There was a time when soft, car-based, “cute-utes” with limited off-road capabilities were mocked. The “SUV” label didn’t apply; the term “crossover” hadn’t yet been coined. Now everybody and their dog drives a soft, car-based cute-ute. Most people choose a Japanese version.
Oh, Japan can do tough and rugged as well. In fact, the 2010 Toyota 4Runner was a return to the 4Runner of old. Square-jawed and proficient in all types of 4×4ing, the new 4Runner has been attracting way more clientele than the old model. Still, if a popular and respected Japanese utility vehicle is what you’re after, rugged ain’t it. The Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Nissan Rogue, and Subaru Forester are cars on stilts, and all the better for it.
Here are America’s Top 10 Best-Selling Japanese SUVs. Call’em CUVs or crossovers if it makes you feel better.