SUVs vs Crossovers: What’s the Better Car?


There’s a lot of jargon tossed around by the automotive industry, that people quite often don’t understand. One frequently asked question is: What is the difference between a Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) and Crossover Utility Vehicle (CUV)? And which amongst the two is better?

While there is no definite answer, here are some critical comparisons between SUVs and CUVs. These comparisons can help you choose your ideal car.


Both CUVs and SUVs have a similar storage area as most tend to use the same body and design cues. Sometimes, they end up having identical body outlines because of popular styling and aerodynamics. A mid and full-sized SUV offers third-row seating, whereas some CUVs will have that optional or standard. CUVs and small SUVs offer nearly the same storage space. However, mid to full-size SUVs have a different shape and design, therefore provide more storage space.


One significant difference is the ride height. Crossovers have a ride height closer to a sedan or a coupe. The difference between crossovers and wagons is that CUVs have a smaller cargo area, even though they share the ride height and general shape. SUVs tend to have a more towering ride height than CUVs.


An SUV, traditionally, has a chassis similar to a truck, whereas a CUV has a car-like chassis. There has always been this difference, historically speaking. Now, however, CUVs and small SUVs are often used interchangeably with SUVs. The CUV chassis is usually a unibody chassis, with body and frame being one piece, whereas the SUV will be a body on frame. SUVs are very similar to pickup trucks.


Practically, you can fit any engine with any transmission and connect it to any wheel drive configuration available. CUVs offer the same engines, transmissions, and even wheel drive settings as their truck-based SUV counterparts. Since SUVs tend to tow more load, they have a higher torque output for mid or full-sized SUVs. Compact SUVs and CUVs tend to have slightly less power.


SUVs are perceived to be more capable, rugged, and off-road worthy. Whereas CUVs are perceived to be more suited to speed-tests or street corners.