Why are SUVs so Popular?

You've heard why they're rubbish but are SUVs really all that bad

Hey there, thanks for clicking! Today, I'll be telling you why SUVs are popular. Remember, this doesn't mean I like them.

Right, SUVs. What are words that come to mind when you think of them? Big, slow, gas guzzlers, Chelsea tractors and the list goes on but have you ever stopped to think why these cars are so popular? Surely, there must be a reason why they have seemed to take over our roads.

1- Commanding Driving Position

SUV drivers love the raised driving position which gives them better visibility of the road ahead. The commanding driving position is apparently more popularly cited as important by female drivers, research has shown this to be true.

2- Rugged Appearance

While women enjoy the raised driving positions of SUVs, men prefer the more rugged looks of them over sedans and hatchbacks. That is rather amusing as most modern SUVs don't look very rugged at all and neither will they see much off-roading during their lifetime.

3- Ease of Access

While some sedans and hatches are rather low slung which makes it hard to get in and out of if you're elderly but having a lower car also makes it harder to get children in and out of car seats which is why a lot of new parents choose SUVs. The longer doors, raised seating and roof make for much better access to the back seats.

4- Improved Luggage Room

SUV stands for 'Sports Utility Vehicle' and while some of them have strayed quite far from the word sporty, they haven't lost sight of the utilitarian part of the acronym. The boot space of most SUVs is superior to their hatch and sedan counterparts while wagons can give them a run for their money, they still lack the height of the boot opening. The larger boot comes is useful if you're going to carry skis or bikes or other adventurous equipment but it really won't make much of a difference if you're just using the boot for your weekly shopping.



Words and Pictures by Matthew D'souza.

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Comments (89)

  • The only suv’s I’ve ever bought are real body on frame suvs that can actually tow and handle themselves offroad. None of this crossover modified car chassis nonsense that everyone is obsessed with nowadays.

      1 year ago
    • I get that entirely. If I’m buying an SUV, I want it to be able to tow or go off-road.

      Body on frame isn’t entirely required (Jeep Cherokee, Freelander 1/2), but they can both tow a lot and go off-road happily.

      I’d like to see a modern crossover...

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        1 year ago
    • Thanks for reading, Stefan! Agreed. I think you'll like the new suzuki Jimny. It's got a ladder frame chassis and even though it can't tow much, it's got great off-road capability.

        1 year ago
  • I don’t see the need for a SUV. Would rather buy an estate if you needed to put lots of luggage. Saloons have sufficient room and luggage area. And mostly 99% of SUV drivers never go offroad.

      1 year ago
    • Hey Josh, thanks for reading! Agree with all of that and the ones who do like to go off-road, don't buy new SUVs, they buy old nissan Patrols and Toyota land cruisers.

        1 year ago
  • Most SUVs are about as “sporty” and an elephant wearing Nikes. I reckon TPM (Tall People Movers) is a better acronym.

      1 year ago
    • Thanks for reading, Richard! Agreed though there's a few here and there like the Stelvio Quadrifoglio and the Jeep Cherokee Trackhawk which are genuinely quick and have the handling to match.

        1 year ago
    • And this is true, but Stelvio isn’t a quick and capable as its Giulia brother. If you want to go fast around corners (or through the air) the lighter and lower the better. There’s no getting around physics. The Stelvio and Trackhawk’s...

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        1 year ago
  • Here's the real reason: the majority of people are tasteless (meaning that they don't have taste, not that they're not tasty; sorry English) idiots. It's the same with the hideous houses these people pay loads of money to live in or the stupid people and things they are able to vote for (brexit amongst others).

      1 year ago
  • I wouldn’t get one because the size is ridiculous. What a waste of raw materials, and above all, everybody’s got one. Come on people, stop being such lemmings!

      1 year ago
    • Hey Tom, thanks for reading! Fair enough, I think SUVs made up more than 30% of new car sales here in NZ. They are everywhere sadly.

        1 year ago