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Crossover SUV Buying Guide

Find your perfect practical people mover!

Chris Allen
by Chris Allen
August 13, 2010
11 min. Reading Time

Minivans are just so uncool. Especially now that there are vehicles that are essentially minivans (three rows of seats, car-based, and swallow cargo like a 4th of July hot-dog eating contest), only without sliding doors and the nerdy stigma. The crossover is the most recent vehicle-type development that's taken the industry by storm. Crossovers are a perfect solution for people with a family, people who have to deal with inclement weather or anyone that likes larger SUV's but don't like the poor fuel economy and truck-like ride. There isn't a dealership you can go to that doesn't have at least one crossover mini-van replacement. From Acura to Volvo, no matter your brand desire, you can find a vehicle that fits just right.

Acura MDX

Acura's luxury crossover gets its mid-cycle refresh for 2010. Updates include new exterior styling, new 6-speed automatic transmission, and new safety and convenience features. Of these new features are more use or Milano Leather, new gauges, and a revised center-stack button layout. What was once a great crossover contender is even better.

$42,230 - $53,755 3.7-liter V6 with 300 hp 16 city/21 hwy/18 cmb

undefinedEvery MDX comes with a standard Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive System undefinedTech package adds Acura Navigation with real-time weather radar on maps undefinedSeats up to 7 passengers


Audi Q7

Getting a mild facelift for 2010, the Audi Q7 continues to offer a lot of luxury, cargo room and safety features to the highly saturated luxury suv market. Working against the unimpressive fuel economy on standard fuel models, the Q7 TDI gives a stump-pulling 406 lb.-ft. of torque while returning 17/25 mpg for the over 5,000-pound vehicle. Add in Audi's all-wheel drive and optional air suspension to keep the handling athletic despite the imposing heft and size.

$46,900 - $61,000 3.6-liter V6 with 280 hp 14 city/19 hwy/16 cmb

undefinedDiesel engine option gives excellent fuel economy undefinedNew 3rd-generation MMI (Multi Media Interface) undefinedSuperior interior design and craftsmanship undefined5-star crash test rating for front and side impacts



What BMW calls the first-ever "Sport Activity Coupe" is the X6's showcase of questionable function matched with unquestionable performance. The 2011 xDrive35i model has the new single-turbo, 3.0-liter engine for more power and efficiency. Both it and the xDrive50i get a new 8-speed automatic transmission and a regenerative braking system that helps power the vehicle's electronics. As if the X6 weren't mind altering enough, there is the option of a 480-hp ActiveHybrid X6 that features around 17 highway mpg or the certifiably insane X6 M, whose all-wheel-drive 555-hp combination somehow also manages 17 highway mpg. Huh? The X6 is too heavy for a sport coupe, too impractical for a small SUV and too pricey for an impulse buy, but it's different and it's a BMW.

$56,500 - $88,900 3.0-liter turbocharged inline 6-cylinder with 300 hp 17 city/25 hwy/20 cmb undefined X6 M, where M stands for mental undefined Interior similar to X5, well built and luxurious undefined Less cargo capacity than a Hyundai Tucson undefined Maybe a used one will be cheap three years from now


Buick Enclave

Until the Enclave came to market, Buick didn't really have any serious contenders in its model line-up. The Enclave proves that space, practicality, luxury and value can be wrapped up in one vehicle, and has done wonders for the Buick brand. Fro 2011, very little has changed. There's a few new color options (Cyber Gray Metallic, Dark Ming Blue and Gray Green Metallic) and a new 19" 9-spoke chrome-clad wheel replaces the old 7-spoke chromed aluminum wheel on the CXL2 and CXL1 trims.

$35,615 - $44,095 3.6-liter V6 with 288 hp 17 city/24 hwy/19 cmb

undefinedCan seat up to eight passengers undefinedAvailable with front-or all-wheel-drive undefinedCan tow up to 4,500 lbs. when properly equipped.


Chevrolet Traverse

Minivans are so 2000...or at least Chevrolet likes to think so. The front- or all-wheel-drive Traverse crossover replaced the discontinued Uplander minivan in 2009, and carries into 2010 mostly unchanged. It's a very compelling alternative for potential Tahoe buyers that don't need all of the Tahoe brute.

MSRP: $29,224-$39,985 Base Engine: 3.6-liter V6 with 281 horsepower Base EPA mpg: 17 city/24 hwy/19 cmb Model Highlights: undefinedSeating for up to 8 passengers undefined5,200 pound towing capacity undefinedUSB port included with premium radios


Ford Explorer

Prior to 2011, the Explorer wouldn't be on this list. As up to now, the Explorer was a truck-like body on frame SUV. Switching to the car-like unibody platform not only helps with ride comfort, but also increased interior space and fuel economy, In fact, Ford claims the new Explorer will achieve best-in-class fuel economy along with bleeding-edge technology, and class-exclusive safety technology. If you're a Facebook user, you already know this as Ford introduced the all-new 2011 Explorer exclusively through social media.

Not available at publication 3.5-liter V6 with 290 hp Not available at publication

undefinedAdvanceTracwith RSC features Curve Control functionality undefinedAll-wheel-drive system features off-road-ready terrain management system undefinedCan tow up to 5,000 lbs. when properly equipped.


Ford Flex

Somewhat following General Motor's lead, Ford replaced its minivan offering with the fun, functional, and funky Flex. For 2011, Ford adds the luxurious Titanium package featuring blackout treatments to the lamps, unique interior and exterior accents, and painted luster nickel 20-inch five-spoke wheels. The Titanium and Limited trims also get one-touch power folding 50/50 split third-row seats.

$29,075 - $45,185 3.5-liter V6 with 262 hp 17 city/24 hwy/19 cmb

undefinedOptional EcoBoost turb-charged 3.5=liter V6 outputs 355 horsepower. undefinedAll Flexes feature a 6-speed automatic transmission undefinedCan accommodate up to seven passengers.


GMC Acadia

The Acadia is based off of the same architecture as the Traverse, and Enclave. If you're looking for a crossover that packs maximum luxury, 2011 brings the Acadia Denali trim. With it is a chrome honeycomb grille, revised bodywork, HID headlights, and 20-inch chrome wheels. Inside is increased leather, wood-grain accents, heated and cooled front seats, premium acoustics, and increased sound deadening.

$31,840 - $45,220 3.6-liter V6 with 288 hp 17 city/24 hwy/19 cmb

undefinedThree rows of seats accommodate up to eight passengers undefinedStandard OnStar with 6-months free subscription undefined10-year 100,000 powertrain warranty


Honda Accord Crosstour

The Accord Crosstour is an all-new crossover wagon for 2010. In other words, it's an Accord hatchback with controversial styling, a slightly higher ride height and available all-wheel drive. While it features a quieter ride and more cargo space than the Accord sedan, it's not as versatile as some other small crossovers with third-row seats and larger cargo holds.

$29,670 - $36,220 3.5-liter V6 with 271 hp 18 city/27 hwy/21 cmb

undefinedFive-speed automatic transmission undefinedUp to 51.2 cu. ft. of cargo space undefined10-way power front driver's seat undefinedDual-zone automatic climate control


Infiniti FX

The FX might be the most sporty crossover in this list, with it's aggressive styling, rear wheel drive and optional 390 horsepower 5.0-liter V8 engine. Little has changed for 2011, except for a new standard power rear lift gate, standard 20-inch wheels (on the FX50), and black lacquer interior trim.

$42,850 - $59,000 3.5-liter V6 with 303 hp 16 city/23 hwy/19 cmb

undefinedAvailable rear active steering helps improve handling and low speed maneuverability undefinedStandard audio is a Bose-tuned 11-speaker system. undefinedFX35's 3.5-liter V6 produces 303 horsepower



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