A sport utility vehicle, or SUV, is a type of passenger vehicle which combines the load-hauling and versatility of a pickup truck with the passenger-carrying space of a van or station wagon. Most SUVs are

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designed with a roughly square cross-section, an engine compartment, a combined passenger and cargo compartment, and no dedicated trunk. Most mid-size and full-size SUVs have 5 or more seats, and a cargo area directly behind the last row of seats. Mini SUVs, such as the Jeep Wrangler, may have fewer seats.

It is known in some countries as an off-roader or four wheel drive, often abbreviated to 4WD or 4x4, and pronounced "four-by-four". More recently, SUVs designed primarily for driving on roads have grown in popularity. A new category, the crossover SUV uses car components for lighter weight and better fuel economy.Not to be confused with CUV (Crossover Utility Vehicle),SUVs are specially designed for off road purpose.SUVs became popular in the United States, Canada, and Australia in the 1990s and early 2000s. U.S. automakers could enjoy profit margins of $10,000 per SUV, while losing a few hundred dollars on a compact car.In Australia, SUV sales were helped by the fact that SUVs had much lower import duty than passengers cars did, so that they cost less than similarly equipped imported sedans. However, this gap was gradually narrowed, and in January 2010 the import duty on cars was lowered to match the 5 percent duty on SUVs.

Body style

Although designs vary, SUVs have historically been mid-size passenger vehicles with a body-on-frame chassis similar to that found on light trucks. Early SUVs were mostly two door models, and were available with removable tops. However, with market and regulatory forces pushing the SUV market towards four doors. By 1999, all full-size two door SUVs were gone from the market. As of 2011, only the Jeep Wrangler remains as a two-door SUV, although Jeep also offers a four door variant. Since the mid 90s, the two door SUV market was cannabalized by the four door SUV. Two door SUVs were mostly carry-over models, and they were not viewed as viable enough to redesign at the end of their design cycle. They generally were not promoted heavily during this time, leading to even hardcore off-roaders purchasing 4 door models. Most SUVs are designed with an engine compartment, a combined passenger and cargo compartment, and no dedicated trunk such as in a station wagon body. Most mid-size and full-size SUVs have three rows of seats with a cargo area directly behind the last row of seats. SUVs are known for high ground clearance, upright, boxy body, and high H-point. This can make them more likely to roll over due to their high center of gravity. Bodies of SUVs have recently become more aerodynamic, but the sheer size and weight keeps their fuel economy poor.

SUVs are often driven in places such as the Australian Outback, Africa, the Middle East, Alaska, northern Canada, western United States, Iceland, South America, and parts of Asia which have limited paved roads and require a vehicle to have all-terrain handling, increased range, and storage capacity. The scarcity of spare parts and the need to carry out repairs quickly resulted in the popularity of vehicles with the bare minimum of electric and hydraulic systems, such as the basic versions of the Land Rover, Jeep Wrangler, and Toyota Land Cruiser. SUVs for urban driving have traditionally been developed from their more rugged all-terrain counterparts. For example, the Hummer H1 was developed from the HMMWV, originally developed for the military of the United States


The earliest examples of longer-wheelbase wagon-type SUVs were the Chevrolet Carryall Suburban (1935), GAZ-61 (1938), Willys Jeep Wagon (1948), Pobeda M-72 (GAZ-M20/1955), which Russian references credit as possibly being the first modern SUV, International Harvester Travelall (1953), Land Rover Series II 109 (1958), and the International Harvester Scout 80 (1961). These were followed by the more 'modern' Jeep Wagoneer (1963), International Harvester Scout II (1971), Ford Bronco (1966), Toyota Land Cruiser FJ-55 (1968), the Chevrolet Blazer / GMC Jimmy (1969), and the Land Rover Range Rover (1970).According to the transportation curator at the Henry Ford Museum, Robert Casey, the Jeep Cherokee (XJ) was the first true sport utility vehicle in the modern understanding of the term.Marketed to urban families as a substitute for a traditional car, the Chrerokee had four-wheel drive in a more manageable size (compared to the full-size Wagoneer), as well as a plush interior resembling a station wagon.

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Examples of SUV