What is a crossover car?

In the market for a new runabout? You may want to think about getting a crossover car. These vehicles can give you the wow factor of an SUV for the price of a hatchback.

In the market for a new runabout? You may want to think about getting a crossover car. These vehicles can give you the wow factor of an SUV for the price of a hatchback.

Daniel Hutson
Motor insurance expert
minute read
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Posted 25 FEBRUARY 2021

What is a crossover car?

Crossover cars are basically small sport utility vehicles (SUVs), but normally they are of a lighter construction and tend to be smaller. A lot of people do actually call them SUVs. They’re a lot like hatchbacks in that they’re practical, reliable and relatively cheap to run. But they can give you all the show-off appeal of an SUV, together with plenty of space and a higher driving position.

What’s the difference between a crossover car and an SUV?

The main difference between a crossover vehicle and an SUV is the price tag. Crossover cars, as typically smaller vehicles, tend to be more affordable. Manufacturers are able to keep the costs down by using smaller, more economical engines too. Underneath that stylish SUV design, many crossovers have the same basic framework as a supermini.

When SUVs started getting flak for being gas guzzlers and road-hoggers, manufacturers started bringing in crossovers. These look very similar to traditional SUVs, but have more economical engines and take up less space on the street.

What are examples of crossover cars?

Most car manufacturers now offer a small SUV – or crossover car – in their range. The first to really kick off the trend was the hugely popular Nissan Qashqai, now starting from £23,550. A whopping three million-plus have been made at the Japanese firm’s Sunderland plant.

But the Qashqai certainly isn’t the only player in the game. You might also want to check out these models:

Renault Captur
Offering rugged design and plenty of space, the Renault Captur has been a huge hit since its launch in 2013. New models start at just under £20,000.

Vauxhall Mokka
Stay tuned for the Mokka’s brand-new 2021 redesign, which offers touchscreen TVs and sleek, yet comfy interiors, from £20,735.

Audi A3
The A3 gives you Audi technology and sophistication from £23,875.

Skoda Kamiq
This award-winning compact SUV is well-designed and practical. Not only that, but it’ll give you change from £20,000.

What benefits will I get from crossover automobiles?

Crossover cars come with all sorts of benefits. These include:

  • Cheaper running costs
    Crossover cars aren’t as heavy as SUVs and typically have smaller engines, which makes them cheaper to run. That should make them a more environmentally friendly option, too.

    Crossover cars don’t have the gas-guzzler reputation that makes some people steer clear of SUVs. You should find you pay less for car insurance too.
  • Smart SUV styling
    SUVs have soared in popularity in recent years, which is in part thanks to their rugged, outdoorsy looks. Crossover cars often look equally eye-catching, but at a more accessible price point.
  • Lots of space
    Another reason SUVs are so popular is that you can fit a lot in them. That makes them great for camping trips, and even better if you’re having to travel with luggage, surfboards or other gear.
  • Great family cars
    Crossover vehicles make great family cars as they’re so roomy. They should give you space for everything from schoolbags and suitcases to buggies and bikes.
  • Easy to drive and manoeuvre
    Crossover cars may look like SUVs, but they’re not usually as big. That can make them easier to manoeuvre. Typically, it also makes them easier to park. Add to that similarly comfy and spacious interiors, and you’ve got a car that’s great for long drives across the country.
  • Higher driving position
    Many people enjoy the feeling of security they get from driving SUVs and crossover cars. Being higher up gives you a better view of the road.

What are the downsides of crossover cars?

Crossover cars – just like any other vehicles – come with downsides too. Here are some to look out for:

  • Crossover cars aren’t as strong as SUVs
    Crossover cars may look like SUVs, but they don’t have the same pulling power. So if you’re looking to lug a trailer, they may not be the car for you.
  • Crossover cars can be too big
    SUVs and crossover cars aren’t the best for navigating narrow city streets.
  • Some people don’t like SUVs
    SUVs are seen as status symbols – but not by everybody. If you want a practical, spacious car that doesn’t divide opinion, you might prefer to look at an estate car.

How much do crossover cars cost?

The big attraction of crossover cars is that, compared to SUVs, they’re very competitively priced. Most tend to come in around the £20,000-£25,000 mark.

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