Sports Utility Vehicles (sometimes referred to as compact crossovers) have surged in popularity in Australia over the last 5 – 10 years. For decades, most people drove either a sedan or a hatchback while only a small number of outdoorsy people would have full-blooded 4WD vehicles. In recent years though, a lot of people are deciding that they want a vehicle with a bit more capacity as well as being a bit more rugged and versatile than what you get in a typical city-going road car. Something that is modern and fuel efficient, but also a bit more spacious and can negotiate a bit of off road terrain. This is where the SUV comes in, and boy has that market taken off!
What is an SUV?
Sports utility vehicles range in sizes and styles. A compact SUV can be as simple as an oversized hatchback. Small SUVs are designed to offer the driver the same practicalities as what is expected from a hatchback. It might be front-wheel drive, have a similar engine and drive much like its smaller, city-going cousin, but with a more spacious cabin.
On the other end of the scale you’ll find larger SUVs that are designed to handle much tougher conditions while still being a perfectly practical road car. On a larger SUV you might find an all-wheel drive system with a more complex underbody to get you through some pretty rugged terrain.
Five things to look for in an SUV
One of the reasons buyers are looking towards SUVs is to accommodate a growing family. Many SUVs have an extra row of rear seats in addition to the usual second row. This extra row of seats can increase the capacity to six, seven or eight which may be ideal for some families. It’s important to note, however, that the added row will take up significant cargo space but keep in mind these seats can usually be folded down or removed to free up space when they’re not needed.
If you’re in the market for an SUV because you want something that’s good for holidays and road trips, then you’ll want to pay attention to the cargo space. If your ideal SUV is going to take you on camping trips then you’re going to want to make sure that the one you choose is big enough to carry the tent, the boogie boards, the portable bbq and whatever else you will need to take with you.
Most modern SUVs have pretty good towing capacity, but it’s not unlimited. Since SUVs are designed to be good all-round cars, they often don’t have the same towing capacity as a purpose-built, off road utility vehicle. So, if you do have a caravan that you plan to take on holiday with your new SUV, then make sure it’s within the towing limit of the car.
Safety and driver assistance technologies
Of course, these features are important in any car, but if you’re buying an SUV because you’re wanting to hit the open roads, standard safety features and driver assistance become even more important. Some of these features may include multiple airbags, adaptive cruise control, lane assist, forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking. These features are designed to keep you on the road and at a safe distance from other drivers at all times.\
2WD vs AWD vs 4WD
Most SUVs are either two-wheel drive or standard all-wheel drive. These are fairly simple drive systems that are best suited to sealed roads, but can also handle unsealed roads or tracks. For most drivers, either of these drive systems are perfectly adequate. It’s only if you’re really planning to get through some tough terrain that you might need 4WD.
Skoda Karoq Style
The Skoda Karoq Style has cemented itself as possibly the best SUV in the ever expanding small SUV market. Perfect for road tripping through the countryside or simply going down to the shops for a bread and milk run, it’s one of the best options in its class. Here are just a few reasons why the Karoq Style would be a great choice for your next car:
- 8 -inch infotainment system with Apple Carplay and Android Auto, upgradable to 9.2 inch
- Cargo capacity of 588 litres, 1,605 litres, or 1,810 litres depending on seat configuration
- 5 star ANCAP safety rating
- 7 airbags
- Front assist with City Emergency Brake
- Adaptive Cruise Control
- Park Assist
- 110kW and 140kW engines available
- 6.5L per 100km fuel economy
- LED headlights
- 17-inch alloys
With a reasonable price that starts at $42,990 + on-road costs, the Skoda Karoq Style is certainly one of the best small SUVs currently on the market.
If you’re on the hunt for one of the the best compact SUVs available then be sure to check out the all-new Skoda Karoq Style. Combining comfort with space and drivability, the Karoq Style is ready to take on anything you can throw at it. Book a test drive today, we promise you won’t be disappointed!