SUV – What’s the hang up?

Ok, for the sake of argument or discussion whatever, I am throwing the question out there to our readers about SUV’s. Having road tested the Alfa Romeo Stelvio last week and coming to the conclusion that it is a bloody good (almost to the point I’m tempted to buy one), I am beginning to wonder what the hang up is about SUV’s?

You see once upon a time, long before I was born (?!) the 4×4 was for the farmer going about his daily chores and with a four wheel drive it helped get things done a little easier and quicker. Then came Land Rover with the Range Rover for those rich folk in the country who still might drive across the fields on the weekend shoot so wanted their 4×4 but with a little bit more luxury and car like to drive. The problem was, they almost always broke down and they wallowed about like a hippo in the mud. Then came the SUV, it was a car but kind of jacked up on stilts and had four wheel drive, in most cases it was nicer to drive than a normal 4×4 and didn’t wallow about quite as much but the down side was these SUV’s started to infest the towns and cities where we lived and due to their size and the fact some where petrol guzzling V8’s, environmentalist’s either had a heart attack or put on their war make up and wanted to kill every 4×4 or SUV they came across.

But, and this is the big but bit, times have changed Hurrah! Modern technology mean smaller engines can move these SUV’s around pretty quickly, and not only that but they don’t have to be the size of a small motor home and certainly no longer do they feel like they will fall over if you get a little bit too carried away driving round a corner. Porsche kind of kick started this with the Cayenne, despite Porsche purists hating it, it drove well, looked ok (well like a Porsche anyway) and pretty much saved the company thanks to people buying it in droves. Then everybody else started to do the same, BMW, Mercedes and so on.

Of course the Italian’s where late to the party in the world of SUV’s, ignoring the Rambo Lambo of the 80’s which certainly wasn’t an SUV, unless you wanted a Fiat Panda 4×4 (yes please!) you had to wait until Maserati introduced the Levante and Fiat with the crossover 500x. Now we also have the Alfa Romeo Stelvio https://enzari.com/2018/09/alfa-romeo-stelvio-makes-you-forget-its-an-suv/ – and it is very very good. having driven it around a small town in Yorkshire, it took up no more space than a 5 series BM’ when I parked on the street, it looks good, drives even better and I saw no animals keeling over as I drove along the country lanes due to any pollutants it might have been putting out from it’s rear. In Alfa’s case the Stelvio means we will see no Giulia Sportswagon but honestly we don’t need one, the Stelvio is that good you almost forget it is an SUV.

So I’m sorry all you SUV bashing folk out there but you need to get over it and move on, SUV’s are not the soul destroying cars you think they are, they are good to drive, don’t have to be the massive, in most cases look good and will not kill the world we live in – we have governments for that!


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