‘SUV’ is an American term that was first applied to cars with lots of passenger and boot space that were capable of driving off-road over rough terrain. They were aimed at the kind of people who spend their weekends doing outdoor sports like canoeing and mountain biking.
The term is now applied to a much broader range of cars. Some are very small, such as the Ford EcoSport. Some are large luxury cars, such as the Range Rover. Some even drive like sports cars – the Porsche Cayenne, for example. Most are excellent family cars.
Within that wide spectrum, there are a few things that link SUVs and mark them out from other types of car. They all have suspension that puts them higher off the ground than a saloon or hatchback, most have comparatively tall bodies and many are available with four-wheel drive.