Why are SUV and 4WD Cars Good Adventure Options?
SUVs or Sport Utility Vehicles owe their existence to the vehicles invented for World War II. While families of this period used station wagons as their vehicle to haul large cargo and groups around, some parts of the world continued to use these military vehicles and similar vehicles on their back roads. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, recovering from the small cars imposed by the price jump in the cost of gasoline, drivers began turning to wanting larger cars. As an option to the station wagon, considered old, car manufacturers tried up an SUV built on a truck body with an interior like a passenger car.
Priced economically, these cars took off and became the car to buy for most of the X-generation. Perceived as modern and cheaper than a station wagon, these cars began to be used for driving on the roads in the city, as well as the country. Here was a car that was legal in the city, and useful on the off roads on the weekends. The true adventure car had been born.
Many of these cars had 4WD which allow a safer ride under off-road conditions. Each tire is able to handle its road problems without spreading them to the other tires. With 2WD, usually these conditions are spread to the other tire, potentially tipping the vehicle in some situations. If you plan to drive on poor roads or off road through the back woods, 4WD is essential.
Other parts of the SUV work well for off road adventure. First, they have more head room and leg room than other cars. This makes the bumping around easier to tolerate for the passengers. These cars also come with lots of storage area, keeping items in the car from being thrown around during the ride.
Cargo can be easily stowed away, and does not become part of the problem during the drive. SUVs also have more cargo room than a sedan. Most SUVs have back seats that can be removed or laid down to add to cargo space. SUVs simply haul more supplies and this means a longer adventure is possible, and less refills are needed.
Since SUVs are built on a truck body, the ability of trucks to tow goes right along with them. Instead of having to be in a truck, you can tow your other vehicles needed for your adventure from the comfort of your SUV. You also have more visibility in your SUV than a truck due to basic design differences. The SUV also comes with a much more powerful engine that a sedan or coupe. This car has the power to get out of bad weather situations. The higher tire design lets the car enter some areas of standing water without getting dirty fluid into the car.
Since SUVs are designed with a truck body and frame, they are able to absorb more energy from a crash with less damage. Crash tests have shown that forces that will push in the sides of a sedan will barely dent the front of a SUV. Since you don't know what you will encounter on your adventure, this extra strength is most welcome.
The best proof of the usefulness of SUVs on adventure that I have ever seen is my observation of Boy Scout Troop outings over the years. The neophytes most always starting out in sedan cars; those that stayed always migrated to SUVs for their usefulness on an outing.
SUVs and adventure were made for each other. If you believe life should be about adventure, then the 4WD SUV is the vehicle you need to drive.
Having decided to take an indefinite career break, Hugh is touring Australia in his ute and paying his way by writing freelance.
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