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Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV)

What is an SUV?

SUV stands for sport utility vehicle, a type of car that was originally a rugged machine, fitted with four-wheel drive and built for use off-road. However, a growing trend for this type of vehicle – which is often thought to be safer, as the passenger compartment sits higher off the ground, giving the driver a better view of the road – means that SUVs are now available in a variety of sizes. And, as many of them are not required to go off-road, they tend not to be fitted with four-wheel drive.

Related Jargon

What is a crossover car?

A crossover car is one that combines the design features from two (or even more) traditional types of car and often involves some element of an SUV.

What is a 4x4 car?

A 4x4 car is one that is fitted with four-wheel drive, which means that the power created by the engine is sent to all four wheels.

What is all-wheel drive?

An all-wheel-drive (AWD) system sends the power of the engine to both the front and rear wheels all the time so if one or more wheels is stuck, or can’t get any grip on the road, the other wheels are still driving the car forward. 

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