Two distinct trends have helped spur crossover growth: traditional SUV buyers looking for smaller and more fuel-efficient vehicles and car buyers seeking more spacious and flexible interiors with the confidence of All Wheel Drive.
CUVs look like SUVs, but they are built on a car platform. The difference in production gives them the ride and handling of a car with the functionality of an SUV. SUVs are built on a truck platform.
So far this year, CUV sales are up 9 percent, while SUV sales are down 16 percent. By the end of the decade, CUVs are expected to be a contender for the largest category of vehicles in the U.S.
—"Crossover Utility Vehicles Poised to Become Largest Automotive Segment," Market Wire, October 16, 2006
—Michael Taylor, "Ford's not-so-edgy edge," The San Francisco Chronicle, October 29, 2006
Despite these relative long-term declines, "sales of more fuel-efficient CUVs, such as the new Ford Escape, Acura MDX and the Chrysler PT Cruiser have helped maintain the industry's record pace," Taylor said. CUV sales rose 118 percent during the first 10 months of 2000 and 121 percent during the last three months ending October 31, compared to the same period last year.
—"SUV Sales Moderate in the Third Quarter; Crossover Vehicles Soar," PR Newswire, November 9, 2000