SUV – AKA Sport Utility Vehicle
by Alain Gayot
The SUV has symbolized many things, from rugged individualism to crass ignorance, from the ideal of suburban family life to gaudy celebrity wealth. But despite their ability to carry cultural baggage as well as literal luggage, SUVs remain a practical choice for many in need of spacious or off-road capable vehicles.
Not just for rappers and Republicans anymore, today’s SUVs range from comfortable and relatively fuel efficient people movers to rugged throwbacks like the Jeep Wrangler. Almost every major automaker now has at least one sport utility. Even Porsche must rank the Cayenne SUV as one of its top selling models. Maserati, for that matter, will be producing the Kugang. The Spyker D8 Peking-to-Paris concept is a potential future SUV capable of 170 mph. Diversified from their origins as basic, all-terrain capable vehicles, SUVs have now become one of the most lucrative market niches in the automotive world. With such a dizzying variety of options on the market, there’s an SUV for every season and seemingly for every taste, whether you’re looking for something like a Porsche Macan Turbo that will lap the Nurburgring faster than most sports cars, a Chevy Suburban that can tow up to 10,000 lbs, or a fuel-efficient VW Touareg TDI.
The list is endless. And to the delight of environmentalists, Hummers are gone. With today’s nearly endless variety of SUV sub-genres, choosing the right one for your needs can be daunting. Here we’ve assembled a list of the Top 10 SUVs for different needs: some are fast, some haul huge amounts of cargo and some have rock crawling off-road abilities, but all are standout choices and represent a good value for the money.
Even SUVs change with the times, and today there are a variety of relatively fuel-efficient, eco-friendly and hybrid sport utility vehicles on the market. Here are some of the best:
You can click on each photo to enlarge.