The Crossover Utility Vehicle Or Suv Segment Is Booming

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The subcompact crossover utility vehicle or SUV segment is booming, due to a slew of new products introduced within months of each other this year. The segment is not new, but it does demonstrate that consumers have an insatiable appetite for all things SUV. As a result, manufacturers are looking for ways to gratify that demand. We saw our first subcompact SUVs in the 1990s in both the first generation Kia Sportage and the Chevrolet Tracker. Those vehicles either grew in proportions or were replaced by larger models to reflect consumer interest in spacious SUVs. Demand for compact models such as the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, Nissan Rogue, and the Toyota RAV4 seemed to indicate that larger was better. But interest in vehicles such as the…show more content…
The Fiat 500X arrived on the market soon after the Chevrolet Trax made its debut and about the same time as the Jeep Renegade and Honda CR-X. The Mazda CX-3 will follow and along with the Juke, Soul and a handful of other multi-purpose vehicles, affordable utility vehicles are gaining in numbers. The 2016 Fiat 500X is sold in Pop ($20,000), Easy ($22,300), Trekking ($23,100), Lounge ($24,850) and Trekking Plus ($27,100) editions. Except for the Pop, all-wheel drive can be had across the model line, adding $1,900 to the corresponding model line. The base Pop gives shoppers a choice of a normally aspirated 2.4-liter four cylinder engine (180 horsepower and 175 foot-pounds of torque) paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission or a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine (160 horsepower and 184 foot-pounds of torque) paired with a six-speed manual transmission. My test model came with the larger engine and the automatic transmission. It was my third go ‘round with the nine-gear slush box, with Chrysler 200S and Jeep Cherokee models similarly outfitted. So before I go cover all the nuances of the new SUV, allow me to give you the “skinny” on the driving aspect. The larger four is suitable for the 500X. The transmission takes some getting used to and even then there were times I could feel it hunting for a gear. This model also offers three driving modes: normal, sport and weather. When operated in sport mode, the
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