What is a Crossover Car?

Learn about crossover cars and how they work right here in Savvy’s handy guide.
Published on August 3rd, 2023
  Written by 
Adrian Edlington
Adrian Edlington is PR & Communications Manager at Savvy. With a keen interest in personal finance, car loans, the mortgage industry, cost of living pressures, electric vehicles and renewable technology, Adrian's research includes conducting primary data surveys and analysis of up-to-the-minute secondary Australian data sources. His work on behalf of Savvy has been featured on ABC.net.au The Conversation, the Sydney Morning Herald, AFR, News.com.au, The Age, Herald Sun, Adelaide Now, SBS On The Money, 7News, Car Expert, Which Car, Drive.com.au and more. In his spare time, Adrian enjoys mountain biking and business podcasts.
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   Reviewed by 
Bill Tsouvalas


Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
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In recent years, crossover cars have become increasingly popular among Australian drivers, offering a unique blend of versatility, practicality and style. But what exactly is a crossover car and why are they gaining so much attention? Delve into the world of crossover cars and their features, benefits and why they have become the go-to choice for so many Australian motorists right here in Savvy’s comprehensive guide.

What is a crossover car and how are they different from SUVs?

A crossover car, also known as a crossover SUV (sports utility vehicle), is a vehicle that combines elements of both traditional passenger cars (in most cases wagons) and SUVs. They often possess features consistent with SUVs, such as higher ground clearance and a more spacious interior, but rely on the driveability of a passenger car, making them attractive to those who are looking for the best of both worlds.

The classification of crossover is synonymous with SUVs, as it was their introduction which ultimately led to manufacturers adopting the crossover tag. This essentially originated with companies producing two-wheel drive (2WD) station wagons in a four-wheel drive (4WD) format, placing them between the standard wagon and standard off-road SUV.

The distinction between SUVs and crossovers is that SUVs are constructed with a full ladder frame, meaning the body and chassis are built separately and connected in the construction of the car. In contrast, crossovers come with a monocoque platform, meaning the body and frame are constructed in a single piece.

What are the common features of crossover cars?

Some of the most notable common features of crossover cars available in the current market include:

  • Elevated ride height: crossovers have a higher ground clearance than sedans, providing better visibility and allowing drivers to tackle rough terrain more effectively.
  • Spacious interior: with a design focused on maximising passenger and cargo space, crossovers offer ample room for passengers and their belongings.
  • 2WD or 4WD: many crossovers come with 2WD or 4WD options, providing more choice when it comes to selecting a vehicle for traction and stability on various road conditions.
  • Fuel efficiency: crossovers often offer better fuel efficiency compared to larger SUVs, although they tend to use more petrol than smaller models.
  • Variety of sizes: crossovers come in various sizes, from compact models suitable for urban driving to larger ones perfect for family adventures. They aren’t limited to SUVs and wagons, with some SUV-coupe crossovers and other variations available.

What crossover cars are available in Australia?

Australia's car market offers a wide array of crossover car models, with various options available from a range of manufacturers. Some popular crossover models in Australia include the Mazda CX-5, Toyota RAV4, Hyundai Tucson, Subaru Forester and Nissan Qashqai, among others. Each model caters to different needs and preferences, providing a diverse selection for Australian drivers who are looking to buy their next vehicle.

Why are crossover cars popular in Australia?

There are many reasons why crossover cars are popular in Australia, with this popularity continuing to grow. Some of the potential reasons why Australians love crossovers are:

  • Urban versatility: crossovers are well-suited for city living, offering a balance of space and manoeuvrability to navigate crowded streets and tight parking spaces.
  • Adventure-ready: with their off-road capabilities, crossovers are perfect for weekend getaways and outdoor activities in Australia's diverse landscapes.
  • Family-friendly: crossovers provide ample space for families, making them a practical choice for daily commutes and road trips.
  • Stylish design: many crossover cars boast a modern and stylish appearance, appealing to drivers who want a vehicle which stands out on the road.

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This guide provides general information and does not consider your individual needs, finances or objectives. We do not make any recommendation or suggestion about which product is best for you based on your specific situation and we do not compare all companies in the market, or all products offered by all companies. It’s always important to consider whether professional financial, legal or taxation advice is appropriate for you before choosing or purchasing a financial product.

The content on our website is produced by experts in the field of finance and reviewed as part of our editorial guidelines. We endeavour to keep all information across our site updated with accurate information.

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