5 Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Crossover

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5 Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Crossover

Over the past few decades, and particularly since the 2000s, the concept of crossover vehicles has become quite popular. Because they are a hybrid of a saloon car and an SUV, the appeal of crossovers is particularly strong amongst mums and dads looking for alternatives to traditional multi-purpose vehicles (MPVs) and SUVs as their family cars. These versatile vehicles combine the large passenger load capabilities of MPVs with the handling and framing of more traditional saloons.

Indeed, the benefits to choosing a crossover, particularly as a family car, are plentiful. However, knowing that a crossover is the right choice for the family and making the choice of which crossover to purchase are two very different things. Buyers need to be knowledgeable about both crossovers themselves as well as factors particular to their purchase. Considering everything from space and comfort to the models available in the United Kingdom, safety, maintenance, and cost is important when purchasing a crossover.

 Understanding Crossovers

The concept of a crossover seems to be all over automakers' adverts these days, yet many buyers have little clue as to what the terms actually mean. They may, for example, recognise that the Audi Q3 is a crossover without understanding how that makes it stand out from other options that the automaker provides, such as the Audi Q5. That is why learning about the specific physical features which identify a vehicle as a crossover as well as the history of the term in and of itself is an important first step in buying one.

 Physical Construction

Technically speaking, a crossover vehicle, which may also be called a CUV or crossover utility vehicle, refers to a very specific physical makeup that sets it apart from other classes such as SUVs and saloon cars. The physical construction of a crossover is such that, though it resembles an SUV, it is actually built on a car's platform, not a truck's.

Crossovers most closely resemble hatchbacks or station wagons in their physical appearance, though they are often elevated off the ground, borrowing from the SUV manufacturing practices of higher centres of gravity and ground clearance, as well as all-wheel drive. Boot access in a crossover is available from the passenger seats, and there is often the option of cargo room or additional seating through a fold-down rear seat function.

 History of the Term

Though the term crossover has mainly been used as a marketing buzzword in the 2000s, the concept of combining the features among popular auto subtypes has been around since at least 1977, when the French automaker Matra-Simca introduced the Rancho. This vehicle, which resembled a 4x4, was actually based on Matra-Simca's family saloon known as the Simca 1100, and was likewise only outfitted with front-wheel drive.

Since the 1970s, physical crossovers have been manufactured pretty consistently, but they were never used as a main marketing pitch until the 2000s. Still, the difference between an SUV and a crossover is hard for most consumers to discern, and for much of the first decade of the 21st century, automakers themselves neglected to segment crossovers from SUVs. Today, vehicles that physically conform to the crossover parameters may be called crossovers or SUVs, but they are generally segmented from traditional 4x4 SUVs by their physical appearance, they boast 'sportier' more aerodynamic body designs, and are all-wheel drive.

 5 Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Crossover

Knowing what a crossover is and is not is helpful in beginning the buying process, however, there are still several other factors that make up each crossover option on the market and which buyers need to consider before purchase. This includes the space and comfort inside of the vehicle, its safety features, the makes and models available in the United Kingdom, maintenance costs associated with crossovers, and whether to buy a crossover used or new.

 Factor 1: Space and Comfort

The main appeal of crossover vehicles is that they allow owners the option of transporting more people or more cargo while maintaining the sleeker, newer look that differentiates them from MPVs and people carriers. However, when shopping for a crossover, paying attention to specific needs is essential. Though third row seating is common, it is not universal and not all third rows offer the same kind of comfort. Families with three or more children who need to use this third row frequently need to consider the convenience of third-row access as well as the size of the people who are going to be riding in the traditionally camped third row.

Likewise, families and individuals who are looking at a crossover for its increased cargo area need to consider the limit that is placed on the cargo hold when third row seats are up. They need to make sure that frequently used items like pushchairs, prams, and sporting equipment fit in the crossover both with the third row seats up and down.

 Factor 2: Makes and Models Available

The increased popularity of crossovers worldwide has led to a huge uptick in the options available to buyers in the United Kingdom. Most major automakers offer some form of crossover, sometimes more than one, and in several models. The table below represents a list of the most popular crossovers offered on the European market.

Make 

Models

 Audi

Q3

BMW

X1

Fiat

Sedici

Ford

Kuga

Hyundai

IX35

Kia

Sportage , New Sportage

Land Rover

Evoque Coupe, Evoque

Mazda

CX-5

Mini

One Countryman, Cooper C'Man

Mitsubishi

ASX

Nissan

Qashqai, Qashqai+2, Juke

Peugeot

3008, New 3008

Skoda

Yeti

Suzuki

SX4

Toyota

Urban Cruiser, RAV4

Volkswagen

Tiguan

Volvo

XC60

Clearly, the volume of options available to U.K. buyers makes considering the make and model wanted an important factor when purchasing a crossover. Buyers may want to test out several different makes before making a decision and make sure to include old favourites like the Peugeot 3008 crossover, as well as newcomers to the market, such as the Volkswagen Tiguan.

 Factor 3: Safety

Anytime that a person is considering a car purchase, researching its safety is an absolute necessity. Obviously, as a class of vehicles, it is hard to make a blanket statement about the safety of crossovers. Though, it is worth mentioning that their elevated frame often gives them the advantage in collisions. Doing research in regards to not only the specific make and model of crossover that is being considered, but also the year that it was manufactured is extremely important. Also, when buying a used vehicle, checking into that particular unit's history is essential in order to ensure its continued safe operation.

 Factor 4: Cost of Maintenance

In addition to the particularities of a certain vehicle, noting the general need for maintenance for all SUVs and crossovers is also essential. This way, buyers can properly plan for future investment and upkeep. In general, this class of vehicle requires special diligence in the areas of brakes and suspension due to the wear and tear enacted upon it by the vehicle's height and restraint weight. Failure to maintain these features may cause the vehicle to be at higher risk for rollover, which is why proper inspection of used crossovers is so essential.

 Factor 5: Cost of Buying Used vs. New

After considering the points regarding safety and maintenance costs, the next logical factor that most buyers need to consider when purchasing a crossover is whether it is best to choose a model that is new vs. used. This decision comes down to comparing the real value of each choice, rather than the baseline price. Basically, the initial cost of used vehicles is always lower than their new counterparts, whereas the cost over time may not be so even.

Buyers with experience purchasing used vehicles as well as knowledge of their mechanical processes are the best candidates for buying crossovers that are used. New crossovers are better for less mechanically inclined buyers or those looking for lower maintenance costs. The good news is that both used and new cars are widely available at traditional auto dealers and online.

 How to Buy a Crossover on eBay

Once buyers have decided upon the perfect make and model of crossover for their needs, they are ready for the final step of actually locating and purchasing the exact car. This can be done in a number of different places, real and virtual, however, many people in the United Kingdom have increasingly found that shopping online with eBay is great way to quickly compare crossovers and get the best price.

 Shopping with a Local Seller

Buying a car has always been as much about the experience of the car itself as it is about the price. That is why many people may be concerned about shopping online. However, eBay offers the convenience of local sellers when shopping for autos as well as many other items. By limiting one's search to local results, buyers are able to enjoy the easy 24/7 access of eBay along with the reassurance of picking up their new crossover in person and giving it a test drive before finalising their purchase.

 Conclusion

The recent rise to fame of crossover vehicles is easy to understand. These hybrid vehicles combine the best features and benefits of cars and SUVs to form a vehicle that provides everything that families, active individuals, or simple forward-thinking car owners could want. However, buying a crossover has become more difficult over this same time period as more and more models have come onto the market.

There are five main factors to consider when purchasing a crossover and carefully addressing each of them helps everyone to get the vehicle they need. Briefly, these factors include the comfort and space offered by each model, the makes and models most popular and available in the United Kingdom, safety, maintenance, and whether a new or used crossover is the best option. Along with these factors, using eBay to search for a crossover and eventually purchase a locally sold vehicle is a great way to save time and money during this entire process.

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