I have two kids (which sometimes feels like I have ten), a giant dog, and a whole mess of gear that complements our love for the outdoors. We need a vehicle that fits our busy lifestyle, but driving a minivan is just not my thing. The solution I found, and that I’ve stuck with through our past three trade-ins is the crossover.

Space, Space, and More Space

A crossover is an SUV style body built on a car frame. This means that you get all the space of an SUV, without some of the drawbacks. The exact specifications depend on what model you choose, but you can really pack some stuff in there if necessary. My car seats 7 when I fold up the 3rd row seating, and some crossovers seat up to 9. The cargo area is spacious when I fold that seat down, which means I can make a trip to Costco without having to unload my stroller. When we head for the mountains, all of our gear fits in back, without the kids having their space intruded upon.

Go Farther for Less

If you’ve opted for an SUV, you’re enjoying space and style, but probably feeling a pinch at the pump. Crossovers get much better gas mileage than their SUV counterparts, making them perfect for road trips, and for the millions of errands you have to run each day around town. Mother Earth appreciates this choice as well.

Cruise in Comfort

A crossover seats and stores like an SUV, but it handles like a car. They have a lower center of gravity, and a smoother ride than SUVs. This makes them safer at freeway speeds, and reduces road noise and bumpiness. SUVs are made to go off-road, so they are a little rougher ride. You do lose off-road capabilities in a crossover, but most of us don’t really need that, and you gain a lot in handling, safety and comfort. Many crossovers come in an AWD model that is great for our snowy winters here in Utah.

Mom-it-Up in Style

My favorite thing about my crossover is that is is not a minivan. What I mean is that my crossover allows me to have a car that does all the things I need it to do, while still looking sporty and aggressive. The lines on a crossover tend to be more stylish, and the 4 door look vs. the sliding van door look is a huge win. The function and economy of the crossover is what keeps me choosing it over an SUV, and the look of it is what keeps me steering clear of the minivan.