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2006 Crossover Buyer's Guide

by Martha Hindes

What exactly is a crossover? Is it a car? Is it a truck? Even the people who make them don't know for sure. Once they were longer length cars called wagons, until people didn't buy them anymore. Then they became softer riding sport utility vehicles that didn't bounce and rattle the people inside. Now, with such monikers as "sports tourer," "sports activity" or "cross utility" vehicle, they're a combination of just about any attribute a vehicle could have.

They can haul us, or haul our purchases. They convert from junior soccer team transport to trendy nightspot traveler. They go on trips or trip around town with ease. And as the fastest growing vehicle segment they have proliferated with amazing speed, like an expanding selection of goodies at our favorite candy shoppe.

Some are boxy and Oh, so cute! Some are simply plain and useful, or taut and muscular. Some look so sporty they belong on a wilderness trail. And some look like overgrown sports cars that are sure to dominate the road. What they offer is a chance to express ourselves in an expanding variety of ways. And their presence ensures that owning a vehicle never again has to be boring. Read on...