What is a crossover exactly?

Crossovers are extremely popular these days, but how exactly do they differ from hatchbacks or SUVs?

Reuben Van Niekerk
What is a crossover
Hyundai Venue

Crossovers are a fairly new segment in the South African market but are some of the most popular vehicles sold today. But what exactly makes a crossover, a crossover?


In short, crossovers are small to medium sized vehicles that offer increased ground clearance, but which are based on passenger car underpinnings.

Examples of crossovers include models like the Hyundai Kona, Kia Seltos, Volkswagen T-Cross and T-Roc and Toyota Urban Cruiser.


Best of both worlds

As opposed to SUVs or 4x4s that utilise a ladder frame design crossovers are based on the monocoque design common for most passenger vehicles sold today.


Crossovers offer the best of both worlds. They are comfortable to drive and are fitted with the latest technology and engines. In addition, they offer many of the SUV benefits without any of the drawbacks.


Increased ground clearance affords crossovers the ability to traverse gravel roads and in combination with higher profile tyres makes them a popular choice in South Africa where the quality of the road surface is not always ideal. This higher stance also means a command driving position, which has proven safety benefits such as offering a better view of the traffic and your surroundings.


The benefits of increased ground clearance and a higher stance are well known and crossovers are able to offer these while still retaining the handling characteristics of a passenger vehicle.


Crossover vehicles are exclusively two-wheel drive and are mostly front-wheel drive like the passenger cars they are based on. This sets them apart from SUVs, which are very often four-wheel drive. This configuration gives crossovers an advantage in terms of fuel consumption.


As crossovers are very often based on a hatchback concept they offer the practicality of that concept in the fact that the rear seats can fold down to create a large loading space for luggage or leisure items like bicycles and surfboards.


Browse our range of quality, Motus-certified new, used and demo crossover vehicles for sale here.