2017 ford escape shown in city street_o

How is a Crossover Different From an SUV?

Crossover vs SUV Differences

Every day, we help people pick out the perfect pre-owned vehicle for their unique situation and wants. With 122 cm of snowfall per year in the Cambridge area, versatile all-weather performance is often on the list of needs for these vehicles.

One of the classes of vehicles that has risen to the challenge of providing robust all-weather performance is the SUV. A consumer-based evolution of military vehicles, SUVs have been on the market since the 1950s. They have only become ubiquitous in the last 30 years however, experiencing their biggest sales boom in the 1990s.

As drivers became weary of fuel usage, however, the market opened up for a smaller, more scaled-down vehicle segment that captured the rugged all-weather performance of an SUV but without unnecessary size or inefficient off-roading prowess. The crossover was born.

Is a Crossover the Same as an SUV?

We at Stop 23 think you can call your car whatever you want! Following official classification, however, the terms crossover and SUV are interchangeable one-way. Crossovers are technically SUVs (Although, they tend to focus more on the S, and less on the U). Many SUVs are not crossovers, however.

This is getting confusing, let’s talk about the differences.

What is the Difference Between a Crossover and an SUV?

The biggest difference between these two utility-minded vehicles is the platform on which they are built. Having began their lives as trucks, SUVs see a passenger cab built separately and attached to a rigid truck frame afterward. This method of construction is simply referred to as Body-on-Frame Construction.

On the other hand, crossovers are built the same way cars are, with the body and frame being a single manufactured element. This method of construction is referred to as Unibody Construction.

One of the ways we like to simplify it is this: You sit in a crossover. You sit on an SUV.

So why choose one or the other? Well, for starters, a body-on-frame design generally leads to a looser, more suspended ride for those in the cab. It’s built this way for maximum off-road performance. SUVs are made to be rugged warriors that can take adventurers beyond the end of the road.

Conversely, crossovers are intended to give drivers a smooth ride with high efficiency and precise handling on the road. Body-roll, the inertia that can lead to a rollover, is at a minimum in a crossover due to its unified build.

2015 honda cr v crossover in desert profile view with wheels and fenders_o

The 2015 Honda CR-V is a great example of a crossover

2015 jeep wrangler suv body on frame in desert road profile and front fascia_o

The 2015 Jeep Wrangler is an example of a body-on-frame SUV

With AWD often standard, crossovers are often rated well for light off-roading, but their lack of body-on-frame suspension and true 4WD makes them a less ideal candidate for rock-crawling and “black diamond” level off-road adventuring.

[READ MORE: What Are the Differences Between AWD and 4WD?]

Here at Stop 23, we have a huge selection of AWD vehicles that will get you from A – B in any weather. To shop our entire selection of AWD/4WD crossovers and SUVS, click here.

If you have any questions about crossovers, SUVs or which vehicle is perfect for your lifestyle and needs, we’d love to help! Click the button below to contact us today!


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