Public pressure and at times hate, forced car manufactures over the years to get more creative with trying to squeeze as much mpgs out of the SUV. General Motors, the company that created the this vehicle segment in the 1930’s (with introduction of the 1936 Chevy Suburban) faced intense backlash for the Hummer and Suburban.
Remember GM and a few other companies was near bankruptcy in 2010, they had to end many of their icon sub-brands to stay solvent (remember Pontiac). They had to adapt to stay alive because of high gas prices and labor costs were soaring (still). Competition from small family sedans, like the prius didn’t help matters.
SUVs survived while breaking the laws of physics
SUVs are far heavier than sedans generally speaking, the 2023 Hummer SUV EV weighs over 4,101 kg (9,041 lbs) – how does that thing move? In high school physics we learnt that the heavier an object is, the more energy it takes to move said object.
Yet car makers seemed to have created some secret alchemical products for their vehicle’s power source, to get EPA ratings closer small sedans. The Hummer electric SUV – for example – can tow around 3401 kg (7500 lbs), without breaking a sweat.
Sedans have dropped the evolution ball
Ford and a few other car makers have fazed out small cars or have committed to doing so soon, in favour of making more SUVs. Let’s face it, if you are a sports car or family sedan enthusiast, those vehicles time in the sun maybe over soon.
Sedans like dinosaurs never faced the plight of having to get better or face extinction (pressure makes diamonds, not love😄). SUVs did – a 2010’s recession, rising gas price, environmental concerns, etc.
Car makers had to live at the drawing boards, always coming up with news technologies – hybrids, mild hybrids, cylinder deactivation, start stop engines, full electrification, etc., etc..
Main image courtesy: Honda