SUV stands for Sport Utility Vehicle and describes a car with the storage and seating capacity of a station wagon and the chassis of a truck. They’re bigger and have a higher roof, giving the driver a better view of the road. SUVs are designed for off-road driving and driving in adverse conditions. The raised ground clearance makes driving on rugged terrain a lot easier.
But you don’t have to live in the countryside or have a passion for challenging terrains to enjoy the advantages of driving an SUV. Sure, some people love the open road and are always looking for a new adventure, and that’s why they buy this type of vehicle. However, SUVs are also popular family cars since they have enough room to store anything you might need to chaperone the kids around town or take them camping. Because of their height and weight, these cars offer some safety benefits as well.
But like any car, SUVs have both advantages and disadvantages. Keep reading to find out if these stylish, roomy cars are the right choice for you.
Room & Comfort
One of the biggest advantages of owning an SUV is that you get a lot of room. You have more head space, storage space, and room to stretch your legs. This makes SUVs perfect for families that need to bring along a lot of equipment. They’re very child and pet-friendly. No matter what you have to do that day, you don’t have to worry about not having enough room to bring everything. This could be snacks and toys, but if you’re going on an adventure, you’ll also have plenty of room for tents, mountain bikes, surfboards, and kayaks. All this without getting the feeling that you’re driving a family car.
And of course, the more room you have, the more comfortable you are. You can’t compare a sedan with the comfort and luxury you get from the cabin of Lincoln SUV models.
SUVs are usually equipped with four-wheel drive, which means they can be used for a wide variety of purposes. Maybe you need a car for outdoor adventures. Rough and uneven ground won’t be an issue for an SUV, and neither will rain or snow. In short, an SUV with four-wheel drive will take you wherever you need to go, and you don’t have to worry about skipping and skidding during bad weather.
The best part is that you can maneuver your vehicle both on slick city streets and off road, all while keeping your passengers safe in a luxurious cabin.
Size & Safety
Another major advantage of SUVs is their size. They’re typically wider than sedans, and they’re set on higher wheels, with a robust foundation that gives them better power and durability.
This also gives results in several other advantages. First of all, the size and stronger truck chassis mean that in case of a collision, they’ll suffer much less damage than a smaller car.
Secondly, because of the higher seating position, you’ll have better visibility when it comes to potholes or objects that have fallen on the road. You’ll also see smaller vehicles in front of you in traffic, and you’ll know when you need to slow down. Moreover, you’ll have an easier time finding a free spot in a crowded parking lot.
Lastly, you’ll have a much easier time driving on bad roads and even through deeper waters than with a sedan.
This is especially important for people who are using their SUV as a family car. However, at high speeds, SUVs can roll over, so the driver needs to be mindful of this risk.
SUVs have more powerful engines and better grip control than sedans, making them the preferred choice for family trips that require towing a caravan, boat, or trailer.
Having said that, make sure you check the towing weight because more recent Crossover SUVs may have smaller engines and build.
The first disadvantage we have to mention is the price. We talked about all these benefits that come with owning an SUV: a powerful engine, stronger build, more storage space, roomier cabin, and more comfort. All these things make SUVs more expensive than your average sedan.
SUVs are not just more expensive to buy but also involve higher fuel costs. This is to be expected since a bigger car with a more powerful engine requires more fuel.
Manufacturers have improved fuel efficiency by reducing the weight with more advanced structural materials and by using more aerodynamic designs. Even so, sedans are still smaller and lighter and therefore more fuel-efficient.
You can also opt for a Crossover, which is more affordable, fuel-efficient, and environmentally friendly. However, keep in mind that this means you’ll be losing some of the advantages of SUVs, such as off-road driving and towing capabilities.
Since SUVs use more gas, they also give off more emissions than smaller sedans. This results in a bigger carbon footprint, which makes them less environmentally friendly.
For this reason, they have been under attack by various environmental groups. Having said that, as we mentioned before, if you’re not that interested in outdoor adventures, you can always get a Crossover SUV with better fuel efficiency and lower emissions.
Cost of Parts
As you would expect, since SUVs tend to be more expensive, the parts will also be more expensive. Furthermore, because SUVs are heavier, this puts additional strain on the breaks and tires, so they might need to be replaced more frequently.
Although the higher seating position will make it easier to spot free parking spaces, that doesn’t mean you’ll have an easy time actually parking your SUV. SUVs are bigger, so once you find that spot, it will take a bit of maneuvering.
Luckily, tech features like sensors and cameras have made it a lot easier, but if you’re not used to a car of this size, it will be quite challenging in the beginning. Parallel parking might be tricky even for very experienced drivers.