Everyone loves an adventure, don’t you think? The wide-open spaces, the hills, the trees, the heather. Part of the joys of the UK’s countryside is that it’s relatively accessible with good roads allowing you to discover the very depths of what’s on offer.

But that being said, not all of the tracks are paper-smooth. For that, you might need something a little more robust with a touch more go-anywhere ability. A crossover vehicle might be the ideal solution – they mix the on-road manners of a conventional car but with a higher ride height giving you a more commanding view of the road ahead. Today, on Episode 2 of How to Car, we’re going to be checking out what you need to know about crossovers.

 

But what is a crossover vehicle?

It’s pretty much what its name describes. It’s a type of car which crosses over segments; it’s not a fully-fledged SUV, but neither is it a hatchback. You get some of the chunky styling and boxy dimensions that you’d find in a full-sized off-roader, but with a more compact footprint which means that you’re able to park it more easily. For many, it’s a great combination.

Why should you think about choosing one?

Crossovers have been seeing a real surge in popularity over recent years and it’s because they offer the extra space that families need but without a huge increase in bodysize. With quirky looks being a hallmark of the segment, these are cars that like to stand out from the crowd a little bit. They’re quite often a little more robust inside, meaning that they stand up to the punishment of daily use a touch better than more conventional cars.

Can you get four-wheel-drive crossovers?

Of course. For those who want to travel a little further afield and want the added capability that four-wheel-drive affords, then there are a good amount of options. Put simply, four-wheel-drive means that all four wheels are being powered, rather than a conventional two-wheel-drive car which powers just the front or rear wheels.

Now, of course, having just four-wheel-drive alone won’t allow you to drive over boulders, but it’ll give you a little added security for when things get slippery. Combined with some slightly more off-road focused tyres, four-wheel-drive can be a real help when it snows or even when you’re trying to drive up a particularly muddy hill.

But what about two-wheel-drive crossovers? Do they exist?

Of course! Not everyone needs an adventure car that has all four wheels powered and, in truth, the majority of crossover vehicles favour two-wheel-drive as it provides better efficiency and lower running costs. Plus, because the layout allows for a more compact package, you’ll often find that two-wheel-drive crossovers are a touch smaller and a little easier to live with.

The benefit, of course, is that opting for a crossover will give you a little extra space than you’d find in a conventional hatchback. However, you still get that all-important raised view of the road ahead. If you’d like to see some of the most budget-friendly crossovers on sale today, then check out our feature here.