Quite why so many motorists now seem to want unwieldly SUVs or crossovers over the more traditional lower centre of gravity, dynamically superior saloons and hatches is something of a conundrum to me.
Sure, SUVs tend to be more versatile and ‘family friendly’ than regular three-box cars, with their raised seating positions and perceived ‘added safety’ being favoured by many too. Ford however, along with virtually every other car maker, also favours SUVs as they are much more profitable to make and sell (for a premium price) over a traditional saloon, hence the Blue Oval trading on the nostalgia and emotions of previous revered model names (Mustang, Puma, etc.) for its latest SUV and crossover models.
To a driving enthusiast and (probably too) traditionalist car fan like me though, the downsides of SUVs far outweigh the advantages they potentially offer. Dynamically most SUV models are not rewarding to drive, they all look increasingly the same, tend to be way too big and cumbersome, don’t get used for the original reasons they exist (i.e. off-road, up to their axles in gloppy mud and snow) and generally are not as safe and ‘friendly’ to pedestrians and fellow road users as regular lower-slung family cars, despite their high-raise drivers feeling that they are increasingly invincible.
At present the ten most polluting ‘mainstream’ cars currently on sale in the UK are SUVs, with the majority littering our busy city and urban (tarmac) roads, rather than green country lanes and fields, struggling to fit their huge, heavy inefficient frames into packed roads and smaller parking spaces originally designed for an average Cortina/Mondeo-sized family car, not a giant off-roader. As an aside, if SUVs were a separate stand-alone country, they would be placed seventh in the world for generating the highest global emission levels! Not a proud boast.