Have you ever gone on a road trip and wished your car had the carrying capacity of an SUV? Or wished your urban motorcycle could go off-road so you can join your friends at that secret barbecue spot a few miles into the desert? You might be pleased to know such vehicles do exist. Among both the auto industry and consumers, these vehicles are called ‘hybrid’ or ‘crossover’ vehicles. They are popular today for combining the best qualities of established vehicle classifications (like sedans and SUVs) to make a whole new category.
Crossover vehicles (or CUV for crossover utility vehicle) are actually an older concept than most would think. Steve Manning of StationWagon.com claims that the earliest CUVs were station wagons, which married a car’s ease and accessibility to a truck’s carrying capabilities. Its name is derived from its initial use, which was to shuttle riders and their luggage from their homes to train stations and back. In time, they became a favorite among American families going on vacation, until they were supplanted by minivans and SUVs in the 80’s and 90’s.
CUVs remain in wide use today, and have been adopted by different cultures with their own take on the concept. Australians, for example, have the ute or coupe utility vehicle. While they are widely defined as any load-bearing vehicle too small to be a truck, ‘traditional’ utes are essentially sedans with the bed of a light truck. The ute was invented in 1932, after engineer Lewis Brandt received a letter from a farmer’s wife asking for a vehicle that could bring her “to church on Sundays and her pigs to market on Mondays.” They remain in wide use by Australians today, and are a national icon in themselves.
Note that it’s easy to mistake some other types of vehicles for CUVs. Minivans, like the Dodge Grand Caravan, may have many of the advantages of a CUV (like cargo space and fuel efficiency) but they still lack its compact size and convenience. And on the more aesthetic side, minivans lack a CUV’s sleek style and trendiness.
The popularity of CUVs continues today despite a struggling economy. They can be bought today from dozens of manufacturers almost anywhere in the world. Dodge, for one, has the Journey, which has been in production since 2009. So if you’re buying a Dodge Journey Ajax dealers may sell to you used for around $22000, you’re sure to find one you’ll like.
If you’re interested in buying a crossover vehicle like the Dodge Journey Ajax residents commonly go for, just pop into any car dealership in Ontario to find what you’re looking for. Visit auto123.com/en/new-cars/dealers/dodge/ontario/ajax for more details. Happy motoring!
When Worlds Collide: All About Crossover Vehicles