A crossover (CUV) is a marketing term for a vehicle that is built on a car platform. The term was first used in 1996 by Toyota for its new RAV4. CUVs mix some of the features of SUVs and station wagons or hatchbacks. They frequently use unibody construction typical of many cars. A crossover usually uses a light-duty all-wheel drive. Unlike SUVs (which are usually four-wheel drive), crossovers are generally capable of only light off-road use. Examples of crossovers include Ford Explorer and Hyundai Santa Fe. Crossovers have begun to replace minivans (a market that has been dwindling in the U.S. since 2005), as well as compact and mid-sized SUVs.
CUVs have three advantages over SUVs:
- Encyclopedia of Transportation: Social Science and Policy, ed. Mark Garrett (Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc., 2014), p. 1253
- John Heitmann, The Automobile and American Life (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co., 2009), p. 191