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January 6-March 23, 2006
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2006 NAIAS :: Reviews and Interviews

What is a Crossover vehicle?

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / AMERICAJR.com

The Ford Freestyle is an example of a crossover vehicle.

by Jason Rzucidlo
AmericaJR@AmericaJR.com

 

What is a crossover vehicle? It is a mix between a car and a sport utility vehicle. Regular SUV's are actually a form of a truck. Crossover SUV's are car-based. They ride more like a car. They have several advantages as well.

Car-based crossovers ride lower to the ground. Trucks sit high up in the air. They are easier to turn and are more responsive. When driving a truck, sometimes it takes longer to complete a turn. When you have a crossover SUV, turning will be the same as if you were in a car.

In crossover SUV's, the weight of the vehicle is substantially less. They are lighter than trucks. Most car-based SUV's come with either all wheel drive or two wheel drive. Trucks come with four wheel drive and that's not a feature of a crossover vehicle. Crossovers come with road-based tires. Normal SUV's come with tires for driving off road.

The cost of building a crossover is cheaper than a regular SUV. Since that is the case, they will be cheaper to buy. You can save money and get an SUV at the same time. How about that?

Almost every automaker that sells in America has a crossover or more than one. Some examples include the Buick Rendezvous, Pontiac Aztek, Cadillac SRX, Chrysler Pacifica, Ford Escape, Ford Freestyle, Honda CR-V, Hyundai Santa Fe, Toyota Highlander and the Volvo XC90.

The first-ever crossover vehicle was the AMC Eagle which debuted in 1980. It was based off the AMC Concord platform. It was later discontinued in 1988. Another one of the first crossover SUV's was the Subaru Outback.

People have shifted their buying patterns. In the 1990's everyone wanted to get an SUV. Now, people have been craving a crossover SUV because of its similarity to a car. They are smaller but they give you the same feel as of a real SUV.

Sales of the Ford Escape and the Honda CR-V are expected to surpass sales of a regular SUV in 2006. The reason for this is the high gas prices that we are experiencing in America. The CUV is being called the vehicle of the year. The top-selling crossover right now is the Ford Escape.

Look for many new crossover vehicles at this year's 2006 North American International Auto Show. Ford has announced they will unveil their new Edge crossover vehicle. Mazda is going to display a new version of the CX-7 and Hyundai will unveil their new Santa Fe as well.

Sources: Crossover Vehicles Set to Eclipse SUV's, Crossover SUV

This page was last updated on Sat, January 7, 2006 8:45 PM

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