Last Updated on April 6, 2023 by Victor A

SUVs come in all shapes and sizes, it’s normal that this can lead to some confusion. When you are looking for the perfect SUV, you want to be sure that you are getting the vehicle that is right for you and your family. And here is where this how to compare the size of SUVs guide can come in handy.

Since many automakers try to differentiate some of their models by coming out with new SUV size categories, which only furthers the confusion, we are going to directly ignore those, and simplify things for you.

There are three main categories for SUV sizes

Is that simple, only three categories based on size, which in our experience is the best way to help people categorize these vehicles. If you want to compare the size of SUVs effectively first you need to understand their differences.

The smallest SUVs are considered crossover SUVs, these are relatively new to the segment, as they are essentially passenger cars with more ground clearance, a slightly different shape, and similar cargo and passenger space.

Crossover SUVs are often produced on the same platforms as passenger cars.

The next category is midsize SUVs, these are SUVs that are larger than a crossover, they often have higher ground clearance, a boxier shape, and can come with up to three rows of seating.

Cargo and passenger space is also better, and some are even produced in truck platforms.

And lastly, there is the full-size SUV category, which hosts the largest vehicles in the segment, with the highest ground clearance, and impressive cargo and passenger space.

Full-size SUVs come with great towing capacity and often come with AWD or 4WD. It is common to find them with standard three-row seating.

SUV Sizes, crossover bmw x3, midsize bmw x5, full-size bmw x7
Crossover SUV: BMW X3 (left), Midsize SUV: BMW X5 (middle), Full-size SUV: BMW X7 (right)

Length, width, and height of crossover SUVs

Crossover SUVs are mainly meant to be driven in the city since they are great for tackling tight corners and for doing small distances. 

And the best thing about them is their fuel economy since they are smaller and lighter than the others.

The only setback about this type of SUV is its limited space and capabilities in terms of tackling harsh climates and roads.

The main giveaway for categorizing crossover SUVs would be the length since they often measure below 190 inches (4826 mm) in length. The width is usually below 75 inches (1905 mm), while the height is often limited to below 70 inches (1778 mm).

To help you understand the differences we are going to take BMW, Toyota, and Ford and compare their crossover SUVs, while in the next section, we will do the same but with their midsize SUV, and later with their full-size SUV.

Here are the dimensions for the three crossover SUVs:

Crossover SUVBMW X3Toyota RAV4Ford Escape
Length (in.)185.9181.5180.5
Width (in.)74.473.4 74.1
Height (in.) 66.068.666.1

Midsize SUVs size

These are the most common SUVs on the road, they are also usually the most attractive ones in terms of design since their proportions look better than in the other categories.

Midsize SUVs are the most versatile in the comparison, they can be fast while comfortable, and some of them are great off-roaders. But most importantly, they can still be used without much hassle in city driving.

Although their size isn’t as big as full-size SUVs, midsize SUVs can find some problems when cornering in some cities, or when finding parking spots. Also, the fuel economy isn’t the best, due to their increased weight.

When it comes to dimensions, midsize SUVs normally have a length below 200 inches (5080 mm) and above 187 inches (4749.8 mm). The width is usually set between 75 inches (1905 mm) and 80 inches (2032 mm), and the height is below 72 inches (1828.8 mm).

Find below the comparison between the three midsize SUVs:

Midsize SUVBMW X5Toyota 4RUNNERFord Explorer
Length (in.)194.3190.2198.8 
Width (in.)78.975.878.9
Height (in.) 68.771.569.9

Full-size SUVs dimensions

The SUVs in this category are known for having a considerable presence, and that’s due to their large size. Full-size SUVs are the ideal cars for big families.

However, this comes with a drawback, the fuel economy is horrendous, and when it comes to city driving expect to find a lot of headaches.

That doesn’t mean you should forget about them since they are very spacious, and comfortable, and you can get three rows of seating.

The best way to know if an SUV fits in this category is by looking at its length. If it’s above 200 inches (5080 mm) then it’s clear that we are talking about a huge car. Add to it, that their height is commonly above 72 inches (1828.8 mm) and it makes them easier to spot.

However, the width doesn’t differ much from midsize SUVs, which we could argue is a good thing, since if their width were greater they would have a lot of trouble cornering in cities and fitting in most parking spaces.

Full-size SUVBMW X7Toyota SequoiaFord Expedition
Length (in.)203.6 208.1210
Width (in.)78.779.679.9
Height (in.)

Which ones are better, crossover, midsize, or full-size SUVs?

The best category would be the best one for your needs. If you plan on using the vehicle for a small family, or for driving around a city, then crossover SUVs may be perfect for you.

However, if you’re looking for versatility, and you want an SUV that can be comfortable on highways, while useful in cities, midsize SUVs could be your best option.

And for those who have a big family, or need extra cargo space, then full-size SUVs can be your match.



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