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The Illustrious History of SUVs

History of SUVs

How SUVs Started

SUVs are a type of vehicle that combines elements of a traditional passenger car with that of a sport-utility car. They are known for their higher ground clearance, allowing drivers an enhanced vision on the road, a comfortable and spacious interior, and their ability to travel most terrains with ease.

In today’s modern-day society, almost a third of South African families own a stylish and functional SUV. As their popularity continues to increase, their technological and safety features improve every year, especially when a new model is released. From families to adventurers alike, SUVs are the perfect choice for keeping everyone safe and sound on the road while looking good. In this blog post, we will reverse into the history of SUVs, their impact on the automotive industry, and some of the most fuel-efficient SUVs available on the market today.

What is a Sport Utility Vehicle?

SUV is an abbreviation for ‘Sport Utility Vehicle’. If you had to picture it, you could say it’s a sweet combination of a generic passenger car and an off-road vehicle. They have quite a higher stance to them and give drivers an enhanced view of the road. On the inside, you’re welcomed with plenty of passenger seating as well as cargo space for your belongings. Rainy weather conditions and rugged terrain are no match for the SUV. Thanks to the 4-wheel drive system, drivers have more control on the road than ever before.

If SUVs couldn’t get any better, they come in different sizes too, such as compact, midsize, full-size and luxury SUVs. To put it short and sweet, compact SUVs are smaller in size and offer better fuel efficiency, while midsize and full-size SUVs are larger and have more seating and cargo space.

How Did SUVs Start?

Did you know that the history of SUVs is quite a remarkable one? Back in the 1930s, SUVs were primarily used as off-road vehicles, and when 1946 came, that’s when the first SUV was ever made. The Willys Jeep Station Wagon was designed to transport people and cargo in rural areas, and its popularity paved the way for other SUVs that followed. Fast forward to today, SUVs have beautifully evolved and become more popular than ever for their versatility and spaciousness – giving car manufacturers even more reason to mass produce SUVs for everyday use.

SUVs are one of the most functional and practical cars to exist. The need for it increased due to the increasing demand for off-road vehicles that could handle tough and rugged terrain and terrible weather conditions. Thanks to their advanced safety and technological features, SUVs are able to handle any weather and any road.

SUV Cars South Africa

In recent years, families across South Africa have recognised a need for bigger and safer cars to travel and keep their families safe. It was about a vehicle that could tick all the boxes of being comfortable, spacious and safe while travelling. Due to their high-ground clearance, they are perfect for off-road trips, and their large cargo space and seating make them ideal for carrying large equipment and having plenty of family together. With the existing high crime rates in urban areas, many South Africans find that SUVs are safer than smaller cars.

What every SUV has in common with each other is that they offer a wide range of models designed to cater to an individual’s different needs, tastes and budget. Some of the most popular SUV brands in South Africa include the Toyota Fortuner, Ford Everest, Volkswagen Tiguan, and Subaru Forester.

If you had to compare the different types of SUV brands in South Africa, you should consider factors like fuel economy, safety features, space and performance. For example, the Subaru SUVs are well-known for their advanced safety features, such as EyeSight driver-assist technology. A unique safety element that enhances driver awareness increases safety and reduces driver fatigue. Not all SUVs are created equal; if an SUV is on your wishlist, make sure it ticks all the boxes of safety, fuel efficiency and spaciousness.

Subaru SUV

Subaru has been in the car manufacturing and safety game for many decades. We know a thing or two about producing high-quality cars and SUVs for South African families and individuals from all walks of life. Some of our most popular SUVs are the Forester, Outback, Crosstrek and XV, all of which offer excellent off-road capabilities, practicality and safety features.

There are many advantages to owning a Subaru SUV:

  • It is equipped with advanced safety features to keep you safe and give you confidence on the roads.
  • Our SUVs offer excellent performance, fuel economy and practicality.
  • Did we mention that they’re ideal for outdoor adventures and exciting family road trips?

When comparing Subaru SUVs with other SUV brands, the results speak for themselves. We stand out because of our innovative technology, advanced and top-rated safety features and excellent performances. Not forgetting that we also offer practicality, versatility, and excellent value for money.

SUV History

SUVs have come a long way since their early prototype days and off-road adventures. What was once one type of station wagon has become different sizes, shapes and capabilities of more than one type of SUV – oh, how things have changed. But that doesn’t stop there; the future of SUVs is looking exciting. Several SUV brands are already looking into producing hybrid and electric SUVs that boast eco-friendliness qualities and fuel-efficiency systems. With all the continuous advancements in technology and safety, who knows what we can expect to see in the next decade or so?

It’s easy to say that SUVs have had a significant impact on the automotive industry. The demand for larger, safer and more practical SUVs is higher than ever. In the same breath, SUVs have also led the car industry to the development of new technologies, such as driver-assist technologies and advanced safety features.

Fuel Efficiency of Sport Utility Vehicles

Not all SUVs have a reputation for being fuel-efficient. Several factors affect the fuel efficiency of an SUV, such as engine size, weight and aerodynamics. In most cases, large engines and heavier vehicles have a lower fuel efficiency in comparison to smaller engines and lighter vehicles.

Fuel efficiency is something car manufacturers are constantly working towards improving. Such advancements have led to hybrid and electric SUVs, regenerative braking and stop-start technology.

The illustrious history of SUVs is an interesting one. It’s always amazing to think how far technology and car development has come. From being an ordinary station wagon in the 1950s to becoming a stylish, modern and safe vehicle for families and adventurers today. Such humble beginnings have led SUVs to being the high-in-demand and practical cars they are today.

If there’s anything more you want to know about SUVs, Subaru is here to help! Visit your nearest Subaru dealership for an unmatched new and pre-owned car buying experience, and book a test drive today.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What are the advantages of owning an SUV?

SUVs have numerous advantages that make them popular among drivers. Some of the key advantages include ample space for passengers and cargo, unrivalled safety, excellent off-road capabilities and reliable co-pilots in any type of weather condition.

How do I choose the right SUV for my needs?

Choosing the right SUV depends on your specific needs and preferences. Some factors to consider include:

  • Size: Determine how much space you need for passengers and cargo.
  • Purpose: Decide if you need an SUV for off-road adventures or daily commutes.
  • Fuel Efficiency: Consider your budget and determine how much you can afford to spend on gas.
  • Features: Look for features that meet your needs, such as safety technology or entertainment systems.


Can I customise my Subaru SUV for my lifestyle?

Yes, Subaru offers a variety of accessories and customisation options for their SUVs to fit your lifestyle. From roof racks for outdoor adventures to cargo organisers for everyday use, Subaru has a range of options to make your SUV work for you. Additionally, Subaru dealerships can help you customise your vehicle to meet your specific needs.


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