Crossover (automobile)

This article is about the general use of the term in the automobile industry. For other uses, see Crossover (disambiguation).
Peugeot 2008 a crossover in Europe

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.

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, lighter weight and better fuel economy than trucks or truck-based vehicles.

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.

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.[1]


1980-87 (MY) AMC Eagle

Sources indicate the term crossover began as a marketing term,[2] and a 2008 CNNMoney article indicated that "many consumers cannot tell the difference between an SUV and a crossover."[1] A January 2008 Wall Street Journal blog article called crossovers "wagons that look like sport utility vehicles, but ride like cars."[3]

Though crossovers have become a defined market, they are not a new concept. The 1948 Willys-Overland Jeepster convertible coupe offered many of the features that define the modern crossover.[4] In 1955, the Russian GAZ-M20 Pobeda was modified into the M-72 version to become the first all-wheel drive car unibody.[5] A concept car using a Jeep Wagoneer (SJ) drivetrain was designed by Georgios Michael, and four vehicles were made by Neorion. The Russian off-road Vaz 2121 Niva was introduced in 1976 featuring a unibody body and some mechanical components from the VAZ-2101 compact sedan, the Fiat 124-based Lada.[6]

A more direct crossover antecedent is the AMC Eagle, a passenger road vehicle introduced in 1979 that "pioneered the crossover SUV" category.[7] As a precursor to today's crossover models, AMC's "vehicles worked well and sold well" and the "surviving Eagles look like the 'early man' version of a CUV, sort of a missing link of the car world."[8]

The current use of the term for this market segment spans a wide range of vehicles. In some cases, manufacturers have marketed vehicles as crossovers simply to avoid calling them station wagons, or have produced crossovers mainly because station wagons have fallen out of favor with buyers in a particular region such as the United States.[9][10]

While crossover vehicles released in the early-2000s resembled traditional SUVs or wagons, others have prioritized sportiness over utility  such as the Infiniti FX and BMW X6.[11]

By 2006, the segment came into strong visibility in the U.S., when crossover sales "made up more than 50% of the overall SUV market."[12] Sales increased in 2007 by 16%.[3] For Audi, the Audi Q5 has become their second best-selling vehicle in the United States market after the Audi A4 sedan.[13] Around half of Lexus' sales volume come from its SUVs since the late 1990s, the big majority of which is the Lexus RX crossover.[14]

In the U.S., domestic manufacturers were slow to switch from their emphasis on light truck-based SUVs, and foreign automakers developed crossovers targeting the U.S. market, as an alternative to station wagons that are unpopular there. But by the 2010 model year, domestic automakers had quickly caught up.[1] The segment has strong appeal to aging baby boomers.[1]


The term crossover and SUV are sometimes interchangeable, sometimes used in combination,[15] depending on the marketing or public perception of a particular vehicle. The broad spectrum of crossovers includes, among many others that are marketed in various markets:

The European MPV or large MPV may broadly resemble the crossover, including vehicles such as the Mercedes-Benz R-Class, and Ford S-Max. During the development of the Dodge Journey (Fiat Freemont), Dodge benchmarked several European vehicles.[16]

Current crossovers with their platform genealogy (similar vehicles are grouped together):

Model(s) Platform
Acura MDX Honda mid-size "CD" platform[17] (Honda Accord)
Acura RDX Honda compact "C" platform[17] (Honda Civic)
Acura ZDX Honda mid-size "CD" platform[17] (Honda Accord)
Audi allroad (aka A6 allroad) Volkswagen Group C5 platform (Audi A6)
Audi Q3 Volkswagen Group A5 platform (Audi A3)
Audi Q5/Porsche Macan Volkswagen Group B8 platform (Audi A4)
Audi Q7/Porsche Cayenne/Volkswagen Touareg Volkswagen Group PL71 platform
BMW X1 BMW 3 Series
BMW X3 BMW 3 Series
BMW X5 BMW 5 Series
BMW X6 BMW 5 Series
Buick Enclave/Chevrolet Traverse/GMC Acadia/Saturn Outlook GM Lambda platform
Cadillac SRX GM Theta Premium platform
Chevrolet Captiva/Saturn Vue/Opel Antara GM Theta platform
Chevrolet Equinox/Pontiac Torrent/Suzuki XL7 (Second generation) GM Theta platform
Chevrolet Trax/Buick Encore/Opel Mokka GM Gamma II platform
Chrysler Pacifica (CS) Chrysler CS platform (Chrysler Town and Country/Dodge Caravan)
Citroën C4 Cactus PSA PF1 platform
Citroën DS 6WR PSA PF2 platform
Dacia/Renault Duster/Nissan Terrano (India) Nissan B / Dacia B0 platform (Dacia/Renault Logan)
Dacia/Renault Sandero Stepway Nissan B / Dacia B0 platform (Dacia/Renault Sandero)
Dacia/Renault Lodgy Stepway Nissan C platform (Dacia/Renault Lodgy)
Daihatsu Terios/Perodua Nautica Proprietary platform
Dodge Colt Vista 4WD Mitsubishi Chariot
Dodge Journey/Fiat Freemont Mitsubishi GS platform (Dodge Avenger)
DS 4 Crossback PSA PF2 Platform
Fiat 500L Trekking GM Fiat Small platform (Fiat 500L)
Fiat 500X/Jeep Renegade GM Fiat Small platform (Fiat 500L)
Fiat Idea Adventure Locker Fiat Idea
Fiat Panda 4x4 Fiat Panda
Fiat Palio Weekend Adventure Locker Fiat Palio
Fiat Strada Adventure Locker Fiat Strada
Ford Edge Ford CD3 platform
Ford Escape/Mazda Tribute/Mercury Mariner Ford CD2 platform
Ford EcoSport Ford B3 platform (Ford Fiesta)
Ford Explorer (fifth generation) Ford D3 platform
Ford Flex Ford D4 platform
Ford Freestyle/Ford Taurus X Ford D3 platform (Ford Five Hundred/Taurus)
Ford Territory Ford Falcon
Holden Adventra/HSV Avalanche Holden Commodore
Holden Crewman/HSV Avalanche XUV Holden Commodore
Honda CR-V/Honda HR-V Honda compact "C" platform[17] (Honda Civic)
Honda Element Honda compact "C" platform[17] (Honda Civic)
Honda Pilot Honda mid-size "CD" platform[17] (Honda Accord)
Honda Crosstour Honda mid-size "CD" platform[17] (Honda Accord)
Hyundai Creta/Hyundai ix25 Hyundai i20 (2nd generation)
Hyundai Tucson/ix35/Kia Sportage Hyundai Elantra (J3/J4/J5)
Hyundai Santa Fe(2nd Generation or newer)/Hyundai Santa Fe Sport/Hyundai Veracruz (ix55)/Kia Sorento Hyundai Sonata (Y4/Y5/Y6)
Infiniti EX Nissan FM platform
Infiniti FX Nissan FM platform (Infiniti G35)
Infiniti JX Nissan D platform (Nissan Altima/Renault Laguna)
Jeep Compass/Jeep Patriot Mitsubishi GS platform
Jeep Cherokee (2013-present) Fiat Compact platform
Land Rover Discovery Sport Ford EUCD platform
Land Rover Freelander 2/LR2 Ford EUCD platform
Lexus NX Toyota Corolla, RAV4
Lexus RX Toyota Camry
Lincoln MKX/Ford Edge Ford CD3 platform (Lincoln Zephyr/MKZ, Ford Fusion)
Mahindra XUV 500 M&M 'W' Platform
Mazda CX-3 Mazda SKYACTIV platform (Mazda 2 DJ)
Mazda CX-5 Mazda SKYACTIV platform (Mazda 3 BM)
Mazda CX-7 Ford CD3 platform (Mazda 6 GG, with components from Mazda 6 GH)
Mazda CX-9 Ford CD3 platform (Mazda 6 GG)
Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class Mercedes-Benz W204 (C-Class)
Mercedes-Benz M-Class (second and third generation) E-Class platform
Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Mercedes-Benz M-Class
Mercedes-Benz R-Class Mercedes-Benz M-Class
Mini Countryman/Mini Paceman R60 platform (MINI and BMW components)
Mitsubishi ASX (RVR/Outlander Sport)/Citroën C4 Aircross/Peugeot 4008 Mitsubishi GS platform (Mitsubishi Lancer)
Mitsubishi Endeavor Mitsubishi Galant
Mitsubishi Outlander Mk2 and newer/Citroën C-Crosser/Peugeot 4007 Mitsubishi GS platform (Mitsubishi Lancer)
Nissan Juke Nissan B platform (Nissan Versa/Micra)
Nissan Murano Nissan D platform (Nissan Altima/Renault Laguna)
Nissan Pathfinder (4th generation) Nissan D platform (Nissan Altima/Renault Laguna)
Nissan Rogue/Nissan Qashqai (Dualis)/Renault Koleos (Renault-Samsung QM5) Nissan C platform (Nissan Sentra/Renault Mégane/Scénic)
Nissan X-Trail Nissan C platform (Nissan Sentra/Renault Mégane/Scénic)
Opel Insignia Country Tourer GM Epsilon II platform (Opel Insignia)
Peugeot 207 SW Outdoor PSA PF1 platform
Peugeot 2008 PSA PF1 platform
Peugeot 3008 PSA PF2 platform
Pontiac Aztek/Buick Rendezvous GM U platform
Range Rover Evoque Ford EUCD platform
Renault Captur/Renault Samsung QM3 Nissan B platform (Renault Clio)
Renault Kadjar Renault-Nissan CMF platform (Nissan Sentra/Renault Mégane/Scénic)
Renault Scénic RX4 Renault/AMC Compact platform (Renault Scénic)
Renault Scénic Conquest/XMOD Nissan C platform (Nissan Sentra/Renault Mégane/Scénic)
Saab 9-3X GM Epsilon platform
Saab 9-4X GM Theta Premium platform
Škoda Octavia Scout Volkswagen Group A5 platform
Škoda Yeti Volkswagen Group A5 platform
Subaru XV Crosstrek Subaru Impreza fourth generation
Subaru Forester Subaru Impreza
Subaru Outback Subaru Legacy
Subaru Tribeca Subaru Legacy
Suzuki Aerio SX Suzuki Esteem
Suzuki SX4/Fiat Sedici modified Suzuki Swift platform
Tata Aria Tata Indigo Manza
Tesla Model X Tesla Generation II Platform
Toyota Matrix Toyota E platform (Toyota Corolla)
Toyota RAV4 Toyota E platform (Toyota Corolla)
Toyota Venza Toyota K platform (Toyota Camry)
Toyota Highlander/Kluger Toyota K platform (Toyota Camry)
Volkswagen CrossPolo Volkswagen Group A0 platform (Volkswagen Polo)
Volkswagen CrossGolf Volkswagen Group A5 platform (Volkswagen Golf Plus)
Volkswagen Passat AllTrack Volkswagen Group B6/B7 platform (Volkswagen Passat)
Volkswagen CrossTouran Volkswagen Group A5 platform (Volkswagen Touran)
Volkswagen Tiguan Volkswagen Group A5 platform (Volkswagen Golf)
Volvo XC60 Ford EUCD platform
Volvo XC70 Ford EUCD platform
Volvo XC90 (before September 2014) Ford D3 platform (Volvo S80)
Volvo XC90 (September 2014 and later) Volvo Scalable Product Platform (SPA)

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 Isidore, Chris (9 January 2006). "GM and Ford's New Cross to Bear". CNN Money. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  2. "Smart Buying Essentials What is a Crossover Vehicle?". Intellichoice. Archived from the original on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  3. 1 2 White, Joseph B. (14 January 2008). "Crossover Market Is Thinly Sliced". The Wall Street Journal Blogs. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  4. George, Patrick E. (13 July 2011). "Have automakers tried crossover vehicles in the past?". How Stuff Works. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  5. "Вездеход М-72". GAZ M-20 "Victory" (in Russian). Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  6. Thompson, Andy (2008). Cars of the Soviet Union: The Definitive History. Haynes Publishing. ISBN 9781844254835. Retrieved 24 February 2016.
  7. Sherman, Don (1 February 2001). "All-Wheel-Drive Revisited: AMC's 1980 Eagle pioneered the cross-over SUV". Automotive Industries. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  8. Baxter, Eric (13 July 2011). "Who coined the term crossover vehicle?". How Stuff Works. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  9. Griffin, Keith. "Definition of Crossover Utility Vehicle". Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  10. Fund, Daniel (February 2013). "2013 BMW X3 xDrive28i vs. 2013 Audi Q5 2.0T, 2013 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque". Car and Driver. Retrieved 27 July 2015. The price of entry, even for these most modest of luxury wagons, is about $40,000; $50,000 for a well-equipped version.
  11. "Inifiti FX35 Review". Edmunds. 2009. Archived from the original on 11 December 2009. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  12. Carty, Sharon Silke (3 May 2006). "Crossover vehicles pass up SUVs on road to growing sales". USA Today. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  13. Pund, Daniel (February 2013). "2013 BMW X3 xDrive28i vs. 2013 Audi Q5 2.0T, 2013 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque". Car and Driver. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  14. Taylor III, Alex (19 December 2011). "The most disliked cars of 2011". CNN. Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  15. "AutoMotion Blog Top 10 Crossover SUVs In The 2013 Vehicle Dependability Study". JD Power. 21 March 2013. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  16. Couture, Justin (3 February 2008). "2009 Dodge Journey Road Test". Car Reviews. Archived from the original on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  17. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Haines, Steven (2008). The Product Manager's Desk Reference. McGraw-Hill. pp. 13–14. ISBN 978-0-07-159134-8. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
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