The Jeep Cherokee is often credited as the first SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle) that was introduced to the UK market back in the 80’s. Whilst it was welcomed, it wasn’t until the 90’s when we started to see the popularity of an SUV increase. At the same time an SUV became the Motor of choice across Asia and America.
According to SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders) based on the year-to-date data, by February 2022 of new car registrations; 5 out of the top 10 new car registrations were SUV, these were: –
- Kia Sportage
- Ford Puma
- Vauxhall Mokka
- Hyundai Tucson
- Volvo XC40
SUVs were initially built for off-road driving with 4×4 capabilities, however many built today whilst they can manoeuvre a limited amount of all-terrain, are mainly built for road driving with comfort, design, and style at the forefront with many offerings being 2WD.
Pros of driving an SUV
- Higher Driving Position
- Towing Capacity
- Winter Driving
An SUV meets the needs of many UK drivers, with busy family lifestyles especially for families with children. The higher seating position makes placing the car seat in and out of the vehicle so much easier and practical.
The larger cargo area allows enough space for the pushchair as well as bags of shopping offering high levels of versatility.
A greater towing capacity makes camping and caravan trips more accessible.
With a higher seating position drivers feel more secure and safe.
Whilst an SUV is heavier and therefore likely to be able to handle better in deep snow or mud, they do need to be 4WD for superior traction helping to manoeuvre safely in these conditions. Fitting winter tyres is usually not necessary in Britain as we don’t often get a great amount of snow.
Cons of driving an SUV
- Fuel Consumption
- Lack of aerodynamics affecting performance and fuel
- Parking difficulties due to size
- Increased Valet cost
- Tyre wear and cost
- Carbon Footprint
Manufacturers are always aware of what may deter customers from buying their product, so it’s no surprise to see that they’re beginning to be overcome some of the cons.
With parking aids available and a choice to lease a smaller compact crossover making it easier to negotiate parking spaces and tight corners.
We’ve witnessed the launch of fully electric SUVs combatting issues surrounding emissions to become carbon neutral, this also drives the benefit in kind taxation down for business car drivers.
By improving the aerodynamics with the launch of SUV Coupe styles, it reduces drag in turn improves performance and fuel consumption, we’ve seen this in models such as the Audi Q8, Cupra Formentor and Mercedes GLC Coupe.
We can still expect maintenance costs to be higher as typically an SUV is heavier which applies more pressure to the tyres and brakes. In a regular Saloon or Hatchback style vehicle, tyres would need to be replaced around 30,000 miles, but tyres on an SUV will require attention at around the 20,000 miles marker.
As a car lease agreement is usually around 2 to 5 years, depending on the length of contract you select and the annual mileage that you drive, you may need to factor in the additional maintenance cost. Maintenance plans are available for a fixed monthly cost to help you budget throughout your lease agreement.
The SUV has become so popular that they’ve now introduced several categories within this segment, these are: –
- Compact Crossover
With SUVs making up nearly 45% of the European new car market, it’s not surprising that an SUV is one of the most popular lease cars in the UK.
With the cost of fuel soaring globally, drivers will be looking towards a way to make savings where possible. When we’re used to the benefits of SUV driving, searching for the best lease deals on cars has never been so important.