A crossover is a vehicle built on a car platform and combining, in highly variable degrees, features of a sport utility vehicle (SUV) with features from a passenger vehicle, especially those of a station wagon or hatchback.
Using the unibody construction typical of passenger vehicles, the crossover combines SUV design features such as tall interior packaging, high H-point seating, high ground-clearance or all-wheel-drive capability — with design features from an automobile such as a passenger vehicle's platform, independent rear suspension, car-like handling and fuel economy.
A crossover may borrow features from a station wagon or hatchback such as the two-box design of a shared passenger/cargo volume with rear access via a third or fifth door, a liftgate — and flexibility to allow configurations that favor either passenger or cargo volume, e.g., fold-down rear seats. The crossover may include an A, B & C-pillar, as well as a D pillar.
Crossovers are typically designed for only light off-road capability, if any at all.
The term crossover began as a marketing term, and a 2008 CNNMoney article indicated that "many consumers can not tell the difference between an SUV and a crossover." A January 2008 Wall Street Journal blog article called crossovers "wagons that look like sport utility vehicles but ride like cars."
The market segment spans a wide range of vehicles. In some cases, manufacturers have marketed vehicles as crossovers simply to avoid calling them station wagons. And while some crossover vehicles released in the early 2000s resembled traditional SUVs or wagons, others have prioritized sportiness over utility—such as the Infiniti FX and BMW X6.
Crossover antecedents include the AMC Eagle, a vehicle that "pioneered the crossover SUV" By 2006, the segment came into strong visibility in the U.S., when crossover sales "made up more than 50% of the overall SUV market." Sales increased in 2007 by 16%. In the U.S., domestic manufacturers were slow to switch from their emphasis on light truck-based SUVs, and foreign automakers developed crossovers targeting the U.S. market, as an alternative to station wagons that are unpopular there. But by the 2010 model year, domestic automakers had quickly caught up. The segment has strong appeal to aging baby boomers.
The broad spectrum of crossovers includes:
The broad spectrum of CUVs or crossovers includes:
- Compact CUVs: e.g., Audi Q5, BMW X3, Ford Escape/Mercury Mariner/Mazda Tribute, Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Nissan Rogue, Chevy Equinox/GMC Terrain, Acura RDX, Volvo XC60, Hyundai Tucson/Kia Sportage, Suzuki Grand Vitara, Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, Saab 9-4, Infiniti EX, Subaru Forester, Volkswagen Tiguan
- Mid-sized CUVs: e.g., Acura MDX, BMW X5, Lexus RX, Mercedes-Benz M-Class, Toyota Highlander, Nissan Murano, Ford Edge/Lincoln MKX, Cadillac SRX (2010-), Mazda CX-7, BMW X6, Mitsubishi Outlander, Infiniti FX, Hyundai Santa Fe/Kia Sorento (2011-), Volkswagen Touraeg/Porsche Cayenne
- Full-sized CUVs: e.g., Audi Q7, Dodge Durango (2011 -), Ford Flex, Ford Explorer (2011-), Honda Pilot, Lincoln MKT, Mazda CX-9, Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, Mercedes-Benz R-Class (all of which offer three rows of seating for 7 or 8 passengers)
- Mid-sized sedan-derived CUVs: e.g., Honda Accord Crosstour, Toyota Venza, Audi A6 allroad quattro, Acura ZDX, AMC Eagle, Subaru Outback, Volvo XC70 (the last four being based upon Station wagons)
- Compact sedan-derived hatchback CUVs: e.g. Toyota Matrix/Pontiac Vibe, Suzuki SX4 hatchback
- Minivan-like CUVs: e.g., Dodge Journey, Tata Aria, Buick Enclave/Chevrolet Traverse/GMC Acadia/Saturn Outlook (defunct), Ford C-MAX, Mazda 5
- Semi-offroaders: e.g. VW Crosspolo, Fiat Palio Adventure, Ford Fiesta Trail, Nissan Livina X-Trail, Land Rover LR2, Jeep Compass, Jeep Grand Cherokee (2005-) Peugeot Escapade, etc
The European MPV or large MPV may broadly resemble the crossover, including vehicles such as the Mercedes-Benz R-Class, VW Golf Plus, Ford Kuga, Renault Koleos and Ford S-Max. Notably, during the development of the Dodge Journey CUV, Dodge benchmarked the S-Max.
A short list of current crossovers with their platform genealogy (similar vehicles are grouped together):
- Car classification
- Compact SUV
- Mini SUV
- Recreational vehicle
- Sport utility vehicle
- Station wagon
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- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Isidore, Chris (9 January 2006). "GM and Ford's New Cross to Bear", CNN Money.com. Retrieved on 8 August 2010.
- ↑ "Smart Buying Essentials What is a Crossover Vehicle?". Intellichoice.com.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 White, Joseph B. (14 January 2008). "Crossover Market Is Thinly Sliced". The Wall Street Journal Blogs. Retrieved on 8 August 2010.
- ↑ "Definition of Crossover Utility Vehicle". Usedcars.about.com (2009-09-17). Retrieved on 2009-10-13.
- ↑ "Inifiti FX35 Review (MY 2010)". Edmunds.com (2009). Retrieved on 2010-01-21.
- ↑ Thomas, David (2008-09-15). "2009 Infiniti FX35". cars.com. Retrieved on 2010-01-21.
- ↑ Sherman, Don (February 2001), "All-Wheel-Drive Revisited: AMC's 1980 Eagle pioneered the cross-over SUV", Automotive Industries, http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3012/is_2_181/ai_70935228/?tag=content;col1. Retrieved on <time class="dtstart" datetime="8 August 2010">8 August 2010</time>.
- ↑ Carty, Sharon Silke (3 May 2006). "Crossover vehicles pass up SUVs on road to growing sales", USAtoday. Retrieved on 8 August 2010.
- ↑ Huffman, John. "A sleek “CUV” with youthful imagination - 2003 Toyota Matrix". The Car Connection. Retrieved on 2008-04-26.
- ↑ "2009 Dodge Journey Road Test". Car Reviews.com, Feb 3, 2008, Justin Couture.
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 Haines, Steven (2008). The Product Manager's Desk Reference. McGraw-Hill, 13–14. ISBN 9780071591348. Retrieved on 2010–01–29.