More buyers flock to SUVs as automakers scramble to offer more choices

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Buyers can't seem to get enough choices in SUVs right now - in all sizes - and auto makers are scrambling to offer more models.

The Rogue crossover SUV has been a strong seller for Nissan, but many car shoppers want their SUV in a smaller size, so there's a new Rogue Sport.

Like a lot of so-called crossovers, the Rogue Sport is really a car dressed up like an SUV. The trim size, decent fuel economy, and reasonable price (base MSRP is $21,240) should give it broad appeal.

Volkswagen is going the other direction in size with the new Atlas. It's built in the U.S. and takes dead aim at popular mid-size models like the Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander and the Ford Explorer.

One of the Atlas's stronger attributes is a third row seat that can actually hold teenagers and small adults. The Atlas starts at $30,500.

For some auto makers, partnering with another one can save development time and money. The Infiniti QX30 (base price $29,950) shares a lot of its underpinnings and even its 2.0 liter four-cylinder engine with the Mercedes-Benz GLA250. But it gets Infiniti's own styling and infotainment system.

On the luxury end, Lexus is able to borrow the GX460 from parent company Toyota. The big off-road-capable vehicle is sold as a Toyota model in other parts of the world, but U.S. buyers get a big dose of leather, luxury,and standard V8 power for a base price of $51,680. Toyota gets a vehicle to round out its lineup without having to create one from scratch.

Some automakers got ahead of the curve several years ago and have seen great sales success. Two in particular found a magic formula in magic number: 5.

As in the new Audi Q5, now here to replace the popular first-generation Q5. Audi made improvements in pretty much every area to the SUV that slots nicely between the larger Q7 and smaller Q3. The new Q5 Quattro carries a base price of $41,500.

It's the same story at Mazda regarding a vehicle with the number 5 in its name. Their new CX-5 takes the baton from the previous one and it too slots in between larger and smaller Mazda SUVs. Like the Audi Q5, the CX-5's size is the one that many buyers feel may be just right. The new Mazda CX-5 starts at $24,045.

All SUVs are not the same as there are so many different choices, sizes and price ranges.

But there is one thing they do all have in common (besides the cargo space and high seating position) - they're the style of vehicle that so many people want these days.
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