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Crossover vs SUV: The Differences You Should Know About

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Crossover vs SUV: The Differences You Should Know About
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SUVs (sports utility vehicles) happened to be one of the highest sold vehicle segments but what is a crossover car? Well, they are the ones that are currently taking the place of the SUVs. Ten years ago, an SUV was the first choice for a family car but the choice has now shifted to crossovers. Both are large, spacious vehicles and look almost similar but there are certain differences between crossover vs SUV.

If you are looking for a family car, know the distinctions between these two types to make an informed decision.

Crossover Vs SUV: The Major Variations

The most distinct difference between SUV vs crossover lies on their platform. The body of an SUV is structured on a truck chassis while it is a car chassis for the crossovers. Due to having a more robust platform and compatible suspension and drivetrain, SUVs can cruise smoothly on off-road tracks, which a crossover cannot.

Here are detailed explanations of the differences between crossover vs SUV:

The Structural Design

The crossovers feature a unibody structure where the body and frame (the foundation of the vehicle) are one single piece. What does crossover mean? Well, these vehicles combine the features of SUVs with passenger cars like a hatchback or station wagon. They get the name as they blend the styles of different models.

what is a crossover car
Crossovers have a unibody design.

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The SUVs use two separate pieces for this purpose, having a ‘body on frame’ architecture.

The unibody structure is lighter, providing quicker, smoother rides with a better fuel efficiency. On the other hand, the heavier body-on-frame helps the vehicle to be more stable and durable.

Applications

The unique design of the crossovers makes them much lighter than SUVs. Also, they are built to make driving the car more convenient and improve the ride quality. The heavy-duty SUVs are designed for challenging tracks and heavy hauling duties.

Safety

Some people argue that SUVs are safer in an accident because of their heavy, sturdy nature. It is true in the case of low-speed collisions. They don’t turn upside down as easily as crossovers and the post-accident repairs are also simple in most instances.

But, a crossover is a safer option when it is a serious accident. The body and chassis of these vehicles have more crumple zones. So, the body takes most of the collision force, keeping the driver and passengers rather safe. Chances are a high-speed collision will destroy the vehicle but the occupants will suffer less severe injuries than they would have in an SUV.

suv vs crossover
SUVs are safer in low-speed collisions.

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Crossover Vs SUV: Are the Terms Interchangeable?

In a few cases, yes. People often use the term SUV to mention both crossovers and SUVs. The tendency was more common before the SUVs started drawing criticisms for their poor mileage. After that, automakers started using the term ‘crossover’, indicating the contrast between SUV vs crossover.

It will be wrong to call a body-on-frame SUV a crossover. For example, Mercedes G-Class, Ford Expedition, and Chevrolet Tahoe are SUVs by design. Calling them crossovers will be a mistake. On the other hand, you can use the term for the popular family haulers such as Acura MDX, Lexus RX, and Grand Cherokee because they are crossovers by design.

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