For some, the winter months are the worst months of the year. The lighter days get shorter, the weather gets colder and the collective mood, post-Christmas, takes a noticeable nosedive. Not only this, but the weather can cause chaos for motorists, whether it’s the work commute or a winter getaway. Some cars are, of course, better suited to the winter weather than others. While soft-top convertibles are great in the summer, they aren’t the best choice for the winter.
In this article, alongside Vauxhall Ecorsa suppliers, Lookers, we look at the benefits of having an SUV in the winter.
First things first, what is an SUV?
Firstly, it’s important to know exactly what an SUV is. The acronym stands for ‘Sports Utility Vehicle’. They are a stylish, robust and spacious automobile which stand taller than a regular car and can drive over rough terrain with ease. These cars are considered by many as the ‘chameleon’ of the roads due to their ability to adapt to different surroundings. More compact SUVs are known as ‘crossovers’.
Higher ground clearance
The high clearance provided by an SUV is extremely beneficial. The space that’s between the bottom of the car and the road below allows your vehicle to drive over any obstructions. This could include piles of compacted snow. When the weather is poor, this high clearance will reduce the risk of getting stuck.
Heightened driving position
The higher seating in an SUV allows you to see further down the road and, in some instances, over other traffic. This can help you prepare for any potential hazards and allow you to avoid troublesome scenarios. This command seating can also provide greater visibility when parking. Although this can be advantageous all year round, the higher seating in an SUV can help you see over obstacle, including the lines of traffic that will inevitably follow any sharp snowfall.
Similar to its weight helping in icy or snowy conditions, the four-wheel drive capability on an SUV is a definite advantage. Having plenty of grip when you’re accelerating allows you to smoothly continue on your way while the engine’s power is applied effectively to the road. It’s worth double checking that your SUV has four-wheel drive though, as not all come with it and some only have it as an optional extra.
Because an SUV is heavier than your average car, it is one of the best vehicles to drive in bad weather. The weight allows for better handling, meaning it can better withstand the harsher weather conditions. Because it has a bigger and wider frame with larger wheels, the SUV has more stability when driving in difficult conditions.
Since SUVs are larger than other models, they are perfect for those trips away. This extra space allows for more cargo, as well as having a higher seating capacity. This makes it a great vehicle for winter getaways if you want to bring your skis!
Fuel consumption can increase in the winter by up to 28%. This is because the wind speed is normally higher, so there’s more resistance. It can also be due to increased wheel slippage. While SUVs previously had a bad reputation for their fuel consumption, advances in technology over recent years have made them so much more eco-friendly. Thanks to its superb handling, such slippages won’t cause as much wasted fuel, meaning your SUV will give you a great miles-to-pound ratio.
It’s clear that SUVs offer many advantages all year round, not just in the winter. However, if it’s a winter automobile that you’re specifically looking for, then an SUV should definitely be on your radar. As cars continue to get bigger and better, there is an influx of models available to choose from, with some of the most eye catching and high performing examples, such as the much celebrated Mokka X, available now at Lookers Vauxhall