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SUVs vs. Crossovers

SUVs vs. crossovers is an ongoing debate that will likely continue at least into the foreseeable future, with both vehicle types enjoying strong overall sales and large market share. A crossover SUV is a vehicle that has the off road features of a sport utility vehicle but which looks and handles more like a car. There are various makes and models of SUVs as well as of crossovers. In the SUV category there are some distinct size categories as well, just like with pickup trucks. If you are debating between a sport utility vehicle and a crossover, it is good to have some information about each type to compare to help you make your choice.

Comparing SUVs and Crossover Vehicles

Most standard SUVs are built on light truck platforms and are capable of doing many of the things that comparably equipped trucks can do in terms of hauling and carrying loads. There are some features that both vehicle types have, such as a higher than average ground clearance that’s designed to help in off road situations, and larger seating capacities than most vehicles which allows for large numbers of people to pile in and get on down the road. For a vehicle to be classified an SUV, it must meet minimum gross vehicle weight requirements and must also have a load capacity of at least 8,500 pounds [1].

Crossovers, on the other hand, in most cases won’t have such a large load capacity or weight. They are typically smaller and have smaller motors as well, normally a V6 while a lot of SUVs are equipped with a V8 (although there are some six cylinder SUVs as well). The smaller motor prevents the crossover from being such a workhorse, but also tends to promote a smooth quiet ride and also encourage efficiency so as to avoid having to select auto maintenance centers often.

Fuel Efficiency and SUVs

Crossovers really aren’t made to pull heavy loads such as a big camper or trailer, and they are also not necessarily designed for heavy off road use either. Usually these are front wheel drive cars that are more fuel efficient and that offer a smoother ride than a sport utility vehicle but that also offer some of that SUV styling. A sport utility is normally all wheel drive and until recently most were considered gas hogs. A new generation of hybrids and the implementation of other fuel saving technology have greatly improved the performance of some models in this category.

So, this factor plays less into buying decisions today than it might have in previous years. Even so, there is no doubt that on average you’ll get more out of a gallon of gas with the average crossover. This is something sport utility buyers know and understand going in, and most are willing to live with that. The overall expense of owning these vehicles is something prospective buyers should look closely at to help them make a good buying decision when the time comes to choose one or the other.

Car Insurance and Crossovers

Total cost of ownership is something that takes into account all the different things that you’ll have to pay for while you own a car to give you a realistic picture of what it’s really going to cost to get those keys in your hand. One major component of total cost of auto ownership is car insurance. Anyone looking at SUVs vs. crossovers that are maybe having some trouble choosing between a few different models can look at car insurance prices by using our free form and requesting quotes from multiple local insurance carriers.

[1] Retrieved 2011-02-08.


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