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We all know that EVs have their batteries under the floor and that makes them slightly taller than a directly equivalent ICE vehicle. The popular style for all cars at the moment is the hatchback. Versatile enough for families with buggies, doing the trip to the local waste disposal site, carrying your sports gear and so on, they are the Swiss army knife of car body styles. EVs have evolves to largely become slightly tall hatchbacks, with the notable exception of Tesla saloons. Then within that category, the rugged hatchback with details such as rubbing strips and plastic wheel-arch surrounds has become the most popular sub-category of all, for the obvious reason of additional practicality.

Yet influencers so often refer to a Kia Niro, VW ID.4 and many others as an SUV even while they have neither the ground clearance or, for the most part, the four-wheel drive requisite to the definition. Why do commentators who spend their time thinking about the topic and studying the detail, who are not uneducated, not unaware of what they are saying, do this? They could say that 'this is a hatchback with the styling of a mini SUV' but no, to them it is simply an SUV. Why do they conflate what clearly are the modern descendents of the iconic Golf or Panda with the Range Rover or Cherokee?
 

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City drivers 'should think twice' before buying SUVs

For some reason SUV styling is popular with buyers with lots of money to spend. Hence advertisers pander to their desires with things like "crossovers" which are really hatchbacks dressed up to look like real SUVs. Sadly these crossovers also share the same characteristics, to a slightly lesser extent, of excess consumption and increased danger to other road users, particularly pedestrians.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
City drivers 'should think twice' before buying SUVs

For some reason SUV styling is popular with buyers with lots of money to spend. Hence advertisers pander to their desires with things like "crossovers" which are really hatchbacks dressed up to look like real SUVs. Sadly these crossovers also share the same characteristics, to a slightly lesser extent, of excess consumption and increased danger to other road users, particularly pedestrians.
Hi dk6780. I am not so sure that is true, is it? I think that the styling of the front of say an ID.4 is much better when it comes to pedestrian impact than say an old Golf or Peugeot 208 or whatever. While in terms of energy consumption, models like the E-Niro and Kona are superb compared to any ICE hatchback. These aren't cars that have the excessive frontal area or poor aerodynamics of the bluff-shaped SUVs of old, nor the excess drivetrain friction of their mechanical four-wheel drive ICE powertrain.
 

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I think that so called influencers are a waste of oxygen so ignore them and if anything try and do the opposite of whatever they are being paid to try and persuade me to do. I do not care what sort of label these people choose to put on cars at all as all that matters is whether the car is right for us and what we need to do with it. In our case I wanted at least 300km range in a car that was not too big for our drive and some of the narrow roads around here and that had enough room in the back for our dogs. I wanted a nice interior and a high level of comfort and also wanted real leather rather than 1970s vinyl being mislabelled as being "vegan leather". If the car makers are not honest enough to say that a car has plastic seats then what else are they being dishonest about?

As for the higher seating position then we both find this a positive although it was not something that either of us were interested in before we bought the car. The higher seats are also a real advantage to a friend that we pick up most days as she is a wheelchair user and finds that getting in and out is easier than with our old car. The higher seats also seem to give a better view along narrow roads but I cannot make up my mind whether that is real or just a psychological thing.

As for the aerodynamics then for us I do not think it makes any useful difference as we are not ones for cruising on fast roads at all and I think it is really the weight that matters more for the sort of driving we do where we rarely get over about 80kmh.
 

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City drivers 'should think twice' before buying SUVs

For some reason SUV styling is popular with buyers with lots of money to spend. Hence advertisers pander to their desires with things like "crossovers" which are really hatchbacks dressed up to look like real SUVs. Sadly these crossovers also share the same characteristics, to a slightly lesser extent, of excess consumption and increased danger to other road users, particularly pedestrians.
I really hate how manufacturers seemed to shift away from Estates and into SUV's, especially with EV's where fuel economy is so much more important and its such a logical direction to go in - we had to wait years for the first estate type EV (MG5) and in that time had countless SUV's

Give me a good estate over an SUV any day
 

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Yet influencers so often refer to a Kia Niro, VW ID.4 and many others as an SUV even while they have neither the ground clearance or, for the most part, the four-wheel drive requisite to the definition.
Maybe I'm just used to smaller cars, but if anyone referred to my ID.4 as a hatchback, I'd probably laugh. Sure, it doesn't have 4WD, and it isn't the size of a full Range Rover, but it is a big vehicle... The "Crossover" term makes sense, and in my mind just means a "big hatchback". Though even there, I'd honestly put the ID.4 in the "Small SUV" category rather than stick it with crossovers like the Kona/eNiro/Captur, all of which are significantly smaller than the ID.4
 

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My ideal EV would be the size of a Skoda Octavia Hatch with a real world range of 300 miles. I don't quite understand this obsession with SUV styling. I would have gone for the MG5, but it's range swung me to the Kia E-Niro. The drawback for me with SUV's is I can't reach the roof of the car when washing it, need a small stool to reach the middle.
 

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Yeah, these massive SUVs are a real problem.
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The tosh that is talked about SUVs is unbelievable.
In Europe they are just a variant of the hatchback (in the US they are something else). Some are big and thirsty, just as some saloon/sedans are big and thirsty.

As said by someone above, the Kona/Niro have firmly trashed the idea that this style is always horribly inefficient at speed ... and most people don't even spend much time at speed on a daily basis, so practicality will always be a big factor.
 

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As said by someone above, the Kona/Niro have firmly trashed the idea that this style is always horribly inefficient at speed ... and most people don't even spend much time at speed on a daily basis, so practicality will always be a big factor.
and then you look at the economy figures produced by an Ioniq from the same family and you come back to thinking that SUVs are an extravagant waste of resources again..
 

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I don’t think suv is very well defined and means different things to different markets. I’ve always assumed it meant tall thing that looks like it goes off-road but doesn’t go off-road. As I understand it suv in USA is just a regulations fiddle, it’s a light truck chassis and registered as so to avoid emissions regulations for cars. In the uk it’s just a tall heavy hatchback usually. People like the high vantage point.
 

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To start with, I don’t think that the definition of an SUV is 4wd and lots of ground clearance. Secondly, while some of the smaller “tall hatchbacks”, notably from Korea are very efficient, the majority of SUVs or crossovers are less efficient than they would be if they were lower, smaller and more aerodynamic (see ID3 vs ID4). The bigger, heavier and less aerodynamic the car, the bigger the battery required to fuel it any distance. The bigger the battery, the heavier the car, and so on. That’s why the monstrosities from Audi and Mercedes weigh 2.5 tonnes but go no further with their massive batteries than a Zoe with its relatively small one.

Manufacturers make them because that’s what the fashion-led, aspirationally-focused market wants and where the profit margin is. It doesn’t make them any less offensive (to me at least).

Hopefully as environmental responsibility becomes more mainstream fashion will change, these things will become less appealing, and we can get back to the small, light, (possibly hatchback) cars we need.
 

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Years ago I walked into a Tesla showroom in a shopping mall in Bristol. They had the new Model 3 which I looked around. I was very positive about it until I realised it's a saloon, not a hatchback. Since I've driven estate cars for decades, I couldn't switch to a saloon, because of the limited size of the access to the luggage space. I've always considered an estate car much more practical for most people than an SUV. Those who need an SUV probably need a four wheel drive one. Farmers and suchlike. I suspect most SUVs go offroad no more frequently than most saloons, estates, hatchbacks. National Trust overflow car parks, anyone?

The range of SUVs or Crossovers on the market now is huge, from Range Rovers to Suzukis. But they are typically higher off the ground, blunter at the front (less aerodynamic, probably more harmful to impacted pedestrians) and therefore less fuel efficient than their estate equivalents. And you'd think they would offer much more interior space, but that turns out generally not to be true. So their popularity is down to style. People apparently want the high, commanding stance on the road and the ruggedized styling. Is it to do with being able to look down on 'lesser' road users, or am I just being an old cynic?
 

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Is it to do with being able to look down on 'lesser' road users, or am I just being an old cynic?
It's you being an old cynic. The vast majority of people buying a higher riding car is the fact that it is a .lot easier to get in and out of than a low slung saloon car. I had saloons, then estates and now drive suvs precisely because I find it a much more comfortable seating position than a saloon that forces me to have my legs further forward than I would like. That is why I never go for an XC90 Cross Country or an Audi Allroad because despite their higher ride height, the actual seating position is the same as a standard saloon or estate. Each to their own.

The idea that people 'look down' on lesser road users is about as realistic as saying that Tesla drivers look, down on lesser evs....
 

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It's you being an old cynic. The vast majority of people buying a higher riding car is the fact that it is a .lot easier to get in and out of than a low slung saloon car. I had saloons, then estates and now drive suvs precisely because I find it a much more comfortable seating position than a saloon that forces me to have my legs further forward than I would like. That is why I never go for an XC90 Cross Country or an Audi Allroad because despite their higher ride height, the actual seating position is the same as a standard saloon or estate. Each to their own.

The idea that people 'look down' on lesser road users is about as realistic as saying that Tesla drivers look, down on lesser evs....
Tesla drivers don't look down on the rest of us?? ;)
I hope you get on well with your ID.3 Family. You'll find it has a slightly elevated seating position compared to, say, a Golf. But I don't think the legs-forward thing is any different than a conventional saloon, I'm afraid.
 

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For some reason SUV styling is popular with buyers with lots of money to spend.
Or they just value practicality. My ZS EV is only slightly bigger foot print than my Zoe was, and yet its got so much more space. 🤷‍♂️

I really hate how manufacturers seemed to shift away from Estates and into SUV's
They make what people buy, it helps them to make more money. Most folk buy hatchbacks, saloons have generally fallen out of favour in the last few decades, FWD is favoured over RWD by most buyers, SUV style is popular as it gives you more space for for your footprint, those that buy estates largely buy SUV or People carrier because it suits their needs as well as an estate and because they are more common they afford more choice. 🤷‍♂️


Sure, it doesn't have 4WD, and it isn't the size of a full Range Rover, but it is a big vehicle... The "Crossover" term makes sense
Search Original SUV and you'll see all manner of vehicles, mostly 2WD, often jacked up 2WD estates of the 1950 or 60s. Sport = not sluggish, perfect for most EVs then, Utility = lots of capacity.

Personally I reserve crossover (CUV) for cars like the Kona. Looks like a little SUV, but when you sit in it your down as low as a typical hatchback.

Most owners of SUV style vehicles extent of off roading is driving over a hard packed grassy overflow car park. You only need to look on most Outlander pictures to see that. :ROFLMAO:
 
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