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History of the Crossover | Lubbock, TX
Crossovers are currently the hottest selling vehicles in the United States. While you might think they are a modern invention, the automotive industry has been blending features from different models for over 50 years.
In the 1950s, automakers started experimenting with unique new models that took features from two different categories and combined them into one vehicle. These took the popular forms of the Ford Ranchero and the Chevrolet El Camino and combined a full-size sedan body with a truck bed. They were in production for decades and some models are highly-collected today.
1960s and 1970s
During this time, the crossover took on a different form with what would eventually be called an SUV. Models like the Chevrolet Blazer, Jeep® Cherokee, and Ford Bronco were immensely popular. Buyers loved their ruggedness and versatility. However, the fuel issues of the 70s made automakers start looking for ways to combine rugged capabilities with improved efficiency.
1980s and 1990s
For the 1980 model year, we got what is considered the first true crossover, the AMC Eagle. It was the only four-wheel-drive passenger car produced in the United States at the time. For nearly 20 years, it was the only model of its kind on the market. Drivers appreciated its comfortable ride and good handling, both on the road and in light off-road use.
As the popularity of SUVs continued to grow, designers began to realize what buyers were really wanted: something that looked like an SUV, but had the features and handling of a car. This is how the modern crossover was born. Today, models like the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V were able to successfully make the jump from more rugged SUVs to the streamlined crossovers we know today. Other popular new additions include models like the Ford Edge, GMC Terrain, and Chevrolet Equinox.