Full Size SUV vs. Compact Crossover SUV
The battle between size, cargo room, towing capability, passenger room and economy seems epitomized by the changes we see in the production of SUVs or Sports Utility Vehicles. At one time the "Bigger is better" mentality made the full sized SUVs like the Chevy Tahoe (the renamed full size Chevy Blazer), Suburban (also sold as GMC Yukon XL) increase in popularity. Higher gas prices and the need for economy has increased the popularity of some of the smaller more efficient crossovers like the GMC Terrain, Chevy Equinox, Chevy Traverse, GMC Acadia and Chevy HHR.
As with any vehicle choosing the right vehicle for your needs should mean a little more that heading to the dealership and taking whichever one the sales person pushes at you. First write a list of your needs in a vehicle and then a list of your wants. It?s important to distinguish between the two in case you need to come up with a compromise. Comparing the benefits of each type of SUV will help you focus on what is right for you.
Benefits of a full sized SUV
Size of course is one of the main benefits of buying a full size SUV like the Chevy Tahoe and the Chevy Suburban or GMC Yukon. The cabs are larger, the passenger area is larger and the cargo space is larger, in short these vehicles are BIG.
The full size SUVs are usually built on a light truck frame making them heavier but also more capable of towing, loading heaver items in the storage area and able to withstand poor road surfaces. Many have 4x4 capability, but they should not be confused with a true of road vehicle, most are too large to handle off-roading well.
Along with the light truck frame Full Size SUV?s usually have larger engines allowing them to tow larger payloads.
While the Suburban is known to be able to get around 20 mpg on the freeway, big usually means poor gas mileage. Running around town is going to be a lot more expensive. These large vehicles are more difficult to maneuver, especially in parking lots and other areas with limited room. Repairs are also more expensive. Large vehicles require larger more expensive tires. Finally, the price tag on the full sized SUV can put almost anyone in shock. Economy is not one of the strong points!
Benefits of a Crossover SUV
The Crossover SUV and the compact Crossover SUV is a melding between the full size SUV and a car. Most crossovers and compact crossovers are built on a car platform, while at the same time trying to incorporate much of the design features that have made the full size SUV so popular.
Full size SUVs in most cases employ the old "Body on Frame" construction methods instead of the newer unibody construction used by many of the modern cars. Crossover SUVs and compact crossover SUV employ the construction methods used on most cars today of the unibody construction. Compact SUV handle more like cars and have a greater fuel economy due to the lighter design.
The acceptance of this crossover technology is evident in the sales. In March of 2010 GMC reported a 45% increase in the sales of its compact crossover the GMC Terrain and a 37% sales increase in the GMC Acadia. It also seems that the Terrain has a greater draw for Women then other GM products, the same report stated that about 40% of the Terrain buyers were women. This number is about 10% higher than any other GM product.