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SUV stands for Sports Utility vehicle. Traditionally the term SUV was applied to large 4x4 vehicles designed for off-road use, however today SUV’s come in many shapes and sizes, and the term SUV is used to describe vehicles with high ground clearance, spacious interior, elevated driving position and “off-road” styling.
With an elevated ride height and upright driving position, SUV’s offer increased visibility and spatial awareness giving the driver a sense of safety and security.
SUV vs Permanent 4x4 vs Intelligent AWD
SUV refers to the vehicle style and intended purpose, whereas 4x4 refers to a type of drivetrain where all wheels are driven. 4x4 increases traction so is particularly useful in low grip conditions. If you require serious off-road capability you will need to ensure that the SUV you choose is 4x4 equipped.
There are many variations on the 4x4 drivetrain, but the two main distinctions are permanent and part time/intelligent 4x4. Permanent 4x4 refers to drive trains where all four wheels are driven all the time. Permanent 4x4 is most prevalent on vehicles that are designed to maximize off road capability, but this feature comes at the expense of reduced fuel economy. Intelligent 4x4 uses an electronic control system to monitor tyre traction and engage 4x4 only when wheel spin or “slip” occurs. When no slip is detected, the vehicle operates in two wheel drive model thus the intelligent 4x4 system achieves the benefits of a 4x4 drivetrain but without sacrificing fuel economy.
SUV at a glance
- Increased ground clearance
- Elevated Driving Position
- Roomy Interior
- Off road styling
The classic passenger car. Sedans feature a “four door” configuration by merit of their separate trunk and cabin space.
While the distinct sedan style makes them to go to choice for many car buyers, beauty is more than skin deep where the sedan is concerned.
Sedans feature an extra bulkhead separating the cabin and trunk. This increases chassis stiffness makes sedans feel solid to drive and reduces cabin noise. Sedans have a smooth flowing exterior shape and low frontal area, which results in low wind resistance or drag. Low drag increases fuel efficiency, increases top speed and reduces wind noise.
The combination of solid driving dynamics and comfortable cabin space means that many people consider sedans to be the ideal “drivers’ cars”.
Sedan at a glance
- Classic looks
- Solid handling and refined feel
- Separate passenger and load space
Good things come in small packages! While hatchbacks are traditionally at the smaller end of a vehicle line-up, clever use of space in this popular segment of vehicles has meant that you can have your cake and eat it!
The term hatchback in its most literal form refers to a car that has a trunk door that is hinged at the top with no permanent divide between the trunk and cabin spaces. Why is this important? It’s important because not having a permanent divide between the main cabin and trunk, combined with a removable parcel shelf and folding rear seats results in a tremendously flexibility and useable interior space making hatchbacks some of the most versatile vehicles on the road!
Hatchbacks are known for their sporty and nimble handling, making them both easy to manoeuvre in a busy town and fun to drive on the open road.
Being at the smaller end of the vehicle line-up, hatchbacks are some of the best value for money vehicles to buy and own. Hatchbacks are predominantly front wheel drive and usually feature small fuel efficient engines. Due to their light weight, their power to weight ratio often results in cars that feel nippy and responsive to drive.
Sharp handling, stylish looks, great fuel economy, deceptively spacious interiors and features galore are some of the reasons why this segment is as popular as ever with people of all ages in the Caribbean.
Hatchback at a glance
- Great Fuel Economy
- Sporty Handling
- Deceptively Spacious and Flexible Interior Space
- Popular with families and people of all ages.
Once considered the workhorse of the car industry, these working class heroes have grown into ever more luxurious lifestyle accessories. With a focus on the double cab model, pickups have a wider appeal than ever before.
Available in single and double cab configurations, could a pickup be right for you? For the last decade, pickup trucks have seen the addition of more and more features and today’s pickups are safer and more comfortable than ever before. Sales to women and families are on the rise.
While the single cab (2 seat) configuration is still predominantly used for commercial purposes, double cab configurations have become more and more popular with larger cabs with extra seating being the trend. Bigger cabs mean more space for adults as well as kids and unlike many earlier versions, modern pickups have enough rear-seat room to install child seats. However, the additional cabin space comes at the expense of tray size and load carrying capacity.
Pickups usually sit on traditional ladder chassis, with high ground clearance and rear wheel or all-wheel drive. With acres of glass and an elevated driving position, pickups demand a certain level of respect on the road.
Pickups sound great! What’s the catch? Pickups traditional ladder frame construction, and the fact that ultimately these vehicles are built to carry large loads means that the ride is not as refined as their SUV equivalents, high and long bonnets can make parking a bit more difficult and the fuel consumption is often higher.
Pick-up Truck at a glance
- SUV-like styling and features with truck-like load carrying capacity
- Elevated driving position
- Rugged styling and generous ground clearance
A coupé or coupe is a passenger car with a sloping or truncated rear roofline. Simple, right? Not quite… To explain what a Coupé is, we need to start with a bit of history. The term Coupé is based on the past participle of the French verb couper ("to cut") and thus indicates a car which has been "cut" or made shorter than standard.
However, the definition of Coupé has been stretched in recent years since manufacturers began producing vehicles with a 2+2 body style, 4-door Coupés and more recently SUV Coupés have been launched.
So what is a Coupé? By modern day standards, if a car has a sloping rear roofline with a reduced rear volume, it can be marketed as a Coupé.
Coupé at a glance
- Sporty looks
- Improved performance
- Improved fuel efficiency
Big on space. Big on seats. If you have a large or active family with too many people of things to move around for a conventional car, an MPV could be for you…
MPV’s or Multi-Purpose Vehicles are sometimes referred to as “people carriers” in reference for their generous seating capacity. MPV’s are all about providing an economical solution for moving a lot of people around in comfort.
MPV’s first arrived onto the car market in the 1980’s with the introduction of the Chrysler Voyager and Renault Espace. Gone are the days of MPV’s simply being vans with seats and windows. Today MPVs include all the creature comforts and fuel efficient powertrains that you’d expect in a modern vehicle, combined with configurable seating and load space options. In terms of sheer practicality, MPV’s are hard to beat.
MPV at a glance
- Enough seats for large families
- More fuel efficient than traditional minivans
- Configurable load space