Here’s Why You Should Switch from Your SUV to a Crossover (And Yes, They’re Different)
What’s a crossover? Ask the average person and you’ll get a blank stare in response.
“Just an SUV, I think?”
This is, in fact, not true. They might look like one, they might often be mistaken for one, but crossovers and SUVs are two different things.
Crossovers are one of the most popular vehicles on the road today, even outselling the midsize sedan, which has been the auto-industry’s global poster boy for the last few years. You’ve been hearing the term thrown around by salesmen, car adverts and billboards for the last few years as newer and shinier models are driven off the production line.
But what’s being crossed over… or is that even what’s happening?
While it often looks exactly like an SUV, the Crossover is a vehicle that uses the base structure of a car – or a unibody architecture and integrates some of the best features of a sports vehicle. Original SUVs use the chassis of a truck or a body-on-frame structure.
Crossovers mimic SUVs by borrowing their high-ground clearance, raised center of gravity and tall interior packaging to give you that satisfying feeling of comfort, luxury and power. No claustrophobia-inducing containers in this make. Many models nowadays also offer all-wheel-drive functionalities to give that wholesome rugged-feel, in case city driving was getting a bit too mundane.
But despite all this, crossovers still drive like a car. Meaning: it’s much more fuel efficient and you can actually park the thing.
So why not an actual SUV?
Originally, manufacturers started making SUVs as ‘light trucks’, instead of as cars. Trucks had different fuel-economy, safety and pollution regulations to follow – less rigorous ones – and this saved them money in the production process.
Spawned in America, home of the big-car lover, SUVs took the auto industry by storm in the mid 1990s by providing a new kind of power vehicle. They indulged the generation of urbanized baby boomers that longed-for memories of rural adventures. They exploited the spirit of adventure that had captured the world during the new dot-com era. They were the new it thing for the go-getter.
But trucks are what they are, there’s no denying the truth. They’re gas guzzlers.
Fuel prices started to go up. The economy started to go down. Insecurity and volatility replaced adventurism and suddenly, SUVs weren’t that hot anymore. Worse still, regulations started tightening around trucks in the mid 2000s. Was this tough-mudder of a truck still worth it?
If you’re like most urban go-getters these days, you don’t have the time or money to actually ever go off-roading. You have a family. You go to work. You take your kids to hockey games. You go on vacation by taking a plane or you drive on well-paved roads to the country.
You like the space of a big vehicle but you want the fuel economy of a car. You like the height of a truck but you want the parking ease of a sedan. You want comfort without the excessive price tag.
Just like that, the Crossover was born. With every passing year, automakers work on releasing better models for those of us who want the sweet spot between utility and comfort – without breaking the bank or taking up the entire garage.
Take a walk to your supermarket and check out how many of these new powerhouses dominate the parking lot. Crossovers are the cool, edgy dads who makes grocery shopping look sexy. They’re the powerful sports cars without the bratty feel of a coupe. They’re the family vehicle without the cheesiness of a mini-van.
Do we have you convinced yet? Well, don’t be fooled – even our inventory listing of SUVs is littered with crossovers like the Ford Escape. At the very least, take our quiz to figure out what kind of car is right for your personality.