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cranky 6th October 2011 22:30

Re: Do SUVs decrease driving fatigue? How?
Driver fatigue reduction in SUVs is primarily caused by transfer of fatigue to other road users.

I have seen a black Tata Safari driven by a fellow forum member (dunno who), and that was one example of a SUV being driven courteously and with great regard for traffic.

Unfortunately, that was the only one. The reduction of the need to be alert is a big reduction in mental stress. For one, everyone gives you way or becomes a little cautious as you rumble down their flanks. For two, you don't really need to watch for bad roads as much as you do in a sedan or hatch. And these are not mirthful.

Of course, passenger comfort in SUV's, depending on how they are sprung, can be worse than sedans.

mohandasnikhil 6th October 2011 22:39

Re: Do SUVs decrease driving fatigue? How?
Well having driven Sedans, SUVs and Hatchbacks over long drives as well as intercity runs over the past 6yrs in India I would rate them this way
Sedan > SUV > Hatchback.
I have driven a multitude of the below cars over 2,00,000kms and my ratings are an average of what I feel regarding the class of the vehicle that is available in india.

1. Hatchbacks:
Good Bits: They are easy to manouvre in city traffic, gearshifts are nice and smooth, clutch is nice. NVH levels are bearable.
Bad Bits: Seats aren't always comfortable, pedal positions aren't ideal. On the highways they'd dont always have enough grunt to make overtaking easy increasing stress. Bumps and Potholes are felt more. Lack of Safety Equipment on a lot of the cheaper hatchbacks.
Evaluation based on: WagonR VXi, Swift Vdi, Fabia 1.2Mpi, Beat LS

2. SUVs
Good Bits: Good Ground Clearance makes it easier to tackle bad roads, high seats are more comfortable. View makes manouvering easy, the mammoth size works to your advantage in city traffic cos cars, ricks, bikes tend to give you way.
Bad Bits: Clutch is heavy, gearshifts are hard, parking is a pain. NVH levels are high (high end SUVs not included), Ride Quality isn't good, Poor Handling isnt confidence inspiring on the twisties
Evaluation based on: Scorpio VLX, Innova, Toyota Prado

Good Bits:Comfortable Seats, Good Gearshifts, Good Power for Overtaking, Good Ride Quality
Bad Bits: They feel the most vulnerable in city traffic, cos you are always worried of someone scratching a corner you cant see clearly. Bad Roads tend to unsettle low slung sedans the most. Parking in the city is a stress.
Evalution Based on: VW Jetta, Skoda Laura, Chevy Optra, VW Passat

Some of my most stressfree highway drives have been in my old Skoda Laura LnK AT, while the best city drives were in my Skoda Fabia 1.2Mpi.

46TheDoctor 6th October 2011 22:44

Re: Do SUVs decrease driving fatigue? How?
From whatever i have learned from driving different class of cars over different conditions:
1. Physical fatigue:
For long journeys on the highways:
Cars with flat ride quality (both low speed and high speed) cause much less fatigue, no matter if it's a hatch, SUV or a sedan. For instance, Punto is great long distance car with flat ride quality, much better than a lot of sedans and SUVs.
For city driving:
Same as above but in addition to ride quality we also need ergonomically placed and light controls (steering, clutch pedal, smooth gear shifts, etc.) as we have to use them frequently.

2. Mental fatigue:
For highways:
Mental fatigue arises more from level of concentration you need to apply for controlling the car and timing the overtaking maneuvers especially on undivided highways. So, car with great or predictable handling and braking characteristics are very much relaxing to drive. If it has excellent power then overtaking becomes much easier making the journey more fatigue free.
For cities:
For city driving, handling characteristics become less important because of the lower speeds but, good gear ratios and light controls (clutch, steering, gear shifts) become more important to execute your planned maneuvers especially when using a turbo charged manual transmission car.

As per my experience, these are the factors contributing to driving fatigue rather than size of seats ( as most of the cars today have good seats), visibility, road presence or class of cars (hatch, SUV or sedan), etc.

simpleman 6th October 2011 23:22

Re: Do SUVs decrease driving fatigue? How?
I drive a safari now and previously traveled and driven extensively around Tamil Nadu in an Indigo /Polo /swift dezire. Everytime I drove the Indigo, I used to develop a bleeding headache within 150kms. My thighs used to feel like I ran the marathon and shifting gears was like trying to carve a log.
I used to be a sceptic of this I dont feel tired when I drive a SUV business, till I started long distance driving on my Safari.
For me, the difference is above all, excellent seats. The safari's seats support your body in areas that you never knew existed. I'm sure the TATA morons discovered it by accident.
The second difference is the power on tap.
The third is the space, atleast what the driver has. I have been told that the seats behind are even more comfortable, but that I cannot vouch for. I'm 6 feet tall and I can stretch my left foot out or keep it in whatever position that my leg wants.
But above all, its those seats.

mayuresh 6th October 2011 23:47

Re: Do SUVs decrease driving fatigue? How?
Is rpm a factor?

For a given speed would rpm be less in a bigger vehicle in turn contributing to comfort?

Geo_Ipe 6th October 2011 23:56

Re: Do SUVs decrease driving fatigue? How?

Originally Posted by simpleman (Post 2534718)
But above all, its those seats.

That's the only reason according to me.

A sedan is more powerful, agile, fun to drive and fuel efficient any day than an SUV.

noopster 7th October 2011 00:07

Re: Do SUVs decrease driving fatigue? How?
Whenever I have driven SUV's: my friend's Toyota Fortuner recently, or his Scorpio before that, or even (if it qualifies) my BIL's Innova, my overall comfort is badly hindered by the fact that I need to concentrate extra hard to avoid hitting anything/anybody because I am riding around in such a big vehicle! Sorry but a powerful hatch or smallish sedan is much more comfortable for me personally.

My Vento has seat height adjust, reach/rake adjust on steering, auto transmission and pure leather seats (that I've added). That makes my ride super comfy. Have driven nearly a thousand km in a day without getting unduly fatigued. I think it's a myth that SUVs cause less fatigue.

shekhar_gogoi 7th October 2011 00:12

Re: Do SUVs decrease driving fatigue? How?
I have driven both SUV's, sedans and hatch over the same stretch of road for 1000 kms. Hatchbacks are the most tiring except for the Palio 1.6 which felt and handled more like a sedan than a hatch! May be it has got to do with the extra power and the extra space than most other hatches.
Between SUV's and sedans, found the sedan more comfy. This was mainly because in SUV's I found higher G's, compared to sedans, working at the body. With a higher G and more body roll, SUV's tend to tire you a lot faster than in a sedan.
Now again saying all that I've said above, the most important thing is the car itself!! Can't just compare a Audi sedan with a Mahindra Scorpio SUV now, can we??!! :uncontrol

CRtorquefan 7th October 2011 00:56

Re: Do SUVs decrease driving fatigue? How?
I don't think SUV make much of a difference in a long duration journeys as compared to hatchbacks or Sedans, instead what matters more worse are;
-Physical comfort offered by the car or it's also called 'ERGONOMICS' in technical term.
-NVH offered by the vehicle in which you're traveling.
-Suspension setup(more precisely its Bumpiness) offered by the Car/SUV in which you're traveling.
-Wheelbase & wheel size of the car.
-Most important is the Engine response & status, More strained the engine is, the more will be the Driver & vice-versa.
Drive Relaxed & stay relaxed.
While buying Shortlist your car with keeping your Relaxation levels in your mind, it improve you & your car's long term efficiency.

Sheel 7th October 2011 09:53

Re: Do SUVs decrease driving fatigue? How?
How can that constant bobbing decrease fatigue? If the roads are good, a higher clearance vehicle is a better bet and we are anyways moving towards this thread :D

akmits_bhp 7th October 2011 10:05

Re: Do SUVs decrease driving fatigue? How?
I have done lots of one-day trips to Pune-Mumbai-Pune earlier in my ZEN(classic) and now in Safari. Definitely, I came back less tired in Safari. Also, did a solo drive to Pune-Delhi and month later Delhi-Pune. Again I can tell I was not as tired as I thought I would be.

As someone earlier said ergonomics (seating, steering, gears) is number one factor for driver fatigue. Next would be ambient noise.

Psychologically roomy cabin and good view over traffic helps a lot to an SUV driver

revintup 7th October 2011 10:16

Re: Do SUVs decrease driving fatigue? How?
Most important factor would be the ergonomics.

I own a swift,but have driven a scorpio extensively.While the passengers would always prefer the scorpio due to the interior space i always prefer the swift.

Thing is in a hatch all the controls are much more reachable,the seats are usually more comfortable and its very easy to chuck it around.

But of course in an suv no one dares to cut across you.

Another thing is the power of a vehicle.Makes overtaking much more easier,lesser no of gear changes etc.

On second thoughts,wont an automatic,irrespective of it being an suv or car be the best in reducing fatigue?

ampere 7th October 2011 10:17

Re: Do SUVs decrease driving fatigue? How?
That is why most folks want an "SUV" with a sedan like comfort. Nothing beats the comfort of a sedan.
Raise the GC a bit and seating comfort gets a bit un-settled, in-spite of the seats being very comfortable.

Good vision of traffic, GC and power on tap may be some things which can reduce fatigue.
However that depends on driving styles as well. But the comfort of seating and space is universally required and more so for a long drive.

Overall I would prefer a compact cross-over which has elements of both thrown in.
We want to have our cake and eat it too! :)

Jetblast101 7th October 2011 10:28

Re: Do SUVs decrease driving fatigue? How?
Well I drive a Scorpio VLX AT and a Hyundai i20. Out of the two I prefer the Scorpio primarily because of the view I get of the road ahead. This makes it very easy to maneuver in the city. The main disadvantage I see is the turning radius and the proportions which needs to be considered.
For deeper potholes which we are used to in Mumbai the i20 suspension crashes through them especially when it is loaded. In the Scorpio I can actually accelerate through these without batting an eyelid gives me some peace of mind.:D

VW2010 7th October 2011 11:26

Re: Do SUVs decrease driving fatigue? How?
The lower the body roll and jerkiness the better the ride comfort. Decide which one has lower body roll and jerkiness and you will realise a sedan does far better role of providing drivers as well as passenger comfort.

Fatigue due to seating posture and seating height is just a myth. If fact the lower i am seated the more snuggly i feel.

I will say SUV doesnt decrease fatigue but just gives that extra space and fov that makes you feel you are not fatigued.

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