Surprisingly, many drivers don’t know what the three letters SUV stand for. Car dealers, manufacturers and marketing executives always like to come up with catchy phrases and acronyms to make their vehicles easier to sell, but many times this leaves the consumer confused. The simplest definition is that SUV stands for sport utility vehicle. The term sport utility vehicle is marketing terminology that defines a type of vehicle similar in design to a station wagon, built to ride of the chassis of a light truck.
So what features separate an SUV from other cars and trucks on the road? Common features of a sport utility vehicle are four-wheel drive, the towing capacity of a light truck, room for four or more passengers, and ample storage space similar to a minivan or a large sedan. In the US, sport utility vehicles are not as strictly regulated as smaller passenger cars and often they are not forced to abide by clean air and pollution policies that smaller vehicles are. Sport utility specs are often a cross between car and truck with mileage, towing capacity and interior room falling in between these two types of vehicles.
Nearly every manufacturer makes an SUV and they are immensely popular. Small SUVs include (but are not limited too) the Ford Escape, Toyota Rav 4, and the Hyundai Sante Fe. Mid-size SUVS include the Ford Explorer, Dodge Nitro, and Toyota Highlander. Lastly large sized SUVS are vehicles similar to the Ford Excursion, Cadillac Escalade, Chrysler Aspen and Chevy Tahoe. The last category of SUVS are crossovers, which are cross between a traditional station wagon and an SUV. These include models such as the Ford Edge, the Mazda CX-7, the Buick Enclave and the Saturn Outlook.