SUV Meaning For Beginners: Easy-To-Understand Terms

SUV Meaning For Beginners: Easy-To-Understand Terms

April 30, 2021 0 By onroadtips

As of 2018, SUVs account for 39% of the world’s total passenger car sales, making it one of the most widely used types of cars on Earth. So, what is the exact SUV meaning? Why is it so popular? What’s appealing about this car range? Onroadtips will answer all of these questions for you in this post and provides the key information to know about SUVs.

What is the meaning of SUV?

SUV is short for sport utility vehicles. This term covers a wide range of vehicles that have four wheels and can be driven off-road, offering the feel of a lighter, more compact truck.

The SUV meaning in cars can refer to larger vehicles like the Chevrolet Suburban, Range Rover, or Jeep-like SUVs. On the other hand, it can also be used for smaller models with minimal off-road capability like crossover SUVs or the Honda CRV.

What are the characteristics of an SUV?


A unibody is the signature of this type of vehicle, but the chassis used to be different. Decades ago, an SUV had a body-on-frame configuration as it was built based on a light truck’s chassis.

The Russian GAZ-M20 Pobeda M-72 (1955) was the first mass-produced unibody four-wheel passenger car, which was also the first crossover car. The Lada Niva released in 1977 became the first off-road vehicle to combine a unibody construction with a coil-sprung independent front suspension. It’s considered a predecessor to the crossover SUV and a combination of a hatchback-like passenger car body and a full-time four-wheel vehicle.

However, the unibody chassis was not popular until the introduction of the 1984 Jeep Cherokee (XJ), which became a big success. After the Jeep Grand Cherokee was introduced in 1993, all Jeep SUV cars began using unibody construction. Nowadays, most SUVs feature a unibody construction while few still use the body-on-frame construction.

Body style

When talking about SUV meaning, we also talk about a two-box design that resembles a station wagon. The front compartment houses the engine while the other one is the space for passengers and cargo.

Before 2010, the majority of SUVs came in a 2-door design but the 4-door design has since become more widely used.

What does SUV mean
What does SUV mean?

What sizes do SUVs come in?


Some examples of small SUVs include the Hyundai Tucson and the Nissan Rogue. SUVs of this size are easier to maneuver and park.


Some mid-size SUVs are crossovers because their platforms are similar to those of passenger cars while other models are more like compact and mid-size pickup trucks.


These are the largest SUVs on the market, featuring an extended length to make more room for cargo and passengers.

SUV meaning
A full-size SUV

Why should you buy an SUV?

There are a number of benefits coming with an SUV that make it a very good vehicle to buy.

  • Ideal hybrid vehicle: due to the weight of an electric motor and a battery, the SUV construction is ideal for electric and hybrid vehicles.
  • Fuel economy: SUVs use the most advanced technologies to lower emissions while increasing mileage, making them more eco-friendly than traditional cars.
  • Winter driving: a 4×4 SUV is suitable for driving in slippery conditions like snow, ice, and wet roads.
  • High road clearance: no matter if you travel to the forest or the beach, an SUV is a much better off-road vehicle than a regular car.
  • Luggage and towing capacity: an SUV enables the great capability of storing bikes and beds as well as towing a big trailer behind.
  • Interior: an SUV provides unmatched space for 7 seats and easy getting in/out.
  • Better field of view: thanks to a higher driving position, the driver gets a better view of the road when driving.
  • Modern design: SUVs tend to come in outstanding, cool styling.
  • Family car: due to all the characteristics and advantages, an SUV is a perfect vehicle for an entire family.

If you decide to go for an SUV, here’s how you can pick the right car for your family.

Buying an SUV: things to consider
Buying an SUV: things to consider

What should you consider before buying an SUV?

While an SUV is appealing and you may want to buy it right away, it’s a decision that you need to consider carefully. Firstly, an SUV tends to cost more than other cars, which would be a waste and unnecessary amount if you don’t take advantage of all of its capabilities. Secondly, the repairing cost of an SUV is often higher than other cars as well, so you need to make sure you can set aside an adequate amount to bring it to the auto shop periodically.

Overall, in this post, we have explained SUV meaning, described what type of car it is and who it’s good for. If you are interested in buying an SUV, we have compiled a list of the best SUVs in the Philippines that you should look at, hope it helps.