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5 smooth-riding SUVs for the urban warrior

Auto » 5 Smooth-Riding SUVs

SUVs for an urban lifestyle
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SUVs for an urban lifestyle

Sport utility vehicles, or SUVs, have become more like cars in their handling, luxury appointments, high-tech safety features and even gas mileage.

That's true even for some of the iconic SUV brands such as Land Rover and the rugged, big-volume SUVs that defined the segment -- the Ford Explorer and Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The car companies still make variations of SUVs that can splash through creeks and climb over boulders. But the latest SUVs are out-and-out family cars, built like cars and intended to be driven like cars -- in the suburbs and on the highway.

"It's an industry-wide trend," says Orth Hedrick, product planning director for Kia Motors America, Inc. Kia is dropping its traditional SUV, the Kia Borrego, but sales are up for the Kia Sorento. The Sorento is similar in size and concept to the Borrego, but it's built on a car-like platform.

What people like about the new crop of SUVs is their high seating and capacity for people and/or cargo. What people don't like about SUVs is truck-like handling and poor gas mileage.

Here are Bankrate's choices for the latest SUVs, only with a new wrinkle. They're built for real-life urban road warriors and not so much for off-road fantasy camp. Prices are suggested retail for base models, including delivery charges, but without options.


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