Crossover and SUV – which is better for the road and which for the city?

Crossover and SUV – which is better for the road and which for the city?
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The two terms are sometimes used interchangeably – but not quite rightly. What is the difference between an SUV and a Crossover? Which is better suited to city driving and which is better suited to off-road driving? Here is the most important information.

SUV and Crossover – why is it so difficult to distinguish between these two classes of cars?

It happens that even in one article the car described is called an SUV, and a few lines of text later it is called a crossover. Where is the problem? First of all, there are many definitions of both cars and they are quite imprecise. We are also dealing with a growing number of cars, which structurally remain on the border. Sometimes it depends on the will of the manufacturer and its marketing strategy whether the car will be stubbornly called SUV, or will join the competition as a crossover.

What criterion should be used to distinguish an SUV from a Crossover?

First of all, it is worth assuming that both the SUV and the Crossover are designed with reference to off-road vehicles. SUVs are usually associated with:

  • more powerful and spacious cars,
  • four-wheel drive.

The definition of a Crossover is more problematic. It has also not been fully worked out. We have been talking about this type of car class actually for several years. The term appeared with the models of Japanese cars that appeared on the market with the beginning of the 21st century. The name seems to indicate that we are dealing with a car referring to different types of cars

Smaller and larger crossovers

Further problems with a clear definition of what is a Crossover is caused by the diversity within this class of cars. They are divided into:

  • small cars with single-axle drive, modeled by design on popular compacts such as Nissan Juke, KIa Soul, Fiat 500X,
  • urban crossovers combining the compactness of hatchbacks and some off-road features (rarely with four-wheel drive) such as the Opel Mokka, Peugeot 2008 and Renault Captur.

What do customers think?

Customers’ approach to buying SUVs and Crossovers is often marked by their level of self-awareness about the relationship between their own needs and their choice of car. To some extent, the two market segments will compete with each other. This is particularly evident when a potential customer wonders which features of a car they care more about. Is it a car with actual capabilities for at least light off-road driving (SUV), or does he want to enjoy a car with an interesting design for city driving (Crossover)?

Four-wheel drive – an advantage of SUVs

By design, an SUV is a car that draws as much as possible from an off-road vehicle without losing some of the convenience that must characterize passenger cars. It is not as capable as an off-roader, but its high ground clearance and four-wheel drive allow it to do much more than an ordinary car. These cars were designed for people who appreciate contact with nature and an active lifestyle – anglers or amateur animal watchers

Crossover comfort and design

In the case of crossovers, four-wheel drive is much rarer, although outside the basic versions of these cars can be met with it. However, they do not have a reducer or differential lock – elements characteristic of classic ”off-road”. Usually very much attention is paid to the external and internal design. The elevated driving position also provides sensations. Larger ground clearance will not allow us to worry about driving over a curb or entering a dirt road, but these are rather cars for city driving


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