For so long compact, hatchback, and saloon cars have dominated the car market, however there is a new class of car on the rise - SUVs.

Sports Utility Vehicles made up a quarter of all car sales in Europe in 2016 with a market share increase of 21.4%. This ‘SUV boom’ has even reached the UK as sales broke records with a 28% increase.

Their growing popularity might come to a surprise to some but with crossovers fresh on the market, more consumers will be exposed to their many benefits.

But what are they?

Spacious SUVs

If your SUV seats five or seven, you’ll be sure to have ample leg and headroom, although it’s the boot space that really turns heads.

The average boot space for an SUV is 719 litres, nearly 300 litres larger than the hatchback average. This makes for more than enough space for a buggy, a set of golf clubs and the shopping, depending on how you spend your days.

 

SUV Fuel Efficiency

Whether your destination is the supermarket, playschool, or the local golf course, you won’t have to take a detour to the petrol station too often.

While the average MPG (miles per gallon) for UK cars is 37.8, SUVs can vary from anything between 20-60mpg, excluding hybrid or electric vehicles.  

 

SUV Safety

It’s imperative that in any car you feel comfortable, at ease and above all, safe. With their raised driving position, SUVs offer great protection on the road with an average score of five stars in Euro NCAP Safety ratings.

If you want to ensure your car is up to the safety standards, then you can:

  • Use the 20p tyre test as recommended by TyreSafe.
  • Check tension and strength of seat belts, especially if using Isofix.
  • Before you set off, press your brakes and feel for sponginess, which could be a sign of wear.
  • Check and change your car’s oil at least every three months, it’s absolutely essential to the running of your car.
  • And always keep an eager eye for any dashboard warning lights and NEVER ignore them

Suv Safety

 

Premium SUVs

The resurgence of the SUVs within Europe and most notably, the UK can be broken down further.

A new segment has also seen mass increase in market share with three models finding themselves at the top of the pile.

The Audi Q5, BMW X3 and the BMW X5 make up the Premium SUVs and boast some impressive figures.

Collectively between the three models, 150,000 sales were recorded in 2016 and an average market share increase of 3.6%.

The table below shows the data for each model within their respective classifications: Large Premium SUVs and Midsize Premium SUVs.

Model  Class Popularity Market Share 2016 Sales
Audi Q5 3rd +9% 70k
BMW X3 6th +4% 47k
BMW X5 1st -3% 33k

Above: Table of Premium SUV sales. Source: Car Sales Base

 

These figures don't come unjustified though - with foldable rear seats, each model can reach over 1,500 litres in boot space and has an extra 11.8 miles in the tank per mile compared to the UK average

Model Boot Space (litres) MPG Euro Ncap Safety Rating
Audi Q5 540-1,560  45.8 5 Star (2017)
BMW X3 550-1,600 50.5 5 Star (2011)
BMW X5 650-1,870 51.8 5 Star (2003)

Above: Table of Premium SUV specs. Source: Next Green Car, Car Wow, Euro NCAP

 

The Future of SUVs

With SUVs on the up and individual segments within the class also seeing soaring results, what does the future hold?

With emerging markets showing the focus on declining fuel prices, vehicle safety and mobility convenience, the SUV global market is forecasted to reach 21 million units by 2020 (that’s only 3 years from now!).