Top 6 Ways Crossovers Are Different From SUVs

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Are you looking for a vehicle that’s bigger compared to a hatchback or sedan? A crossover or an SUV should be the right option for you. Both crossovers and SUVs are almost similar in terms of engines and body styles. However, certain differences are worthy for you to know.

In general, a crossover is usually built on a car platform and is lighter. Whereas, an SUV (sport-utility-vehicle) uses a truck chassis and is considered heavier compared to a crossover. Moreover, other aspects help you differentiate between these vehicle types. 

It also should be noted before we get too far, that crossovers are technically a sub-category of SUVs. However for the sake of this article, we are treating them as two different things.

1. Body-On-Frame (SUVs) vs Unibody (Crossovers)

If you’re in the market for a new car, you may be wondering what type of frame to choose. Body-on-frame construction has been used for many years, but unibody construction is becoming increasingly popular. So, which is better? 

Body-on-frame construction is typically used on trucks and SUVs. A separate frame is built, and the body is then attached to it. This type of construction is very durable and can handle more weight and abuse than unibody construction. It’s also easy to repair; if any part of the frame is damaged, it can be replaced without affecting the rest of the vehicle. However, body-on-frame construction is usually heavier than a unibody construction.

The unibody construction of a vehicle is generally more reserved for crossovers, which are built more like cars. The frame and body are constructed as one piece, which makes the vehicle lighter and more fuel-efficient. Unibody construction is also very strong; it’s just not quite as durable as body-on-frame construction. However, if any part of the unibody is damaged, it can be more difficult and expensive to repair.

2. Size of the vehicle

When it comes to vehicles, there are a lot of different options out there. But if you’re looking for something that’s big and beefy, you’re probably considering an SUV. SUVs are typically larger than crossovers, making them ideal for families or anyone who needs a lot of space. However, that extra size comes with some drawbacks.

SUVs can be more difficult to maneuver and park, and they often have worse fuel economy than smaller cars. So if you’re trying to decide between an SUV and a crossover, make sure you consider all the pros and cons before making your decision.

3. Engine type

SUVs and crossovers usually have the same type of engine. However, SUVs tend to have larger engines than crossovers.

This is because SUVs are heavier than crossovers and need more power to move. This is also compounded by the fact that many buyers of true SUVs are the people that want that raw power of the vehicle.

4. Driving experience

The driving experience of an SUV is different than that of a crossover. SUVs are heavier and have a higher center of gravity.

This makes them more difficult to handle, especially on windy days or when making sharp turns. They also don’t brake as well as crossovers. Crossovers are lighter and have a lower center of gravity. This makes them easier to handle and braking is more precise.

That said, many people prefer the higher-up driving experience of a true SUV, rather than the more car-like position of a crossover.

5. Towing Capacity

If you’re looking for a vehicle that can tow a lot of weight, an SUV is going to be your best bet. SUVs are built on truck platforms and have stronger engines, so they can tow more weight than crossovers. Crossovers are not designed for towing and should not be used to tow heavy loads.

6. On-road and off-road capabilities

Conventional SUVs are uncommon these days. Almost every car manufacturer is choosing crossovers over SUVs. And, there is a reason behind that as well. People are used to living urban lifestyles compared to rural. Besides, they don’t need a full-sized SUV.

However, people who love challenging harsh weather conditions and driving on tough roads choose SUVs. While rear-wheel drive is not always used, four-wheel drive is the normal trend for those people. It means you don’t have issues navigating through snowy or wet driving conditions. 

On the other hand, crossovers are front-wheel drive vehicles. Although you can have an all-wheel-drive option on some models, you can’t drive through rough terrains. And, that’s because of the car’s platform. 

Besides, when it comes to towing abilities, SUVs lead the way compared to crossovers. Because SUVs have a larger frame that’s quite rugged, towing becomes comfortable. Because SUVs have a body type suitable for off-roading, crossovers are far better on the road. 

Because crossovers have a car frame compared to the truck-type construction in SUVs, it makes them easy to maneuver while you are driving around town. As such, it gives you a little bit of kick on the roads than that of driving a bulky SUV.

Most crossovers have better fuel efficiency than conventional SUVs because of their low weight. So, with a lower carbon dioxide emission, you have a vehicle that attracts a lower insurance band and less car tax.

An SUV or a crossover, which one is better for you?

To begin with, larger cars that you see on the road are crossovers. However, most people who live in an urban setup won’t be able to utilize the full potentialities of driving an SUV. And, you may feel whether it is worth buying. 

While this is an undeniable fact, there is a big market for SUVs. And, it appears that people like to have them parked in front of their houses. A true SUV should be the best choice for you if:

  • You like riding in a big car on the road
  • You tow vehicles or caravan frequently 
  • You live in a rural area and drive off-road regularly where all-wheel drive is a necessity 

However, if none of the above-mentioned facts suit you, maybe you should plan on owning a crossover. Buy a crossover if:

  • You want fuel efficiency instead of sheer power or size 
  • You have no intention to go off-road
  • You commute through urban areas regularly where roads are tight

What are some examples of SUVs vs Crossovers

Examples of SUVs

  • Jeep Wrangler
  • Toyota 4Runner
  • Ford Expedition
  • Mercedes G-Wagon

Examples of Crossovers

  • Buick Enclave
  • Chevy Blazer
  • Lamborghini Urus
  • Ford Explorer


So, it is clear that there aren’t many differences between a crossover and an SUV. A crossover provides you with the looks of an SUV with on-road capabilities. Capitalizing on this trend, most car manufacturers offer medium to small crossover vehicles to consumers.