Love 'em or hate 'em, sport utility vehicles continue to be the auto industry's hottest property, and that seems unlikely to change in the foreseeable future, according to the Chicago Tribune
.SUVs of all types--big and small, car- and truck-based--accounted for about 25 percent of the nearly 11.4 millionnew vehicles sold through August, slightly ahead of 2002's pace, the Tribune
reported.That puts SUVs on track to top last year's 4 million unit record. If it's any comfort to those who loathe SUVs, more consumers are choosing car-based crossover models that tend to be smaller and more fuel efficient than traditional truck-based SUVs, according to the Tribune
.Paul Taylor, chief economist for the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), says more consumers are opting for car-based models that have popped up in recent years, offering the rugged looks of an SUV and all-wheel-drive."People are matching up the style of vehicle that they like with a realistic view of their lifestyle," Taylor told the Tribune
. "Typically, that means they're never driving on anything worse than a gravel road with some snow on it," he said.