The Indian SUV market is booming. There are options in the SUV segment in all sizes, from compact to midsize to full size. But there are a lot of things that make SUVs different from the regular cars. What are they? Let’s find out in ten points.
SUVs and high-speed do not go together
Most SUVs are powerful because they carry more weight. Most SUVs are not quick off the line, and one should not try to test the top-speed of SUVs because it is highly unsafe. SUVs sit higher than the regular cars and have high-ground clearance, which makes them unstable. It is always better to be slow in the SUVs and keep them from toppling than driving them out of control. There are a few exceptions like Bentley Bentagya and Range Rover SVR, which are designed to go fast and stay in control.
AWDs and 4X4s are not the same
There are many vehicles that come with All-Wheel-Drive system but are not 4X4s. All-Wheel Drive system that sends power to all the wheels, but the absence of supporting features like a differential lock will limit the vehicle’s capabilities. There have been many instances of AWD SUVs getting stuck. SUVs like Mahindra XUV 500, Renault Duster and Audi Q3 are AWD and not 4X4.
Vehicles like Mahindra Thar, Tata Safari Storme and Land Rover Range Rover come with 4X4 systems. These vehicles have an additional transfer case that features low ratio gear. In testing conditions, the low gear ratio can be engaged which increases the torque output by 10-15 times and helps the vehicle to come out of mud or any such situation. Mahindra Thar, for example, gets a torque output of 600 Nm when the low-ratio gear is engaged.
Need longer distances to stop
SUVs are heavy, and at high speed, the momentum increases significantly. The brakes need to work more to bring down the momentum, and hence, SUVs need more distance to stop. It is difficult to bring SUVs to stop from a high-speed and hence, it is always advisable to drive SUVs slower in city traffic and even highways.
SUVs cannot go ‘everywhere’
Yes, they are called Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs), but SUVs are not designed to conquer any kind of terrain. There are limitations to every SUV. Many factors like the 4X4 system, differential lock, suspension travel, tyres, approach angle, departure angle and so on decide the capability of an SUV. All the SUVs may seem to have similar body styles, but all of them are not similarly capable. Know the vehicle thoroughly before taking it to unchartered territories. For example, a Rs. 80 lakh SUV can get stuck at a terrain whereas a Rs. 10 lakh SUV can go through the same terrain easily if it has the better off-roading equipment.
All SUVs are very comfortable
There is a general theory that says all SUVs are comfortable because of longer travel suspension and high-seating posture. That is true to an extent because SUVs have the capability to absorb potholes easily, but at high-speeds, they become very uncomfortable. The softer suspension set-up of SUVs means a lot of body-roll while taking curves. The body roll causes a lot of movement in the vehicle making the occupants feel uncomfortable.