SUVs are one of the most popular vehicle groups in the UK, and for good reason. Standing for Sports Utility Vehicles, SUVs make light work of a range of challenges and tasks that they face on a daily basis, proving to be great alternatives to traditional options such as an MPV or family hatchback.
Being so popular, there are a variety of options out there whether you buy new or used, so it's important you understand the benefits of an SUV before deciding which one to go for. Below, we've highlighted a variety of reasons why an SUV may be a fantastic option for your next car.
The first (and most obvious) benefit is the level of practicality that SUVs have to offer thanks to their larger frame, providing you with enough room to transport loads of luggage without having to drop the back seats. They also have the ability to carry more weight than the typical hatchback without being weighed down, which is ideal if you carry a lot of cargo on a regular basis.
The spacious interior makes SUVs ideal for families, with head and legroom often generous enough to leave taller members of the family with little to complain about. Crossover SUVs are more suited to smaller families, while larger SUVs can offer seating for up to seven people.
If that's not enough, a wide variety of SUVs come with various packs or additional extras that enhance versatility even further. Roof bars are one example, allowing you to transport a roof box or a couple of bicycles in a hassle-free manner.
Due to the size of SUVs, it comes as no surprise that they make for some of the safest cars on the road and often score well when they're put through Euro NCAP's rigorous crash tests. Generally, SUVs are able to take the force of a collision more effectively than smaller cars due to them being larger and heavier, reducing the chance of injury for all occupants.
But they're not only good when in a crash, they're also proficient in preventing them too. SUVs often come with a wide range of driver assistance systems that can alert the driver of hazards and reduce the risks of driving. Equipment such as parking sensors and blind spot assist come in handy as obstacles can be harder to spot when driving larger vehicles.
The increase in popularity has lead automotive manufacturers to develop their understanding of the typical SUV user, which explains why new vehicles are continuously returning more impressive fuel economy figures. The increased efficiency means that modern SUVs are now highly-suited to daily use, as opposed to having a pure off-road focus.
Economic internal combustion engines have been reducing the costs of running for a while now, but many may be surprised to learn that various modern SUVs now come with hybrid and all-electric powertrains that can maximise how far a tank of fuel (or a recharge of the batteries) can get you.
There are still a number of high-powered SUVs available for those that favour performance over efficiency, but for the most part, SUVs have now become more environmentally-friendly than ever and make for the perfect family car.
While the focus of SUVs has shifted slightly to suit the lifestyle of their users, their robust nature hasn't been lost in the process. Not only does this mean they're typically safer than other vehicles, as previously mentioned, but it also allows SUVs to absorb the scuffs and bumps of day-to-day life more easily.
If you're a frequent off-road goer, then SUVs are the perfect companion as they can deal with rough terrain more effectively. 4x4 systems (optional on some models) reduce the risk of getting stuck in a muddy field when camping or on an adventure, while elevated ride heights ensure you're not scraping your underside on rocks and uneven ground.
Various packs are also available to increase how tough your SUV is. Storage packs can allow you to throw luggage in the boot without the fear of dirtying plush carpets, and exterior features such as plastic wheel arches can reduce the damage of thrown-up stones whilst both on and off-road.
As some of the best cars for towing caravans, it's no surprise to see SUVs hauling caravans and trailers, particularly in the summer months when many treat themselves to a staycation.
SUVs usually come with larger, higher-powered engines than smaller alternatives, meaning they possess a higher degree of pulling power. This trend is also present within the SUV class itself, as larger SUVs tend to be more comfortable when lugging heavy loads compared to smaller crossover SUVs. It's always worth checking the towing weights of vehicles before getting your heart set on a particular car.
Bike racks can also be fitted to the tow bar; combine this with a bike rack mounted to the roof bar, and you have the capability to transport plenty of bicycles, or other equipment, for a fun day out with the family.
An SUV may be better than a smaller car for some lifestyles as they are often safer, more practical, and equipped with a range of technology. This allows them to complete a range of tasks easily, including anything from the weekly shop to active adventures in the countryside.
SUVs offer plenty of benefits, but there are some disadvantages too. Being larger and often better-equipped, they tend to cost more to purchase than other options within the automotive market. They can also be harder to drive and park than other vehicles due to their size, but there are plenty of driver assistance systems to make this much easier.
SUVs prove to be fantastic partners for long road trips and are more than happy when cruising along a motorway for extended periods of time. Their comfortable nature also allows them to soak up potholes and imperfections of the road better than other options on the market.
Due to the sheer amount of choice, there's no definitive answer regarding which SUV you should buy. A wide range of brands including Renault, Dacia and Nissan have all put their stamp on the increasingly-popular SUV market and are suitable for a wide range of lifestyles and tasks.
With hundreds of different models of vehicles, it can feel like a major task to decide which car to purchase, especially if you're choosing between a sporty sedan or spacious SUV. Ease your worries about the car buying process by determining what's important during your driving experience. Both SUVs and sedans have advantages, so it's best to do your research to decide which features are most important to you.
SUVs are designed with extra space, reducing the risk of injury in a head-on collision. A recent crash test by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that passengers of heavier, larger vehicles experience less force during an accident. Keep in mind that your driving habits are a key player in your safety while on the road. But a sedan can be just as safe as an SUV. Smaller vehicles now come with optional safety features such as airbags, anti-lock brakes, traction control, and collision prevention, which can also reduce the risk of injury in a collision.
When selecting a new car, consider both the environment and climate where you drive most often. If you live in a colder climate, an SUV with all-wheel drive (AWD) is typically best for driving on icy roads. Though it's a newer feature for smaller cars, several sedans on the market also come with AWD.
Traditionally, smaller cars are easier to maneuver around the city, while SUVs can better navigate icy and wet roads. If most of your commute is on small roads in the city, a sleeker sedan could be more appealing.
Comfort depends on what you need. Most SUVs have the advantage of more space for both passengers and cargo. But compact SUVs can fit about the same amount of cargo and passengers as a sedan, including five passengers and multiple bags of luggage.
Approximately 59% of car buyers use their time researching car prices to get the best deal for their budget, making affordability a big factor when deciding which car to take home. Car insurance rates can also be an affordability factor. Before deciding on an SUV or sedan, talk to your insurance agent to see the difference in rates.
While large SUVs can carry more people, they have bigger tanks with fewer miles per gallon. Consider a sedan or a small crossover if gas mileage and fuel economy is important to you. Learn more about how car mileage impacts insurance.
Please note: The above is meant as general information to help you understand the different aspects of insurance. Read our editorial standards for Answers content. This information is not an insurance policy, does not refer to any specific insurance policy, and does not modify any provisions, limitations, or exclusions expressly stated in any insurance policy. Descriptions of all coverages and other features are necessarily brief; in order to fully understand the coverages and other features of a specific insurance policy, we encourage you to read the applicable policy and/or speak to an insurance representative. Coverages and other features vary between insurers, vary by state, and are not available in all states. Whether an accident or other loss is covered is subject to the terms and conditions of the actual insurance policy or policies involved in the claim. References to average or typical premiums, amounts of losses, deductibles, costs of coverages/repair, etc., are illustrative and may not apply to your situation. We are not responsible for the content of any third-party sites linked from this page. 59ce067264