What is CUV?
The term CUV stands for Cross-over or Crossover Utility Vehicle (CUV). This vehicle combines the features of an SUV and a hatchback. This vehicle type has gained rapid popularity in the last decade. A few years ago, the difference between an SUV and a cross-over was remarkable. However, now with the advancement of technology; it is really difficult to separate the two. Thus, many people use the term ‘Compact SUV’ to address a CUV.
Crossover vs SUV: How do they differ?
The basic difference between a CUV and an SUV is the chassis which lies beneath. Technically, the SUV uses a truck chassis while a cross-over employs a car chassis. Thus, generally, SUV has a ‘body on chassis’ type of construction whereas CUV has unibody construction. But, nowadays, unibody (or monocoque construction) is very popular and advanced. Hence, even most of the SUVs employ it. Therefore, this basic line of difference is getting faint day by day.
Another important feature that separates the two is the driveline configuration. Technically, if a vehicle has four-wheel drive system then it is called ‘SUV‘. However, if it employs the two-wheel drive system (FWD or RWD) then it becomes a crossover. However, this issue is debatable due to the absence of globally accepted guidelines. Therefore, many people mistakenly address crossovers as SUVs.
Features of a crossover:
Crossovers inherit aggressive and upright styling from SUV. These vehicles also have high ground clearance. From a hatchback, cross-overs adopt the hatch i.e. a door which provides access to luggage. In addition, the car-like chassis adopted from hatchback improves ride quality and handling of these vehicles. Thus, in essence, cross-overs combine the best of both the worlds.
Advantages of crossover vehicle:
- These vehicles offer a smooth ride and better handling compared to SUVs.
- The light-weight construction improves fuel economy.
- They have high and upright seating compared to a hatchback or a sedan. So, these vehicles have better road visibility.
- They have more luggage space compared to a hatchback.
Crossover cars in India:
The Indian market has a lot of cross-overs nowadays. This is because of the changed preferences of vehicle buyers. Naturally, manufacturers are taking full advantage of this rapidly growing vehicle segment.
Here are some of the ‘star performers’ from the segment:
Renault Duster (Except AWD version)