SUVs are proper, rational vehicles

The present and future of SUVs explained

Right now, it seems like whatever your needs, whether it's 8 comfortable seats for your family, supercar performance in a two-tone high riding vehicle, compact dimensions for the school-run, agile and fun small city car, it is somehow possible to get an SUV to do pretty much any job. We're talking about times when you walk into a Toyota dealership and you have a choice of eight SUVs stretching from the compact Crossover to the Full size, a world away from when high riding vehicles were actually four-wheel drive.

For more than a decade now, we keep calling these Sensless And Useless Vehicles ridiculous, stupid, a waste of space on the road... And it does seem like we have a point: As every car manufacture around the world tries to get an extra mile of range per every gallon of fuel and make their electric cars more and more slippery and less energy wasteful to one day perhaps, save the planet, we can't help but buy these taller, less aerodynamic, slower, worst looking (in some cases) SUVs which don't even serve the purpose of going off-road since some of them aren't even 4 wheel drive and anyway, nobody ever takes them off the smooth tarmac.

And yet, like every car out there, apart from the Nissan Murano Cabriolet, they serve a purpose and do make sense.

At some point in the history of cars, sedans became cool and everyone wanted one. They were stylish, comfortable and relaxing. One day, something called the cabriolet became cool and very desirable, it was a car people wanted. And pretty much twenty years ago, BMW noticed that wealthy people were buying the Range Rover not to climb 120-degree slopes but to use every day. These buyers liked the high riding position offering more road presence, better visibility and more safety if they ever encountered an impact with another car.

autoevolution

autoevolution

Two decades later, if someone goes to a BMW store to buy the latest X5, chances are, they want a high-riding, safer SUV Not a military off-roader and certainly not a bigger, slower, less economical 5 series. They want an SUV. Because the SUV is an entirely new category, and more importantly, a new trend. It comes with good points and negative points, but today if you want an SUV, there is no alternative to that. A 5 series won't do the job because it may be a better car, but it's simply a world away from your SUV expectations.

The fact that today we have an SUV covering every segment and reinterpreting the Coupe, the Cabriolet, the limousine, ... just goes to show how much of a good segment the SUV is. And who knows, maybe in a few decade's time, we might refer to SUVs as normal cars since they will have become the standard of car segments.

Of course, I'm not saying that the saloon or "proper" coupe shape will completely disappear as that would be quite sad, and as long as people still want these closer to the ground cars, manufactures will still be making them. And it's the same story with Supercars and Hypercars, we can be sure that those wonder machines will never disappear as they are used to show the public what the industry is properly capable of. We also need them simply because they make us dream, whether it's the looks, the speed, the handling, the sound, the fizz, we will always want them and manufactures will always make them.

So here is my take on the SUV world right now, what it means, and what we can expect in the near future! Thanks for reading, it means a lot.

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Comments (13)

  • I live in London, and not only are the roads terrible, but they’re covered in speed ramps and potholes. I wanted a hatchback with just a bit more ground clearance and enough room in the hatch for a large dog, but I didn’t want to be too extravagant. The answer? A second hand Mercedes GLA. Not too big and definitely not an off-roader, although it can handle dirt tracks and not too muddy fields when a camping trip requires it. Reasonably comfortable and 50+ mpg on the motorway (35-40 in town). Is it an SUV? Well yes kind of, thats what it calls itself. But I think the lines are blurred. How do we define an SUV? The answer is that we don’t; the manufacturers do, and some of them are hardly different from saloons and hatchbacks. Maybe barely a couple of inches more ground clearance and slightly more chunky styling. Truth is we’re being sold a product that looks different but really isn’t much.

      1 month ago
    • Your purchase does make a lot of sense and so does the rest of your comment. Thanks for sharing

        1 month ago
    • Come on, our £500 Astra went over London roads perfectly fine, how you need a GLA to tackle London is beyond me

        1 month ago
  • Never understood this "high riding is good" argument. If people want high riding vehicles why didn't they just buy a van instead of a car disguised to look like an off-roader? Faking the ability to do something cool is very much part of the SUV-styling. A Ford Transit can't fake it's useful, because it is. An SUV is something people want, but they don't need - which pretty much sums up all the issues with the modern world.

      1 month ago
    • I think part of the reason is that we humans are shallow, superficial beings - looks matter. Although they're subjective, the fact that SUVs are so popular shows that people like the styling and aren't too fussed about the substance. And who...

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        28 days ago
  • I can see why SUVs are popular and I agree

      1 month ago
  • What if I want an elegant sports coupe? Or a proper go-anywhere offroader? I am sure there are some SUVs that can do that! Oh no, wait...

      1 month ago
    • Most Subarus, Volvos, Land Rovers... can actually off road. And if I want an off roader, I’d just get a Defender. And the Stelvio exists

        1 month ago
    • Subaru can drive around some mud, sure, and be good at it. But its not actually a serious offroader. And I wouldn't drive a Volvo or a Stelvio into such a place, it would just get all dirty there, and wouldn't really go far. A Defender would do...

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        1 month ago
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