When Is It an SUV? We Try & Explain |

Automotive

Published on August 25th, 2016 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez

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When Is It an SUV? We Try & Explain

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If you are unsure whether your vehicle of choice uses a car-based unibody design or body-on-frame construction, the safest bet is to use the term “SUV.” That acronym is still used to describe nearly anything with available all-wheel drive and raised ground clearance, so you’ll probably be safe.

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A crossover or crossover utility vehicle (CUV), 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.

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Using the unibody construction typical of passenger vehicles instead of the body-on-frame platform used in light trucks and the original SUVs, the crossover combines SUV design features such as tall interior packaging, high H-point seating, high center of gravity, 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 superior fuel economy.

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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.

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Crossovers are offered with front wheel drive, rear wheel drive or all-wheel drive configurations. Crossovers are typically designed for only light off-road capability, if any at all.

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