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S.U.V. Easy As 1,2,3.

So far we have discussed we have defined and discusses terms like coupe, roadster, speedster and sedan, but there are more terms to go so let’s take a look at even more.

So most people by now know what the term SUV means but is there an official definition? Not really. In general the sports utility vehicle can apply to a wide range of any number of type vehicles.  Sometimes they are called an “off-road vehicle,”  “four-wheel drive” or “four by four (4×4)” however they are sometimes identified by specific brands such as “Jeep” or “Land Rover.”  You could basically define it as a station wagon that has been built onto a truck chassis.  Generally speaking they have powerful engines, usually a V8, and have four-wheel drive capabilities. While they were originally created for outdoor, cross-country use, they have become incredibly popular in city life and are often much more desirable for a family then a minivan or large sedan might be. Interestingly enough, since they are built on a truck platform, they did not originally fall into the stricter emissions standards that regular passenger cars where held too. However, they became so popular that in 2004 legislation was enacted to hold them to the higher standard of cars.
 
Of course they can’t just have an old SUV. You can now choose between a compact SUV, a midsize SUV and a full size SUV.  A compact SUV is usually built with less cargo and passenger space but have better gas mileage and are more maneuverable. Examples of compact SUV’s would Toyota Rav4 or the Chevy Equinox.  A midsized SUV is sort of the happy medium of the SUV world. Not too big and not too small they tend to be just right. The have more passenger and cargo space and have more power in the engines but aren’t as energy efficient.  Examples of these would be the Ford Escape, Nissan Pathfinder or the Toyota 4Runner. Lastly are the full sized SUV’s (full sized being putting mildly, try gigantic sized.) You know, the ones that take up the entire road and guzzle gas like the desert drinks the rain. Examples of these would be Cadillac Escalade, Toyota Landcruiser and the Hummer.
 
Increasingly popular cars for sale that are now appearing on the road are the crossovers, or CUV (crossover utility vehicle. )  A crossover is a vehicle built on a car platform, usually a station wagon or a hatchback, but combines it with features of an SUV. They have the fuel economy, handling and rear suspension of a car but have the all-wheel drive and ground clearance of an SUV.  Some are sportier like the Infiniti FX and BMW X6 while others emphasize utilitarian use such as the Dodge Journey or the Ford EcoSport.
 
The CUV offers a nice alternative the ever popular SUV. Will it eventually replace it? Probably not, but only time will tell.
 
Jeff Jordan writes and lives in sunny SoCal. He writes about cars, education and culture. Another great example of a good SUV to drive is a used Jeep.


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