What is a Crossover Vehicle?

Crossover vehicles combine many of the most appealing qualities of sedans and sport utility vehicles (SUVs). Crossovers merge the rugged spaciousness, off-roading and all-weather capabilities of an SUV with the agility and comfort of a sedan.

As easy as it is to love crossovers for their versatility, safety, comfort, and overall driving experience, the features and capabilities continue to expand and evolve. With that in mind, there are several key characteristics many crossovers often share.

  • Powerful drivetrain: Crossovers can have either 4-wheel drive (4WD), 2-wheel drive, or all-wheel drive (AWD) systems that support safe travel through the toughest terrains and weather conditions. They may also have front-wheel drive systems with some 4WD or AWD capability.
  • Unibody construction: A crossover vehicle’s frame and body are built from a single unit to optimize handling.
  • Versatile interior: Crossovers make great use of space, capable of accommodating passengers and their cargo comfortably. In many cases, seating can convert into expanded cargo or vice versa.
  • Practicality: Fuel efficiency, a smooth ride, and an assortment of features make crossovers ideal vehicles for daily commuting or embarking on weekend adventures.

Apart from their reputation as simply small or compact SUVs, crossovers come in many shapes, styles, and sizes. Different makes and models may work better for different drivers and their families.  

With a diverse lineup of crossover SUVs to choose from, Subaru has something for everyone.

Differences Between Crossovers and SUVs

To the untrained eye, crossovers and SUVs can look – and even operate – similar. However, they differ in their construction and inner workings.

Traditionally, SUVs have been constructed like pickup trucks and are built with a body-on-frame design. This means that the two components are constructed separately. The body is then attached onto the frame during manufacturing. The setup is rugged and heavy, typically equipped with 4-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, as well as a high ground clearance, making it ideal for towing/hauling and off-roading.

Conversely, the unibody construction of crossovers tends to be lighter in weight, often leading to a quieter, smoother ride, and improved handling. Crossovers also offer improved fuel efficiency over traditional SUVs.

For years, crossovers were perceived as an “SUV-lite” vehicle. In recent years, it’s become increasingly difficult to differentiate between the two types of vehicles. Today, many modern SUVs have adopted features that were once only available on crossovers and other passenger cars, such as the unibody construction, a focus on interior comfort and amenities, and part-time 4WD/AWD that is less taxing on fuel economy and the engine.

On the flipside, modern crossovers have embraced the utility and ruggedness that were only previously available on traditional pickup trucks and SUVs. In fact, many of today’s crossovers are equipped with higher ground clearance and powerful drivetrains for off-road adventures and are capable of towing large loads without issue.

Why Subaru Crossovers Stand Out

Many of the characteristics that define crossover SUVs are the very features that Subaru has built our reputation on:

  • Safety – Between our standard Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system and impressive EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology, Subaru crossovers are equipped with features that prioritize stability, on-road performance, and driver visibility to make driving as safe as it is enjoyable.
  • Handling – Thanks to the innovative SUBARU BOXER® engine, with its low, horizontal mounting on the transmission and intentionally balanced design, Subaru crossover SUVs operate with exceptional agility and stability.
  • Ruggedness – Our crossovers are ready for any adventure, no matter where life takes you. A generous ground clearance across all models helps you handle challenging terrains with ease. Crossover models equipped with Subaru X-MODE® benefit from added control and traction at the push of a button.
  • Built to last – Subaru crossover SUVs are made to weather years of adventures. In fact, according to recent Experian Automotive data (as of December 2022), 96% of Subaru vehicles sold in the last 10 years are still on the road today.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Crossover

Our diverse lineup of Subaru crossover vehicles includes appealing options that speak to your particular needs. Choosing the best crossover SUV model for you comes down to what matters most to you and your family.

Fuel Efficiency

Subaru models perform impressively efficiently as AWD crossover SUVs. Among our lineup of vehicles, the Subaru Forester offers competitive fuel efficiency, making it the perfect crossover for commutes within the city and for highway driving. For drivers who crave an even more energy-efficient option, the Subaru Solterra is the first of its kind: an all-electric crossover SUV with Subaru’s exceptionally balanced Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system and our StarDrive® zero-emissions all-electric drivetrain.

Safety Features

All Subaru crossover vehicles–including the Crosstrek, Forester, Outback, and Solterra – are equipped with a variety of features that keep safety top-of-mind. Subaru Symmetrical AWD comes standard on all crossovers, along with LED Steering Responsive Headlights and EyeSight Driver Assist Technology to help drivers more confidently navigate terrain and see the road ahead. Optional features, such as Subaru DriverFocus®, SUBARU STARLINK® Safety and Security, LED Fog Lights, and Heated Exterior Mirrors can be added to select models, helping optimize your vehicle for safety.

Lifestyle and Comfort

When it comes to unparalleled comfort, you can’t go wrong with any Subaru crossover SUV. For instance, not only is the Subaru Forester striking to look at, but high-quality interior materials with stylish contrast stitching and texture give the cabin a fun, sporty feel. Designed for comfort, the Forester features roomy seats and ample overhead space, making it a great choice for long trips. Similarly, the Subaru Crosstrek prioritizes comfort alongside a readiness for the open road. With ample headroom and legroom, it offers a smooth, comfortable ride on long stretches of highway or rugged countryside terrain. Beyond aesthetics, Subaru crossover SUVs come loaded with entertainment features, like SUBARU STARLINK Multimedia with Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto integration, and more.

Built For Adventure

An adventurer’s dream, the Subaru is a pioneer that sets the standard when it comes to crossover vehicles. Each member of the Subaru crossover lineup is available in a wide variety of trims, each equipped with features to help you confidently navigate off-road or across any terrain. Standard features include X-MODE with Hill Descent Control, EyeSight, raised roof rails with tie-downs, and plenty of cargo space to haul your gear.

Shop Subaru Crossovers Now!

Finding the best Subaru for you and your family comes down to a mix of aesthetics, lifestyle, and taste for adventure. Explore our full range of midsize crossover SUVs, ready to accompany you on any trek – whether that’s to work, school, errands, or your next family outing.

Explore the full Subaru family of vehicles today.