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SUVs are currently the most popular vehicles in the automotive industry. Models like the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V account for a large portion of the total vehicle market share. SUVs have become dominant, and many automakers are rolling out electric SUVs as their flagship electric vehicles. So, why do drivers love SUVs?

Why do drivers like SUVs?

A blue 2023 Honda CR-V small SUV is driving on the road.
The 2023 Honda CR-V | Honda

SUVs are roomier and more practical than cars by design. They may be more expensive, but they are more accommodating to families and large groups of passengers.

Sport utility vehicles have more cabin and cargo space than cars. Some drivers feel safer in SUVs because they are heavier and often more durable than cars. SUVs come in different sizes to suit drivers with larger family and friend groups. There are even subcompact SUVs that act as great sedan alternatives, providing a middle ground between the two vehicle segments.

Drivers like SUVs because they have more ground clearance than cars, which can contribute to a smoother ride quality. More ground clearance also makes it easier to handle tricky terrain and drive over obstacles without experiencing severe damage.

SUV models tend to last longer than cars. Some of the longest-lasting vehicles are SUVs like the Toyota Land Cruiser and Toyota Highlander. Overall, SUVs often provide more value for the money than cars for many drivers. As for pickup trucks, they provide incredible value for the money as well, but SUVs remain the best-selling vehicles.

What is the most popular SUV?

The most popular SUV model is the Toyota RAV4. Toyota’s small SUV outsells every other SUV in its segment. It has consistently been one of the most popular SUVs for the last few years.

Drivers love the Toyota RAV4 because it’s affordable and practical. It also gets great gas mileage. The 2023 Toyota RAV4 starts at $27,975. It uses a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine to make 203 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. The small SUV achieves 27 miles per gallon in the city and 35 miles per gallon on the highway.

The RAV4 has plenty of cabin and cargo space. It has a smooth ride quality and plenty of standard driver-assistance features. Toyota’s small SUV is positioned to remain dominant, but there are competitors that are rising in popularity.

The rise of hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric SUVs

A gray 2023 Tesla Model Y small electric SUV is driving on the road.
The 2023 Tesla Model Y | Tesla

Small internal combustion engine SUVs may be the dominant vehicles today, but small hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or battery-electric SUVs could be the dominant vehicles of the future. The RAV4 Hybrid is making waves in the hybrid SUV space. The Toyota RAV4 Prime and Hyundai Tucson Plug-In Hybrid provide incredible value for the money.

According to, the Tesla Model Y is the most popular electric vehicle in the world. The small electric SUV can easily rival the Toyota RAV4 in sales in the next few years. Small SUVs have the potential to be the most popular vehicles in the industry for a very long time.

Automakers like Ford, Toyota, and Hyundai are producing small and subcompact SUV models as their first battery-electric vehicles. Which small SUV will be the best-selling model in 2024?


The Best Compact SUVs of 2023 Are All Under $40,000