2006 Small Sport Utility Vehicle's Buying Guide
by Martha Hindes
We think of them as spunky. We think of
them as bold.
We think of them at getaway time, or when we're trapped
used to all be trucky, 'though on a smaller scale.
But now with lush amenities they cruise o'er hill and
are the "cute utes." No matter what we call
them, they serve us well, and they're simply fun to
drive. They're (usually) the smaller, less pricey versions
of big, bolder sport utilities, often car-based junior
models that can substitute as cars both in passenger
capability and purely indulgent comfort. In a pinch,
they can maneuver over a hefty-sized berm to reach the
only remaining empty parking spot when there's no other
way to get there. (That's just to explain their capability,
not a recommendation.)
thanks to the higher stance and more rugged purpose
of many models, a cute ute can usually maneuver out
of trouble spots such as water-logged roadways or a
bumpy dirt path with more ease than an auto, especially
when equipped with all-wheel or four-wheel drive. They're
like the kid down the block who's been taking karate
lessons on weekends and finds strength and tenacity
when it's needed for a showdown. Sometimes these cute
utes are the rugged black-belt variety, like the feisty
Jeep Wrangler that set the world on sport utility wheels
many vehicle lifetimes ago. And sometimes they're the
ones that more readily resemble an auto based wagon,
but still surpass the perceived limitations of "car."
delight and a sense of exploration, we offer you 10
of this year's best cute utes from an ever-expanding
stable of contenders. We invite you to read on...