Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Jun 12, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • The Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) is preferred by drivers looking for increased headroom, storage space, and better visibility on the road
  • SUVs come in many different shapes and sizes to suit many different personalities and budgets
  • Due to their size and cost, an SUV may not be the best choice for all consumers
  • Know exactly what features you want in your dream car and then research their availability in various SUV models

Twenty years ago, there was no such thing as an SUV, and now it seems like they are the only vehicles on the road.

With all the models available, you may wonder which one was named the Best SUV of 2012. According to Motor Trend magazine, the Land Rover’s Range Rover Evoque was ranked the best SUV of 2012.

You can get FREE insurance information about your area by typing your ZIP code into the box at the top of this page.

The Evolution of the SUV

Ever since Henry Ford perfected the mass-produced automobile with the introduction of the Model T, consumers have been demanding and carmakers have been providing new and better innovations each year.

The SUV was one of those advancements.

Among the original SUVs made for personal use were the Jeep Wagoneer and the Chevrolet Carryall Suburban.

With the creation of affordable automobiles came freedom, and Americans took full advantage of this.

SUVs grew increasingly popular for growing families as they traveled or relocated with their automobile packed to capacity.

When the economy took a hit in the 1970s, it almost spelled the end for SUVs as the public looked for alternatives to the vehicle’s high cost of ownership.

However, by the 1990s, everything shifted back to bigger is better, and SUVs were in high demand once again.

Using a truck frame to support its heft, the modern SUV boasts more stylish exteriors, three rows of seats, and ample cargo room both behind and even below all those seats.

Those who rely on the large mass of an SUV brag about the powerful engine size and increased height as just a few of the factors that make them feel safer on the roadways.

The makers of these vehicles also emphasize the benefits of easier handling and parking, while still maintaining the higher visibility and roominess.

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Specifications of Land Rover’s Range Rover Evoque

Being named the 2012 SUV of the year is no small feat.

The accomplishment could be viewed as great, considering the Range Rover Evoque has only been on the market since 2011. It is available in both coupe and five-door models.

The manufacturer’s suggested retail price for the Range Rover Evoque is approximately $43,000.

Best when used with premium fuel, the Evoque achieves more than 20 miles per gallon under most driving conditions. The four-wheel drive vehicle comes with side airbags, stability control, anti-lock brakes, and it can tow almost 4,000 pounds.

Other safety and security features include

  • Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
  • Illuminated entry system
  • Proximity key that opens the car simply using key card technology
  • Parking assistance technology
  • Different transmission settings from normal driving to sporty conditions

Another standard feature is the Terrain Response system, where you can match symbols on a screen to your current situation, such as a rain-slicked road or a bumpy dirt road, and the SUV will automatically respond to that circumstance.

In addition to its average safety components, the Evoque boasts some features that are exclusive, such as a Surround Camera System with five views.

There is also a rear-view camera that allows the driver to continuously see the landscape from behind, even while moving forward.

This feature can all be accessed with the simple touch of a button, where you can see any and all of these camera angles.

To customize your own Evoque, you can get an electronically controlled variable suspension and a heated steering wheel. Other available additions include a leather-covered dashboard and dual video screens for the passengers in the back.

With a unique design, the Range Rover Evoque is viewed by most as being more stylish and chic than other SUVs. Its smaller than average windows and a sloping front end help to complete the look.

Land Rover even developed a special collaboration with European fashion personality Victoria Beckham to work with the car’s designers.

Realizing that most people who drive SUVs never come close to those exciting off-road experiences demonstrated in commercials like these, the Evoque has features that are strongly suited for everyday life and even weighs less than some traditional sport utility vehicles.

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Advantages of SUVs

Compared to other vehicles, SUVs tend to be larger and offer more seating options. They are also designed to ride higher off the ground than other vehicles.

Four-wheel drive is also a major component of SUVs which allows the driver more control of the vehicle during operation.

In addition, SUVs are more versatile than other types of vehicles. They are fine for urban and suburban driving as well as off-road travel.

They can also be used to transport gear on the inside such as sports equipment and tow lots of necessities on the outside such as jet skis or motor homes.

Disadvantages of SUVs

The super size of SUVs has also been considered the main disadvantage.

Since they have a higher ground clearance, SUVs can be dangerous to other drivers on the road because of the possibility of smaller cars getting pinned underneath in the event of an accident.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has also found that they are more likely to rollover in an accident.

Due to their larger engines, SUVs also cost more to fill with gas than other cars.

If fuel efficiency is a concern, an SUV is not your ideal ride.

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Finding the Right SUV for You

Only you can determine your list of must-haves of your dream car. Perhaps the best way to begin is to look around at the SUVs on the road. Determine which ones you like and why. Then you can research more information about those vehicles.

Most automobile websites will show you a list of specifications about the vehicle, optional features, and even independent reviews from other drivers. This will give you a good representation of what it may be like to drive the vehicle.

Among the features you should consider closely are:

  • Head and leg room
  • Visibility
  • Towing capability
  • Storage capacity
  • Cost
  • Insurance
  • Maintenance
  • Fuel

Once you have narrowed the field down to just a few different models, then it’s time for a test drive. Before making a final decision, be sure to find out how the car scores on crash tests, which are conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

In addition, if you plan to trade the car in after a couple of years, you should also determine its resale value, which can be found in the Kelley Blue Book.

The Future for SUVs

People have been predicting the end of the SUV almost since its creation. Concerns about the volatile oil and gas industries and our effect on the environment have made some folks a bit more thoughtful about the vehicles they choose to drive.

Vehicle manufacturers are aware of these issues but continue to aggressively market and produce SUVs because of consumer demand.

Like it or not, it seems that big is here to stay. Some drivers have grown accustomed to riding in a more generous vehicle and are not willing to compromise that feeling.

Which SUV has the best features? When making a decision about SUVs, it might be wise to at least consider the Best SUV of 2012. Land Rover’s Range Rover Evoque must be doing something right to receive that honor.

You can get more FREE information about your area by typing your ZIP code in the box you’ll find here.

References:

  1. http://www.motortrend.com
  2. https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/land-rover/range-rover-evoque/2012
  3. http://www.nhtsa.org
  4. http://www.iihs.org
  5. http://www.kbb.com