Are SUVs here to stay?

SUVs began as Jeeps and Land Rovers which were themselves spun off from military and agricultural vehicles. Today’s use of SUVs to get the kids to school and pick up some food from Tesco is so far off their reason for being that this type of car really does seem like a trend. But as there have been SUVs for sale to the general public since the 1950s, surely they’re here to stay.


Those who think this type of car will disappear as quickly as they appeared cite the vehicle’s environmental impact and the resulting tax costs as reasons why the SUV will become a thing of the past pretty soon. Let’s have a look at the extremely desirable and very expensive BMW X6M V8 Auto as an example of SUVs at their worst (although the BMW salesman will tell you it’s a crossover). This £93,000 car only offers 25mpg while pumping out 258 g/km of CO2. You’ll need to pay £1,100 a year for the road tax. You could finance a brand new Fiat Panda for that sort of annual outlay.

Popular SUVs

As a comparison point, let’s look at the environmental impact of the Hyundai ix35. Most are Band E (£130 a year) or Band F (£145) and the two-wheel drive Blue Drive model offers 54 mpg and kicks out 135 g/km of CO2. This is the sort of car that makes up the majority of SUVs we see on the road each day.


In the UK, the most economical SUV, the Plug-in Petrol Hybrid Mitsubishi Outlander offers 157mpg and just 42 g/km of CO2. This five-door automatic won’t cost you anything in road tax but you’ll need about £30,000 to feel good about the environment while driving this four-by-four.


People love them. Their safe because they’re large. They’re comfortable for the same reason. As long as manufacturers keep lowering their environmental impact, SUVs are here to stay.

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