How to Choose the Right Crossover for Your Needs

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How to Choose the Right Crossover for Your Needs

The crossover utility vehicle (CUV), is a hybrid between an SUV and a car. The design combines accentuated sports features with those of a passenger vehicle, particularly the hatchback or estate. The crossover has become popular because it provides a good balance between sports and saloon characteristics. It suits the lifestyles of many different groups of people, from singles to families, depending on size and seating capacity. Unlike the sports utility vehicle (SUV), it has virtually no off road capabilities as its purpose is strictly for the road. The crossover is a very practical vehicle, however, for general purpose driving in a variety of environments, from city to open road.

A variety of crossover utility vehicles are listed on eBay, and if you take a look at the available range, you might see one that would suit all your needs for a very tempting price. When considering a CUV for your next car, you should identify why you specifically want this type of vehicle over others, and weigh up the benefits that choosing a crossover utility vehicle can bring.

The Crossover Utility Vehicle

A CUV shares much in common with its first cousin, the sports utility vehicle. Some differences between the two include fuel economy, drive type, weight, power and ground clearance. A crossover utility vehicle is built on a car platform. It has most of the SUV's roominess, but is more compact and fuel efficient, yet with less ground clearance and less torque. It is also typically front wheel drive rather than four-wheel or all-wheel drive.

As a general use term, crossover is a slippery one, because various people mean different things by it. Some use the term to describe a sporty saloon, others use it based on a car's platform design, and others use it to describe multi purpose vehicles (MPV). The technical definition, however, rests finally in its manufacturing design being built on a car based platform. The sports utility vehicle, by comparison, is built on a light truck chassis for its needed durability and sturdiness. The popularity in recent years of the CUV over its heavier counterpart, has shifted today's car marketing, innovation and technology focus towards the crossover utility vehicle.

Practical Advantages of a CUV

The crossover utility vehicle possesses many advantages over a regular saloon or estate. Fuel efficiency, handling, and feature-rich controls give it the edge for many driving purposes, especially when needing to carry large loads. It is also easy to get in and out of, thanks partly to it being reasonably close to the ground. The following outlines just a few other advantages.

Efficiency and Economy

For a family, the advantages of a CUV include its relative low footprint, both in manufacturing, expense and fuel economy. Compared to the many 'people movers' on the market, the CUV is compact and cost effective. Light and economical on fuel, it is distinctly the most practical of its kind for many varied driving occasions.


The crossover utility vehicle ranges in size between a two and eight seat capacity. Peugeot produces a big part of the small CUV market, with Ford, Chevrolet and Dodge manufacturing many of the large eight seaters. Nevertheless, for fuel efficiency, you should look at Kia, Honda, GMC and Chevrolet if you want a large capacity crossover. These manufacturers also load their interiors with features and amenities.


The relative lightness of the CUV body makes the car nimble to manoeuvre in the city and produces great fuel economy on long trips. The crossover gives the driver and front passenger a deep view of the road ahead, as the seating is elevated to give a truck-like view, however, the driving and handling of the CUV is very much a car. Although normally a front wheel drive vehicle, the crossover is also available in all wheel drive, which gives it great traction in slippery conditions such as snow and ice.

The crossover has a relatively low centre of gravity compared to the SUV, which makes it more stable on the road. It is also quiet when driving, and its aerodynamic shape goes a long way towards its fuel efficient performance.

Disadvantages of a CUV

There are not a lot of disadvantages in a CUV. Considering its target market, the crossover does everything it needs to. It is not a truck, and pulling power is not its strong point. If you need a vehicle for towing, either buy something else, or be performance specific about the crossover you choose.

Towing Capacity

Unlike the power horses that make up a big part of the six cylinder SUV market, the crossover is not strong in the towing department; nevertheless, it can pull surprisingly hefty loads. In order to do that though, you need to choose a crossover that handles the task without putting it under duress. Most crossovers are limited to a 1,500 pound towing capacity, but many can pull 3,500 pounds, and some 4,500. Examples of crossover's with larger towing capacities include the Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia, Buick Enclave, and the Ford Explorer. All are six cylinder models of course.

Off Road Use

If you must take your CUV off road, at the very least, make sure it is a civilised and regularly worn track, and not one that you forge alone. The crossover has a low ground clearance level which makes it decidedly incompatible with rough and tumble. The suspension, amongst other things, is also too refined for this kind of treatment.

Determining the Right Crossover

Some of the key points to consider when choosing a crossover is cargo and seating capacity, weight, engine size, transmission type, and fuel efficiency. For a single or couple who drive mostly in the city, a small four cylinder is perfect. A six cylinder is the only way to go, however, if you need a six, seven or eight seater. When you choose a CUV, you choose a vehicle that is a SUV/car hybrid. Although it does not normally sport the enormous cargo capacity of many sports utility vehicles, the crossover can certainly pack in a lot more than a car. You should, therefore, weigh up all your driving and lifestyle needs when choosing the type of CUV to buy.

Auto or Manual

A manual gearbox car is traditionally the most fuel efficient, but not necessarily so today. The choice between automatic and manual now is mostly a personal one. Differences in fuel economy between the two depend on make, model, engine size and the carrying load.

Engine Size

Whether you choose a 2.0 litre four cylinder or 3.0 litre six cylinder, for example, depends on a range of performance factors that you need your car to handle with ease. Although the four cylinder in a small crossover is the more economical for many applications, you are better off with a six cylinder if your crossover is large and you carry heavy loads.

Seating Capacity

You would already have a strong sense of how many people you need your car to carry. The advantage of a larger crossover, however, is that it double as a van when the seats are folded down.


Light cars are easier to manage in city driving, and the crossover is well known for this asset to their design. However, a small sized crossover is even more adept in tight cornering and heavy traffic conditions. It is also another reason for the fuel efficiency.

How to Buy a Crossover on eBay

There are different ways you can begin a search for a crossover on eBay. You can search for a specific make crossover and enter a search string such as a "Nissan Murano", or you can search for the genre in general and enter a broad search criteria like "crossover car" and use the filters to narrow down your search. Always take your time over such a major purchasing decision. Look through many different listings, particularly those that are local, over a good period of time, and save your favourite ones.

Of the several possible listings that you should have earmarked, study all information thoroughly, and then put any questions to the seller that are not covered in the listing. Try to develop some rapport with the seller to attain some clue as to how they would deal with you in a sale. Check their customer feedback score and comments left by other customers. Look for a score of as close to 100 per cent as possible. Only arrange to meet the seller and inspect the vehicle when you are serious about a particular car.


As with any major decision making process, it can be a daunting task when choosing the right car, because the consequences of getting it wrong can be truly shattering. Wrong choices so often end up in desperate selling or trade-ins. Therefore, it is essential to do as much of your homework online before you waste too much time looking around car lots. Have a clear awareness of what your needs are and what your needs are not. Being aware of this puts you one step ahead of the salesman who may try to sell you something you do not need.

With the ever-expanding crossover market, the listings on eBay continue to grow, increasing your chances of finding a bargain crossover that meets all your needs. Already a modestly priced vehicle in relation to its peers, the CUV presents the best of both worlds in an environment of comfort and high performance handling.

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