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Thread: Which new crossover fits your needs - and personality?

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Which new crossover fits your needs - and personality?

    Which new crossover fits your needs - and personality?
    By Eric Peters

    Crossovers -- those sort-of SUVs, almost-wagons that are also kind of sporty -- are all about personality. The question is, which one fits yours?

    * 2007 Dodge Caliber SRT4 (base price $22,000): The next generation of "Fast and Furious" -- this all-new compact crossover replaces the outgoing Neon SRT4 -- and challenges established sport compact runners like the Subaru WRX STi and Mitsubishi Lancer EVO with 300 horsepower under the hood and a larger cargo area than its sedan-based predecessor ever had. In addition to its turbocharged, intercooled 2.4 liter engine, the Caliber SRT4 comes fitted out with 19-inch rims, a six-speed manual gearbox and upgraded brakes. And if you can't make enough noise with the SRT4's killer drivetrain, there's an available 322 watt, 13-speaker audio system with MP3 capability and multi-disc CS changer that ought to do the trick.

    *2007 Ford Edge (estimated base price $24,000): Along with its luxury-trimmed Lincoln MKX cousin, this new five-passenger crossover gives fans of the Blue Oval an alternative to import branded competitors. With a standard 265 horsepower, 3.5 liter V-6 tied to a six-speed automatic (a first for Ford), the '07 Edge is also among the most powerful crossovers in its price range -- and much closer to the hugely popular Mustang than to the not-so-popular (and cancelled) Freestar minivan in terms of curb appeal. The Edge might not have the seating capacity of a traditional 7-passenger minivan -- but it's a lot more fun to drive. And you won't be depressed every time you open the garage door, either. The higher-trimmed Lincoln MKX (estimated base price $32,000) adds features like swiveling headlamps that turn with the car for improved visibility, heated and cooled seats and an oversize, panorama-style sunroof. Both models arrive later this fall.

    *2007 Saturn VUE Green Line (base price $22,995): Your heart says save the planet, but your wallets says save some dough. If that's you, the VUE Green Line hybrid crossover could be the right ride. Its tandem 2.4 liter/170 hp gasoline engine and electric motor/battery pack drivetrain isn't as complex as the hybrid set-ups in some other, otherwise similar vehicles -- exchanging absolute best-possible fuel mileage and performance for a more moderate price tag and a none-too-shabby 5 MPG improvement over the regular (non-hybrid) VUE. Its 27 city/32 highway EPA rating isn't too far off the pace of Ford's similar in size/layout (but considerably more pricey) Escape hybrid -- which is rated 31 MPG on the highway but carries a base price of $25,655.

    * 2007 Mazda CX-7 (base price $23,750): You want a ride that zooms -- looks-wise and otherwise -- but have found it's hard to carry a kayak or mountain bike on the roof of a Miata. Then think CX-7. Mazda built this one for enthusiasts -- but not just driving ones. The 5-passenger CX-7 has the space (including 58.6 cubic feet of cargo-carrying capacity with the second row seats folded flat) to be your companion on long road trips or outdoor adventures; the underhood goods (244 horsepower turbocharged 2.3 liter engine and 0-60 in 7.6 seconds) to keep you competitive in the stoplight Grand Prix -- and the handling and lateral grip (standard 18-inch rims and available AWD) to keep up with your buddy's two-seater Miata in a curve. Plus, you'll only have to make one trip to boat launch -- while he'll have to go back to get the stuff that wouldn't fit in the Miata's minimalist trunk. And if you need even more room and still want the same kind of zoom, see the CX-9, which is a stretched version of the CX-7, with third row seating an room for seven.

    * 2007 Nissan Murano (base price $27,750): This one's for the Maxima buyer who now has a family but isn't quite ready for a minivan. The high-riding, 5-passenger Murano could definitely serve as a kid-carter, though -- and comes standard with family-friendly safety features such as standard side curtain and side impact air bags -- with a rear seat DVD entertainment system available optionally. Under the Murano's hood lies the same 3.5 liter DOHC V-6 used in the Maxima sport sedan -- so the Murano can run as well as haul. Or do both at the same time. All-wheel-drive is available, too. If you're heart says sports sedan but your needs say SUV or wagon -- or even minivan -- you'll want to check out the Murano. (Luxury buyers are covered, too -- see the Infiniti FX, Murano's high-end corporate cousin. In FX45 form, it can be ordered with a V-8 engine, too.)

    *2007 Subaru B9 Tribeca (base price $29,995): This is an uptown ride for the buyer who wants something a bit more stylish -- and a bit less woodsy -- than the traditional Subaru. The B9 also offers both five and seven-passenger seating configurations, so it can handle a large family, too. The B9 is Subaru's first real attempt to edge into the near-luxury sport-crossover segment occupied by similar vehicles like the Nissan Murano and Infiniti FX -- even the Lexus RX350, Cadillac SRX and Acura MDX. All models come with a 250 horsepower "boxer" six-cylinder engine, 5-speed automatic transmission with manual shift capability, electronic stability control and side/curtain air bags standard -- in addition to an electric sunroof, dual-zone climate control and, of course, Subaru's famous all-wheel-drive system.

    * 2007 Honda CR-V (base price $20,600): The CR-V is quietly styled, unobtrusive and built for long-haul value -- the Civic of crossovers. It's the kind of date you'd bring home to meet mom and dad -- and maybe for longer than that. The CR-V nameplate has been around for many years (along with the Subaru Forester and Toyota RAV4, it was one of the three original crossovers when it first appeared back in the late 1990s) but the '07 model is a clean sheet design. It features new bodywork, a revised interior and an updated drivetrain. It's also available in a wide range of pricing and trim levels; the standard model carryies a base price that barely crests the $20k mark (making it ideal for first-time buyers) while a top of the line model equipped with DVD navigation and all-wheel-drive will satisfy buyers looking to treat themselves to something fancy -- without making a big show of it.

    * 2007 Acura RDX (base price $33,610): Acuras have traditionally been for people who crave BMW-style performance and technology -- but not BMW prices. The new RDX continues the theme -- directly targeting BMW's X3 compact crossover. The RDX features Acura's first-ever turbocharged engine (good for 240 horsepower), standard 18-inch wheels, leather seats, sunroof, 6.5-inch LCD display and standard all-wheel-drive -- for about $3,800 less than you'd pay for a base model BMW X3 ($36,800) with a less powerful engine (225 hp) and not as many standard "toys" -- such as the RDX's F1-style paddle shifters on the steering wheel to control the shifting of the 5-speed automatic transmission when in manual/sport mode. The larger MDX has also been updated for 2007 if you want something similar -- but a bit larger.

    END

  2. #2
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    Re: Which new crossover fits your needs - and personality?

    If you buy any one of these vehicles, you have no persionality.

    Just kidding... sort of....

  3. #3
    jillsuncle
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    Re: Which new crossover fits your needs - and personality?

    Mazda CX7 - We have a winner!

    ;D

  4. #4
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Which new crossover fits your needs - and personality?

    Quote Originally Posted by jillsuncle
    Mazda CX7 - We have a winner!

    ;D
    I like this also; its main defect is it's kinda slow. Could use another 50 horsepower or so...

  5. #5
    Senior Member Kwozzie1's Avatar
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    Re: Which new crossover fits your needs - and personality?

    The worry is that people think these are 4WD capable when they are not.

    Friends drove from the barge onto Fraser Island here in Queensland, and promptly got bogged.
    The vehicle Toyota Kluger....it's a Highlander in your market.

    Luckily the other car in the party was a Nissan Patrol. http://www.nissan.com.au/patrol/
    It was able to winch the Kluger out.
    Rex
    On the Sunshine Coast, in the Sunshine State Queensland (QLD), Australia

  6. #6
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Which new crossover fits your needs - and personality?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kwozzie1
    The worry is that people think these are 4WD capable when they are not.

    A very good point!

    Some education is in order; I wish the automakers would do a better job of conveying the capabilities (and limitations) of specialty-type vehicles...

  7. #7
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    Re: Which new crossover fits your needs - and personality?

    Let's not overlook the RAV4 which some think was the first of the crossovers.

    I'm enjoying mine a lot very thus far: it's comfortable, handles better than it has any right to, and goes like a bat outa.

    I agree that it is not an off road vehicle in any sense and one might think of the rear wheel drive engagement as no more than a helper in the 'slick.'

  8. #8
    Senior Member Kwozzie1's Avatar
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    Re: Which new crossover fits your needs - and personality?

    Quote Originally Posted by jdm
    Let's not overlook the RAV4 which some think was the first of the crossovers.

    I'm enjoying mine a lot very thus far: it's comfortable, handles better than it has any right to, and goes like a bat outa.

    I agree that it is not an off road vehicle in any sense and one might think of the rear wheel drive engagement as no more than a helper in the 'slick.'
    Here in QLD it is proving to be an okay vehicle as an off roader if driven carefully. I refer to Fraser Island ...world's largest sand island which has soft sand dunes. The only disadvantage seems to be no low range, but that could also be said of the LRFreelander. Rav4 scores better that its bigger brother Kluger / Highlander in sand.
    Rex
    On the Sunshine Coast, in the Sunshine State Queensland (QLD), Australia

  9. #9
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Which new crossover fits your needs - and personality?

    " its bigger brother Kluger..."

    Has to be one of the worst names I have ever heard!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Kwozzie1's Avatar
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    Re: Which new crossover fits your needs - and personality?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    " its bigger brother Kluger..."

    Has to be one of the worst names I have ever heard!
    As I said in another thread...sounds like it belongs with the Third Reich
    Rex
    On the Sunshine Coast, in the Sunshine State Queensland (QLD), Australia

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