What is an SUV?
SUV, short for “Sport Utility Vehicle,” is a vehicle classification similar to a multitask van or estate car that usually comes with four-wheel drive for both on-road and off-road driving. It is a powerful vehicle equipped with all the robust features to be driven on rough terrain. However, the name doesn’t say much about the vehicle. In general, SUVs have a “body-in-frame” design which means that the body and frame are built separately and then assembled later. They are specifically designed to withstand rough terrain and harsh conditions while being comfortable enough to be a perfect family car at the same time. They also have roomy interiors and large trunk space accompanied by a sloping backrest to easily accommodate five to seven people.
The term SUV, however, is used to refer to both SUVs and crossovers. Back then, SUVs used to be all muscle with more off-road capabilities equipped with four-wheel drive. From an engineering standpoint, they were high-riding vehicles with tall interiors and a high seating position to mimic pick-up truck construction. Early SUVs were believed to be the descendants of the more robust and utilitarian light-wheeled military vehicles intended to transport soldiers over rough terrain. It wasn’t until the 1990s that SUVs became the vehicle of choice in America and Asia. SUVs have come a long way from an expensive car option to a more affordable, standard family car. The most popular SUV brands are Jeep, Land Rover, Hummer, Chevrolet, etc.
What is a Crossover?
Crossover, as the name suggests, is a crossover between a full-fledged sedan and a compact SUV to resemble an all-purpose minivan. Crossovers are more like compact SUVs, except they’re built on a unibody architecture car chassis platform. Unlike SUVs, a crossover vehicle’s body and frame are built as one piece. The great thing about unibody designs is that they are much lighter, which explains better fuel efficiency, and better fuel efficiency means agility. Crossovers are a perfect family car with all the bells and whistles of a sport utility vehicle. The term crossover came about as a better alternative to a full-fledged SUV less than a decade ago, but has evolved into something more utilitarian.
They have an edge over old-school SUVs in terms of convenience and capabilities. SUVs were initially popular for their size and high seating position and people would really feel safe in these giant beats, but they were heavy and anyone could attest to one’s limited driving ability. This is where the crossovers come into the picture. They are virtually compact SUVs with the combined characteristics of fuel-efficient hatchbacks (or sedans) and rugged off-road SUVs. To overcome the limitations of SUVs, automakers began making vehicles similar to SUVs, called crossovers, that would not only be easier to drive, but also comfortable enough for long trips, but just as fuel-friendly. . From structural hardtail SUVs to performance sedans, crossovers have come a long way in becoming the perfect family car.
Difference Between SUV and Crossover
SUV Basics and a Crossover
While the terms SUV and crossover are used interchangeably in the auto industry, the difference between the two is quite subtle. Sports utility vehicles (SUVs) are typically four-wheel drive units with exceptional off-road capabilities to be driven over rough terrain in the harshest conditions. Crossovers are technically compact SUVs with the combined features of a full-size SUV and the comfort of a sedan.
SUV platform and a Crossover.
On the surface, they all look the same. While crossovers are technically SUVs, but not all crossovers are four-wheel drives. A crossover is built on a car chassis platform, while an SUV is built on a truck chassis platform. SUVs mimic the construction of a pickup truck, while crossovers are more like minivans.
SUV architecture and a Crossover.
Both SUVs and crossovers possess nearly similar capabilities in terms of convenience and ride quality, but SUVs are more rugged with slightly rugged architecture. SUVs feature a “body-in-frame” architecture which means both the body and frame are built separately and then assembled later, while a crossover is typically a one-piece design which means the body and the frame are built as one piece.
Purpose of SUV and a Crossover
SUVs are heavy-duty vehicles with superior handling capabilities and exceptional handling. An SUV is just about anything that comes with all-wheel drive and high ground clearance and is designed to traverse rough terrain in even the harshest of conditions. Crossovers are more practical in design intended to be the perfect family car.
Summary of SUV Verses Crossover
The term SUV is often used in conjunction with the crossover, but they are very different in terms of quality and driving comfort. While SUVs are generally heavy-duty vehicles with exceptional off-road capabilities, intended to be driven over rough terrain in the harshest of conditions, crossovers are an all-purpose vehicle tailor-made to fit every budget and style. The SUVs are built on a truck chassis platform based on a “body-on-frame” design, which means the body and frame are built separately. Crossovers, on the other hand, are built on a car chassis platform based on a unibody design, meaning the body and frame are built as one piece.