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Old 12th January 2012, 20:56   #91
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Default Re: Why are SUVs becoming so popular?

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Originally Posted by diffsoft View Post
Same with me as well - specifically,

1. Bad roads in many patches in Bangalore, roads dug up for cabling / water supply and left badly patched up, roads cratered by rains, no roads joining two roads and no tar roads in many places.

2. Hopefully better visibility than a sedan (unless all cars turn into SUVs ). I feel this especially at night with high beam from buses, trucks and other cars. Maybe the raised seating will help.
There's one thing I forgot that first led me to consider SUVs / crossover seriously - and that is water wading.

I happened to drive to Chennai during November in heavy rains. The city was badly water logged with mini lakes all around. I was driving (in my Verna) through heavy traffic at crawling speeds, cautiously driving behind other vehicles that could figure out the invisible pot holes or craters covered with water so I could avoid them. You cannot drive too fast for the fear of water entering the engine bay, nor too slow for the car to get badly drenched under. That was sheer torture.

I never prayed to the Almighty so furiously in recent memory. Thankfully the car survived but I did not want to live that experience again.

That's when it occurred to me that an SUV is a serious requirement on Indian roads.

Cheers,
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Old 13th January 2012, 07:21   #92
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Default Re: Why are SUVs becoming so popular?

I find my Yeti better over the speed breakers and pot holes than my Scorpio. Both have the same GC of 180mm.
The Scorpio being larger and more top heavy used to sway horribly over these big speed bumps but its large tough tyres used to manage the beating very well.
The Yeti is far more comfy over these bumps but its tyres are softer and hence more prone to damage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aroy View Post
Yes most of the SUV/MUV listed have a GC of less than 200mm.

Apart from GC you have to consider the wheel base. As most of the time you require good GC to traverse humps and pot holes, a short wheel base vehicle will score. For example, the Alto K10 with its 160mm GC scores over the 180-200mm GC vehicles when it comes to speed breakers and pot holes. Of course larger wheel diameters help in pot holes. But if you are faced with a monster pot hole, not even a truck will escape unscathed.

One technique I learnt of is to use fog lamps; if you have them; when dazzled by oncoming lights, increases the near visibility a lot.
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Old 13th January 2012, 11:35   #93
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Default Re: Why are SUVs becoming so popular?

After almost 20 years of travelling in family sedans, hatchbacks our family has decided to go for a SUV.
Why?
As a family we do a lot of travelling (4 of us now) and every month we do 2 trips a month to get out of the snarling traffic,sea of people,and drive into wilderness destinations, do photography, explore new places.
Which one?
After a lot of reading & test drives zeroed in the Toyota Fortuner. 221 mm GC, reliability, good space, good power/torque and most importantly 4X4. Our SX4 (190mm GC) had got stuck while getting out of an estate during rains. So having a 4X4 does help at a lot of places where we travel.
City driving?
During the test drive we put mom, who is used to driving hatches all time (She is a doc and travels 15-20 kms to most hospitals on this side of the town all 7 days in the week) behind the wheel of the massive Toyota. She drove it without a sweat , even tried narrow roads and was absolutely comfortable with the Fortuner.

Why not a soft roader?
I agree with most that a soft roader/ crossover/MPV would do handling/comfort duties better than a body on frame SUV like the T-Fort but i wouldn't dare take that kind of a vehicle off road. (even thought it might be 20% use of offroading in my driving life cycle).

So as a buyer who is migrating from Sedans after driving them for good time few important things i need to change are
1)Driving style to an extent, maintain a safer distance behind vehicles than i was used to doing on sedans/hatches
2) Respect the size and drive it little more sedately.
3) Need to anticipate braking distances better.
4) Slowly get accustomed to the dynamics of driving an SUV (After driving this long one gets a feeling of been there done that. BUT most important here is to slowly grow yourself into that than being overly confident ).

Last edited by redrage : 13th January 2012 at 11:37.
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Old 13th January 2012, 11:36   #94
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Default Re: Why are SUVs becoming so popular?

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Originally Posted by Aroy View Post
One technique I learnt of is to use fog lamps; if you have them; when dazzled by oncoming lights, increases the near visibility a lot.
I agree with you that fog lamps do help in increasing the near visibility. I have them on my car & have been using them judiciously. However this helps only when you are doing speeds of 50-60 kmph or lesser. That unfateful night/early morning, I was doing 80+ & the fog lamps didn't come to my rescue
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Old 13th January 2012, 14:28   #95
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Default Re: Why are SUVs becoming so popular?

i feel it is the road conditions, sitting posture, ego, space, boot space, boot height etc...in that way even a tall boy design is better than sedans i guess
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Old 13th January 2012, 20:10   #96
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Default Re: Why are SUVs becoming so popular?

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i feel it is the road conditions, sitting posture, ego, space, boot space, boot height etc...in that way even a tall boy design is better than sedans i guess
Absolutely. it is EGO, not simply ego.

And the number of ppl it can seat. Actually, if seated fully, an SUV hardly has any boot space except on top.
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Old 13th January 2012, 20:18   #97
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Default Re: Why are SUVs becoming so popular?

I dont agree with the below details posted because I have taken my Yeti to a few places this last month where it would frankly be a pain to drive a Fortuner on account of its size/ width.
The 4x4 capability I havent fully explored but I am 100% sure it will handle a great deal that one cares to throw at it.
Yes the GC is a limitation in comparison to the Fortuner to some extent, but the SWB certainly helps and makes up.
Except for seriously hard core off road activities and of course, space, I believe vehicles like the Yeti are more than enough especially if one is only going to go off the road for about 15-20% of ones total driving cycle.

I totally agree with the second part of the post below. Driving an SUV is significantly different from driving a car and one would do well to be mindful of that fact! However, crossovers like the Yeti etc offer the best of both worlds to the person (s) who are clear about their need/ want state.

Quote:
Originally Posted by redrage View Post
I agree with most that a soft roader/ crossover/MPV would do handling/comfort duties better than a body on frame SUV like the T-Fort but i wouldn't dare take that kind of a vehicle off road. (even thought it might be 20% use of offroading in my driving life cycle).

So as a buyer who is migrating from Sedans after driving them for good time few important things i need to change are
1)Driving style to an extent, maintain a safer distance behind vehicles than i was used to doing on sedans/hatches
2) Respect the size and drive it little more sedately.
3) Need to anticipate braking distances better.
4) Slowly get accustomed to the dynamics of driving an SUV (After driving this long one gets a feeling of been there done that. BUT most important here is to slowly grow yourself into that than being overly confident ).
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Old 13th January 2012, 20:51   #98
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Default Re: Why are SUVs becoming so popular?

As many other fellow members written, I also feel the same that Indian driving conditions are more suitable for SUVs rather than sedans or hatches, I am saying that even I always love to drive low height cars.

When I was to buy a new car for me in last April, I would had bought a vehicle like Duster if it was available, even I waited for such vehicles because rumours were flying all around about the Duster and I was not in hurry for replacement but unfortunately no such compact SUV vehicle was launched till then so ended up buying a Polo. No regret for the decision, even I respect my hatch which perfectly suits me but few conditions are always there where my little baby doesn't feel comfortable.

One common big factor about popularity of SUVs is that many people get feeling of solidity and safety due to huge size, appearance and higher seating position of SUVs so they buy those.
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Old 13th January 2012, 23:37   #99
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Default Re: Why are SUVs becoming so popular?

I prefer SUVs for highway driving because:
1. Frontal collision: You are safer in case of frontal collision as compared to sedans/hatchbacks. No amount of airbags in a sedan can save you if you collide with the trucks/LCVs with bumpers set at higher level.
2. Robust suspensions: You never know when you will hit the pot holes on our roads. You can survive those with the robust suspension with high suspension travel on SUVs.
3. Road presence: SUVs normally get more respect on highways from truckers/buses. They actually move aside to let you pass them.
4. Always ready: SUVs are always ready for all kinds of surfaces unlike sedans. They have more ability to take abuse/rough use.
5. Sense of security: Due to their road presence, status value, macho/aggressive image, SUVs give you a sense of security if you are traveling alone/with family at odd hours and in thinly populated areas and empty roads.
All these qualities make them great companions especially on road trips. For city use, comfy hatchbacks/sedans make more sense provided that road conditions are decent.
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Old 14th January 2012, 00:51   #100
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Default Re: Why are SUVs becoming so popular?

THis thread brings back some fond memories. When i was looking to buy my first car, I always wanted to get the bolero, somehow i liked the ruggedness of that one, but my family shot it down outright for being too ancient in styling. Scorpio was out of reach so I eneded with a hatch, not that I am unhappy with it, but somewhere i always wanted to buy a SUV. The reason is pretty simple, it can carry a lot more ppl than a hatch, gives you the power to move on in highways, looks threatening in the RVM of my own hatch . All in all, I will get a SUV/MPV whenever i decide to part with my first hatch. I am gonna miss it for sure.
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Old 14th January 2012, 05:45   #101
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Default Re: Why are SUVs becoming so popular?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
I dont agree with the below details posted because I have taken my Yeti to a few places this last month where it would frankly be a pain to drive a Fortuner on account of its size/ width.
The 4x4 capability I havent fully explored but I am 100% sure it will handle a great deal that one cares to throw at it.
Yes the GC is a limitation in comparison to the Fortuner to some extent, but the SWB certainly helps and makes up.
Except for seriously hard core off road activities and of course, space, I believe vehicles like the Yeti are more than enough especially if one is only going to go off the road for about 15-20% of ones total driving cycle.
The places i goto for trust me i would be much happier with the Fortuner than an Yeti ,the confidence a vehicle gives you while taking it over intermediate rocky terrains is much much higher in Fortuner compared to an Yeti, and for me at least size and width would not be a problem while offroading in a wide space/open lands for W.photography. Size and width was not a problem for anyone in my family who drove the vehicle even in narrow roads and traffic so i guess it should be ok. Talking about the Yeti, Skoda dint even get a TD vehicle and after sales experiences just leave you with a bad taste.I am sure lot of others will have had excellent experiences and nothing wrong with that and am really happy for them but for me i really comfortable with the Toyota guys and considering all round features its a better choice. The Third row is a must have for me.

The Yeti wouldn't just make me comfortable to the places i take it for sure. Climbing a few rocks here and there just wouldn't give that kind of confidence a Fortuner gives you. Maybe it can be done more cautiously on an Yeti. The positives of the Fortuner outweighs its negatives for me at least.

Last edited by redrage : 14th January 2012 at 05:51.
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Old 14th January 2012, 10:39   #102
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Default Re: Why are SUVs becoming so popular?

Agree with most of what has been said here. I just got back from a trip to Bangalore, and in the 4 years since my last visit, I must say most of the roads have improved, but they have become very very congested also. The flyover building business has also not helped the traffic situation, and some roads near places like HSR layout seem to be fit only for off-road vehicles. I really don't know how small cars (like the Swift, Fabia, Ritz etc.) are meant to handle those roads!

SUVs have become affordable now, and people seem to prefer them because of the road presence, comfort and perceived safety over a sedan car. In reality though..SUVs are far more prone to roll over and cause serious damage to others (other vehicles/pedestrians) than a sedan car. But I guess ultimately it is driver behaviour that influences risk. An interesting study done by the University of Michigan concludes that:

•Average midsize and large cars have same risk to drivers as average
SUVs
•Safest subcompact and compact cars have same risk to driver as
average SUVs
•Pickups and SUVs (and minivans) impose high risks on other drivers
because of their incompatibility with cars
•Average subcompact and compact cars have similar combined risk
as average SUVs

I guess the results of this study also apply to India, plus the SUVs have the added benefit of tackling some of the terrible roads in Indian cities!

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The Yeti wouldn't just make me comfortable to the places i take it for sure. Climbing a few rocks here and there just wouldn't give that kind of confidence a Fortuner gives you. Maybe it can be done more cautiously on an Yeti. The positives of the Fortuner outweighs its negatives for me at least.
There are places where even the Fortuner would struggle, that's why people modify Jeeps and Land Rovers for serious offroading. But most of us won't do such serious offroading, so a small 4WD such as the Yeti or the Suzuki Jimny would be sufficient.
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Old 14th January 2012, 10:52   #103
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Default Re: Why are SUVs becoming so popular?

If off roading ability is the primary concern, you are far better off with the antiquated Pajero over the Fortuner. The former is a mountain goat once you put some AT tyres on it.
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Old 14th January 2012, 14:28   #104
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Default Re: Why are SUVs becoming so popular?

Rock climbing and stuff I wouldn't do in my Yeti. But off road, slushy stuff, rutted road and so on I would!
So clearly yours and my usage patterns are widely different.
Horses for courses then!

I ve also been on wildlife, fishing and other jaunts etc in the Nilgiris and other places but we dont take the vehicle much. Invariably we park up someplace and walk the rest of the way.
Cheers

Quote:
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The places i goto for trust me i would be much happier with the Fortuner than an Yeti ,the confidence a vehicle gives you while taking it over intermediate rocky terrains is much much higher in Fortuner compared to an Yeti, and for me at least size and width would not be a problem while offroading in a wide space/open lands for W.photography. Size and width was not a problem for anyone in my family who drove the vehicle even in narrow roads and traffic so i guess it should be ok. Talking about the Yeti, Skoda dint even get a TD vehicle and after sales experiences just leave you with a bad taste.I am sure lot of others will have had excellent experiences and nothing wrong with that and am really happy for them but for me i really comfortable with the Toyota guys and considering all round features its a better choice. The Third row is a must have for me.

The Yeti wouldn't just make me comfortable to the places i take it for sure. Climbing a few rocks here and there just wouldn't give that kind of confidence a Fortuner gives you. Maybe it can be done more cautiously on an Yeti. The positives of the Fortuner outweighs its negatives for me at least.
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Old 14th January 2012, 15:26   #105
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Default Re: Why are SUVs becoming so popular?

On a lighter (maybe illogical) note, maybe because "India mein sirf FORCE hi chalta hai!!"... lolz (at least, true for the North)

Last edited by dkaile : 14th January 2012 at 15:29.
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