What Is An SUV?

SUV Meaning

The SUV acronym stands for Sports Utility Vehicle. Commonly dubbed as a ‘Jeep’ or Four-by-four, SUVs are characterised by their large body size, raised ride height, and rugged looks. Birthed from the need to transport equipment, travel off-road, and scale rocks/rivers, original SUVs were popular amongst farmers, adventure/equine sports enthusiasts, and emergency rescue services for their four-wheel or all-wheel-drive capability. They are also much safer to navigate in harsh weather conditions and throughout the snowy roads over winter.

Related: What Do Car Body-types Mean?

Nowadays the majority of SUVs are more road-focused, as motorists would spend only a fraction of their time actually using their SUVs off-road capability. This means manufacturers are starting to combine the most popular elements of an SUV with that of a smaller car, birthing the 'Crossover' segment. Indeed, SUVs are now more common as a personal lease than a business lease. Due to how practical SUVs are, they are very popular among dog owners as there is plenty of room in the rear. Lots of SUVs are even available with optional pet packages which include transportation cages.

Is a Crossover an SUV?

Traditionally speaking - No. However, it would be reasonable to consider Crossovers as an expansion of the SUV segment, but they have now become the middle ground between a Hatchback and an SUV.

Related: What is a Crossover?

If you're a fan of models like the Range Rover Evoque or Nissan Qashqai, take a look at our Crossover Leasing page to find out how much you could save on our huge range of crossovers!

Pros & Cons of an SUV

Pros Cons
Raised Ride Height Increased Fuel Consumption
Expensive Looks Harder To Park
"Go Anywhere" Capability Large Turning Circle
Lots Of Practicality Expensive Price Tag

What's the difference between an SUV and a 4x4?

Volkswagen Tauareg

Due to the fact that most early SUV models were a four-wheel drive, this created the myth that an SUV and a 4x4 are one in the same. As SUVs are being used less and less off-road, manufacturers are opting to save on weight and increase fuel efficiency by using front-wheel drive-trains. A modern example of a 4x4 would be the Toyota Land Cruiser or Mitsubishi Shogun, whereas an SUV is usually much more stylish than utilitarian, namely the Land Rover Range Rover or Volkswagen Touareg (pictured above).

Are SUVs fast?

Despite their huge size and enormous weight, the increased demand for SUVs has led to manufacturers experimenting with performance variants of their range of SUVs. Two of the most popular performance SUVs are the Range Rover Sport SVR or Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio, which you can find more information on in the 'Performance SUV' section of our performance car leasing page.

How much is it to lease an SUV?

Due to how popular these models are in the market, a modern SUV can be yours from around £267.99/Month - this Škoda Kodiaq 1.5 TSI SE is one of the entry-level models for leasing an SUV. Mid-range models like the Jaguar E-Pace can start from around £330/Month and Upper-echelon models such as the Range Rover Sport start from roughly £721/Month.


If you've got your heart set on an SUV for your next car, take a look at our SUV leasing page for the latest deals along with more details.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on 11th January 2019 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.