Sport utility vehicle (SUV) is a category of motor vehicles which combine elements of road-going passenger cars with features from off-road vehicles, such as raised ground clearance and four-wheel drive.
There is no commonly agreed definition of an SUV, and usage varies between countries. Some definitions claim that an SUV must be built on a light truck chassis, however broader consider that any vehicle with off-road design features is an SUV. Crossover SUV is defined as an SUV built with a unibody construction (as per passenger cars), however in many cases crossovers are simply referred to as SUVs. In some countries— such as the United States— SUVs have been classified as "light trucks", resulting in more lenient regulations compared to passenger cars.
The predecessors to SUVs date back to military and low-volume models from the late 1930s, and the four-wheel drive station wagons / carryalls that began to be introduced in 1949. The 1984 Jeep Cherokee (XJ) is considered to be the first SUV in the modern style. Most SUVs produced today use unibody contruction (as per passenger cars), however in the past many SUVs used body-on-frame construction.
During the late 1990s and early 2000s, the populary of SUVs greatly increased, often at the expense of the popularity of large sedans and station wagons. More recently, smaller SUVs and crossovers have become increasingly popular. SUVs are currently the world's largest automotive segment and accounted for 36.8% of the world's passenger car market in 2017.
There is no universally accepted definition of the sport utility vehicle. Dictionaries, automotive experts, and journalists use varying wordings and defining characteristics, in addition to which there are regional variations of the use by both the media and the general public. The auto industry has not settled on one definition of the SUV either.
The actual term "Sport Utility Vehicle" did not come into wide popular usage until the late 1980s — prior to then, such vehicles were marketed during their era as 4-wheel drives, station wagons, or other monikers.
Automotive websites descriptions of SUVs range from specifically "combining car-like appointments and wagon practicality with steadfast off-road capability" with "chair-height seats and picture-window visibility" to the more general "nearly anything with available all-wheel drive and raised ground clearance". It is also suggested that the term SUV has replaced "jeep" as a general term for off-road vehicle.
American dictionary definitions for SUVs include:
The Collins English Dictionary defines sport(s) utility vehicle as a "powerful vehicle with four-wheel drive that can be driven over rough ground" or "a high-powered car with four-wheel drive, originally designed for off-road use", but the citations quoted by Collins are few. The Chambers Dictionary has no entry for sport utility vehicle.
In Europe, the term SUV is generally used for road-oriented vehicles, "four-by-four" or the brand name of the vehicle are typically used for off-road oriented vehicles. Similarly, in Australia and New Zealand, vehicles designed for off-road use are typically referred to as "four-wheel drives" instead of SUVs.
In the United States, many government regulations simply have categories for "off-highway vehicles" which are loosely defined and often result in SUVs (along with pick-up trucks and minivans) being classified as light trucks. For example, Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulations previously included "permit greater cargo-carrying capacity than passenger carrying volume" in the definition for trucks, resulting in SUVs being classified as light trucks.
This classification as trucks allowed SUVs to be regulated less strictly than passenger cars under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act for fuel economy, and the Clean Air Act for emissions. However, from 2004 onwards, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began to hold sport utility vehicles to the same tailpipe emissions standards as cars. In 2011 the CAFE regulations were changed to classify small, two-wheel drive SUVs as passenger cars.
However the licencing and traffic enforcement regulations in the United States vary from state to state, and an SUV may be classified as a car in some states but as a truck in others. For industry production statistics, SUVs are counted in the light truck product segment.
In India, all SUVs are classified in the "Utility Vehicle" category per the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) definitions and carry a 27% excise tax. Those that are 4 metres (157 inches) long, have a 1,500 cc (92 cu in) engine or larger, along with 170 mm (6.7 in) of ground clearance, are subject to a 30% excise duty.
Many years after most passenger cars had transitioned to a unibody construction, most SUVs continued to use a separate body-on-frame method, due to being based on the chassis from a light truck, commercial vehicle, pickup truck or off-road vehicle.
The first mass-produced unibody four-wheel drive passenger car was the 1955 GAZ-M20 Pobeda M-72. The 1977 Lada Niva was the first off-road vehicle to use both a unibody construction and a coil-sprung independent front suspension. The relatively compact Niva is considered a predecessor to the crossover SUV and combines a hatchback-like passenger car body with full-time four-wheel drive, low-range gearing and lockable center differential.
Nonetheless, unibody SUVs remained rare until the 1984 Jeep Cherokee (XJ) was intruduced and became a sales success. The introduction of the 1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee resulted in all Jeep SUV models using unibody construction, with many other brands following suit since the mid-1990s. Today, most SUVs in production use a unibody construction and relatively few models continue to use a body-on-frame construction.
SUVs are typically of a two-box design similar to a station wagon. The engine compartment is up front, followed by a combined passenger/cargo area (unlike a sedan, which has a separate trunk/boot compartment).
Up until approximately 2010, many SUV models were available in 2-door body styles. Since then, manufacturers began to discontinue the 2-door models as 4-door models became more popular. Only a few 2-door SUVs remain today, such as the body-on-frame Suzuki Jimny and Jeep Wrangler, and the Range Rover Evoque crossover SUV.
SUVs typically have high ground clearance and a tall body. This results in a high centre of mass, which makes SUVs more prone to roll-over accidents. In 2003, SUVs were quoted as 2.5 times more likely to roll over in a crash than regular cars and that SUV roofs are more likely to cave in on passengers than in other cars, resulting in increased harm to passengers.
Between 1991 and 2001, the United States saw a 150% increase in sport-utility vehicle rollover deaths. In 2001, though roll-overs constituted just 3% of vehicle crashes overall, they caused over 30% of occupant fatalities in crashes; and in crashes where the vehicle does roll over, SUV occupants in the early 2000s were nearly three times as likely to be killed as other car passengers.
The increasing popularity of SUVs in the 1990s and early 2000s was partly due to buyers perceiving that SUVs provide greater safety for occupants, due to their larger size and raised ride height. Regarding the safety to other road users, SUVs are exempted from the regulation that a passenger car bumper must protect the area between 16 to 20 inches (41 to 51 cm) above the ground. This often increases the damage to the other car in a collision with an SUV, because the impact occurs at a higher location on the other car. In 2000-2001, 60% of fatal side-impact collisions were where the other vehicle was an SUV, an increase from 30% in 1980-1981.
The 'crossover SUV' segment (also known as 'CUV' or simply 'crossover') has become increasingly popular since around 2010. Crossovers are often based on a platform shared with a passenger car, as a result they typically have better comfort and fuel economy, but less off-road capability (many crossovers are sold without all-wheel drive) than pickup truck-based SUVs.
The difference between crossovers and other SUVs is sometimes defined as a crossover being built using a unibody platform (the type used by most passenger cars), while an SUV is built using a body-on-frame platform (the type used by off-road vehicles and light trucks). However, these definitions are often blurred in practice, since unibody vehicles are also often referred to as SUVs. Also, crossover is a relatively recent term and early unibody SUVs (such as the 1984 Jeep Cherokee) are rarely called crossovers. Due to these inconsistencies, the term SUV is often used as a catch-all for both crossovers and SUVs.
Outside of the United States, the term crossover tends to be used for C-segment (compact) or smaller vehicles, with large unibody vehicles— such as the Audi Q7, BMW X7 and Volkswagen Touareg— are usually called SUVs rather than crossovers. In the United Kingdom, a crossover is sometimes defined as a hatchback model with raised ride height and SUV-like styling features.
Many recent vehicles labelled as mini SUVs are technically subcompact crossovers and are built on the platform of a subcompact (also called supermini or B-segment) passenger car.
Compact SUV is the next bigger size class after mini SUVs. Hyundai eyes top spot in India's compact SUV market
Many recent vehicles labelled as compact SUVs are technically compact crossovers and are built on the platform of a compact (C-segment) passenger car.
The next larger size is 'mid-size SUV'. Outside of North America, this term is not commonly used, with mid-size SUVs being grouped together with full-size SUVs. Some mid-size SUVs are based on platforms shared with passenger cars and are therefore crossovers.
Full-size SUVs are the largest size of commonly produced SUVs. Some are marketed for their off-road capabilities, while others are marketed as luxury vehicles. Most full-size SUVs are built on dedicated platforms.
Some North American SUVs are available as a long-wheelbase version of a full-size SUV, which is called an 'extended-length SUV'. The additional length is used to provide extra space for rear passengers or cargo. As per the full-size SUVs they are based on, most extended-length SUVs are built on dedicated platforms.
Extended-length SUVs are mostly sold in North America and the Middle East.
Just before and during World War II, around the world, prototypes and low-volume production examples began to appear of cars with sedan or station-wagon type bodies on rugged, off-road capable four-wheel drive chassis, such as the 1936 Kurogane Type 95 from Japan, the 1938 GAZ-61 from Russia and the 1941 Volkswagen Kommandeurswagen from Germany. An early predecessor to the design of modern SUVs, was the 1940 Humber Heavy Utility, a four-wheel drive off-road vehicle built on the chassis of the Humber Super Snipe passenger car.
One of the most prohibitive initial factors to the potential civilian market popularity of an SUV-like car lay in its costs, and availability of certain critical parts. Before the war, adding four-wheel drive to a car almost doubled its cost, Compared to a common, rear-wheel drive vehicle, any 4WD needed a number of essential extra components, like a transfer case, and a second differential and constant-velocity joints for the driven front axle — all expensive components, because of the precision involved in manufacturing gears and such. In America these were produced up to the war only by a few specialized firms with limited capacity, but due to the war's necessity, from spring 1942 Ford, Dodge and Chevrolet joined in fabricating these parts in mass quantity, boosting their production more than 100-fold.
Many regard the International Harvester Scout, introduced in 1961, as the very first commercially marketed Sport Utility Vehicle. The Scout was marketed and sold as a outdoor sporting vehicle, where all other competitors in the market were first intended for military or utility use.
Several models of carryall wagons began to be offered with four-wheel drive, beginning in 1949 when the Willys Jeep Station Wagon introduced the option of four-wheel drive. Four-wheel drive versions of the Chevrolet Suburban were introduced for 1955, followed by the International Harvester Travelall in 1956 (credited as being the first full-size SUV) and the Power Wagon Town Wagon in 1957.
The 1967 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ55 station wagon was the first comfort-oriented version of the Land Cruiser off-road vehicle. The two-door Chevrolet K5 Blazer (and related GMC K5 Jimmy) were introduced for 1969 and the two-door International Harvester Scout II was introduced in 1971. The first European luxury off-road vehicle was the 1970 Range Rover Classic, which was marketed as a luxury car for both on-road and off-road usage.
The first relevant usage of the term SUV was advertising brochures for the 1974 Jeep Cherokee (SJ), which used the wording "sport(s) utility vehicle" as a description for the vehicle. The 1966 Ford Bronco included a "sport utility" model, however in this case it was used for the two-door pickup truck version.
The 1984 Jeep Cherokee (XJ) is often credited as the first SUV in the modern understanding of the term. The use of unibody construction was unique at the time for a four-wheel drive, and reduced the weight of the Cherokee. It also appealed to urban families due to having a more compact size (compared to the full-size Wagoneer) as well as a plush interior resembling a station wagon. As the Cherokee became a major sales success, the term "sport utility vehicle" began to be used in the national press for the first time. "The advent and immediate success of AMC/Jeep's compact four-door Cherokee turned the truck industry upside down."
The corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standard that was introduced in 1975 with the aim of reducing fuel usage included relaxed regulations for "light trucks", to avoid business paying extra taxes for work vehicles. This created a loophole which manufacturers increasingly exploited since the 1980s, whereby SUVs were designed to be classified as light trucks (despite their primary use as passenger vehicles) to receive tax concessions and less stringent fuel economy requirements. For example, the United States Environmental Protection Agency agreed to classify the Jeep Cherokee as a light truck following lobbying from its manufacturer; the Cherokee was then marketed by the company as a passenger vehicle. This increased the SUV boom as other manufacturers introduced their own SUVs in response to the Cherokee taking sales from their regular cars.
SUVs increased in popularity throughout the 1990s and by 1999 the U.S. sales of SUVs and light trucks for the first time exceeded sales of regular passenger cars.
By 2003 there were 76 million SUVs and light trucks on U.S. roads, representing approximately 35% of the vehicles on the road.
Car manufacturers were keen to promote SUV sales over other types of cars due, to higher profits in the segment. An SUV could be sold with a profit margin of US$10,000 or more (US$18,000 per SUV in the case of the Ford Excursion), while compact cars were often sold at a loss of a few hundred dollars per car. As a result, several manufacturing plants were converted from car production to SUV production (such as the General Motors Arlington, Texas plant in 1996) and many long-running U.S. sedan models were discontinued.
From the mid-2000s until 2010, U.S. sales of SUVs and other light trucks experienced a dip, due increasing fuel prices and a declining economy. From 2008 to 2010, General Motors closed four assembly plants that were producing SUVs and trucks. Sales of SUVs and light trucks sales began to recover in 2010, as fuel prices decreased and the North American economy improved.
By 2013, small and compact SUVs had increased to become the third largest market segment. Since the early 2000s, new styles of SUV have been introduced to appeal to a wider audience, such as crossovers and other small SUVs. Larger SUVs also remained popular, with sales of General Motors' large SUV models increasing significantly in 2013.
In 2015, global sales of SUVs overtook the "lower medium car" segment, to become the largest market segment, accounting for 22.9% of "light vehicle" sales in 2015. The following year, worldwide SUV sales experienced further growth of 22%. The world's fastest growing SUV markets in 2014-2015 were: China (+ 47.9%), Italy (+ 48.6%), Spain (+ 42%), Portugal (+ 54.8 %) and Thailand (+ 56.4%). The SUV segment further grew to 26% of the global passenger car market in 2016, then to 36.8% of the market in Q1–Q3 of 2017.
In the US, at the end of 2016, sales of SUVs and light duty trucks had surpassed traditional car sales for the year by over 3 million units. Manufacturers continued to phase out production of sedan models, replacing them with new models of SUVs.
Luxury brands have increasingly introduced SUV or crossover models in the 2010s, such as the seven models of SUVs (X1 through X7) sold by BMW, the Rolls-Royce Cullinan, Bentley Bentayga and Lamborghini Urus. Ferrari have announced that they will release an SUV model in 2022.
SUVs have competed in various off-road racing competitions, such as the Dakar Rally, Baja 1000, FIA Cross-Country Rally World Cup, King of the Hammers and Australasian Safari. SUVs have also competed in the Trophee Andros ice-racing series.
Several derogatory/pejorative terms for SUVs are based on the combination of an affluent suburb name and "tractor", particularly for expensive vehicles from luxury brands. Examples include "Toorak Tractor" (Melbourne, Australia), "Chelsea Tractor" (London, England) and "Remuera Tractor" (Auckland, New Zealand). These terms relate to the theory that four-wheel drive capabilities are not required by affluent SUV owners and that the SUV is purchased as a status symbol rather than for practical reasons.
In Norway, the term "Børstraktor" (Stock Exchange Tractor) serves a similar purpose. In the Netherlands, SUVs are sometimes called "P.C. Hooft-tractors" after the exclusive P.C. Hooftstraat Amsterdam shopping street.
an automobile similar to a station wagon but built on a light truck frame
The 25 June 2011 Logar province bombing was a suicide car bombing that occurred on 25 June 2011 in Azra District, Logar Province, Afghanistan targeting Akbar Khail hospital, a 10-bed facility near the Pakistani border, killing at least 43 people, including children, pregnant women, and medical staff. The suicide bomber drove a sport utility vehicle through the front gate of the facility, striking a guard, before detonating his explosives. The blast destroyed the one-story hospital and buried people under the rubble. The Taliban denied responsibility for the attack, claiming the perpetrator to be "someone with an agenda," possibly the Haqqani network.BMW X7
The BMW X7 is a luxury sport utility vehicle manufactured by BMW. It is BMW's flagship Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV).
The X7 was first announced by BMW in March 2014. It was officially unveiled on October 17, 2018, with pre-orders being taken online. The X7 will be available at dealers starting in March 2019.Chevrolet Niva
The Chevrolet Niva is a mini sport utility vehicle (SUV) produced by GM-AvtoVAZ, a joint venture between AvtoVAZ (the parent company of the Lada brand) and General Motors, since 1998. The car is a development of the Lada Niva and was previously known as the VAZ-2123 in the design stage.Chevrolet Sequel
The Chevrolet Sequel was a purpose-built hydrogen fuel cell-powered concept car and sport utility vehicle from Chevrolet, employing the then latest generation of General Motors' fuel cell technology.The Sequel's powertrain includes an electronic control unit and a fourth-generation version of GM's fuel-cell stack. The Sequel became the basis for the design of the gas-powered Chevrolet Traverse, which was the replacement for the Uplander minivan.Compact sport utility vehicle
Compact sport utility vehicle, also known as compact SUV, is a class of small sport utility vehicles that is larger than Mini SUVs, but smaller than mid-size SUVs.
The 1982 Chevrolet S-10 Blazer and 1984 Ford Bronco II were considered compact-sized compared with the Chevrolet K5 Blazer, and Ford Bronco full-size 4x4s which they were sold alongside. However, a more direct link to the modern compact SUV is found in the 1988 Suzuki Vitara. Another early compact SUV was the 1997 Isuzu VehiCROSS.
In markets such as India, they were originally a sub-segment of Utility Vehicles, but the smaller size versions have grown to become a dominant segment.Crossover (automobile)
A crossover SUV— also called crossover or CUV— is a type of sports utility vehicle (SUV) that uses a unibody construction. Crossovers are often based on a platform shared with a passenger car, as a result they typically have better comfort and fuel economy, but less off-road capability (many crossovers are sold without all-wheel drive) than truck-based SUVs.There are various inconsistencies about whether vehicles are considered crossovers or SUVs, therefore the term SUV is often used as a catch-all for both crossovers and SUVs.
Early crossovers include the 1979 AMC Eagle and 1994 Toyota RAV4.
In the United States as of 2006 more than 50% of the overall SUV market were crossover models. Crossovers have also become increasingly popular in Europe since the early 2010s.Force One (sport utility vehicle)
The Force One was an SUV manufactured by Force Motors, the maker of Traveller minibuses and the Trax utility vehicles in India. The company entered the SUV segment for the first time.
Force One was launched in 2011 and received much appreciations from owners. At almost 4.8 m (16 ft) long and 1.8 m (6 ft) wide, the Force One was enormous. Made under the license from chinese Foday Explorer III. Suspension, which was fine tuned by Lotus Engineering.Ford Everest
The Ford Everest, also known as the Ford Endeavour in the Indian market, is a mid-sized sport utility vehicle (SUV) produced by Ford Motor Company since 2003 over three generations. The Everest is a five-door SUV variant of the Ford Ranger four-door pickup truck.
First generation (2003–2006): based on the 1998 to 2006 Ford Ranger, which in turn derives from the 1998 to 2006 Mazda B-Series.
Second generation (2006–2015): based on the 2006 to 2011 Ford Ranger, which in turn derives from the 2006 to 2011 Mazda BT-50, this model received a facelift in 2009.
Third generation (2015–present): based on the Ford Ranger (T6), and designed in Australia, but built in Thailand, available from 2015.
Ford unveiled the MY19 Ford Everest in May 2018. Changes include the new 2.0L Bi-Turbo I4 Diesel engine paired to the 10-speed Automatic transmission. Other changes include Autonomous Emergency Braking, a standard kick-activated power liftgate on Trend and Titanium models, new wheels, Sync 3 now standard on Ambiente models. Interior changes include more soft touch materials, 'ebony' dark colour scheme.Jeep Wagoneer
The Jeep Wagoneer is a sport utility vehicle (SUV) marque of Jeep vehicles, with several models marketed for the 1963 to 1993 model years. The name “Wagoneer” comes from the station wagon style rear end later known as the SUV body style.
Various versions of the Wagoneer were manufactured in the US and other nations by Kaiser Motors (1962−1971), then American Motors (1971−1987), and lastly by Chrysler (1987−1993). Wagoneer was a model built by Jeep.Kia Mohave
The Kia Mohave, marketed in North America and China as the Kia Borrego, is a sport-utility vehicle (SUV) manufactured by the South Korea manufacturer Kia Motors. The vehicle debuted in 2008 in the Korean and US markets. The Kia Borrego is named after the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in California; Borrego means "bighorned sheep" which can be found in the state park.Levante
Levante may refer to:
Levante, Spain, the eastern Iberian coastal region of Spain
Levante, Majorca, a province in Majorca, Spain
Riviera di Levante, an Italian name for the Italian Riviera
Sestri Levante, an Italian town
Levante Ferries, a Greek ferry company
Levante (hosiery), an Italian marketer and manufacturer of hosiery
Levante UD, a Spanish football club
Caetano Levante, a wheelchair-accessible coach
Maserati Levante, a sport utility vehicle
Levante (singer), Italian pop singer-songwriterMahindra Quanto
The Mahindra Quanto is a mini sport utility vehicle automobile designed and manufactured by the Indian Mahindra & Mahindra Limited.Mitsubishi SUW
The Mitsubishi SUW (Smart Utility Wagon) is a series of concept cars sharing a common design theme, and first exhibited by Japanese automaker Mitsubishi Motors at the 1999 Frankfurt and Tokyo Motor Shows.The Smart Utility Wagon theme was introduced late in 1998 as a demonstration of the company's corporate slogan of the time, "Innovation in Motion", which was itself to represent "smart design" and "ecology conscious[ness]". Specifically, SUWs shared the company's gasoline direct injection (GDI) engine technology, a taller roofline for easier entry and exit, and interior space competitive with larger vehicles. The three individual vehicles Mitsubishi produced were the SUW Advance, a five-door hatchback family car, the SUW Compact a three-door hatchback small car, and the SUW Active sport utility vehicle.Peugeot 4008
The Peugeot 4008 is a compact sport utility vehicle (SUV) produced under the French marque Peugeot, which was officially introduced in September 2011. The 4008 will arrive in the United Kingdom or Ireland in 2020, in a coupé-like design to rival cars such as the Toyota C-HR.It is based on the same platform as the Mitsubishi ASX and the Citroën C4 Aircross, and was developed in collaboration with the Japanese manufacturer Mitsubishi Motors. Its début was at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2012, along with the Peugeot 208. Sales started in April 2012, with availability from May 2012. The car was replaced by the next generation 3008 in January 2017.
The 4008 was only sold in (as of May 2019): France, Luxembourg, China, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Slovakia, Russia, Ukraine, Mongolia, Romania, Bulgaria, Germany, South Africa, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Spain, Norway, Baltic countries, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Chile, Argentina, New Zealand and Australia, while its related twin Citroën C4 Aircross was being sold in more countries globally, including European countries not listed above, but not United Kingdom or Ireland in RHD.Rivian
Rivian is an American automaker and automotive technology company. Founded in 2009, the company develops vehicles, products and services related to sustainable transportation. The company has facilities in Plymouth, Michigan; San Jose, California; Irvine, California; Normal, Illinois; and the United Kingdom. In 2017 Rivian announced it was building an electric sport utility vehicle (SUV) and pickup truck on a platform that executives claim can be modified for future vehicles or adapted by other companies, with both vehicles semi-autonomous and designed for on-road and off-road driving.Utility vehicle
A utility vehicle is a vehicle, generally motorized, that is designed to carry out a specific task with more efficacy than a passenger vehicle. It sometimes refers to a truck with low sides.Volkswagen Atlas
The Volkswagen Atlas is a mid-size sport utility vehicle (SUV) manufactured by the German automaker Volkswagen at its Chattanooga plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, United States. The Atlas is the largest vehicle produced on the Volkswagen Group MQB platform, and features a transverse mounted inline-four or Volkswagen's narrow angle VR6.The Atlas is marketed as the Volkswagen Teramont in the Middle East, China, Mexico, and Russia, where production in Ningbo, China, began in 2017. In China, the Volkswagen Teramont is available with a turbocharged 2.5L VR6 and DSG transmission.
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