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Old 1st March 2011, 04:19   #1
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Default Defining an SUV

The purpose of this thread is to answer a simple question - What is an SUV?

The question seems so straight forward but with Crossovers, MUVs and MPVs it is easy to get confused. Thus the question.

So yeah, what exactly is an SUV? Should it look like a modern Jeep? Is 4X4 absolutely necessary for an SUV? What is the difference between a Jeep and an SUV? These are just a few questions on top of my list.

Here is my attempt to classify what an SUV should have and could have.

An SUV should have:

1) Body on Ladder chassis
2) Towing Capacity
3) High Ground Clearance


An SUV could have:

1) 4X4/AWD drivetrain
2) High low-end Torque
3) Appearance of a modern/refined Jeep

What else should / Could the SUV have?

And while we are at it, which of the current vehicles in India could be called SUVs?

PS: Let's keep the discussion objective to the extent possible
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Old 1st March 2011, 09:48   #2
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Default Re: The SUV Thread

(SUV) is a genericmarketing term for a vehicle similar to a station wagon, but built on a light-truck chassis.Usually equipped with four-wheel drive for on- or off-road ability, and with some pretension or ability to be used as an off-road vehicle, some SUVs include the towing capacity of a pickup truck with the passenger-carrying space of a minivan or large sedan.

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Old 1st March 2011, 10:20   #3
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Default Re: The SUV Thread

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...uv-debate.html (Should you buy an SUV? The definitive Sedan vs SUV debate)

Guess that thread should help you.
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Old 1st March 2011, 11:53   #4
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Default Re: Defining an SUV

SUV(Sports Utility Vehicle)) is a generic name for station wagon body on a light truck chassis that may or may not have 4WD or offroading ability.
To me an SUV should have:
1.A two box traditional body with BOF construction, and seating for 7 or 7+ passengers.
2.A torquey diesel or petrol engine(preferably diesel) with strong low end and mid range power.Don't care about top end.
3.A manual transmission with transfer case having 2H,4H,4L.
4.A basic styled body with no fancy work, proper bumpers, side claddings,bull guard.
5.The interiors in contrast should be luxo with full size seats all round(arm chair comfort), no car like sitting position here.
6. No compromise on wheel articulation or suspension travel just for handling. If anyone wants entertaining handler, buy a sedan instead.
To me SUV brings forward images of Toyota Landcruiser (70,100,200) Mitsubishi Pajero ,Nissan Patrol , Merc G class , Tata Safari etc.
Though on the extreme end i have a fondness for American SUVs too, Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Suburban, GMC etc.
Other than these two: Asian SUV and American SUV, the rest are all crossovers, including the X5s and Q7s of the world.
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Old 1st March 2011, 12:51   #5
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Default Re: Defining an SUV

I think 2 things mainly, its all terrain and can be used to carry your sports gear like surf boards, camping gear etc, more of a leisure vehicle for outdoors and weekend getaways to go places and carry stuff you would not be able to with a ordinary car. So you would ideally need 4 wheel drive, space to carry stuff, high ground clearance, good pulling power.
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Old 1st March 2011, 13:36   #6
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Default Re: Defining an SUV

Well literally, SUVs should be apt for sport usage, like carrying a couple of golf kits, or surfboards, or a canoe on the roof. They should have sporty drive, so good handling and sport mode suspension, and decent power.

However, SUV by no means implies an off-road vehicle, as lawsuits in the US have often said, marketed as SUV does not cover off road damage. So clearance beyond say 200mm is entirely optional, and so is low range, locking diff or small overhangs.

Only something built and marketed as an off-road SUV should have these, say the Jeep GC or Thar.

Towing and flatbed are purely truck features, and have nothing to do with Sport or offroading, since on a 4x4 trail, you need a winch not a tow vehicle.
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Old 1st March 2011, 14:19   #7
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Default Re: Defining an SUV

This SUV tag is a marketing piece of brilliance by some MBA graduate sitting in some dark cubicle having been asked to come out with a highly sophisticated acronym that will bewilder people into lapping up big heavy fuel guzzling vehicles that other then being an ego boost wont do much to their manhood. This guy must have never seen a surf board or a canoe all his life.

The added benefit of the the acronym would be that real estate in the virtual world will be filled with posts and topics trying to decrypt this magical word in order to understand more.

PS: For all the Surf boarders and oarsmen out here - most canoes and surfboards can be carried on a Maruti 800.
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Old 1st March 2011, 14:31   #8
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Default Re: Defining an SUV

IMHO this thread is redundant as the issue on hand has been discussed to death across various thread. So I don't think there is any need to reinvent the wheel.

And yes SUV is a very generic term containing subsets of UV/MUV/MAV and what not and is the product of the fertile mind of an MBA trying to garner some brownie points from his boss.
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Old 1st March 2011, 14:35   #9
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Default Re: Defining an SUV

This is a very nice definition indeed.
Now to resort to some bits from wikipedia and some tiny bits of my own.

It is a generic marketing term referring to a vehicle similar to a station wagon but built on a light truck chassis.
Usually equipped with 4WD for on-or-off road ability and with some pretension or ability to be used off road. These are considered light trucks - utility inspired.
Then there is another take on SUV - SUPERSIZED URBAN VEHICLE!! - example a large fat man like me sitting in a Scorpio and buzzing around the city!

Quote:
Originally Posted by nipunkul View Post
Well literally, SUVs should be apt for sport usage, like carrying a couple of golf kits, or surfboards, or a canoe on the roof. They should have sporty drive, so good handling and sport mode suspension, and decent power.

However, SUV by no means implies an off-road vehicle, as lawsuits in the US have often said, marketed as SUV does not cover off road damage. So clearance beyond say 200mm is entirely optional, and so is low range, locking diff or small overhangs.

Only something built and marketed as an off-road SUV should have these, say the Jeep GC or Thar.

Towing and flatbed are purely truck features, and have nothing to do with Sport or offroading, since on a 4x4 trail, you need a winch not a tow vehicle.
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Old 1st March 2011, 15:15   #10
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Default Re: Defining an SUV

An SUV is just a jazzed up Utility Vehicle (UV). While the Landrover is a UV, the Range Rover is an SUV, as it has sedan like interiors and creature comforts.

Similarly the Toyota series 70 vehicles are UV, while the latest 100 and 200 are SUV.

So all you need to make a UV (Tata Sumo?) is to give it better luxury package.

By the way most of the high end SUV - Range Rover, Land Cruiser 200, Mercedes G Wagon have switched over to automatic transmission and in most cases to all wheel drive, hence manual transmission is no longer a part of the requirement, neither is a ladder-on-frame a requirement as many SUV are switching to composite chassis doing away with the ladder part (which is now a part of the chassis and not a separate entity). But a low ratio helps in difficult situations and so does LSD and lockable differentials (G Wagon has locks on all three differentials!)
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Old 1st March 2011, 17:01   #11
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Default Re: Defining an SUV

^^^
Beg to differ.
The Range Rover may have gone the super sports SUV way, But the LC and G wagen still retain old characteristics.
The LC200 may not be as capable for rough use and utility than the LC70, but still it retains the ladder on chassis construction and in fact has options of manual tranny with V6,V8 petrol and diesel engines.
The G wagen too has a variety of body types and engines with manual tranny.
It's just because of our market nature that we have only one variant of the LC and the AMG variant of the G wagen.
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Old 1st March 2011, 23:32   #12
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Default Re: Defining an SUV

At this point I guess it is safe to assume that SUV is just a glorified Jeep / Hatchback looking vehicle giving additional creature comforts, ground clearance, bigger engines, suspension ,etc. and thus possibly better ride quality.

With this in mind I am wondering how much does looks play into equation?

ARIA in-spite of having AWD, reasonable ground clearance, ladder on frame chassis, etc. is not considered an SUV by any means but only MUV. So it seems like we are mostly influenced by looks.

On the other hand I just looked at another post in another thread where it was stated that Scorpio is also not considered and SUV. Really??


I have looked at it. But that thread specifically talks about why one needs an SUV vs. Sedan. Not especially what is an SUV

Quote:
Originally Posted by MileCruncher View Post
IMHO this thread is redundant as the issue on hand has been discussed to death across various thread. So I don't think there is any need to reinvent the wheel.
Exactly! and in almost all of those threads this discussion becomes off-topic. Where as here that is the only topic.
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Old 15th July 2011, 23:06   #13
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Default Re: Defining an SUV

For me the Ideal SUV goes like this.

1) Landrover Defender

2) Our Desi Gypsy.

Nothing to beat these, not even the Safari

And the Rest other overgrown sedans dont come under SUV category at all, they are just sold under that Tag
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Old 15th July 2011, 23:20   #14
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Default Re: Defining an SUV

I guess by now we have pretty much established that the term SUV was invented to sell domesticated jeeps.

Now moving on to another Juicy topic which is also relevant to this thread - Why is Scorpio not considered as an SUV?

Lets start talking!
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Old 16th July 2011, 12:58   #15
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Default Re: Defining an SUV

Quote:
Originally Posted by gshanky View Post
I guess by now we have pretty much established that the term SUV was invented to sell domesticated jeeps.

Now moving on to another Juicy topic which is also relevant to this thread - Why is Scorpio not considered as an SUV?

Lets start talking!
Because Mahindra failed to create commercials of the level of the "make your own road" stuff.

How many people know about the existence of the Scorpio's 4WD variant, even their sales folks dont.

Offroad, it does not have the burden of large overhangs. So its just a matter of perception of the general people.
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