VW Examines America's Love Affair With SUVs

As sport utility vehicles have grown in popularity to account for nearly half of new U.S. vehicle sales, Volkswagen of America has joined other automakers in answering that demand.

More than nine in 10 owners ranked SUVs as the best vehicles for the money (96%) and indicated that they do not plan on owning any vehicle other than an SUV in the future (87%). Drivers also agreed that they feel more confident on the road when driving an SUV (94%).

The survey on behalf of the manufacturer polled 1,000 SUV owners who identify it as their primary household vehicle. 

Safety and comfort are the highest priority features when it comes to SUVs, with 68% of drivers rating them as most important. For men, comfortable seating is more important than overall safety, while women are more likely to place importance on safety and passenger space.



Gen Z and Millennials rank the overall safety of the vehicle as most important when it comes to their SUVs, followed by handling on rough roads, whereas drivers ages 55+ ranked comfortable seating as most important.

Results showed that families are spending a lot of time together in SUVs and that third rows are being used a lot more than previously thought. More than eight in 10 parents say they have family discussions in their SUV, creating a new space for family time, whether on the way to school or on a family road trip.

Parents, more than non-parents, agree that they expect to continue to own an SUV from now on (90%) and use their SUV as a place for family discussions.

“As we look to the future of Volkswagen, and the direction we are mapping out for our lineup, we understand that appetites for certain capabilities of SUVs evolve,” Hein Schafer, senior vice president, product marketing and strategy for Volkswagen of America, Inc. says in a release. “This includes EV options in the SUV market. Taking into account the features that we know consumers are looking for in upcoming models, we’re eager to bring a price-conscious, thoughtfully designed, and range-competitive electric SUV to the U.S. market in the near future.”

The 5-minute online survey was conducted Sept. 19-24 and has a margin of error of plus/minus 3.1%

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