Many car buyers and car owners alike are confused by the difference between SUVs and Crossovers. Confusing interchanging language, as well as a lack of a universally agreed definition for the two car types, can lead to misunderstandings. Some people even believe that they are the same thing and the different names are just marketing ploys. This isn’t true, however, the differences between the two are simple and plentiful. Understanding their numerous differences is key in order to get the vehicle that’s right for your needs. Check out Our list of great SUV’s and Crossovers

Structural differences:

The difference between the SUV and Crossover begins from the very beginning of their production. The Crossover uses the chassis of a car and has the frame connected as one piece, this is known as unibody architecture. The SUV, on the other hand, goes for a body on frame structure where the frame and body are two separate pieces. In addition to this SUVs use a truck chassis, this means that SUVs are classified as trucks in some countries such as the US.

Crossovers also have more crumple zones then SUVs. This makes them safer in high-speed collisions as they absorb more of the impact. However, this also means they sustain significantly more damage and are much harder to repair.

The difference in function:

SUVs are primarily designed for off-road travel. They are harder to roll over due to their increased size and are easier to repair than Crossovers, they also have a greater carrying capacity. SUVs are popular in areas with limited roads and spare roads. They also have better grip. Their off-road capabilities and easy to fix nature make them extremely useful in areas like Russia, the Australian Outback, Africa, South America, the Middle East and Canada. Crossovers have better drive and handling which makes them superior on urban roads.

SUVs are also modified and used in various racing events due to how proficient they are off-road. There are various events focused on this such as the DAKAR Rally, King of the Hammers and Australasian Safari.


While initially Crossover was created as a term to distance car makers from the negative stigma of SUVs having poor fuel efficiency, it has since taken on a life of its own. Many SUV owners never use the off-road capabilities of the vehicle and may prefer the driving experience and smaller size offered by the Crossover. However, the spaciousness of SUVs is always a highly sought after quality. Every driver has their unique needs for their vehicle and ultimately there is no universal answer for everyone, finding the right vehicle doesn’t need to difficult and understanding how each one differs is key to finding the best option.