With so many cars on the market these days from all over the globe, it isn’t easy deciding which one to buy. The only way to narrow it down is to first decide what type of vehicle you are interested in buying. Even that used to be so much easier, there were times when you didn’t really have a choice… well, that’s not fair because you did have a choice – you could walk (yuck). Luckily for me, and most of you, these days we have so many options it is mind-boggling. To make your decision easier, or harder – depending on your viewpoint, I am going to give you 10 perfectly good reasons to opt for an SUV rather than a saloon. What brand you choose after that point is entirely your problem, I can’t do everything for you.
- Height Advantage
If you are anything like me, and you should be, you prefer being able to see the entire road ahead of you. An SUV gives you the height advantage you need to see exactly where you are going and to spot anything on the road long before a saloon driver does. The height advantage also means that you won’t have to worry about clearance space when you’re driving around. I’m not suggesting you do ride over curbs, I am simply pointing out that you can – there is a big (read: legal) difference.
- More Space
This one is particularly useful if you have a bunch of kids, friends, or pets. I suppose it’s also handy for when we eventually get more HOV lanes, we all know it’s coming. When it does come, you get to be the king of carpool. Woo hoo! But in the meantime you can settle for much more booster seat space.
- Load Carrying
With more passengers comes more luggage. This isn’t a problem when you drive an SUV. Reading about the load-carrying ability in a Volvo XC40 review is particularly impressive when compared to a lot of other vehicles in the same segment. Carrying capacity includes the weight of the driver, passengers, accessories, fuel, and the vehicle body so saloons pale in comparison to an SUV.
- Impressive Fuel Efficiency
I remember when SUV’s first came on the market, well… first-ish because I’m not that old. Their fuel efficiency was practically non-existent and so not only would you just about bankrupt yourself going across town, but you also contributed to the extinction of many a species due to global warming. So, if you’re an early SUV driver, thanks for nothing! You can be forgiven for driving a Chelsea Tractor these days because they have impressively low fuel consumption. Fuel efficiency will largely depend on the size of the SUV you buy and its fuel type. SUVs now come in three fuel flavours; petrol, diesel and hybrid so you can do your research and take your pick.
Our favourite vehicle type was once created for military use and they continue to be used for this purpose even to this day. The very first modern Sport Utility Vehicle was a 1984 Jeep Cherokee XJ and it was a tough bugger so I can see what the army saw in this vehicle type. Assuming you don’t have military requirements from your vehicle, you will be chuffed to know that you can (at the very least) tow pretty much anything – within reason, of course. This is particularly handy for when you go on camping trips with your caravan or for when you want to hook up a trailer and move a horse (which is a perfectly valid reason…).
If you have ever tried to do any kind of off-roading in a saloon you will back me up vehemently on this point – it is for the birds. SUV’s have very little trouble, if any, going completely off-road and knocking about the countryside. All you need to do is watch a few episodes of Top Gear to know that I speak the absolute truth here – you cannot drive off-road without an SUV. There are roads in Africa that are purely for SUV/4×4 use only and there are good reasons for this.
Now I’m not saying that SUV’s don’t suffer if they’re constantly exposed to the elements, what I am saying is you can drive through water a whole lot easier in an SUV than you can in a saloon – mostly because you can’t in a saloon. If you ever do find yourself driving through water in your brand new (or used) SUV then you should probably do so without your seatbelt on, just in case. The other handy tip for driving through water is to never over-rev your engine if you lose traction, that will make you have a bad time and no one likes a bad time.
- Size Options
As much as I love the added height of a giant SUV, I can understand that not everyone wants a giant SUV. That’s the next best thing about them – they come in varying sizes. You can get smaller and more compact ones if that’s your vibe or you can opt for the middle-ground and get an inbetweener size. The different sizes will give you the freedom to choose the SUV life without having to commit to the hefty tyre prices of the grander models.
- They’re Pet Friendly
To be fair, I should probably explain this point a little more… Yes, saloons can carry small to medium-sized pets but they can’t carry big pets comfortably. I have a black Labrador and she’s a little, shall we say, hefty. My little Heffalump used to have such a hard time staying in the backseat of my old saloon, she used to scrabble just to stay on top and now she has all the freedom in the world when we go for adventures to the “outside land”.
- They’re More Affordable Than You Think
Of course, saloons are generally cheaper but that’s not the point. Much like the fuel economy point above, SUVs have become a lot more affordable over time. SUV’s are no longer just for the wealthy, well – not all of them anyway…