A recent J.D. Power study has unveiled that three of every four car buyers in 2016 never considered purchasing an SUV. This is despite the fact that fuel has become less expensive and the availability of low interest loans have increased. While this revelation is confusing to some, experts have attributed it to a variety of factors.
Although fuel has become less expensive, SUVs cost more than sedans with comparable features. These higher prices are causing car buyers to look at other options before even considering the advantages that SUVs have to offer. Dave Sargent, the vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power, estimates that consumers pay a 9% premium for an SUV on average compared to other similarly equipped vehicles. This often automatically rules out an SUV purchase for many car shoppers.
Many car buyers take safety into account when purchasing a vehicle. Even though SUVs are often bigger vehicles, this does not always translate into a safer automobile. Data from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has shown that SUV rollover rates are significantly higher than passenger cars in single vehicle crashes. These safety statistics have given SUVs a poor reputation with many car buyers, causing them to look at other options.
Another issue: environmentally conscious Americans typically shop for vehicles that minimize pollution. While fuel prices may be low, the increased pollution that SUVs typically generate is a significant reason why many shoppers avoid these vehicles. Several Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) studies have proven the negative environmental impact of SUVs. Car manufacturers, capitalizing on this concern, have developed other car models that are more eco-friendly.
Visibility and Physical Size
Driving a large vehicle may give consumers more room, but this often results in other motorists losing visibility on the road. Large SUVs commonly block signs, traffic lights, and other important directions from the view of other motorists. In turn, accidents occur and people can be injured.
Furthermore, the physical size of SUVs frequently poses a challenge. Drivers often have trouble parking them in tight spaces and have to navigate roads more carefully, as some may not have been designed with SUV traffic in mind. This has led to discussions about banning them on certain roads.
The combination of safety and vehicle size often turn car buyers away from SUVs before they enter a dealership. These vehicles are not for everyone, even with incentives like lower gas prices and the availability of low interest rate loans.
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