Sports Utility Vehicles – SUV

sports_utility_vehicles_1Any vehicle which equalizes the towing capacity of a pickup truck in addition to passenger-carrying space is called a Sports Utility Vehicle or SUV.

Such vehicles have the ability to perform efficiently both on and off the road. SUVs are often described as light weighted trucks which shares the platforms of that of a pickup truck.

In many countries SUVs are called as off road or four wheel drive (4×4) vehicle. But the fact is that not all the SUVs have four wheel drive and not all 4x4s are SUVs.

On the other hand off-roads are exactly different from an SUV. It is designed primarily to drive off road where as SUVs lack this feature or it may be secondary.

SUVs were extremely popular since 2000. Afterwards, the fame gradually declines due to the oil crisis as SUVs consume large amount of fuel and creates more pollution when compared to other vehicles.

Due to the criticisms from all levels, the manufacturers had made considerable changes in their design and increased the safety features. The traditional truck type design has been gradually replaced by the crossover design.

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In crossover design, a car platform is used instead of a pickup truck’s. This reduces the vehicle’s total weight and thereby increases the fuel efficiency.

Although the design of SUV varies, it is conventionally a mid sized vehicle which may comfortably carry up to five persons. It’s a vehicle which is built based on the concept of body on frame chassis.

SUVs were highly popular till early 2000 and this period was known as trend of SUV. For a variety of reasons SUVs had much craze in countries such as Australia, USA, Canada etc.

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During 1990s, US auto majors could earn a lump sum profit of more than $10,000 per SUV. On the other hand these companies could not make enough profit by selling small sector cars. This made the US auto giants- Ford, GM and Chrysler to concentrate its resources to manufacture SUV model cars.

In countries such as Australia, SUV has only lower import duty when compared to other comfortable cars of same class. This in turn upsurges the demand for SUV.

However the sudden hike in oil prices and the declining economy slashed the demand of SUVs. The change in trend towards fuel efficient compact cars had seriously affected US automakers which leads to the closure of many SUV and truck manufacturing plants.

2009 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid

SUVs are commonly used in remote areas where the roads are not fully paved, rough terrains etc. SUVs are also available under luxury brands. Modern SUVs are available with a lower ground clearance to perform effectively in the paved roads.

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