Is the SUV fad over?

If so, will the trend be to go back to normal sedans wagons, and hatchbacks? Or those crossover thingies.

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Naaah, they’ll just improve the gas mileage. Several more SUVs are offered as hybrids now. There are 14 hybrids listed at, and 9 are hybrids. Many are the same truck (2WD vs. 4WD; same mfr, different model), but there certainly are a lot of the hybrid SUVs out there.

I do think AWD wagons and crossovers are likely to replace a lot of the SUV and mini-vans on the road as fuel prices start to increase. I don’t think you will see them completely go away, but when fuel hits $5-6, there will be a lot less.

We can only hope.

However, since they are so profitable, it’s unlikely they will go away any time soon.

If we had gasoline prices comparable to European countries (which we will, eventually), the American passion for SUVs would die overnight.

I was thinking the same the other day. Curious to see if the sales of NEW SUVs are going down. It is not cost effective for the owners of the older ones to change their cars right away. On a different note since I always buy used cars, I was thinking what kind of offset in the price of a gas guzzler would make it a bargain in the used car market compared to a family sedan?

It isn’t over yet although we should be driving much smaller cars by now. As long as we like paying for the gasoline and our $550 set of stock tires, there is no end in sight for many of us.

For larger SUVs, yes, but more smaller SUVs like the CR-V or Escape still popular.

As long as trendy housewives with kids don’t want to be seen driving a mini-van, SUVs will still be sold.

There is still a valid need for SUVs. But I think many people bought them just for the status and not for any need. We do a lot of camping during the summer…towing a trailer, plus some mountain back packing my son and I do. And during the winter we do a lot of driving to the white mountains for skiing. SUV is the PERFECT overall vehicle for our needs.

The SUV is indeed a fad, but will probably live on for a time in some hybrid design form. There are several reasons, I suspect.

  1. Many people like the feel of sitting up high when they drive. I guess this is either because they can “see” better, or because perhaps they feel superior to lower vehicles in traffic.

  2. SUVs and pickups are rollover traps, thus the tread towards the so-called hybrid designs that are more closely modeled on station wagons with a lower center of gravity. This is due to the higher center of gravity, high profile tires and lack of adequate anti-sway bars and suspension components. If an SUV was designed to handle at highway speeds with much finesse, it would ride like a dump truck. They are trucks, after all, and by trying to smoooooooth out the ride for Aunt Fanny’s fanny, they lose precious handling control.

  3. Because they are built on truck frames, they are essentially trucks. Gearing is lower to provide for trailer towing, and the added weight and high aerodynamic profile kills fuel economy.

  4. Because SUVs are “family” vehicles, not work vehicles, they are almost all unavailable with manual transmissions because Aunt Fanny never learned to drive a stick, thus costing more in fuel.

  5. If you consider only the cargo area (no fair counting the fold-down rear seats which are needed on vacations for passengers), there is little more room than a wagon or large sedan for suitcases. Notice how many SUVs on vacation have a luggage rack loaded on top and you’ll understand. Another fuel mileage killer.

  6. Much of the attraction of SUVs is 4WD. That extra reciprocating weight costs horsepower and fuel mileage, and is rarely, if ever, needed unless you live out in the boonies where there are no snow plows.

Sales are dropping both because of fuel mileage, because the current fad is to add loads of highly profitable electronic gadetry thus raising the price even higher, and because those who first bought one now know they aren’t all they’re advertised to be. I suspect we’ll be finding other outlets for our status symbols. I’ll sure never buy one, having driven several new rental SUVs. They are dangerous vehicles, often driven too fast for conditions. I’ve had them pass me on the turnpike doing close to 90mph. Do their owners know the sustained speed rating of an “S” rated OEM tire? Bet not.

And the Big Three would turn to dust.

I’d guess around 3-5K. Here’s two examples, using

2006 Honda pilot vs. 2006 Honda Accord (4 cyl). Assuming current gas prices, the Pilot will cost around 3600 more in fuel over five years @ 15K miles per year. Assuming gas is around $5 a gallon (I’m guessing that’s a fair average cost of gas over the next five years) that would change to about $5800.

2006 Ford explorer 4wd 6 cyl vs. 2006 Ford 500 AWD. Using current gas prices, about 3300 more in fuel costs for the Explorer over five years. Using $5 per gallon, about $5300 more for the Explorer. Of course, these parameters are different for each driver, depending on your actual mileage, version of car chosen, miles driven per year, and how long you keep the vehicle.

Twenty five years ago, when gas prices were just as high on an inflation adjusted basis, a Plymouth dealer said he could give me such a good deal on a full size sedan with a V8 engine that I would never make it up on gas savings with a small, four cylinder econobox. I suspect the same is true now and it will get even better in the future. This will be good news for you if you have your heart set on a big SUV or really need it for its all wheel drive and towing capability. I am amused by people who throw away thousands of dollars in depreciation to save a few hundred dollars on gas.

Most of what is manufactured now is not worthy of the name “SUV.” The SUV appears to have become the minivan of the 21st century. Many of them have 4wd simply to say they have it, but you couldn’t take the off road without breaking something. Give me an old Chevy Blazer (80s style, when they were truly made for off-roading), a REAL SUV that is REALLY capable of going off the road! Anyway… It seems the crossovers (read: oversized station wagons) are becoming more and more popular, and anyone that wants them is welcome to them! But they’re definitely not what I’d call a “utility” vehicle.

Disagree totally, try driving a range rover. All ally body / all steel chassis so no high center of gravity and needs a much smaller engine to drag it around.

The original stick shift RR was a vary fast and nimble vehicle, the modern Chelsea tractors are a different thing of course, but all the same RR road travel is renowned.

SUVs and their cousins, large pickups, are pretty much a way of life and a necessity here in farm country. When you sit down at the table to eat just consider that those large SUVs and pickups are what is providing the food you’re sticking a fork in. A small SUV or 4-banger pickup is not going to move much back and forth to the farm, and in some cases is not going to move anything at all.

When it comes to SUV bashing, why is it always the Big Three getting ripped; especially the Chevy Suburban and everybody’s favorite whipping boy - the Ford Explorer.
As far as I know the Nissan Armada (name self explanatory - a fleet unto itself) has a curb weight that is almost half a ton more than the Explorer.

“Normal” sedans and wagons that use to be able to tow and carry heavy loads…otherwise no. SUV’s when used for their intended purpose and not a "look at me "statement, will always be part of the driving scene.

“If we had gasoline prices comparable to European countries (which we will, eventually), the American passion for SUVs would die overnight.”
Sorry Sir, but over here in Europe - we will beat you guys over there any time on gasprices. Here (Denmark) we now pay 7,48 USD for a US-gallon and that price will more than likely exceed 11 USD within the next three months.
And for your own sake - don’t try to beat us.
Best regards

Couldn’t agree more, but when it is used for what it is meant to be. Here in CA the women of OC drive around in huge SUVs while putting make up on or eating and talking on the cell. Men are no better. It makes us driving the smaller car feel a bit intimidated by the possibility of being driven over by one of these.

Can you spell “CAFE”?

Increased Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency requirements are going to force manufacturers to make more smaller vehicles with some modicum of utility function…like wagons and hatchbacks. And increased gas prices are going to force people to buy them. It’s already happening.

I never did understand how the word “Sport” applied to behemouth SUVs. What in the world is sporty about an SUV???