Amanda Drago
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Why Are SUVs Getting Bigger?

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2021 Chevrolet Tahoe size of SUVs
2021 Chevrolet Tahoe
Photo: Chevrolet

If you’ve been paying close attention to SUVs over the years, you may have noticed that SUVs have been slowly getting bigger. The main reason for this change is that drivers now more than ever are interested in having spacious vehicles.

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Drivers nowadays value comfort in their vehicles, which usually equates to a desire for more legroom and headroom. Many drivers also want to be able to bring different items, like sports gear and luggage, along for the ride, so they’re looking for SUVs with lots of cargo space.

Stephanie Brinley, principle automotive analyst at research firm IHS Markit, says, “When you go out and do clinics on almost any vehicle and you ask what people want, they almost always say they want more space.”

While drivers used to opt for smaller vehicles to have better gas mileage, this isn’t a major concern today since, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the national average price of gas hasn’t risen to more than $3 since back in 2014. Fuel economy has also improved overall with SUVs.

The American population is also increasing in age, and as drivers get older they want easier access to vehicles. Larger SUVs tend to be easier to get into than vehicles that are lower to the ground.

The Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe, in particular, are following these trends and getting larger for the 2021 model year. The 2021 Tahoe will be 6.7 inches longer and have 4.9 inches more wheelbase than the 2020 model. As a result, you can utilize 29.8 percent more cargo room.

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Chevrolet has also stopped production on certain passenger cars, like the Cruze, since SUVs are gaining in popularity. Edmunds estimates that in 2019 SUVs accounted for around 50 percent of new-vehicles sales within the United States. With no end in sight for the aforementioned trends, it’s likely that SUVs will continue to grow in size.