THEY are known as evil but the oh-so-loved cars worldwide. If you can’t find it in the line-up, then you’re not considered a complete auto manufacturer. A sport utility vehicle or SUV is a generic name for a passenger vehicle that combines the towing capacity of a pickup truck with the passenger-carrying space of a minivan or station wagon together with on or off road ability.
Known in some countries as “off-road vehicle” or “four-wheel drive,” SUV is also abbreviated as 4WD or 4×4. However, not all SUVs have four-wheel capabilities. In the same way, not all 4WD passenger vehicles are SUVs. Off-road vehicles are a different class of vehicles made for off-road use. Although some SUVs have have off-road capabilities, this is often secondary role. Although automakers make use of SUV’s off-road capabilities in marketing, the daily use of SUVs is mainly paved roads and urban areas.
Popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s, SUV’s popularity declined because of criticism like excessive gasoline consumption, pollution, cost and poor saferly. Manufacturers then responded to buyer’s complaints and gradually transformed traditional truck-based SUV by new vehicle type called crossover SUV that uses a car platform for lighter weight and better fuel efficiency but not recommended for off-road usage or towing.
Here in the Philippines, there are presently seven SUVs with 7-seat feature that are making waves in the market: Mitsubishi Montero Sport, Toyota Fortuner, Isuzu Alterra, Kia Sorento, Hyndai Santa Fe, Ford Everest and Chevrolet’s Trailblazer.