With Jaguar getting into the crossover game with the acclaimed Jaguar F-PACE and the much-anticipated Jaguar I-PACE, we’ve found ourselves having to answer a new question: “Crossover, SUV — same thing, right?” Well, not exactly. They’re a bit different even if they share a lot of things in common. Here’s why you find crossovers at Jaguar Peabody, and what makes them different.

What’s an SUV, Anyway?

An SUV uses body-on-frame construction like you’d find on a pickup truck. This has its advantages, not least of which are strength and the ability to do some serious off-roading. But it has some drawbacks, too. It’s heavier, which means that an SUV handles more like a truck than a car. For some brands, this isn’t a major consideration. When your reputation is built on the kind of handling that raises goosebumps, however, it’s a deal-breaker.

So What’s a Crossover?

A crossover uses what’s called unibody construction. Either one’s just a fancy way of saying the body and frame are one continuous unit. It’s the same kind of construction found in cars like the Jaguar F-TYPE, so a crossover like the Jaguar I-PACE comes with some advantages. For starters, you get the ride height and capacity that comes with an SUV. But you also have an arrangement that’s lighter than body-on-frame, so you also retain the handling characteristics of a much lighter vehicle.

Which One’s Better?

There’s no objectively correct answer for this. It really comes down to priorities, both for an automaker and for buyers. For Jaguar, it comes down to a mix of practical considerations (the Jaguar I-PACE shaves weight any way it can to extend range) and the same concerns shared by its drivers; that is to say, the Jaguar brand brings with it certain expectations for performance that aren’t subject to compromise. You can still go off-road, mind you, but these crossovers are meant to thrill under everyday driving conditions.

To find out more, or to test drive a new Jaguar crossover like the 2018 Jaguar E-PACE, visit Jaguar Peabody at 247 Newbury St.