Do something for me the next time you’re in the car. Have a look around you on the road and count the number of SUVs you see. Then compare it to all the other body types on the road.
Chances are, SUVs will outnumber sedans and hatchbacks, and any other body styles out there right now.
So what’s happening? Why are SUVs and crossovers becoming the most popular body type on the roads? Surely not everyone is buying an SUV for its offroading and adventuring capabilities?
Perhaps a pretty obvious one, but SUVs are much more spacious than other car types on the market. So if you have a big family, they’re an ideal choice to get the kids from A to B (and everywhere in between). With the typically large boot that comes with a classic SUV, a family of five could easily fit into the cabin, with all of their cargo in the boot.
This makes it ideal for big grocery trips or weekends away with the whole family; it’s just super convenient. Plus, the fact that most SUV cabins have a higher roof means much more headspace for taller passengers.
Let’s address the elephant in the room right now – SUVs are more prone to rollover than an SUV or hatchback because the weight of an SUV is a lot higher than classic lower body types.
That being said, though, SUVs have come a long way from their early days, and have an abundance of new safety technology to keep drivers and passengers safe on the road, such as stability control.
SUVs are also a lot sturdier than a lot of other cars on the road; their frames are typically a lot stronger, and they’re assembled on a strong chassis. SUVs are naturally larger and heavier, and therefore will handle impact well in the case of an accident.
And, with the driver’s position also being higher, visibility on the road is improved, meaning you can see what’s coming wherever you are in traffic.
Some may raise their eyebrows at this one, considering a lot of the larger SUVs can be pretty tall and require some manoeuvering to get into. But with a small or midsize SUV, accessibility is definitely improved for those who aren’t as nimble as they used to be.
The higher roof, additional leg space, and larger doors mean that the driver and passengers don’t need to bend or crouch as much as they would when entering a sedan or hatchback – much less effort and a lot more ease.
A smoother drive
The higher driving position means a longer suspension, which means you won’t feel the impact of driving over potholes and rough roads as much as you would in a lower car model. Smooth roads, rough roads, and every road in between, SUVs generally take them all on with ease.
And, because of their larger body and stronger frame, SUVs can handle rough weather. If you’ve ever been in a hatchback driving down the freeway with rough rain and winds, you’ll know that feeling of getting buffeted around like you might take off into the sky like Dorothy’s house at a moment’s notice.
For the adventurous family or those that enjoy a getaway, the towing capability of SUVs is enticement enough. Trailers, caravans, boats – SUVs can tow them all. Their larger, stronger body and generally more powerful engines mean they can tow big loads with ease.
Of course, check your SUV’s towing capabilities prior to hooking that caravan to it but, generally speaking, SUVs are the MVP when it comes to being both comfortable and practical.
The promise of adventure
Is it a cliche? Perhaps. But SUVs are often a symbol of adventure. Pretty much every advertisement for SUVs shows a beautiful, shiny new model hitting the open road, winding around cliff faces, and traversing rocky, mountainous terrain.
It’s enticing, and it showcases SUVs as the ideal adventure companion. The best part is the versatility – they’re perfect as a daily driver, dropping the kids off at school and loading the spacious boot with groceries, but also ideal for weekend getaways. And, with their spacious and comfortable interior, long drives and road trips can be done in total comfort.
What are the cons?
Look, we can’t list all of the amazing benefits of an SUV without listing some of the potential drawbacks.
First thing’s first – the price. SUVs are generally more expensive than their smaller counterparts, both in regards to purchasing and insurance, but also in terms of filling up on fuel. Because they’re bigger and heavier, SUVs cost more to run. That being said, fuel efficiency these days is pretty good.
Maneuvering these big boys can also be a bit of a challenge. Getting into tight parking spots and weaving through traffic is a little more cumbersome than it would be with a smaller car.
Some may also be put off by the carbon emissions because, again, the larger the car, the more carbon emissions are being emitted, which may bother the environmentally conscious.
The new king of the road
Regardless of any potential cons, SUVs are clearly here to stay and are quickly becoming the kings of the road. Where sedans once reigned supreme, this large and in charge body type has taken the world by storm, and we don’t see the popularity of SUVs dipping anytime soon.
If you’re on the hunt for a new SUV and you’re unsure of which model to choose, something that combines comfort, innovation, and safety like the Skoda Kodiaq is a great choice – but make sure you explore your options and find an SUV that fits into your lifestyle.