OUR SURVEY asks whether you’re confused by motoring jargon. It’s a serious question, since not knowing your E-REV from your PHEV, or your ACC from your AWW could put you at a distinct disadvantage in the new car showroom.
And here’s more jargon: SUV and crossover. They each describe a type of vehicle but to hear them being used, you’d think they were interchangeable. They’re not. Again, not realising this could put you at a disadvantage, and might even mean you buy the wrong car. So, what do the two terms mean?
Scroll down for the answer…
The answer is… SUV stands for Sport Utility Vehicle. It originally described a large, high-riding car that has been built on a bespoke, rugged chassis and possess four-wheel-drive to give it go-anywhere ability. However, the term has more recently become a catch-all for high-sided vehicles with a general off-road appearance but not necessarily full mud-plugging prowess.
SUVs are, however, designed to be decent off-road, as well as on and are popular with affluent school-run parents in urban and suburban environments, leading them to be dubbed Chelsea Tractors.
A crossover is a specific type of raised vehicle within the SUV class that has been built on an existing family car chassis, rather than built from the ground-up as an SUV; it “crosses over” from one class into another. Generally, crossovers have some off-road ability but they put on-road refinement first. The Mazda CX-5, Nissan Qashqai and Ford Kuga are all examples.