Exciting Crossover Vehicle Concepts

The hydrogen fuel-cell powered, five-passenger crossover concept Cadillac Provoq was unveiled during the 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nev.

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Can't make up your mind whether you'd like to buy an SUV or something smaller, like a station wagon or a hatchback? You don't necessarily have to decide. You can get a crossover vehicle, which combines the features of both. This is one case where you can have your cake and drive it too.

You might not even be able to tell the difference between a crossover and an SUV, at least not at first glance. Like full-scale SUVs, crossover generally offer lots of cargo space, a liftgate for stowing that cargo, and a slightly higher wheelbase than a sedan or hatchback. What most crossovers don't have is off-road capability -- you wouldn't want to drive these vehicles down to your favorite fishing spot by the river -- but if that's not what you're looking for in personal transportation, a crossover may be perfect for you. And if you're opposed to SUVs on principle, some of the newest crossovers are more environmentally friendly than you might expect.

Popular crossovers include the Audi AG and the Ford Escape (though note that in many cases these vehicles are marketed not as crossovers but as "compact SUVs"). This vehicle category has become so popular that auto manufacturers around the world have newer and more innovative models already in the concept stage. On the next few pages, we'll look at some of the most interesting crossover concepts that have recently gone beyond the drawing board and onto the floor at auto shows.