Everything you ever wanted to know about SUVs but were too afraid to ask

In recent years, SUVs have taken over the roads of Britain. These large, imposing vehicles, with their spacious interiors, high-riding positions, and rugged looks, have captured the hearts and minds of drivers everywhere. But for all their popularity many drivers don’t know what an SUV really is, or how they differ from other car models. Most importantly, is an SUV the right choice for you?

So if you’re in the market for an SUV, or simply curious about these popular vehicles, read on.

Interested in financing an SUV? Don’t forget to read our SUV Car Loans Blog

So what exactly is an SUV?

SUVs or ‘Sports Utility Vehicles’, have taken the UK by storm in the last decade. They combine the capabilities of a traditional Truck with the family-focused passenger-carrying space of a minivan or people carrier. Their larger size, good performance and popular sleek looks have been a hit with UK car buyers.

Why have SUVs become so popular?

SUVs have seen a marked increase in popularity in recent years. One reason for this is the perception of increased safety and security that comes with driving a larger vehicle. SUVs tend to have higher ground clearance and a more commanding view of the road. This can give drivers a sense of being in control and protected.

Many SUVs are also equipped with features such as all-wheel drive and advanced safety technologies. Lane departure warning and forward collision warning systems are common. This gives safety-conscious drivers added peace of mind.

Beyond safety, SUVs also offer a great deal of versatility. They can be used for various purposes, from daily commutes to weekend road trips with the dogs or moving luggage around. They typically have more interior space than the average car, making them a popular choice for families or those who need to transport a lot of gear. And with SUVs available in a wide range of sizes and price points, they’ve become affordable for many UK Car Buyers.

Lastly, SUVs have become more fuel-efficient. Many models now offer hybrid or electric options, which can appeal to consumers who are conscious of their environmental impact and fuel economy.

In short, SUVs offer a unique combination of practicality, versatility, and perceived safety, making them a highly sought-after choice among drivers.

What is the difference between an SUV and a 4×4?

Many buyers believe that an SUV is simply a modern term for the 4×4, but that is not the case. Whilst all 4×4 vehicles include four-wheel drive, not all SUVs have it. If four-wheel drive is important to you, its vital to check that the model you are interested in included the feature.

What is the difference between an SUV and a crossover?

Whilst SUVs and crossovers are very similar, there are a few differences. In a classic crossover, the vehicle tends to sit closer to the ground, is less likely to have the four-wheeled drive and is generally smaller than an SUV. For most drivers, a crossover will offer a more car-like ride, whereas the higher position of an SUV will offer a very different experience.

Are there any disadvantages to owning an SUV?

Whilst SUVs are popular, they aren’t for everyone. For one, their popularity has led to both new and used SUVs increasing in price. They tend to be more expensive than hatchbacks or estate cars. The upside to this is that they tend to hold their value better than other car models.

The size and weight of SUVs can make them difficult to manoeuvre, especially when reversing into tight car park spaces.

The size and weight also lead them be less fuel efficient than smaller models. Luckily, new models are much improved in this regard with fuel efficiency lose to what you’d expect in a family estate car.

What are the most popular SUVs in the UK?

In 2022, the most popular car model in the UK was the Nissan Qashqai. This mid-size family-focused SUV, now in its 3rd Gen version has been a massive success, offering extra cabin space and improved onboard tech.

Other popular SUVs include the Range Rover Evoque, Kia Sportage and the Volvo XC60.

Where can I get more information about buying an SUV?

If you are looking to finance your next SUV, check out our SUV Car Finance guide for helpful tips and tricks.