Mid-size SUV information

If a dog is man's best friend, then it's conceivable the sport/utility vehicle is man's best tool. And when we say "sport/utility vehicle," we're talking a truck-based, ladder-frame SUV here, not a car-based crossover that's as soft and common as UGG boots. In its proper guise--equipped with four-wheel drive, low-range gearing, a live rear axle, plentiful ground clearance, and suitable tires--the basic, midsize SUV can take man to destinations otherwise unattainable if left to the wimpy car-based 'ute.

Although designs vary, SUVs have historically been mid-size passenger vehicles with a body-on-frame chassis similar to that found on light trucks. Early SUVs were mostly two-door models, and were available with removable tops. However, consumer demand pushed the SUV market towards four doors, by 2002 all full-size two-door SUVs were gone from the market. Two-door SUVs were mostly carry-over models, and their sales were not viable enough to warrant a redesign at the end of their design cycle. The Jeep Wrangler remained as a compact two-door body style, although it was also joined by a four-door variant starting with the 2007 model year, the Wrangler Unlimited. The number of two-door SUV models increased in the 2010s with the release of the Range Rover Evoque and the Nissan Murano convertible, although both vehicles are unibody.

And what about hauling all of a man's gear, food, and friends? The good old best tool once again rises to the occasion, pulling double-duty as a five-passenger transporter and a 30-cubic-foot locker. And, as is often the case these days, the off-road-bent SUV doesn't beat up its buyer with a hefty price tag or a lack of amenities. Rather, it dips shallowly into one's bank account--prices generally open at well under $30,000--and coddles passengers with such conveniences as a CD changer, cruise control, and heated seats.

Manuals for SUV's: www.msuvs.com.

The Volkswagen Tiguan and Mazda CX-5 were quickly paired for their all-round capability, refinement, fuel efficiency and handling. The Skoda Yeti and Kia Sportage drew favourable comment on road, but suffered offroad from clearance, tyre size and suspension limitations. The Nissan X-TRAIL blitzed the competition offroad but fell short in on-road testing. While the Holden Captiva proved spacious and comfortable, but was a let-down dynamically and at the pump.

Early SUVs were descendants from commercial and military vehicles such as the World War II Jeep and Land Rover. SUVs have been popular for many years with rural buyers due to their off-road capabilities.

A mid-size SUV is a class of medium size SUVs whose size typically falls between that of a full size and a compact SUV. This term is not commonly used outside North America, where fullsize and midsize SUVs are considered similar. Some examples are: Acura MDX, BMW X5, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Ford Edge, Chevrolet Equinox, Dodge Journey, Nissan Murano, Hyundai Santa Fe, Land Rover Discovery, Toyota Highlander, Kia Sorento, Volkswagen Touareg, Subaru Forester, and Volvo XC90.

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