2005 Crossover Buyer's Guide
by Martha Hindes
once lived in a world of autos. Then came trucks that let us tow
along the stuff of life. Families and kids made us grab at the
imminently practical minivan, when it emerged as a choice some
two decades ago. And the sport utility vehicles that followed,
loaded with grunt power and attitude, put the fun equation back
into how we got around.
such a sensible chronology, what could possibly be next? How about
a combination of all of the above in a smart, tailored package,
defined more by variety and less by limitation than anything that
came before. That, according to some folks at Ford among others,
is how we've landed smack in the middle of what could be called
the "Decade of the Crossover" they predict will dominate
for years to come. (That opinion, no doubt, reflects the growing
popularity of Ford's new Freestyle crossover reviewed by RTM in
a bad comparison, it seems. As consumers, we've been savvy in
our selections and put our bucks where our interest has traveled.
And somebody -- a lot of somebodies, actually -- listened to the
Crossover cash register going "ching." The result is
a growing wealth of choices from virtually every vehicle nameplate.
They range from small, entry-level wagon-type vehicles -- sort
of subcompacts on steroids -- to amenity-laden road cruisers,
sometimes with a built-in ability to forage. In other words, there's
something for just about everyone. The common point for them all
is a car-like foundation designed for creature comfort, in a trendy,
sporty package with the ultimate use of space. It's a sort of
do anything, go anywhere chameleon that reflects our diverse needs
when we travel.
the following pages, we've culled 10 top choices from the current
range of offerings RTM feels will appeal to our readers' broad
scope of interests.