5 Reasons Used SUVs Are So Popular

August 12th, 2022 by

A brown 2022 Chevy Tahoe is shown from the front at an angle on an on-ramp.

Sport Utility Vehicles––more commonly called SUVs––have become increasingly popular in recent years. We don’t just mean that their sales have peaked a little bit: they’ve skyrocketed. Visit DePaula Chevrolet, your used SUV dealership, and you’ll see that our lot is crawling with customers. Between the years 2010 and 2021, the global fleet of SUVs grew from slightly under 50 million to roughly 320 million. That’s over six times what it once was. And in recent years, over 8 million SUVs have been sold annually here in America. People just love SUVs. But you didn’t need these statistics to know that––you can tell that just by looking outside of your car window as you drive around Albany. Most cars you spot will likely be SUVs.

Sedans once reigned supreme because of their compact sizing and affordability, but there’s no denying that drivers are developing an affinity for the SUV. And there’s a good reason people love SUVs. They are incredibly versatile, being easy enough to handle for city environments but tough enough for off-roading. They are typically much more comfortable than sedans and have plenty of cargo space. And, due to their sheer size, mass and height, they fare better in an accident than smaller cars, making them safer. Here’s a closer look at all of the benefits that a used SUV has to offer.

#1 – Versatility

Without SUVs, drivers who spent part of their life in the city and part of it out of the city had to have two cars: a sedan for the tight streets and parking spots of metropolitan areas and a pickup truck for off-road conditions. Or, sedan drivers simply needed to rent another vehicle when they needed a larger, more robust vehicle for things like road trips, moving days, or journeys over rough terrain. And likewise, many truck drivers would rent a sedan when they needed to spend time in a city, where conditions aren’t so welcoming to massive pickups.

An SUV, however, is incredibly versatile. In a way, it offers the best of both worlds of a sedan and a pickup. It’s slightly easier to navigate city streets with than a pickup––especially when you consider the emergence of crossovers––but it has the space and robustness of a truck. An SUV is ready to go off-roading, but it’s also perfect for carpooling with the kids. It’s really the do-it-all vehicle. Plus, it doesn’t have the casual and utilitarian appearance of a pickup truck, so drivers feel confident pulling up to “fancy” events in an SUV. Just look at all of the Escalades and Range Rovers you see parked at the valet of five-star hotels and red carpet events. High society has accepted the SUV as its namesake vehicle.

A white 2021 Chevy Tahoe is shown from the front after leaving a used SUV dealership.

#2 – Cargo Space

You can’t beat the cargo space of an SUV. They typically have large trunks to begin with, but beyond that, you can fold down the rear seats to make even more room for your stuff. And, you usually have options, like folding down just one portion of the rear rows. So you can customize the passenger-to-cargo ratio really easily for a variety of situations, like when you need to make space for a set of snowboards or clear tons of rear space for big coolers and bulky suitcases. You can even fold down the rear rows to make room for a little floor mattress and go camping in the cargo area.

We have only just covered interior cargo space so far. Let’s not forget that the lengthy dimensions of an SUV’s roof make it ideal for mounting a rack on which you can store things like kayaks and canoes. You just don’t get that type of room on the top of––or inside of––a sedan. And while pickup trucks do have those large beds, people who prefer to keep their valuables covered prefer the protected cargo area of an SUV. Putting suitcases and laptop bags in a pickup truck leaves your items exposed.

#3 – Comfort

When it comes to passenger comfort, it’s hard to beat an SUV. They usually have more cubic feet of passenger space, making them easier for tall passengers to fit into and sit comfortably for long rides. Many used SUVs today even offer captain’s chairs in rear rows, meaning that backseat passengers get the spacious seats as the driver and co-pilot. Special additions like organization pockets and beverage holders throughout are pretty standard in modern SUVs, making them just a bit more convenient for long trips.

#4 – Safety

Safety is a top priority for most drivers, and that’s what makes SUVs so popular. Research has found that, in the event of a collision, SUV drivers and passengers are significantly less likely to suffer injury or death than drivers and passengers inside sedans. SUVs are traditionally made with heavy-duty materials and are simply larger than the other cars on the road, giving them a safety advantage in the event of an accident. Many drivers even report simply feeling safer inside of an SUV, and that peace of mind has to count for something.

Let’s not forget that SUVs enjoy a much higher driving position than the other cars on the road. This gives drivers an advantage as they can see oncoming obstructions and hazards better than the shorter vehicles, reducing the chances of accidents. Plus, today, many of the driver-assist features conventionally associated with smaller cars are being added to SUVs, like lane keep assist, forward collision alerts, automatic emergency braking, and blind spot monitoring. And while rollovers were once a major concern for SUV drivers, most SUVs being made today come with rollover protection systems that minimize the chances of a rollover. So you can enjoy the visibility offered by that high driving position without the risks that used to come with it.

A red 2022 Chevy Equinox RS is shown from the front at an angle on the highway.

#5 – The Crossover

Now that crossovers are becoming more common, even sedan loyalists are turning their attention to SUVs. Crossovers are built on car platforms, so they feel and drive like a sedan, and people who are only used to driving small cars don’t feel that it’s much of an adjustment to drive a crossover. They also address one of the traditional pitfalls of big SUVs: poor fuel economy. Many used crossovers enjoy MPG figures that nearly rival sedans today. And that’s not even mentioning that hybrid and even electric crossovers are hitting the market, making poor fuel economy a thing of the past. Thanks to the emergence of crossovers, even people who never thought they’d drive an SUV are starting to visit used SUV dealerships just to see what there is to test drive.

SUVs Are Clearly America’s Favorite

When you buy a used SUV, you just don’t feel like you need to compromise. You can rest assured knowing that your passengers will experience the ultimate in comfort and not be cranky after long drives. You can take your SUV around Albany or down to NYC for high-profile events, but it’s also ready to break out for an adventure on rough roads. It can be your office car and your camping car, your date night car and your moving day car.

Plus, SUVs are just safer than sedans. They have more bulk, more material, and better visibility. And the reports are there to back it up: people are less likely to be harmed in an accident if they are in an SUV compared to a sedan. Gone can be the days of keeping a sedan and a truck in your driveway. An SUV can serve as both, so you can use that extra parking spot for something fun––like a camper or that driveway Jacuzzi you’ve always wanted.