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Cargo Space: Crossover Versus Suvs

By: Anthony Fontanelle

Americans are known for their preference for large vehicles such as pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles. Aside from having adequate interior room, light trucks are favored by many because of the amount of cargo that it can carry. But the size of these light trucks means that it would need a bigger engine which will obviously consume more fuel.

The increasing price of gasoline in the United States and in the global market has led car buyers to stay away from these gas guzzlers even if they provide a good amount of storage space. In order to provide adequate cargo space to car buyers and at the same time bring down fuel consumption, car manufacturers started developing SUV-like vehicles on car platforms.

The result of using car platforms to create vehicles larger than sedans and hatchbacks gave birth to the crossover SUV. These vehicles looks like SUVs but, unlike the latter, it is built around a platform used for cars. The use of car platforms results in a better handling and ride comfort as well as reduced fuel consumption. Aside from these car-like attributes, crossover vehicles are also known for their cargo space which rivals that of SUVs.

Full-size SUVs of today like the Ford Expedition and the Chevrolet Tahoe are based on truck platforms. Although Ford and General Motors has done much to reduce as much truck qualities from these SUVs, the origin of these SUVs are still apparent. Even with good suspension components such as the Chevrolet Tahoe leaf spring, the handling of the Tahoe is very much like a truck.

To give consumers sharper handling and other car-like attributes, car manufacturers are now using car platforms for their larger-than-sedan vehicles. One of the newest crossovers to hit the market is the Saturn Outlook. The crossover is developed with German car manufacturer Opel.

With its European styling come the capabilities of an SUV in terms of cargo space and the handling, ride, and fuel efficiency of a car. The Outlook, although smaller than the full-size SUV Tahoe, provides more cargo space than the latter. This means that auto buyers now have a choice to get what they want in an SUV while having a vehicle with car-like handling and gas mileage.

The Outlook provides more legroom than the Tahoe. Another advantage that the Outlook has on the Tahoe is its fold down third row of seats. While the Tahoe's third row of seats needs to be taken out of the car to increase storage space at the back of the vehicle, the Outlook's needs only to be folded down. Although the Outlook has more cargo space and legroom than the Tahoe, its towing capacity is relatively less than that of the Tahoe.

The construction of the Tahoe and the Outlook determines their towing capacity. Since the Chevy Tahoe is built around a truck platform, it tends to be heavier and sturdier than a car platform. Thus the choice is up to car buyers, if cargo space inside the vehicle is the primary concern, then the Outlook is a perfect choice. For those looking to haul cargoes, the Tahoe or the Expedition for that matter is a good choice. But if looking outside these two body styles, a minivan can accommodate more cargo inside it as compared to a crossover or a full-size SUV.

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About The Author, Anthony Fontanelle

Anthony Fontanelle is a 35-year-old automotive.buff who grew up in the Windy City. He does freelance work for an automotive magazine when he is not busy customizing cars in his shop.

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