What Is a Crossover Vehicle, and Is It Safer Than an SUV?


Quick Answer

Crossover vehicles are automobile that use sport utility vehicle or wagon-like body designs with sedan platforms to create vehicles that have the room of an SUV and driving dynamics closer to a traditional car. Crossovers are safer than SUVs, especially older SUVs with high centers of gravity.

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Full Answer

Many SUV designs are based on pickup truck platforms, which improved the available room and off-road ability of these vehicles. However, use of truck platforms means that many SUVs have very high centers of gravity as compared to conventional cars, increasing the tendency of SUVs to roll over in an accident. The high rollover potential of SUVs was a major impetus for car manufacturers to produce crossover vehicles, since most crossovers have a lower center of gravity and are much less likely to roll over in an accident.

The use of a sedan platform rather than truck underpinnings also makes many crossovers handle more like cars than trucks. In addition to making crossovers easier to drive on paved roads, car-like handling increases the safety of crossover vehicles for drivers who are not accustomed to driving trucks. Crossovers respond in a more familiar way during emergency maneuvers and are more forgiving of errors than SUVs.

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