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Captivating 2011 Crossovers, Part 1


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Back in 1995 when Toyota introduced the RAV4 as a 1996 model, there wasn’t such a word as “crossover.” Then, the Honda CR-V and Subaru Outback came out and met with consumer interest.

Over the years, more and more automakers joined the fray with entries that were more car-like than truck-like. Interestingly, whereas SUVs were the dominant force in the 1980s and 1990s, today crossovers have switched places and are grabbing more of the market. In fact, today there are more than 40 crossovers in the affordable and luxury categories.

So, there are a whole lot of crossovers out there vying for consumer attention. But which ones are truly outstanding in the styling department? In other words, which ones are the most, shall we say it, captivating?

Here are some for your consideration, in no particular order (just to keep it interesting).

Honda CR-V – Honda markets the 2011 CR-V as “something new to crave,” and it seems appropriate. Traditionally fun-to-drive, the five-passenger compact CR-V offers a refined design, comfortable interior, fuel-efficient engines, and is available in front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD) configurations. Starting manufacturer’s suggested retail prices (MSRPs) range from $21,695 to $27,895.

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Honda Accord Crosstour – With its upscale interior and new exterior design, the Honda Accord Crosstour mid-size crossover (all-new last year) offers a 271-hp V-6 engine that gets an EPA-estimated 18 mpg city/27 mpg highway (in two-wheel drive configuration), and 17/25 mpg for four-wheel drive models. Base MSRPs range from $29,670 to $34,020.

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Ford Edge – With a mid-cycle refresh for 2011, the Ford Edge (like its Lincoln MKX sibling) has striking new styling, more powerful engine, roomy interior (especially the rear seat), and optional MyFord Touch interface. Starting MSRP for Edge is $27,220. Ford’s actually covering all bases, since it also offers the funky-styled Flex for consumers wanting something even more different in crossover choice.

2011 MINI Cooper Countryman

2011 MINI Cooper Countryman


MINI Countryman – The newest MINI to roll off the assembly lines and make its way into U.S. dealerships does so in January 2011 – and many MINI aficionados say they can’t wait. There’s no question the all-new MINI Countryman is uber-good looking. That’s about all we can say for now, except to salivate over good things to come right after Christmas. Sorry, no pictures we can show here, but the Volkswagen site has lots of great shots.

Want more? Don’t miss Captivating 2011 Crossovers, Part Two.

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Comments (3)
  1. Headlights, great comment about the style of the forthcoming MINI Countryman. Glad my editors were able to dig up the photo - but they forgot to take out the line about no photos available. Anyway, I appreciate your sentiments.
     
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  2. The CRV is spectacularly ugly. I imagine it's only for markets where imposing, chromed grills are de rigueur. A jumble of incongruous design elements. The Edge is the best out of this oddly matched group.
     
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  3. Martin, thanks for your observations. This "oddly matched group" consists of some redesigns and some that are all-new. Marketplace leaders, in terms of consumer acceptance, may account for a model being included (i.e. Honda CR-V), while it's all about the styling for others (i.e., Ford Edge, MINI Countryman). Good thing there is consumer choice. Imagine, for a moment, what it would be like if everyone drove the exact same vehicle or traveled about in the same type of conveyance. Might as well be on trains -- and that is a solution for some consumers in some areas, or could be. At any rate, the marketplace will decide. Check out part two of this story for some more crossover choices.
     
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