Finding the best crossover SUV for the money can be very time-consuming and frustrating, especially if you don’t know what to look for. Before we go any further, let me first explain what a “crossover” SUV is.

The term “crossover” started out as a marketing term. A crossover vehicle is built on a car base platform with uni-body construction. This gives you the handling, comfort, ride and performance similar to a car. They look like a SUV, even though they are not built for off-road use, or they can have a wagon look to them.

In general a crossover SUV will get better gas mileage than a typical SUV. The crossover also sets lower to the ground and has a lower roof line than a regular SUV. They offer SUV-like-traits, but give you car-like handling and comfort.

The crossover SUV set generations free from the old stigma minivans back in the mid-90’s. Back then if you wanted a SUV you had to go to a Land Rover, Chevy or Jeep store. Today most manufactures offer at least one model of a SUV. There are over 80 different models available bearing names like sport utility, sport and crossover.

Here are three of the best crossover SUVs for the money, based on sales, reviews, over-all cargo space, fuel efficiency and safety ratings. I also based these choices on what my clients and I have experienced in the real world with these best crossover SUVs.

Ford Edge: The Edge answers your call for a roomy crossover SUV with comfort and style. Plenty of room for five-passengers in this sporty crossover. It’s not a car or a truck nor is it a minivan. It offers you more than a car and it’s practical.

It was first introduced in 2007 and has been extremely successful every sense. You’ll love the bold and sporty look of this powerful crossover. It’s really fun to drive with performance, leading edge appearance and will surprise you if you want a little pep boost!

Toyota Rav4: The Rav4 was named the best family cars of 2010 by and Parents magazine. Toyota has the best durability, dependability and best retained value of any full-line automotive manufactures. It also has the lowest ownership cost, which means you can drive more and stay out of the repair shops. The RAV4 is faster and lighter than direct rivals – and is far more comfortable over rough road surfaces. You’ll love the elevated seating position and rugged looks of this crossover. It’s simple, affordable, practical and handles like a dream.

Honda CR-V: Honda does a lot of things well and has been ranked by in the affordable compact SUV category. It comes with many standard features and options. The cabin is well insulated from road noise and provides you with comfort and style. It’s a solid car with decent gas mileage, and it looks good. The CR-V is a great daily driver with amazing performance. My client John has this to say about his Honda CR-V, “All the safety features are a big plus and getting 25.5 mpg on vacation reassured me I made the right decision buying this ride.”

The best crossover SUV for the money can be any one of the above mentioned vehicles. Try them out and see which one speaks to you.