January 18, 2018 at 3:19 PM
SUVs are the fastest growing market segment, accounting for 31.9% of car sales across Europe in 2017 and forecasted to reach 42 million units by 2031. The earliest examples of SUVs were variants of military vehicles such as the 46 Willys Jeep Station Wagon. These versatile vehicles were initially designed to handle rough terrains, hauling and larger loads; traditionally SUVs used the chassis of a light truck with the towing capacity of a pickup truck. However, it wasn't until the late 1980's that the term "Sport Utility Vehicle" became widely used. The purpose of SUVs has changed over the years and manufacturers are now focusing on more on style. Today, sports utility vehicles (SUVs) are estate or family-sized cars fitted with four-wheel drive, packed with features more common with off-road vehicles including rugged styling and raised ground clearance. Modern SUVs favour unibody construction rather than the traditional build method involving a separate body fitted to a chassis.
Crossover cars evolved from the demand of consumers for smaller and more affordable SUV inspired vehicles based on a supermini platform as opposed to the larger platform used to create an SUV. Compact SUVs are also referred to as 'crossover' vehicles.
The unibody design of the crossover, which uses a standard car platform, is lighter than the larger, heavier chassis of an SUV resulting in improved fuel efficiency. Furthermore, most crossover vehicles are available with a range of both petrol and diesel engines. Therefore, you can choose a car engine depending on needs and purpose of the vehicle. If you intend to cover long distances, a torquey diesel engine may be best. However, the latest petrol engines have improved fuel efficiency to compete with the diesel engine. Crossover vehicles have suspension designed for paved roads and are normally limited to two-wheel-drive, whilst SUV ranges often include at least one model fitted with four-wheel drive.
Some of the best crossovers available on the market include the BMW X1, Mazda CX-5, Ford EcoSport, Nissan Juke, and the SEAT Ateca (awarded What Car? Best Crossover in UK Car of the Year Awards 2017) among others.
Choosing between a used SUV and a used crossover depends on the capabilities of the car. Also, your intended use of the vehicle for you and family is a crucial factor. Crossovers are smaller, more efficient, supermini-based family cars with lower ground clearance primarily designed for paved roads. SUVs are roomier with the ability to carry more passengers and cargo, whilst also coping better with difficult terrains.