More Like Cars

Crossover Vehicles - Chevrolet Equinox

Another advantage of a CUV over an SUV is that they are smaller on the outside, but roomier on the inside. They offer a smoother ride than an SUV because they are not built like trucks. They also offer more stability and better handling because they are not as high as traditional SUVs. This makes them easier to climb into and easier to drive.

Prices for CUVs range widely with a Hyundai Tucson selling for $18,800 and a Nissan Juke S retailing for $19,500 to a Nissan Murano S which sells for $29,000, all the way up to the Lincoln MKX which sells for $40,000.

Any crossover vehicle comparison must take interior space, storage space, price, fuel efficiency, safety features and cosmetic features into consideration. These vehicles are all attractive to consumers because they do not look like soccer mom vans or trucks. They are stylish and many look very similar to sedans. The handling is better but the vehicle still offers plenty of space for storing the family’s gear. For these reasons, crossovers have quickly passed SUVs as far as popularity. They are now the most commonly purchased vehicle in the United States.

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Image Source 1 Toyota RAV4 By IFCAR (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Image Source 2 Chevrolet Equinox By IFCAR (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons