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Most Popular SUVs

Traditional SUVs are not as popular as they once were.  Climbing gas prices and a stalling economy have many car-buyers choosing “crossovers” rather than true sport utility vehicles.  With its design based on a small car rather than a truck, the crossover still offers some benefits of a standard SUV.  Crossovers have high seating for the driver, plenty of room for gear, space for five or more passengers, and off-road ability - while retaining the fuel economy and aerodynamism or smaller cars.

It will be no surprise, then, that eight of the top ten used SUVs are actually crossovers.   Topping the used SUV/ crossover list is the Honda CR-V.  Its 4-cylinder engine and sleek look are selling points.  Rather than having its spare tire hanging at the rear, it’s stored in the cargo floor.  This is just one example of the details that make this vehicle lovely to look at.  But don’t let the elegant exterior distract you from the power under the hood, in the form of a 2.4-liter 166-horsepower inline-four engine.  It gets great fuel economy too:  20 city and 27 highway for the 2WD model, and 20/26 for the 4WD model.  A 2007 Honda CR-V sells for around $19K.

The Toyota RAV-4 (Recreation Activity Vehicle) succeeds in combining fun, form and function.  Recent models have been expanded to accommodate third-row seating (optional) while retaining their aerodynamic form.  Another option is a choice of 4-cylinder or 3.5 liter V6 engine.  RAV-4s start at around $21K for a 2009 model.

The Nissan Rogue, third on the top-ten list, seduces buyers with its safety features.  The driver’s “cockpit” offers significantly better visibility than other vehicles in its class.  Also, it envelops passengers in security with airbags on all sides, stability control, and anti-whiplash head restraints – to name just a few of the safety items that come standard in a Rogue.  Also, its 175-horsepower 2.5 liter 4-cylinder engine allows it to compete power-wise with other vehicles in its class.  The price is nice too, with newest models starting at only $20K.

Fourth on our most popular used SUV list is the first the Honda Pilot, one of the two standards in the group (the other being the Ford Explorer).  The Pilot was expanded in 2009 to include more legroom in the second and third row, as well as added space for gear.  Newer models also have a Variable Cylinder Management System, which allows the driver to choose among six, four, or three cylinders.  Another intriguing addition is the Humidity Control System.  Hill Start Assist is also offered, to help get this heavier model going up those steep inclines.  A 2008 model will run you about $22K.

Now that you’ve had a taste of some of the hottest used SUVs out there, hopefully you are motivated to start searching for your very own hot model – something that is perfect for you.


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