Know the difference between a hatchback, crossover or SUV

Whether you’re an adventurer, part of a big family, or you simply like roomy cars, MotorHappy wants to help you choose the type of car that’s right for you. One of the first and most important things to take into consideration is the car body style. Hatchbacks, crossovers and SUV are all similar. In this blog post, we break down the difference between the three styles, to help you make the best decision for your family.

The hatchback is the smallest body configuration, and we can identify them by their five-door design. Manufacturers mount four doors on both sides of the car, while the fifth is the boot that either swings up or opens just like a conventional vehicle door. Most people enjoy these cars because of their compact shape, low fuel consumption, less carbon emission, and short turning radius.

The Hyundai i20, Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf, Volkswagen Polo, Audi A3, Mercedes-Benz A-Class, Kia Rio, BMW 1-Series, and Ford Fiesta are a few famous examples of Hatchback in South Africa.

A Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) is the largest consumer automobile. We know SUVs for their spaciousness, more seating capacity, higher ride, extra power, and four-wheel-drive systems. They are suitable for both on-road and off-road travelling. However, primarily manufacturers separately offer off-road variants that are more capable for the beaten path. You can use rugged SUVs in hilly, muddy, and snowy conditions.

An SUV looks identical to a minivan or a station wagon with a tougher appearance and design, suitable for off-roading purposes. While earlier SUVs were a mix of a truck, minivan, and an average family car, the present models have switched from truck chassis to a unibody structure where the chassis, body, and floors are built on a single frame. Automakers categorise SUVs into three types: small, mid-size, and full-size.

Some popular SUVs in this region include Ford Everest, BMW X5, Toyota Land Cruiser, Mercedes GLE, and Range Rover Sport.

A crossover, which is also known as a Crossover Utility Vehicle (CUV), is relatively smaller in size and utility than an SUV. It is actually a combination of a family-sized sedan and a pure SUV. Fundamentally, it fuses all the benefits of a sedan, minivan, and SUV.

While we use crossover and SUV terms interchangeably, there are key differences:

  • For instance, a crossover is built on a car platform while the SUVs are heavier and employ a truck chassis.
  • Crossovers undergo a unibody construction while the SUVs have a body-on-frame design. The latter are more rugged and are perfect for hauling larger payloads.
  • Most SUVs come in mid-size and full-size categories, whereas crossovers are available from subcompact to full-size. Automakers also call crossovers "small-sized SUVs" or "compact SUVs".
  • For crossover, you may use the term CUV (Crossover Utility Vehicle), while for SUV, you may hear SAV (Sports Activity Vehicle) and even the combination "crossover SUV." Remember, these are just new names of these body styles and do not change the vehicle's structure.

Some famous CUVs we see on the roads here include Ford Eco Sport, Kia Stonic, Haval Jolion, Renault Triber, and Toyota Urban Cruiser.

Sportback or liftback is a fusion of Hatchback and Sedan. The overall appearance of the Sportback is quite similar to the sedan, but its rear end has a tailgate instead of a trunk lid. Sometimes, it is a crossover or SUV with a lowered roofline and a few changes in cargo space dimensions.

Indeed, its cargo area is amalgamated within the passenger compartment. As evident by the name, it is a standard body style for most grand tourer cars. Some famous Sportbacks include BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, Audi A5 Sportback, and Aston Martin Rapide S.

MotorHappy is your partner in every step of your vehicle journey – from buying and selling your car, to insurance, Service Plans, Maintenance Plans and Extended Warranties. With MotorHappy’s online market place for previously-loved cars, you can search for vehicles by body shape, car brand and location.

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