SUVs – Great Cars of a New Era

Most people are big and strong, but not the kind of big and strong that defines an SUV; an SUV takes it to a greater extent–bolder, tougher, mightier…SUVs may neither be the most expensive nor the fastest cars, but one thing is certain about them; they will always stand out from the crowd…

An SUV by definition is a sports utility vehicle. It is usually equipped with four-wheel drive for on- or off-road ability, often with preference for usage as an off-road vehicle. The SUV market can be separated into a number of different categories based on their varied uses. Some people are looking for a safe yet robust SUV large enough to transport a family’s inner city. Consumers looking for family SUVs will place greater emphasis on comfort, luxury and style as well as considering seating, luggage space and fuel economy. Safety features such as side and curtain airbags and crash test ratings are crucial, especially when the main purpose of the vehicle is to transport children. Another category of SUV model is the sturdy family SUV with off-road capability. This model of SUV has been termed as the crossover between normal vehicles and light trucks as it uses an automobile platform for lighter weight and better fuel efficiency, but used for off-road purposes or towing. SUVs in this category will focus on horsepower and torque, with towing capacities of pickup trucks. A third category of SUV is the off-road vehicle where four-wheel driving (which comes standard in all SUVs nowadays) is the main activity. Models in this category will focus on large towing capacity, powerful engines in excess of 6.0L with horsepower ratings at 270 and higher.

All SUVs feature a large space availability and outstanding performance coupled with great driving ability, but with the advancement of technology these great machines can now boast of features like: dynamic cruise control, gradient acceleration control, dual-zone automatic climate control, parking assist monitors and wider ratio spread among others. The blind spot information system (BLIS) found in the Volvo XC90 is an incredible system included in the car that can monitor the images of all the mirrors in the car and is able to inform the driver. This is particularly useful when the movements of other vehicles take place in the blind spot for this car. Others like Range Rover have combined superior power and massive torque with unparalleled levels of refinement.

BMW’s X1,X3,X5,X6 and later 3 series, 5 series and 7 series models have a special feature; the xDrive, which is a technical modulation of front and rear axles that act to adjust torque bias. 2011 Ford Expedition has a great power output; 365lb.-ft. of torque-enough to pull 9200lbs, and whether the road is filled with gravel, ice or soaked by rain, the available Traction Control Four-Wheel-Drive System helps provide more sure-footed traction. You don’t have to worry next time you go camping!

The grass is greener on the other side, and SUVs are going green as well. Consumers are looking for more fuel-efficient cars so they can save money at the pump without sacrificing the other things they want, and carmakers have taken notice. 2011 Ford Escape Hybrid, 2011 Lexus RX450h and 2011 Toyota Highlander Hybrid scooped the top three slots respectively. Others topping the list include 2011 Nissan Juke, 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander, 2011 Jeep Patriot and 2011 Mini Cooper Countryman.

To sum it up, the SUV is one of the most sought after vehicle in the car market today and automakers, especially the larger manufacturers such as Dodge, GMC, Nissan, Jeep and Hummer have recognized this demand and flooded the SUV market with models ranging from luxurious SUVs to proper off-road SUVs. With so much variety out there, one is definitely spoilt for choice which is entirely based on taste and preference, other factors held constant. As the saying goes, “one man’s meat is another man’s poison.”

Next time you go shopping for an SUV, take a closer look and see which one really suits your needs.

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