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What is an SUV (sports utility vehicle)?

  • Benefits of an SUV explained
  • Should I buy a soft-roader?
  • Parkers explains the genre

SUV stands for sports utility vehicle and is a large, often four-wheel drive car, capable of carrying large amounts of people and luggage.

It's a similar breed to 4x4s, crossovers and soft-roaders. Basically, big, butch off-roader spec cars, watered-down for more day-to-day use.


Spacious, luxurious, safe, high driving-position.


Expensive to buy, often expensive to run, difficult to park.


Audi Q7, Volvo XC90 and BMW X5.

Looking for more jargon-busting motoring meanings? Head over to our Parkers Car Glossary page and take a look at our other definitions