SUV finance

Over the last 20 or so years, SUVs have gradually overtaken saloons and estates to become the larger car of choice. What makes them so popular, and should you buy one on finance?

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What is an SUV?

An SUV, short for sport utility vehicle, is a type of car that combines features of both a passenger car and a traditional off-road vehicle. SUVs are typically larger and taller than sedans or hatchbacks, and they usually sit high off the ground, providing a commanding driving position and improved visibility on the road.


Originally created for the US army in preparation for World War II, the very first SUVs were designed specifically to transport army personnel safely across rough terrain. After the war, the Jeep in the US and the Land Rover in the UK went on to become hugely popular with the wider public and remain so to this day.

Illustration of orange SUV in countryside
Illustration of orange SUV in countryside

What types of SUV are there?

What types of SUV are there?

What types of SUV are there?

Essentially, SUVs are defined by their tall, boxy shape and high ground clearance. While some SUVs are designed for off-road adventures with features like four-wheel drive and rugged suspension systems, many modern SUVs prioritise comfort, safety, and on-road performance.

 

There are several different types of SUVs available on the market, each with its own characteristics and intended use. Here are some common examples:

Compact SUVs – Also known as subcompact SUVs or crossovers, these are the smallest SUVs available. They offer a higher seating position and increased cargo space compared to a sedan or hatchback, but they are generally more fuel-efficient and easier to manoeuvre in urban areas.

Mid-size SUVs – Mid-size SUVs strike a balance between compact and full-size models. They offer more interior space, both for passengers and cargo, and often provide additional features and higher towing capacities compared to compact SUVs.

Full-size SUVs – These are the largest and most spacious SUVs available. Full-size SUVs typically have three rows of seating and can accommodate seven to eight passengers comfortably. They offer generous cargo space and often come equipped with powerful engines, advanced safety technology, and luxurious features.

Luxury SUVs – These are designed to provide a premium driving experience, combining high-end features, advanced technology, and top-notch craftsmanship. They often come with luxurious interiors, advanced infotainment systems, and cutting-edge safety features.

Offroad SUVs – These SUVs are specifically designed for off-road adventures. They feature rugged construction, higher ground clearance, advanced four-wheel-drive systems, and specialised off-road capabilities such as differential locks, hill descent control, and specialised suspension systems.

Electric SUVs – With the rise of electric vehicles, there is a growing selection of SUVs that are fully electric or hybrid-electric. These SUVs offer the benefits of zero-emission driving, energy efficiency, and advanced electric vehicle technologies while providing the space and versatility of an SUV.


Learn more about electric cars on finance.

What’s the difference between a crossover and an SUV?

You may have heard the terms ‘crossover’ and ‘SUV’ in the same breath and wondered what they mean. The difference between an SUV and a crossover lies in the chassis. A crossover has a unibody car construction, meaning that the body of the car and the frame are all one piece. With SUVs, the body is attached to a separate frame, like a truck.

 

The other key difference is that crossovers are usually front wheel drives rather than all wheel drives (or 4x4s, like traditional SUVs), making them much nimbler on the road. Slightly confusingly, many of the vehicles currently marketed as SUVs are in fact crossovers, designed with urban and city driving in mind.

Selection of SUVs
Selection of SUVs
Selection of SUVs

Best SUVs

Best SUVs

Best SUVs

Finding an SUV that is right for you will depend on your own personal circumstances and requirements. They come in various shapes and sizes (with correspondingly variable price tags), from compact, city run arounds to bigger, more traditional off-roaders. 

Their enduring appeal lies in their sturdy versatility, safety of design and generous head and legroom. But there are a few particular features that might make a certain type of SUV stand out as the best choice for you, depending on what you’re after:

Spaciousness – SUVs are often chosen for their ample interior space, both for passengers and cargo. A desirable SUV should offer comfortable seating for all occupants, with sufficient legroom, headroom, and overall roominess. 

Safety features – Safety is a significant concern for many SUV buyers. Desirable SUVs often come equipped with advanced safety features such as multiple airbags, stability control, anti-lock braking systems (ABS), traction control, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist, and collision warning/mitigation systems. 

Capability – SUVs are often chosen for their ability to handle different driving conditions and tasks. A desirable SUV may have good ground clearance and off-road capabilities, especially for those who enjoy outdoor activities or need to navigate rough terrain. 

Comfort and ride quality – A desirable SUV should provide a comfortable and smooth ride, with a well-designed suspension system that absorbs bumps and road imperfections effectively. 

Technology and connectivity – Many buyers prioritise modern technology features in their SUVs.

Fuel efficiency – While traditionally SUVs have been associated with lower fuel efficiency compared to smaller vehicles, there is an increasing demand for SUVs with better fuel economy.

Reliability and resale value – SUV buyers often consider the reliability and resale value of the vehicle.

Popular SUVs

There is such a huge range of models on offer that it’s impossible to highlight them all, but some of the best SUVs of today include:

Ford Puma

As of June 2023, this stylish, compact crossover can claim to be the UK’s best-selling small SUV. Fun to drive, it’s packed with cutting-edge safety features and clever storage solutions.

Ford Puma

Dacia Duster

This fuss-free, affordable SUV is roomy and efficient, but lacks the safety features and street-cred of other pricier brands.


Dacia Duster

Skoda Karoq

Offering practicality in abundance and good value for money, this comfortable family mid-size SUV has an enormous interior, boasting a 588-litre boot.

Skoda Karoq
Skoda Karoq
Skoda Karoq

Skoda Kodiaq

A much-admired all-rounder, Skoda’s first seven-seater SUV comes with decent tech, impressive features and ample space to accommodate modern family life.

Skode Kodiaq

KIA Sportage

Both practical and eye-catching, this five-door family crossover delivers a smooth drive and premium comfort. The latest model comes with top-of-the-range tech, too.

Kia Sportage
Kia Sportage
Kia Sportage

KIA Niro

Another looker, this small SUV has been designed with family life in mind. With plenty of space and smart storage on offer inside, it also has impressive onboard technology.

Kia Niro
Kia Niro
Kia Niro

Nissan Qashqai

This much-loved family SUV really set the bar for the genre when it first entered the scene in 2006. With its rugged good looks and affordable running costs, its popularity continues.

Nissan Qashqai

BMW X3

BMW make 7 SUVs in total, The X3 falls into the compact, premium crossover SUV class and is both gorgeous to look at and excellent to drive, combining luxury and practicality.

BMW X3

Jeep Grand Cherokee

Comfortable and high-performing, this sizable and supremely practical 4x4 can pretty much take you anywhere in any weather.

Jeep Grand Cherokee

Land Rover Discovery

A British classic, this iconic, luxury seven-seater can tow a caravan, scale a mountain and tackle the school run all in a day’s work, while offering comfort and style.

Land Rover Discovery
Land Rover Discovery
Land Rover Discovery
Black SUV in parked outside home

Is an SUV right for me?

Is an SUV right for me?

Is an SUV right for me?

If you are looking for a spacious, high-riding vehicle that will accommodate all your luggage/family/sports gear/dogs, you can’t go far wrong with an SUV. Although the price tags of new models can be high, a great way to buy an SUV is to finance a used model – there are plenty to choose from on the Oodle Marketplace


Buying an SUV on finance is exactly like buying any other type of car on finance. It spreads out the cost of the vehicle over a pre-agreed length of time, meaning that you won’t have to pay a huge lump sum up front. There are a range of finance options available, so you’ll want to do your research before deciding which one is right for you. 


Love them or loathe them, the SUV isn’t going anywhere soon. Whichever vehicle is the right fit for you, we are here to help you find it.


Browse our extensive selection of used SUVs today to find your perfect match

Advantages of SUVs

Thanks to their enduring popularity, manufacturers are falling over themselves to cater for demand. There is a seemingly endless variety of SUVs on the market, meaning that you are spoilt for choice when it comes to size, shape and style. The key attractions of SUVs remain the same:


  • Toughness, spaciousness and practicality

  • Versatility – many are great for both off-road and inner-city driving

  • High road clearance – they provide good views and an imposing presence

  • They usually come with higher safety ratings than smaller vehicles

  • Eye-catching – often sporty in style, with rugged good looks

Considerations

Of course, an SUV isn’t for everyone, and an SUV that’s right for one person might be completely wrong for another. There are lots of factors to consider before you decide to make a purchase, including some of the not-so-positives, such as:


  • Lower fuel economy

  • Bigger SUVs can be clunky to manoeuvre in urban traffic

  • Larger and brand-new models are expensive

  • SUVs are often more expensive to insure than cars

FAQs about SUVs

What is the best second-hand SUV to buy?

What is the best second-hand SUV to buy?

What is the best second-hand SUV to buy?

Is an SUV a 4x4?

Is an SUV a 4x4?

Is an SUV a 4x4?

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