Sport utility vehicles (often abbreviated to SUVs) are a category of large passenger vehicle. Sport utility vehicles combine roomy, comfortably outfitted cabins with powerful recreational features. New sport utility vehicles are usually marketed toward people with active lifestyles, so most vehicles in this category feature towing capacity suitable for a camper or small trailer, cargo space or racks specifically designed for outdoor gear, and off-road capacity to encourage various pursuits in the wilderness. Many sport utility vehicles, especially the early incarnations, are built on a light truck chassis, but some new SUVs are designed more for light duty or urban use.
A couple of decades ago, sport utility vehicles were considered a niche vehicle, and enthusiasts tended to be loyal to a particular brand with a history of making these types of vehicles (like Jeep or Range Rover, for example). But people who are shopping for new sport utility vehicles have a lot more options. There are still plenty of hard core, powerful, purposeful new SUVs on the market today, despite the oil crisis, the auto industry collapse, new environmental regulations, and all kinds of other factors that make the world a little less friendly for an SUV driver. But, there are also new sport utility vehicles on the market designed for a driver who might not be towing a camper or climbing over rocks every weekend. That’s because plenty of people have realized that sport utility vehicles are really good options for families, and of course, auto manufacturers and their marketing teams are all too happy to encourage and capitalize on this perception. Sport utility vehicles are big and comfortable, often loaded up with the latest technological features, so everyone gets enough space to bring their stuff and enjoy the ride. And they’re powerful enough to keep the driver happy, even on long trips.