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?
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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.
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.
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?