Family Car Guide: SUV Names That Start With "E"

September 27, 2010

How automakers name their vehicles has always fascinated me. It would appear that some go for alliteration, while others dream up some pretty crazy names. Actually, it’s a difficult process to name a new product. After coming up with about 100 names, there’s the whole process of checking the list against registered names in the U.S. Patent Office and winnowing down the remaining suggestions from there. But I’m struck by the number of SUVs currently in production that begin with the letter “E.” Any quick guess as to which automaker has the most SUVs that begin with this letter?

By my count, there are nine total SUVs that begin with the letter “E.” This doesn’t count hybrid versions of the same make and model. Here they are in alphabetical order (by model, not by manufacturer).

Ford Edge -- The mid-size Ford Edge crossover SUV gets an update for 2011 with new exterior styling, upgraded interior materials, and more powerful engines. What's really cool is the optional new MyFord Touch interface which replaces traditional buttons with touchscreens and a five-way controller. Edge is appropriately named, it seems, to be on the cutting edge of technology. Not bad for an affordable mid-size SUV that seats five.

Honda Element --

After its mild refresh in 2009, the compact Honda Element was expected to continue into 2011 with minimal changes. The four-passenger crossover SUV is noted for its fun, boxy exterior styling, configurable rear rows that allow for outstanding cargo capacity, durable, waterproof cabin floor, and a unique dog-friendly optional package introduced in the 2010 model. However, the Honda site doesn’t list anything beyond 2010 for Element – neither does the preliminary EPA 2011 fuel economy guide. So, Honda may have different plans for Element. We’re still listing it here, because it is an SUV and the name begins with “E.” And consumers can still buy it.

Chevrolet Equinox –  With 32 mpg highway fuel economy, the 2011 Chevrolet Equinox compact crossover SUV with seating for five beats even the Ford Escape Hybrid (which gets 31 mpg highway). Chevy says Equinox offers the most rear-seat legroom of any crossover in its class, plus spacious storage and sliding rear seat. There’s also an available programmable power liftgate that the competition doesn’t offer. Kelley Blue Book (KBB) called the second-generation 2010 Chevy Equinox “the best-looking vehicle in the segment.”

Buick Enclave With its upscale interior, seating for seven, ultra-smooth ride, and whisper-quiet cabin – along with striking exterior styling – the 2011 Buick Enclave (which shares a platform with the GMC Acadia and Chevrolet Traverse) is an affordable alternative to luxury crossover SUVs. As for the name, since Buick likens sitting in the crossover to being in a private jet, maybe Enclave – a word which generally refers to a territory surrounded or nearly surrounded by the territory of another country – can be interpreted to mean that the Buick Enclave stands apart from the competition.

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