Catherine Hiles
No Comments

Why Are SUVs So Popular?

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page
2020 Buick Envision Essence Exterior
2020 Buick Envision Essence
Photo: GM

Over the last decade, there’s been a shift from people buying smaller, more efficient cars to people buying SUVs and crossovers. With climate change posing a real problem to the future of the planet, it’s hard to see the reason for the jump in popularity of larger vehicles like SUVs, and even trucks. So what is causing this surge in popularity for the SUV and is it a trend that’s likely to continue into the near future?

Cheap gas

gas pump fuel

The most obvious reason (though not the only one) for SUVs’ surge in popularity is the affordability of gasoline. Gas prices started dropping earlier this decade and have stayed low for much of the time since then. That makes it easier to afford a larger, less efficient vehicle. Even so, SUVs and crossovers are much more efficient than they used to be, and automakers are continuing to develop larger vehicles with alternative fuel powertrains. For example, General Motors recently announced that it will debut an electric pickup truck in 2021, and other automakers are planning similar reveals on their larger models.

Even if gas prices rise, it’s unlikely the SUV-buying trend is going anywhere.

Keeping up with the neighbors

2019 Chevrolet Blazer RS
2019 Chevrolet Blazer RS
Photo: Chevrolet

When you see nothing but trucks and SUVs on the road, you might feel pressured to ditch your sedan for an SUV. Cars that ride low to the ground can be at a disadvantage when it comes to visibility, especially when surrounded by high-riding SUVs. You might feel safer and more on-level with your fellow drivers if you upgrade your ride to an SUV.


2020 Chevrolet Equinox
Photo: Chevrolet

Once you’ve experienced life behind the wheel of an SUV, it’s hard to go back. I was always a small car driver until I had kids and realized a subcompact car just wasn’t going to cut it. Upgrading to an SUV provided me with more space than I know what to do with, and it’s perfect for my little family. And it meant I didn’t keep hitting my baby’s head on the car door frame when I put her in the car.

Even without kids, an SUV offers more space for dogs, shopping, gym equipment, or whatever it is you haul on a regular basis. After experiencing that, it’s hard to go back to a small sedan or hatchback.