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American Government Special Collections Reference Desk


Jason Gluckman
March 13, 2006

SUV (Sport Utility Vehicles), also known as off-roader or four-wheel drive vehicles, are some of the fastest selling vehicles on the market today. It is a type of passenger vehicle designed for off-road travel and can accommodate more passengers than a car, as can a minivan or station wagon. SUVs are very popular because they have room for carring extra cargo, and are good for large families, plus, they are very comfortable vehicles. Most SUVs feature well-contoured rear seats, excellent headroom, and substantial leg space.

There are different types of SUVs including compact, full size, luxury, and small. They are conventionally derived from light truck platforms and then developed to fit the general shape of a station wagon. Its seating capacity is higher and has suspensions for off-road driving. SUVs have high center of gravity and this makes the vehicle prone to rollover accidents than lower vehicles. For this reason, modern SUV is usually designed to prevent rollovers on flat surfaces. Crossover SUV is a relatively new category of SUV that uses car components for lighter vehicle weight and better economic value.

The history of this vehicle dates back to the early 1980s. SUV descended from military and commercial vehicles such as Land Rover and Jeep. Due to its off-road capabilities, SUV are popular among the rural population. Over the years, they gained popular acceptance for their large, comfortable cabin safety, as well as their recreational possibilities. They are marketed as sporty, fashionable, and safe vehicles. Moreover, they have far greater towing capacities than traditional cars. Compared with other automobiles, SUV are cheaper.

Some dislike SUV because they are considered dangerous to other drivers and bad for the environment. In addition, they roll over more easily than other lower vehicles, and can be less fuel-efficient than other passenger vehicles.

Before purchasing a sport utility vehicle, the important things to remember are reliability, economy, safety, and personal concerns such as child-seat compatibility and size of the cargo area.

SUV Parts provides detailed information on SUV, SUV Parts, SUV Vans, SUV Tires and more. SUV Parts is affiliated with Classic Sports Cars.

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