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Deciding Between a Ford Crossover or Standard SUV – What are the Differences?

August 25, 2017

Deciding Between a Ford Crossover or Standard SUV – What are the Differences?

A common struggle for new families is finding a vehicle that will fit their needs today and in the near future. Although the minivan was a popular choice for growing families in the 90’s and the turn of the century, in recent years, crossovers and standard SUVs have quickly surpassed the minivan. The question is – how do you decide between the two vehicle categories to ensure the new Ford you select will meet your needs, fit in your budget, and most importantly, keep your children safe?

Understand the Difference Between Crossover and SUV

When you break it down simply, the primary difference between a crossover and an SUV is the platform. A crossover is generally built on a unibody car platform - meaning that the frame and the body are one, while an SUV uses a truck chassis. SUVs use a body-on-frame design where the body is built separate, and then assembled on the frame.

So what does this mean for you? Generally speaking, crossovers tend to be smaller than SUVs and have better handling characteristics. Crossovers are also primarily front wheel drive vehicles. Although there are many all-wheel drive crossovers, they resemble a car more than a truck. The SUV, on the other hand, is generally built for all road driving, has better handling in extreme weather conditions, and has more cabin and storage space.

What Vehicles are in the Crossover Category for Ford?

The crossover SUV is best suited for people that live in the city or suburbs, and use the vehicle to commute to and from work, shuttle one or two kids, and consider fuel economy an important consumer attribute. They typically are not best for off-road driving, but handle quite well on city highways and streets. For 2017, Ford has four vehicles that fit into their crossover category including the Ford Escape, Ford Flex, Ford Transit Connect, and Ford Edge. The new 2018 Ford EcoSport also enters the crossover category. While it may appear to be small on the outside, it is remarkably spacious on the inside.

What Vehicles are in the Ford SUV Category?

For those looking for more interior space and a more aggressive stance and feel, the SUV is probably best for you. Most Ford SUVs, including the legendary Ford Explorer and Ford Expedition, are all-wheel drive, making them exceptional for snow and rain-soaked roads. They are also generally larger vehicles, and therefore have more cabin space. Some can fit up to 7 passengers and in most cases, have three-row seating.

The best way to determine which one is best suited for you and your individual needs is to visit your local Ford dealership. While there, you can compare the pros and cons of each one, test drive different models and trim levels, and pick a new crossover or SUV that fits your budget.