Pros & Cons of SUVs

by R.L. Cultrona

SUV, which stands Sport Utility Vehicle, is a term used for a vehicle which has the seating capacity and storage of a station wagon, but is placed on the chassis of a truck. Designed for off-roading and driving in adverse conditions, these vehicles have become popular with mothers to help store everything their family needs to get around from day to day. Ever since these vehicles achieved popularity in the 1990s, a debate has raged as to the advantages and disadvantages of owning one.

Room

One of the biggest advantages to owning an SUV is the large amount of room. An average family size sedan simply cannot compare with all the storage capacity an SUV has. It is particularly good for families who have the need to bring a large amount of equipment with them throughout their daily lives. Also, many people like it because they can get the space they need from a mini or regular size van without feeling like they are buying a family car.

Size

Another advantage is the size of the vehicle itself. Usually wider than a normal automobile and set on higher wheels, this vehicle provides an aura of safety when driving it. This is a great feeling for people with children, as it gives them a sense of peace knowing their children may be safer in this vehicle. However, at high speeds, SUVs have been known to roll over, so drivers will need to remember not to get too careless when driving the car.

Maneuverability

SUVs have long been touted for their maneuverability in adverse conditions. SUVs are great to have in the rain and snow, as many of them have four wheel drive which helps prevent slipping and skidding. Also, if you need to travel off the beaten path, an SUV is a great way to do so, as it can maneuver over uneven ground and provide a luxurious cabin in which to do it in. This maneuverability also translates to good handling on surface streets which can keep drivers and passengers safe.

Cost of Fuel

Unfortunately, the SUV has its limitations as well. Since the car is heavier than a regular sedan, it will take more gas to drive it. With the loss of fuel performance comes an increase in fuel costs. With the rising price of gasoline, many people have found it uneconomical to own and drive a SUV.

Emissions

Finally, this vehicle gives off many more emissions than a smaller car. This increase in fumes is directly related to the increase in gasoline that the SUV requires. Since it uses more gasoline to do basic driving functions, more emissions are pumped into the atmosphere, which causes a bigger carbon footprint. SUVs have come under attack in recent years by various environmental groups.

About the Author

R.L. Cultrona is a San Diego native and a graduate of San Diego State University. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in theater, television and film with a minor in communications and political science. She began writing online instructional articles in June 2009.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera http://www.flickr.com/photos/hamed CC BY 2.0