What Does SUV Stand For? | Sports Utility Vehicle
- Car Advice,
- Nov 28, 2020
There was a time when SUVs were considered vehicles only for commercial use or for large benefits. Today, SUVs have become the most popular inventory item for most of the car manufacturing companies.
According to one Motor1.com, nine of the top 20 vehicles of 2019 belonged to this category. Their versatility and robustness make them one of the most sought-after vehicles in the present time. Let’s explore what is a sports utility vehicle and what they have come to represent.
What does SUV stand for?
SUV is short for sport-utility vehicle, which covers a vast range of vehicles with some common features. They have a rugged look, off-roading capabilities and four-wheel drives.
In Australia, they have garnered a huge popularity. That is due to their large interior spaces, large seating, and powerful towing capacity. They are also known as sport utes and include some of the compact sports utility vehicles as well.
Origin and Background
The term SUV started being used in the 1980s. The US Congress was lobbied to create a separate category for vehicles that were a mix of passenger cars and trucks. Initially, it was called the sport/utility vehicle. Just to emphasize on the fact that they had a dual nature. With time, a hyphen was added for the same effect.
In the past, the term utility wagon was used for vehicles which were tough with off roading capabilities. For example, the 1930s Chevrolet Suburban would not be wrong to call it the ancestor of the modern SUV.
However, SUVs do have some disadvantages. People associate them with pollution, less efficiency and materialism. For this reason, there have been multiple crossover and CUVs who have garnered popularity in the class. Even though these vehicles do not exactly fall in the category. Same is the case with the smaller SUVs, or compact sports utility vehicles as they are more commonly known as.
How to define an SUV?
Like we mentioned above, the term SUV has become a loose one today. It includes compact and cross over vehicles which have minimal off roading capabilities. And there are jeep like SUVs available which are designed for rough terrains. But they all have good ground clearance and typically all have all wheel drives. The earlier SUVs were built on truck chassis. The modern sport utility vehicle, however, uses unibody frames. Which means that the bodies, chassis, and floors all form a single robust structure.
The U.S., along with several other countries, classifies SUVs as light trucks rather than cars. This gives them more relaxed fuel efficiency standards as a result. The term "sport utility" is not a technical term. It just means the vehicle has both a relaxed, outdoorsy quality and is good at getting things done.
Earlier SUVs came with only two doors, whereas the modern SUVs come with four five doors to accommodate families.
The fuel efficiency is not one of the selling points of a sport utility vehicle, to put it lightly. That can be attributed to their big and powerful engines. They have high centers of gravity and high seating positions. Most models are designed to carry heavy loads and even higher towing capacities.
What is the purpose of an SUV?
It would not be wrong to call an SUV jack of all trades. Their purpose ranges from ideal for those long family trips, outdoor pursuits to everyday trips to the markets. They are great for going off-road thanks to the high ground clearance and excellent road visibility. If you love a touch of adventure in your life, then an SUV is a great choice. You can choose among the vast variety of compact sport utility vehicles and the crossover models.
Our list of best SUVs
Among the hundreds of SUVs that are available from various car manufacturing companies, we have selected the best sport utility vehicles currently in Australia.
The Sorento is one of the best SUVs when it comes to value of money. It comes fully loaded with all the latest technology and equipment, as well as a range of fuel-efficient petrol and diesel engines. The interior is roomy and comfortable within a price range which is attainable. It is offered in both two wheel and four-wheel drives, with all of the variants earning a five-star safety rating from ANCAP.
If you are a fan of the Mazda, and more specifically the Mazda3, then this is a dream come true for you. The CX-5 is basically an improved version of the Mazda3, that allows you to go off-road for a bit of adventurous driving. It is available in both two wheel and four-wheel drives, as well as petrol and diesel engine options. The engines are fuel efficient, when compared to other vehicles in the same class and also has a five-star safety rating from ANCAP.
BMW has launched the X5 as a sports activity vehicle, to differentiate the vehicle from other SUV cars. The fact remains that this is another great SUV to look at, if you have a big budget, that is. It is easily one of the best handling SUV that you can get your hands on. The turbocharged engines across the whole range means that you get that extra burst of power that you require.
The popularity of SUVs is ever increasing, with no visible aspect of peaking any time soon. Their practicality is the best-selling point, often available with seven seats. The high driving position and good ground clearance makes it a great choice for those off-road adventures. That being said, the poor fuel efficiency, the bulky maneuvering and the high price tags means that it is not the choice for everyone.