Will They Cross Over to Those Crossovers?

Crossovers vehicles that look like SUVs and wagons but are built on car platforms generate a lot of buzz these days. But will consumers buy enough of them to offset sagging SUV sales? And do shoppers really know what they are? Autobytel's latest poll of in-market online auto shoppers sheds light on how real-world consumers define the slippery category and how likely they are to crossover to a crossover

Crossovers — vehicles that look like SUVs and wagons but are built on car platforms — generate a lot of buzz these days.

But will consumers buy enough of them to offset sagging SUV sales? And do shoppers really know what they are?

Autobytel's latest poll of in-market online auto shoppers sheds light on how real-world consumers define the slippery “crossover” category and how likely they are to crossover to a crossover in the near term.

Forty-one percent identify a crossover as an “SUV that drives like a car” and 28% say it's “another word for a wagon” Both are fairly apt descriptions. But 9% think a crossover is an “SUV that goes off road” while another 9% think it's simply “another name for an SUV.”

When asked which type of vehicle they're most strongly considering for their next purchase, only 4% selected “a crossover,” which ranked behind all other categories, including minivans, which garnered more than twice as many responses.

But when asked which vehicle category had the most “appeal,” 15% named crossovers. That ranked a competitive fourth, behind luxury sedans (25%), trucks (18%) and large SUVs (18%).

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