Crossover Cars

Between the squadrons of beefy SUVs and the fleets of standard passenger vehicles lie the crossover cars. Do they really offer the best of both worlds?


The term "crossover" came into the lexicon less than a decade ago, when car buyers didn't really know what they were -- but they bought them anyway. Here are a few reasons you might want to buy one.

There's nothing wrong with minivans; however, if you don't want to put up with all the baggage that comes with driving a minivan, a crossover is a good way to get the practicality you need and the style you want.

In the mid-1990s the term "crossover vehicle" hadn't been invented yet, but the car-based utility vehicle had. Buyers wanted off-road ruggedness, but didn't necessarily want to sacrifice the comfort of a passenger car.

It may seem as if crossover vehicles have just recently burst onto the scene; however, the first crossover vehicle in the United States was here in the mid-1990s.

While crossovers have become sales leaders fairly recently, the vehicles themselves aren't an entirely novel idea. Actually, several early two-wheel and four-wheel-drive wagons and SUVs fit into that category.

Crossovers aren't as uniquely modern as the auto companies would like us to believe. In fact, they're just an example of how trends in the car world tend to come and go -- and come back again.

Take a look at some of the newest crossover concepts that have gone beyond the drawing board and into the spotlight on the auto show circuit. Will we ever see production versions?

Crossovers have become a vast mix of functionality, style, power and comfort. But crossovers that offer all-wheel-drive capabilities provide even more options to drivers.

The evolution of the basic idea of a crossover vehicle follows relatively clear path. And it's along that path where the term crossover sees its first use in print. Do you know who said it first?

SUVs, like the trucks they're derived from, are not particularly designed for comfort. Over time, they've been perceived by some as simply too big and cumbersome. Is a crossover somehow different?

By using a car-based platform, crossovers avoid most of the shortcomings associated with SUVs. In fact, there are a number of benefits to crossover vehicle design. What makes shoppers willing to make the tradeoff?

With the popularity of true SUVs on the decline and the price of gasoline continuing to rise, crossover vehicles have become a logical bridge between off-road trucks and fuel-efficient cars.

Crossover vehicles are becoming increasingly popular. But can a crossover make driving easier for retirees while avoiding the stigma of driving an "old-lady car?"