Not many vehicles on the road today command the same respect as the muscular and sturdy Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) do. These mean machines leave on-lookers in awe wherever they tread. The sheer presence of an SUV is captivating enough to make you yearn for one. Nowadays, these dream machines usually come loaded with high-end features and functions that make your drive comfortable yet dominating at the same time.
There is no doubt that SUVs are high performance vehicles famous for their huge intimidating frames, powerful engines and capacity to adapt to extreme roads and driving conditions. These qualities are probably the USP of all Sports Utility Vehicles. These vehicles are usually built on light truck chassis and they combine the towing capacity of a pickup truck with the cabin space of a station wagon.
Most SUVs are equipped with technological features like four-wheel-drive, all-wheel-drive, traction control, Anti-Lock Brakes, Locking Differentials etc making them suitable for off-road use. These powerful machines are capable of carrying more number of passengers compared to a normal car while maintaining the same comfort levels.
But is that all one looks for in a vehicle?
In case you are interested in buying a Sports Utility Vehicle, it may be worthwhile to ascertain your needs and expectations from a vehicle of such caliber before actually taking the step.
There have been many instances where people have spent fortunes on such a vehicle but never found it useful for their commuting needs. An SUV is a vehicle type designed specifically for the needs of a specific segment in the automobile market and even if your love for this vehicle may compel you to buy it, you could end up regretting your decision later.
So what factors determine whether a Sports Utility Vehicle suits your needs?
If you own a few other types of vehicles too and need an SUV only to add to your collection then I would say "Go for it, it is worth all the money you will invest", but in case you want to use it as your only vehicle for all purposes, you might want to consider these factors.
You should consider the fact that an SUV has more moving parts and technological features and gadgetry than your average car. In due course of time, this could mean more maintenance and repair costs apart from the huge investment needed to purchase the vehicle itself.
The large size of this vehicle also poses more questions than it answers. You must also take into account the kind of roads you will be traveling on a daily basis. If you live in the countryside with wide highways, hilly remote areas and long stretches of roads or in cities marked with a decent network of wide multi-lane roads, then this vehicle will suit you like a charm. However, if you live in regions characterized by congested lanes and narrow streets, the big size of this vehicle could prove to be a hindrance.
The omnipresent fuel crisis and frequent fuel price-hikes can be another deterrent to the SUV owner. These vehicles are not meant to be fuel efficient. The term "Gas Guzzler" is quite synonymous with these vehicles unless you happen to drive a Hybrid SUV.
Although SUVs come with advanced features that aid effective driving, it is still considered a challenge to drive such enormous vehicles on the streets everyday. Most people switching from a normal car to SUV take a bit of time trying to adjust to the increased power and reduced maneuverability of this vehicle.
With such vehicles, city-driving at peak hours of the day can be quite a pain. You need a vehicle that can slither through the traffic. Also, the shortage of parking spaces in cities adds to the woes and it could be hard work nestling such big vehicles in narrow spaces. In this case, a hatchback is the best available option.
A Sports Utility Vehicle is sheer driving pleasure no to be missed by taking the back seat. If you prefer to be driven around by a chauffeur, then this is definitely not the right vehicle for you. You might be better off in a Sedan or a Saloon.
To conclude, a good decision is always one taken after careful thought. By carrying out a simple assessment of your driving needs, you can select a vehicle that suits you the best. Although a Sports Utility Vehicle may be packed with features and have its own advantages, it may not necessarily be the best option available.