Standard SUVs vs. the Crossover SUV: Understanding the Difference
A crossover SUV is a vehicle that has the classic features of an off the road vehicle but handles like a car. There are various types of Sports Utility Vehicles available for sale. Small SUVs like the Ford Escape and the Mercury Mariner, midsize SUVs such as the Toyota Highlander and the Ford Explorer, and large SUVs such as the Ford Expedition and the Chevrolet Tahoe. In addition to these, there are the crossover SUVs such as the Ford Edge and the Saturn Outlook.
Comparison between Standard SUVs and Crossover SUVs
Standard SUVs are trucks that are built on light truck platforms and have the capacity to carry loads. Crossover SUVs are built on car platforms and are truck-like vehicles. Both standard and crossover SUVs have common features such as high ground clearance and increased seating capacity. Standard SUVs must have a minimum gross vehicle weight and load capacity of 8,500 pounds to be classified as an SUV. Whereas crossover SUV specifications include a gross weight of less than 8,500 pounds and storage space of 130 cubic feet. A crossover SUV usually has a V6 engine while a standard SUV has an optional V8 engine. Unlike standard SUVs, crossover SUVs aren’t designed to carry heavy loads and aren’t appropriate for off the road handling. Standard SUVs are all wheel drives whereas crossover SUVs are usually front wheel drives. However, crossover SUVs have better mileage than standard SUVs and are as fuel efficient as conventional cars. As gas prices started to spiral upwards, the popularity of crossover SUVs increased proportionately. They have a lower centre of gravity when compared to standard SUVs and hence are at less risk of rolling over. Since they are lighter when compared to standard SUVs, they are easier to handle and more fuel efficient. Moreover, since they are smaller than standard SUVs they’re easier to park and maneuver in traffic. They also have the added advantage of having spacious interiors.
Advantages of Crossover SUVs
Americans prefer vehicles that are larger than cars but more fuel efficient than SUVs. A crossover SUV provides all these conveniences. Although crossovers are not designed for off the road travel, they have large cargo volume and are easy to handle. Standard specifications of crossover SUVs include 5-speed automatic or manual transmissions, anti-lock braking system, navigational system, and excellent safety features. These vehicles have a sporty appearance and are affordable to boot. In addition, crossover SUVs are available as compact crossovers with limited passenger and cargo space, full-sized crossovers that can seat up to 9 passengers and hatchback crossovers that have a rear hatchback design.
Auto manufacturers are trying to provide vehicles to both car owners and utility vehicle owners by making crossover SUVs in different sizes and specifications. Hybrid crossover SUVs are also available, for owners who are concerned about the environment and those who would prefer more fuel efficient vehicles.