TodayApril 17, 2022

The difference between SUVs and CUVs

Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) and Crossover Utility Vehicle (CUV)

2004-America is still the land of the plentiful. There are few countries where it is expected that one can go into a dealership for 65 days and buy a vehicle right off the lot.

Sixty-five days is the average number that a dealer likes to have a vehicle on their lot. That number is measured against the time a vehicle actually sits on the lot. The difference between those two numbers tells us how popular or unpopular each vehicle or vehicle segment appears.

When J.D. Powers, Power Information Network (PIN) came out with the news that SUVs were on dealer lots for seventy-three days, a 22 percent increase from a year ago, journalists started scampering. SUVs make up 27 percent of the market. The demise of the popularity of SUVs has been reported since they started being produced. Was it really starting? Yes and no.

The SUV segment is comprised of two types of vehicles – the Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) and the Crossover Utility Vehicle (CUV-CVT-or just Crossover). There are over forty SUVs and almost thirty Crossovers that make up this segment. When PIN reported that SUVs were on the long tooth side of the dealer’s lot they were being kind to SUVs.

SUVs have actually been on the dealer’s lot for almost ninety days – that’s over two years in dog years and when a vehicle has been on a dealers lot that long it is no longer mans best friend.

Crossovers are taking up the slack for SUVs by selling in 59 days. While SUVs make up 27 percent of the automotive industry, crossovers make up 40 percent of that market and ten percent of the total automotive industry. What is a crossover?

Depending on the type of vehicle you drive, a crossover can look like a station wagon or an SUV. While considered a station wagon by many, Subaru is a car base platform that is known as one of the original crossovers. If you’ve been in a sedan, a Subaru will look like an SUV. If you’re coming out of an SUV, a Subaru looks like a station wagon. The most common attributes of a crossover are;

  • Crossovers are usually front-wheel drive
  • Crossovers usually have a lower center of gravity
  • Crossovers typically have less towing capacity
  • Crossovers get better miles per gallon (mpg)than SUVs
  • Crossovers can have a better resale value than an SUV”People are looking for the drivability of a sedan and the functionality of an SUV”, said Paul Taylor, chief economist at the National Automotive Dealer Association (NADA). According to Tom Libby, senior analyst at PIN, “The first crossover was the Lexus RX330 back in 1998. Crossovers comprised ten percent of the SUV market in the first quarter of 2001. By the second quarter, 2004 crossovers were totaling forty percent of the SUV segment.”Manufacturers have been watching these numbers and are responding with more crossovers. Ford just had a launch that included a Ford 500 sedan and the Ford Freestyle, an SUV-like crossover built on the same platform as the 500 sedans. John Arnone, North America Car Manager, and Product Development knows what is coming down the pike and says, “Car based platforms are more user-friendly than SUVs. We are putting technology just as Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)in crossovers to make them more fuel-efficient. We will take creative license with car-based platforms to develop a range of people-moving crossover like vehicles.”

    More crossovers will be arriving soon:

    Dodge Magnum

    Subaru Legacy station wagon

    Ford Freestyle

    Mercedes-Benz Grand Sport Touring

    Lexus RX400 hybrid

    Toyota Highlander hybrid

    The worse resale value of all SUVs and Crossovers:

    Lincoln Navigator -SUV

    Land Rover Range Rover – SUV

    Mercedes-Benz G-Class – SUV

    Hummer H2 – SUV

    Cadillac Escalade – SUV

    The best resale value of all SUVs and Crossovers:

    Honda CRV -Crossover

    Honda Element – Crossover

    Isuzu Rodeo – SUV

    Toyota RAV4 – Crossover

    Suzuki Vitara – SUV

    Worse MPG:

    Hummer H2 – SUV

    Land Rover Discovery – SUV

    Land Rover Range Rover – SUV

    Mercedes-Benz G-Class – SUV

    Lexus LX470 – SUV

    Best MPG:

    Ford Escape hybrid – Crossover

    Toyota RAV4 – Crossover

    Saturn Vue – Crossover

    Mitsubishi Outlander – Crossover

    Honda Element -Crossover

Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.

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