SUVs – sport utility vehicles – are a group of motor vehicles that can be used for transporting passengers but also have features like four-wheel drive that allow them to be driven off-road on rough terrain.
Nowadays, SUVs are very popular cars. They have been around since the 1930s, but not in the capacity that we know them now. During the Second World War, the US Army asked car manufacturers to create a vehicle that would be capable of transporting soldiers but would also be able to drive over all kinds of terrain. In response, only two car manufacturers created prototypes; one of which was Willys MB. Willys MB were subsequently commissioned to produce their prototype, the Jeep. You can visit the National Motor Museum website for more information: https://nationalmotormuseum.org.uk/vehicle-collection/willys-mb-jeep/
Throughout the war, the Jeep played an important role transporting soldiers and equipment over difficult and rough terrain. After the war finished, the manufacturer made the Jeep available to the public to buy, which the US market embraced.
Across the Atlantic, the UK market saw the introduction of the Land Rover. The first models were designed very much around the Jeep specifications, but Land Rover focussed on the needs of farming, meaning certain changes were made to make the product more appealing to farmers. The Land Rover officially debuted in 1948 and is now one of the most iconic vehicles of our time.
Although the Asian and American SUV market became more popular in the 90s, it wasn’t until 2007 that the SUV market’s popularity exploded all over the world. By 2013, there were 52 types of SUV available. Their popularity grew as SUVs became more available, prices started to become more affordable and they also became more economical.
In today’s market, pretty much every car manufacturer has not only one SUV added to their range, but a suite of SUVs for you to choose from. Even the high-end marques have got in on the action with maybe the most notable latest entry, the Aston Martin DBX, which is due to be officially launched later this month. Even Jaguar, who held out until 2015, now have several to choose from, including an all-electric version called the I-Pace: https://www.jaguar.co.uk/jaguar-range/i-pace/index.html
So just why are SUVs so popular? For many car buyers, the SUV offers a lot more size than other models. However, there are many other features that the SUV has, such as:
- Large interior for the driver and passengers
- Minimal 5 seats with an optional 7
- All-wheel drive or 4×4 capabilities
- Ability to tow
- Large boot space
- High ground clearance
These are just some of the standard features, but many manufacturers now have a plethora of additional elements to make their SUVs stand out from the crowd. SUVs also come in a great range of sizes. So, if you are looking to buy an SUV, it’s a good idea to really research the market and ensure that you match what you need your car to do with the model you’re interested in buying.
It’s safe to say that the SUV market will increase in popularity for general public use but will also continue to grow for life in the military as they have so much to offer.