What is a crossover?

  • Benefits of a crossover explained
  • Should I consider buying one?
  • Parkers explains the new genre of SUV

A crossover is a relatively large car often based on the platform of a hatchback. Larger than said family hatchback but smaller than a fully fledged SUV, the crossover is usually capable of carrying five adults while being modestly capable off-road.


More space than a hatchback, elevated driving position, feels like a hatchback to drive, generally very safe. And because most of them lack the heavy 4wd hardware that encumbers a full-blown SUV or 4x4, fuel economy and emissions are generally more palatable.


More expensive than a hatchback, not as spacious as an MPV/SUV, limited off-road ability.


The Nissan Qashqai brought mainstream success to the crossover bodystyle in 2007, and is now rivalled by the Ford KugaKia Sportage and countless other crossovers or faux-by-fours.

Similar to

SUV (sports utility vehicle), hatchbacks

Looking for more jargon-busting motoring meanings? Head over to our Parkers Car Glossary page and take a look at our other definitions