Although SUVs are waning in popularity many people are still fascinated by the thought of owning a “crossover.” What exactly is a crossover? Is it just any SUV that went on sale after gas prices skyrocketed? Since the average crossover gets only about one mile per gallon more out precious fossil fuels than a regular SUV what, exactly, is the point? There isn’t one.
If you are serious about making roads safer (SUV/Crossovers can do terrible damage to lower cars in accidents due to their height and weight) and getting better fuel economy then check out these ultra-cool SUV alternatives. You just might be surprised what could work for you.
Preview: 2010 Audi A6 AvantEnlarge Photo
(Starting at $53,310)—Nothing screams class like an Audi and there is no classier wagon than the A6 Avant. But don’t let appearances deceive you into believing this is some boring Vista Cruiser wanna-be. The 3.0T boasts 300 horsepower through Audi’s patented Quattro all-wheel drive system. Can you say perfect snow car? While the A6 has been on the market a while with this design everything from the exterior to the interior still looks fresh. The interior is available is grey, beige and black but true fashionistas must get the “amaretto/black” color combination. Darling, it’s simply to die for.
The 2010 Outback is bigger than the outgoing model but starts at the same priceEnlarge Photo
(Starting at $22,295)—If you have ever lived in a Snowbelt states like Colorado then no doubt you have seen them all over the place most especially in the parking lots of ski resorts. More so even than Audi with its Quattro system, Subaru really caters to individuals that thrive in a cold, snowy climates. You know, those active types who love to ski and snowboard.
But heck, what about the lazy man or woman whose idea of exercise is a weekend trip to Costco? Well, the 2010 Outback can even fit your inactive lifestyle with such fatty-friendly features like a huge rear seat, plenty of cargo room for super size bags of potato chips and a low load in height. Because we all know those SUVs require so much extra effort when you are loading in grocery bags. (Note: the 2010 Subaru Outback is available with a very frugal 29-mile-per-gallon highway four-cylinder or an ultra smooth and quick six-cylinder engine.)
2010 MINI Cooper ClubmanEnlarge Photo
(Starting at $21,150)—With those economy returns of 28 city/36 highway, this diminutive little wagon should not be this much fun to drive. But believe the hype because the Mini Clubman will restore your faith in driving and make you more attractive to other people (okay, not so much with the last part).
The Clubman is essentially a regular Mini with more rear legroom so it can actually seat four adults and an “easy access third door” on the passenger side affords easy ingress and egress. You may think you can’t get by with the space offered by the Clubman but with the rear seats folded this adorable wagon can handle a month’s worth of supplies from Costco and a trip to The Garden Center at Home Depot—yes, all in one trip.
2010 Audi A4Enlarge Photo
(Starting at $35,350)—Just call this little wagon a miniaturized take on the luxo-bruiser Audi A6 Avant 3.0T. While the A4 Avant is nowhere near as powerful as the A6 3.0T, thanks to its 2.0 liter turbocharged engine it has plenty of power for most any situation. Thanks to a revised front suspension system that places the engine further back behind the axle, the A4 Avant also has an incredible turning radius for a wagon with all wheel drive. This is a perfect entry level wagon while you save up your Investment Banking bonus cash for the A6 Avant. Actually, if that is your job maybe you should just enjoy the A4.