Sport Utility Vehicles Have Evolved for the Better In the late 1990s, SUV sales skyrocketed. Gas prices were low, and SUVs displaced “soccer mom” minivans as a fashionable, if occasionally showy, alternative.
SUVs were once linked with wealth, celebrity, and good times. It was the period of Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, and Entourage. Every paparazzi photo showed a celebrity exiting a Cadillac Escalade or a Range Rover.
Let's fast forward to the present. SUVs never really went away; instead, they changed and were more accessible to a wider range of people, from Baby Boomers to Millennials. For the environmentally minded, they are typically more smaller, sleeker, less boxy, and less petrol guzzling. As a result, the term "crossover" was coined. It has become the ideal compromise, and an ideal family car, with tonnes of baggage and passenger capacity while remaining manageable. The beginning MSRPs are also reasonable when compared to the luxury makes and models mentioned above. According to US News & World Report, some of the best-selling crossovers in 2017 include:
MSRP for the 2017 Nissan Murano is $29,740.
MSRP: $23,750 for the 2017 Ford Escape
MSRP: $28,950 for the 2017 Ford Edge
The 2017 Toyota Highlander has a starting price of $30,630.
The 2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid has a starting price of $36,270.
Mazda CX-5 2017 MSRP: $24,045
Hyundai Tucson 2017 MSRP: $22,700
The 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe has a starting price of $30,800.
Honda Pilot 2017 MSRP: $30,595
Honda CR-V 2017 MSRP: $24,045
MSRP: $25,600 for the 2017 Kia Sorento
The technical difference between crossovers and SUVs, according to car experts, is that a crossover is built on a car basis, but an SUV is built on a truck chassis. SUVs have a "body on frame" design, whereas crossovers have unibody architecture, which means the body and frame are one piece. There is some confusion here, and dealerships and automakers will use the terms interchangeably. When gas costs soared and climate change became a hot topic, SUVs got a bad rap. More frequently than not, the phrase crossover is used as a marketing term. Crossovers sprang from a need for form, function, and, of course, the ability to sell more cars.
So, what's next?
Station waggons bring up visions of the Griswolds for many people. While station waggons are popular in Europe, Americans dislike them for whatever reason, yet they love crossovers. We wouldn't be surprised if a new generation of waggons took America by storm, given that everything that was once old becomes new again. It appears to be the next logical step. For the time being, the waggon train is being led by luxury brands Volvo, Audi, and Subaru.