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Garfield Auto Service Center
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Traverse City Mi 49686
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Why People Love SUVs

February 24, 2020, 12:00 am

No doubt you’ve noticed that there are plenty of SUVs or crossover vehicles on the road these days. We take a look at just how popular these vehicles are and how they got to be the top favorite of Americans across the country. 

SUVs and crossovers have dominated the American car market over the past decade. After a short oil spike in the early 2000s, cheap gas prices saw the slow return of mid-size SUVs and even full-size pickups in the US. As popular as trucks are, there’s nothing close to the dominance of the SUV. Its rise has seen sedan and station wagon sales nosedive. 

They’re the lifeblood of domestic manufacturers. SUVs or trucks are expected to make up 84% of GM’s sales by 2022, with Ford at 90% and Chrysler-Fiat hitting an astounding 97%. Before then, experts expect to see SUVs specifically surpass 50% of domestic manufacturer’s sales by themselves. 

The trend towards SUVs and trucks started around 2008. Gas prices were at their highest point of the decade, and they’ve fallen each year in the twelve years since. That allowed the public to explore bigger options, which proved to be decisive. It’s the utility of the SUV that the consumer is looking for. Ample room, towing capacity, and third-row seating options offered a valuable alternative or even replacement for the station wagon and avoided the stigma of driving a minivan. Better designs and more tech that incorporated the creature comforts of minivans also helped to make SUVs transition to viable options for families looking for a vehicle that suited more needs. 

On the other end of the spectrum, Chevrolet and Ford both announced plans to stop production of their subcompact vehicles, with slumping sales leaving the Sonic and Fiesta unrealistic options for future sales. 

Why are they so popular? Because SUVs are the most functional vehicles on the road. Instead of stepping down into a sedan or climbing up to pick-up, SUVs are at an accessible height. Their roomy interiors and high ceilings let drivers and passengers feel comfortable. There’s room for the groceries, for bikes and kayaks, and a spot to toss the fold-up stroller, too. Gas mileage has greatly improved, too, thanks to unibody chassis and lighter materials like aluminum. 

The only thing that looks likely to stop the rise of SUVs and hybrids like the Subaru Forester or Ford Escape could be oil prices. The price per gallon is expected to stay relatively stable over the next few years, although it could change at a moment’s notice if OPEC or other producers look to push the price per barrel closer to $70. The popularity of electric vehicles, too, could influence gas prices and interest in smaller cars that could make a small dent in SUV sales.

 

Posted by Garfield Auto at 12:00 am
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