History of sport utility vehicles

First-Generation Ford Bronco

With the term SUV still a thing of the future, the majority of these vehicles were marketed as station wagons. With the new classification, more consumers were choosing trucks and passenger cars over the family-sized utility vehicles.

This change in identification was also the start of it officially being known as the SUV. The rebirth and rebranding of the SUV With American Motors changing the way the government categorized sport utility vehicles, American automakers once again put their efforts into adding SUVs to their lineup. With labor costs going up and the insurgence of less expensive imports, automakers found that an SUV could provide them with a high profit margin and appeal to a new group of consumers.

Ford, Chevrolet, and Chrysler all introduced new SUVs into their offerings while slowly phasing out the outdated station wagon. Consumers wanted more versatile, roomier vehicles that could also satisfy their need for adventure and that is exactly what the SUV did.

Top 10: The pioneering SUVs that started it all

The popularity of SUVs has skyrocketed in the past decade and today, there are nearly as many choices of SUVs and crossovers as there are coupes, sedans, and hatchbacks. Also, it was a Ford Bronco which was featured in the infamous O. Simpson low-speed chase across Los Angeles.

The model year was the first for the Explorer, a line which is still going strong to this day. The original Explorer which hit the market in '90, however, was nothing like the vehicles rolling off the production line today.


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Modern Explorers are considered 'crossovers' because of their unibody construction. The original Explorer, though, true to its trucking roots, was built as a body-on-frame vehicle. While the Explorer was, and still is, hugely successful, the original version did suffer early setbacks stemming from a number of rollover accidents.

The early history of the SUV

Improved suspensions, lower profiles, safety features and sportier designs through the years have increased the popularity of the current fifth generation Explorers. Although it did not enjoy a long life span like many of the other Ford SUV models, the Excursion will always hold a place in automotive history.

Top 5 Reliable SUV Of All Time Last 250000 Miles

Simply put, it was the sheer size of this SUV that caused it to stand out from the crowd. No mass-produced SUV has ever been as long or as heavy as the Excursion. Available engines for this massive model included a gas-powered 6. By combining off-road capabilities with luxury features, the K5 helped inspire a generation of outdoor lifestyle enthusiasts to go off-road for fun and adventure.

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It was a big hit for Chevrolet. In , Chevrolet introduced the TrailBlazer nameplate as an upscale trim line of the Blazer.

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These days, a new generation of Trailblazer sells in many global markets. Most recently, Chevrolet reintroduced the Blazer as a midsize crossover for North America. Chevrolet Tahoe on display at the Seoul Motor Show arrived in Samuel L. In the s, Chevrolet has leveraged decades of experience with new SUVs and crossovers that offer a more car-like ride, such as Traverse, Equinox and Trax. Now, more than ever, Chevrolet is well positioned to meet rising demand for such vehicles.