If you are looking for a new car and are not up-to-date with all the most recent motoring lingo, a lot of it can seem a bit confusing. And we’re not just talking about the different letter combinations that go with the different models (TDI, ES, CTEC…IDK?).
One of the most common confusions is amongst the car body type. Do I want a hatchback or a supermini? What’s the difference between a saloon and an executive car? And do estates even exist anymore? There has been a recent addition to the body type that just adds to the confusion – the crossover. In this blog, we’ll explain what exactly a crossover is and what you should be looking for in your crossover.
A crossover is a new type of car that combines features of two different body types and places them in a whole new body. By taking on the best features out of the two body types, in theory you get the best of both.
There have been a few crossovers over the length of motoring history, but they have taken off in the last decade because of the way cars are designed. You may have noticed that a lot of cars have lost a lot of their distinct features. This is because the principles behind safety technology and aerodynamics have meant that companies have been drawn to the same designs. Crumple zones and impact protection mean that a lot of cars look the same.
While cars have lost their distinctiveness, it also means that it has been easier to combine more than one body type into a single model.
The most popular crossover on the market at the moment is the crossover SUV. Seen in cars like the Nissan Qashqai or Jaguar E-Pace, this crossover combines the comfort and practicality of a family car and puts it on the wheelbase of an SUV (sports utility vehicle).
The idea is to keep the high seating position and ruggedness of an SUV that makes a car feel safe and secure but keep the comfort and practicality of a family car. Most crossover SUVs lose the 4-wheel drive capability, as the crossover spends more time in city and urban areas rather than out in the wilderness. So you get the sport without needing the utility aspect.
A recent development is a more modern version of the station wagon that again combines aspects of the SUV. For those unfamiliar, a station wagon is like a souped-up estate, most commonly seen in the US. It has lots of interior space and a huge boot, ideal for families.
The crossover version again takes that large body and puts it on a SUV frame, so you get the off-road capability that makes it able to cope better with inclement weather. An example of this is the Subaru Legacy Outback or Volvo V70 XC.
Another recent type of crossover can be seen in the SUV and hatchback combination. Like the standard crossover SUV, it has the smaller body of the hatchback with the SUV characteristics. The Dacia Sandero is one of the first of this kind, but expect to see more pop up as it grows in popularity!
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