SUV vs. Crossover: Which Is Right for You?

2023 Mazda CX-50 Compact SUV

We’re proud to provide Phoenix drivers and beyond with a fantastic selection of pre-owned vehicles. However, if you’re after the most amount of room and versatility, you can’t go wrong with a used SUV or crossover. They’re a popular choice and continue to become more sought after, especially for those that need extra room.

With that being said, what’s the difference between used crossovers and SUVs? While the two terms are used interchangeably, there are certain differences that make them unique from each other. Today, our experts at Rocky's Auto Credit are going to compare crossovers vs. SUVs so that you can decide for yourself which one better fits your Glendale lifestyle!

Crossover vs. SUV Car Platform

When you’re comparing crossovers vs. SUVs, the main difference that sets them apart is the car platform that they’re on. Crossover vehicles have unibody construction, similar to a regular car. On the other hand, SUVs have a body-on-frame construction, much like trucks. Technically, there is no right or wrong choice in terms of SUV or crossover car platforms, and it truly depends on your specific needs.

SUVs with body-on-frame construction are typically heavier and more durable so that you’re ready for off-road adventures. Conversely, the unibody design of crossovers is lighter than an SUV and offers a smoother, quieter ride, as well as better gas mileage. Still not sure if a used crossover or SUV is right for you? Let’s take a deeper look at what each platform has to offer:

The Crossover

If you need a larger vehicle with room for extra passengers and their gear but still want the handling of a regular car, then you’ll want to choose a crossover. Crossovers usually offer a more dynamic driving experience and increased fuel efficiency. The only drawback compared to a regular SUV is that the crossovers tend to have reduced towing capabilities.

That’s not to say that a crossover can’t tow an impressive amount, it just won’t be able to tow as much as a comparable SUV. However, if you spend the majority of your time on paved Tempe roads, a crossover offers a more comfortable ride and is probably the better choice. See our used crossovers today if you’re ready for a spacious and comfortable ride.


If you need a truck with heavy towing power, you should consider buying an SUV. An SUV will also have the ability to handle rough terrain much better than a crossover. If you spend your days off on off-road excursions or mudding adventures, then you need the extra performance and ground clearance of an SUV. Since manufacturers design SUVs for rough riding, they tend to stand up much better to wear and tear when you’re going off the beaten path around Mesa much more easily than a crossover.

Which One Is Safer?

Truthfully, both SUVs and crossovers have crash protection, and depending on the model and year, they both have advanced safety features. With the advancements in technology, it’s safe to say that you and your family are safe in either choice. It’s a common misconception that the weight and rugged design of an SUV will help protect you in the event of an accident, and while this is somewhat true, some SUVs, especially older ones, do not have a crumple zone.

Crumple zones allow the vehicle to better absorb the impact in the unfortunate event of an accident and maximize safety for occupants. Because crossovers are more similar to cars and most models have a crumple zone to absorb the energy in case something does happen, crossovers can be sometimes deemed as providing better safety. But, keep in mind that this can vary depending on specific models, and it’s hard to say whether one is safer than the other.

Find an SUV or Crossover Today at Rocky's Auto Credit!

Despite their differences, both SUVs and crossovers are perfect for almost any occasion. If you’re having trouble deciding between the two, feel free to visit us at Rocky's Auto Credit for more information. Keep in mind that crossovers can be referred to as SUVs, but SUVs are often not referred to as crossovers. Their terms are used interchangeably sometimes, so if you’re still confused, feel free to contact us for more information. We look forward to helping to get behind the wheel of your favorite crossover or SUV!

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