SUVS: THE NEW LUXURY CARS.
Last year, many premium class SUVs made an appearance at the major car shows in Detroit, Geneva and at the IAA in Frankfurt. But when did off-road cars packed with luxury features become a trend, and why? This new niche of vehicle is becoming increasingly popular – read on to find out the reasons behind its rise.
One of the major reasons people began switching to SUVs in the first place was that they offered many advantages over classic sedans and estate cars: the comfortable entry and exit, the higher seating position, the better overview, the subjectively higher sense of security, and the fact that being associated with an adventure lifestyle made them undeniably cool. As SUV cars became more and more popular, the need for a new niche arose – the luxury SUV. But is this just a passing trend, or should you consider one?
From off-road car to crossover SUV.
SUVs used to be cars with real off-road ability, 4x4 driving systems and an emphasis on rugged ability over comfort and luxury. Nowadays, SUVs are driven by all kinds of people and ages, often as family cars. They still possess off-road capabilities, but that is no longer the most important factor for many drivers.
In fact, the opposite is true – since many SUV cars and crossover SUVs are mainly used as city cars, a high level of driving comfort and everyday usability are many drivers’ top priorities. Conversely, for many SUVs, particularly more compact models like the Mokka X, all-wheel-drive is optional these days – or not necessary at all in some cases.
Birth of the luxury SUV.
Increasingly, there is great demand for a long list of standard equipment, space for the family, interior refinement and smooth driving dynamics. A luxury SUV usually combines most of those characteristics while also offering a degree of off-road ability.
Furthermore, SUVs have now become so common on the roads that the niche of luxury SUV has been created, ensuring that upmarket SUVs remain an object of desire. A natural side effect of this shift is that many buyers of premium cars such as executive saloons now drive luxury SUVs instead.