SUV versus 4×4 – a hot debate

Do you understand the difference between an SUV and a 4X4? Do you know how you should decide which will best suit your needs?

The 4×4 marketplace has taken off over the last few years and with this success has come a seemingly endless list of modifications. If you wanted to buy a 4×4 20 years ago, you would have walked into a Land Rover dealership and put your money on the table; now, there are enough options and choices to make your eyes water! As for SUVs, they were just a twinkle in some future car designer’s eye.

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Differences between an SUV and a 4×4

The term ‘SUV’ refers to a sports utility vehicle. In the US the term was used to describe any vehicle that we in the UK would call an off-roader or 4×4; however, these days the term has become mired in confusion, as there are a whole host of vehicles on the market that are both high riding and two-wheel drive. For want of a better term, many car industry types have started to call all 4×4 styles of car an SUV. Essentially every 4×4 is an SUV, but not every SUV is a 4×4.


SUVs have recently travelled even further along the evolutionary road and some are now labelled ‘crossovers’. This reflects the fact that they are part traditional car and part SUV. Leicester car leasing companies such as can offer some great examples of such crossovers to suit your needs.

A traditional 4×4 can provide a rather unpleasant driving experience if you are used to a more streamlined, lighter SUV; however, if you live an ‘off-roading’ kind of lifestyle or need to regularly pull heavy loads, they will tick all your boxes.

Conversely, if off-roading is not really your thing, you are likely to feel rather more at home in a modern SUV, such as those available from Leicester car leasing services.

Do bear in mind that some full-height models have one obvious downside. As a result of the extra weight added by the four-wheel drive system and their inferior aerodynamics, these vehicles do tend to guzzle gas. If you are after the look rather than the performance of a classic 4×4, you should probably check out some of the many crossovers on the market.

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