SUV is an abbreviation for ‘Sports Utility Vehicle’. Unlike sedans/passenger cars, SUVs typically offer a higher seating position, more seating options and storage capacity, along with greater towing and off-road capabilities. Basically, it’s an SUV's versatility that lends itself so well to growing families.
Yes. SUVs come in a range of sizes, from small and compact SUVs through to large 7 seat SUVs.
A small or compact SUV can seat up to five people, and are great for getting around town.
Mid-size SUV offers the flexibility of slightly more space, and tend to be the most popular option for growing families. Large 7 seater SUVs are designed for bigger families, comfortably transporting 7 people and additional baggage.
Outside the usual running costs of registration and insurance, it’s important to take into account other factors such as maintenance and fuel economy.
SUV maintenance/servicing costs can vary between brands and models, but most SUVs require servicing every 10,000km or 12 months, whichever occurs first.
Fuel economy can also vary greatly between SUVs, depending on your choice of engine, transmission, and drivetrain (2WD/4WD). Some SUV’s engines come in hybrid or diesel powered alternatives, these alternatives help to deliver improved fuel economy. Consideration of the driving environment for example short or long drives may influence the engine drivetrain choice.
A Hybrid SUV utilises two different sources of power to drive the wheels – primarily a petrol engine assisted by an electric motor. If you’re conscious about your environmental impact, a hybrid SUV is worth considering as it reduces emissions and is more fuel efficient than traditional petrol powered SUVs.
SUV towing capacities vary widely between models and manufacturers. For example, the braked towing capacity of Nissan SUVs range from 1,150kg to 3,500kg. If you’d like the option of towing items like a jet-ski or small trailer from time to time, a medium sized SUV will do the job. But if you’re likely to tow heavier items, such as a large boat or horse float, a large SUV with 4x4 capabilities may be required.
In the past, SUVs may not have always enjoyed the best safety reputation but they have come a long way in recent times, with nearly 40% of consumers choosing to purchase an SUV. When selecting an SUV, always look for one with the maximum 5-star ANCAP safety rating. Most modern SUVs come with six airbags and advanced safety features such as around vehicle cameras, lane departure and blind spot alerts to assist in preventing accidents.
If you’re planning on just cruising around the city or suburbs, then a 2 wheel drive (2WD) SUV is a good choice. But if your weekends will consist of spending time off the beaten track, or you need to tow heavy items, then a 4 wheel drive (4WD) SUV may provide a better option to have you covered.