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The Car-SUV Hybrid

Find an eco-friendlier alternative to the SUV.

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This story appears in the May 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Can't decide between a car and an SUV? How about a CUV? Crossover utility vehicles are based on passenger-car platforms, or unibodies, rather than truck platforms. Result: a more comfortable sedan-like ride, easier handling, better gas mileage, and styling that combines a wagon and an SUV. Cargo space and passenger room make CUVs ideal for business, and they don't carry the guilt of a gas-guzzling SUV or the fuddy-duddy image of yesteryear's station wagons.

Ford's 2007 Edge CUV, which at press time is expected to debut at about $25,000, isn't designed for off-roading, but an optional moon roof lets nature in. The 3.5-liter 250 horsepower V-6 engine provides muscle, along with a six-speed automatic transmission. Thirsty road warriors can store 20-ounce cups while working on the center console's removable tray that can hold a laptop. Seats five; holds 68.7 cubic feet of cargo. Mileage: mid-20s both city and highway.

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