Apr 17, 2015

SUV vs. Crossover

A crossover is based on a car's platform, while an SUV uses the chassis of a truck. The result is that crossovers use "unibody" architecture, meaning the body and frame are one piece, while SUVs use a "body on frame" design, meaning the body is built separate from the frame.

SUV is often applied to both crossovers and SUVs. In the past, that was even more common. Before, SUV brought up negative associations with large size and poor gas mileage. That is when many automakers started using the term "crossover" to describe a vehicle that was "crossing over" from the practicality of an SUV to the drivability and fuel efficiency of a car.

Many vehicles, such as the Explorer, Highlander, Grand Cherokee, Nissan Pathfinder, Lexus RX, and Acura MDX are technically crossovers.

The Chevrolet Tahoe, Ford Expedition, and Mercedes G-Class are all SUVs in the original sense of the term.

If you are unsure whether a vehicle uses a car-based unibody design or body-on-frame construction, it is safe to use the term SUV. That acronym is still used to describe nearly anything with available all-wheel drive and raised ground clearance.