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Whether related to their name or the types of drivetrain available, if you’re interested in buying a Toyota SUV, it’s likely you’ll have some questions. To demystify SUVs, we’ve answered your most common queries below.

What does SUV stand for?

SUV stands for Sports Utility Vehicle. Characterised by their high ride height, sloping back and spacious interiors, SUVs are popular choices for those that need extra cargo space and enjoy the benefits of a high driving position.

You can find out more about what makes a car a sports utility vehicle and how it differs from other cars on our What is an SUV? page.

What SUV should I buy?

Knowing which SUV is right for you won’t be instantly obvious. Be sure to take into account the amount of cargo space. Those that enjoy weekend adventures may want to consider extra space for equipment they may need, while those who are after an exciting drive in the city will also benefit from the performance of an SUV.

You can take a look at our Best SUVs page to see how each model differs and get a sense of which vehicle suits your lifestyle.

Are SUVs less agile?

Many people worry that the typically large nature of an SUV will make for an unresponsive driving experience, but this needn’t be the case. The modern day SUVs often come with turbocharged engines and advanced hybrid systems, whilst some now deliver the agility of a hatchback while maintaining the versatility and size associated with an SUV. In fact take a look at our Why choose an SUV page to discover the benefits of an SUV.

Are all SUVs 4WD?

Because they often come hand in hand, it’s commonly assumed that all SUVs are four-wheel drive. That said, although many SUVs are four-wheel drive, some can be two-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. These varying drive options allow you to pick the best model to suit your driving needs.

This is true for the Toyota C-HR which you can choose to have in either two-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

What is the difference between a 4x4 and an SUV?

As mentioned above, SUVs aren’t always four-wheel drive. Some SUVs operate on two-wheel drive, meaning the engine power is distributed solely to either the front two or back two wheels, and some operate on all-wheel drive. A 4x4 is any car that has power delivered to all 4 wheels.

There is plenty of crossover; many SUVs are 4x4, but not all. SUV is a term more commonly associated with the build and design of the car, rather than the number of driven wheels.


Four wheel drive is often the system of choice in vehicles used in more rural areas, particularly those that have to traverse more severe ground conditions. That’s because 4WD can be put in low power mode for all wheels to turn slowly, at the same time, making them perfectly paced to tackle snow or mud. Those who don’t need to worry about such ground conditions however can allow an all-wheel drive car’s intelligent systems to decide the best way to distribute the car’s power. 

To find out more about Toyota SUVs, why not head back to our SUV hub to see our full range of SUV articles?


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