Defining the Differences Between Crossover SUVs and Traditional SUVs

The differences between crossover utility vehicles and traditional SUVs begin with the initial automobile construction of each vehicle. Traditional SUVs are built using body-on-frame automobile construction technology; the vehicle’s body is built separately and then added to an underbody steel frame that is supporting the powertrain. Because of this construction, standard sports utility vehicles provide more protection upon impact than crossover SUVs, where the construction is not body-on-frame.

Traditional SUVs are usually less costly to repair than crossover sports utility cars, since the structure allows a damaged part to be removed and a new part added in its place. Traditional SUVs are typically four-wheel drive and can tow loads as heavy as 7000 pounds; however, the consumption of power reduces fuel economy. A traditional sports utility vehicle can produce gas mileage as low as eight or nine miles per gallon. The standard SUV can drive on rugged terrain with relative ease.

Maneuvering a traditional sport utility car is similar to handling a truck, which drivers sometimes find challenging. In a crossover SUV, the driver perceives the car to be an extension of his or her self, which results in improved handling and control.

Unlike the standard sports utility vehicle, a crossover SUV is built using a car platform, or unibody. The metal frame that structures the body and the structure that supports the vehicle are the same object; one structure serves two purposes. This also means that the crossover vehicle is likely to sustain more irreparable damage than a traditional SUV in the event of a collision.

Repairing damage to a crossover SUV can also be more costly when compared to a standard SUV, because the body of the crossover vehicle and its platform are the same physical structure, as opposed to the body-on-frame traditional SUV. Damaged parts cannot simply be removed from the vehicle and replaced as with the standard sport utility car; the crossover vehicle’s car-based frame must be cut and welded together again. The crossover SUV’s frame is much lighter than the truck platform used by a traditional SUV, which results in improved fuel economy, as it requires less power.

A crossover SUV can average around 17 miles per gallon, with some crossover vehicles offering as many as 23 miles per gallon and upward. There are many options to choose from within the crossover category. The crossover sports utility vehicle includes anti-lock brakes, navigation, and 5-speed automatic or manual transmissions.

Traditional SUVs serve as a stylish alternative to full-size trucks with improved passenger and cargo space; yet they retain the power of a regular truck. Crossover SUVs mimic the style and design of traditional sports utility vehicles; however, the crossover vehicle offers an improved driving experience and better fuel economy in exchange for the power and durability of the standard SUV.

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