Choosing the right family crossover from a whole list of them can be a tough ordeal indeed; after all, it’s meant to carry your most valuable cargo. The good news is that with the right knowledge, you can prevail.
The term “crossover” is actually quite broad since it can be associated with tall wagons, sedans or even certain minivans. However, more often than not it refers to a special breed of sport-utility vehicles (SUVs). You can look at crossovers in two ways: 1) as an upgrade from a sedan or wagon 2) or as a more reserved full-size SUV.
Drivers of all lifestyles find the versatility of an SUV to be an attractive choice, but families tend to benefit from them the most. Unlike minivans, crossovers just seem “cool.” With off-road potential, superior handling, truck-like towing capabilities and enhanced comfort, crossovers are now the vehicle of the modern family.
The size of your family will ultimately play a role in the car you purchase, and crossovers are accommodating. A crossover can be either a five-, seven- or eight-seat vehicle. Depending on the model, numerous rows of seats can be folded down for more storage space in lieu of passengers.
Size Versus Cost
The size-versus-cost debate weighs on every car buyer’s mind, especially those with a growing family. For compact five-seat SUVs like the Honda CR-V, the price range is between $20,000-$30,000, while a full-size SUV, such as the Dodge Durango, would cost somewhere around $30,000-$40,000.
The price difference is quite significant for vehicles so aesthetically similar. So, how much of an SUV do you actually need? Most likely you’ll have to take a moment and consider your everyday needs and temper those with your family’s demands. Since the average North American family has two children, with room to spare, a compact SUV appears to be the most viable choice.
However, if you opt for more room, remember that the third row of seats is often cramped, and usually best suited for children. It may be a good idea to test out the space before you head out on a long road trip.
In comparison, smaller SUVs are balanced vehicles with a good mix of engine power, spaciousness and fuel efficiency. While size is a big factor, it should not be the defining one. Instead, you should consider what you will actually use the vehicle for. What type of driving will you do? What are the road conditions you’ll face and how much power will you actually need? Although we may call compact SUVs “small,” they are by no means undersized, especially when compared to vehicles that are actually small.
Different Types of SUVs for Different Drivers
Still uncertain which crossover is right for you? Well, let’s look at this pragmatically.
If you plan to take your soccer team to practice or tow a trailer, a smaller SUV might not be able to do the trick. Then again, if you seldom drive on a rugged terrain or on rural roads and plan to have the third row folded all the time, owning a mid- or full-size SUV might not be worth it either. Crossovers offer many perks linked to SUVs, while still maintaining car-like comfort and appeal.
Understand your priority before you cough up an additional $10,000 for a vehicle with excess space.
Fuel usage is also an important factor to consider since SUVs are notorious guzzlers. Some standard SUVs will have a fuel economy as low as 13 mpg – which puts them on the same level as some cargo vans.
Performance and Features
Crossovers have better handling than traditional SUVs. One reason is because crossovers are based on car platforms instead of truck platforms. This modification offers more stability and manoeuvrability. By sharing drivetrains with compact or midsize cars, crossovers have a lower manufacturing cost overall. The savings can then benefit the consumers, and for a family, every little bit counts.
Standard SUVs have received poor ratings over the years due to their finicky handling and a high centre of gravity. This had caused bad press for SUVs and scared many drivers away as vehicle rollover became a common problem. Crossovers, on the other hand, enabled car buyers to enjoy the benefit of an SUV without any of its alleged flaws. Overall, crossovers are far nimbler on the road and more capable of navigating tight spaces – such as busy supermarket parking lots or narrow streets.
The decline in SUV sales has allowed crossovers to fill in the resulting gap in the market. Crossovers exhibit both reliability and class by offering benefits like all-wheel drive and family-friendly features for on-the-go adults and tech-savvy children.
It’s safe to say that crossovers have eliminated the “soccer mom” image associated with minivans, making family vehicles more desirable as a result. To find all the information you need on any given crossover, be sure to consult our free dealer cost report.