In light of everything that’s going on at the moment, it can be difficult to remember what life was like pre-Coronavirus. For motorists and automotive firms alike, the current lockdown has resulted in a significant fall of car usage and the consequent halting of manufacturing and vehicle sales. Just this week, it was revealed that new UK car registrations dropped by over 40% compared to last year, that should come as no surprise given the current situation.
Yet, before the crisis when it was business as usual, we have seen the buying habits of consumers change considerably. Over the past few years for example, sports cars have been losing traction when it comes to popularity. Conversely, there has been an exponential growth of compact SUV sales of late. This could be related to many different factors, among which are the reliability, comfort, practicality, efficiency, and advanced security technologies that SUVs offer. Nowadays, more compact models of the sports utility vehicle have seen an unprecedented boom.
Recent analysis have found that there are currently around 5 million licensed SUVs in the UK today. Furthermore, a study around the growing preferences for SUVs pointed out that there are over 200 million SUVs around the world, and about one-third of cars sold in Europe are SUVs. In 2018, vehicle valuation company Cap HPI also revealed that SUV models made 30.5 per cent of the car market in the UK, resulting in a sector increase of 19 per cent since 2008.
Cap HPI’s consumer specialist and SUV analyst, Mark Bulmer, said: “In 2008 SUV barely existed as a sector and annual sales volumes were around 161,000 vehicles. The growth of SUV sales in just 10 years is nothing short of staggering and it shows no signs of applying the brakes”.
So then, what are the reasons behind this increasing growth of SUVs? Here, we look at some of the benefits that SUVs offer, which we believe are producing the ever-growing popularity of compact SUVs in the automotive market.
One of the most prominent features in compact SUVs is the incredible amount of space. For instance, you could literally ‘fit your life’ into a Jaguar E-Pace, which comes with a spacious interior alongside an array of signature features. The seats are comfortably large offering extra leg space, there is a designed bottle storage area and a spacious glovebox to store everyday essentials. Another perk is the foldable seating, which can make room for more objects when needed.
SUVs are also a great option for families. Driving an SUV means you can take numerous passengers in one go without having to run multiple trips. Some SUV can seat up to eight passengers which means you won’t need two different cars running the same trip. This will also help save on fuel and harmful environmental emissions.
SUV don’t just offer modern in-car technology and aesthetically pleasing features. They are known to guarantee better safety compared to other cars. It’s certainly not common to find vehicles that come with anti-crush technologies, such as the Forward Collision Warning and the Automatic Emergency Warning, which includes a Pedestrian Detection and Blind Spot Warning (BSW).
Additionally, with SUVs being larger and heavier, they are likely to suffer less from minor collisions when compared to smaller vehicles. In case of an unfortunate accident, the large crumple zone keeps passengers safe in the vehicle.
An SUV’s high seating position is undeniably a useful perk as it guarantees clearer visibility on the road. In addition to a better sight of the road while driving, the Automatic Danger and the Pedestrian Detection technologies mentioned above will help you spot pedestrians and fellow drivers, helping them to feel safer.
The majority of compact SUVs offer a feature called ‘all-wheel drive’ which gives drivers a confident grip on any road surface and most importantly, in any weather condition. Whether you’re more likely to drive in relatively good weather, or you live in an area that experiences cold winter days and icy roads, the ‘all-wheel drive’ technology in SUVs can offer you better control and stability while driving.
Another influencing factor on SUVs growing popularity and dominance in the automotive market is that for many, a car reflects their social status and lifestyle. In a world where the message about being yourself is constantly praised in every area of life, why not show it if yours is a passion for sports utility vehicles? Besides, SUVs make the for the perfect accessory to everyday life.
As shown, it’s clear to see how SUVs carry many benefits and it’s no surprise that these have enabled this type of vehicle to continue its boom in sales within the automotive industry.