pictures can elicit fond memories. A mountain pass cutting through
rose-toned rock, blazing with color from the setting sun. A vast
expanse of ocean, sending fierce, white-crested breakers onto
a beach. A stand of tall pine trees shrouded in a morning mist.
Those were the special places off the beaten path that not everyone
could reach. It often took a special vehicle to get there. It
took an SUV.
have changed since the first off-roaders trooped their way through
muddy byways or over rugged outcroppings searching for the elusive,
secluded spot to set up camp and drink in the glories of nature.
The SUV -- a universal adaptation of "sport utility vehicle" -- no longer is limited just to sport, or barely reachable destinations.
They crowd into parking lots at grocery stores, country clubs,
school drop-off zones or fancy restaurants. They whisk a bride
and groom away from their wedding reception. And inside, they
can be as luxurious, technically advanced and absolutely comfortable
as an elegant limousine.
course, there are variations on the SUV theme, with choices from
spartan and spunky to premium and pricey clamoring for attention.
For our mid-size SUV Buyer's Guide, we choose a range of offerings
to meet almost any true sport utility need.