What Is the Difference Between a Standard & a Midsize SUV?

by Siobhan Egan

An intermediate SUV is also sometimes referred to as a mid-size SUV. A full-size SUV is also called a standard SUV. The most noticeable difference between the two is that a mid-size SUV is smaller than a standard SUV. There are other differences, as well.

Size and Safety

Standard size SUV's on terrain course

A mid-size SUV is smaller than a standard-size SUV; the size affects the car's seating, its storage capacity, the relative comfort of the interior and, arguably, its safety. The standard-size SUV's sheer size typically makes it perform higher in crash safety tests.

Fuel Efficiency

Woman fueling up her standard-size SUV

Mid-size SUVs are typically more fuel efficient than their standard-size SUV cousins. The standard-size SUV is designed for off-road capability and increased towing capacity. It typically has a more powerful engine than the mid-size SUV. This equates to less efficient gas mileage for the standard-size SUV.

Handling, Drivability and Towing

Mid-size SUV frames at auto assembly factory

Handling and drivability are typically better rated on the mid-size SUVs than with the standard size SUVs. The mid-size SUVs offer a combination of durability, speed and power, but are not as ideally suited for towing as the standard size SUV.

About the Author

Siobhan Egan has edited newspapers and news websites at the Jersey Shore since 1999 and been an attorney since 1994. Her writing has won five statewide awards from the New Jersey Press Association. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Bucknell University and a Juris Doctor from Temple University.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images