I recently had occasion to drive both an SUV and a sedan within the space of a few weeks, and can help you get a rough idea of the difference between driving a sedan and an SUV. The transition from one type of vehicle to the other has itself been an interesting one, something that I will talk about in this article.
Which cars am I comparing?
The cars that I am comparing here are a Toyota Corolla sedan and a Toyota Fortuner SUV. My Corolla is rather ancient, having first been driven somewhere in Japan in the year 2000. The Fortuner is brand new, and still only has 5000km on the clock.
What’s the Difference Between Driving a Sedan and an SUV?
I have only just got back into my beloved Toyota Corolla sedan, after spending weeks driving the Fortuner, and, as I have already said, the transition has been something of an eye opener. So, what’s the difference between driving a Sedan and an SUV?
- Drive quality:
On Normal Roads
The first major difference between driving a Sedan and an SUV comes in terms of drive quality. When I got back into the Corolla sedan after driving the Toyota Fortuner for a few weeks, it felt as if I was driving a toy car. I mean, the feeling is really difficult to describe.
The steering wheel feels lighter and driving is easier. It’s actually tempting to zoom in and out of traffic because the smaller car feels so much lighter. So, I do have to say that my ten year old sedan drives better in normal driving conditions than the SUV.
The SUV wins hands down when it comes to driving off road and on bad roads. The bigger clearance means that you do not have to be worried about scrapping the ground with your undercarriage. SUV’s are clearly designed to be driven off road, which means they can go to places where you would never think to drive a sedan.
- Driving an SUV feels like driving a lorry
One of the things that I noticed is that driving an SUV feels more or less like driving a lorry. You could argue that the one that I have driven, including the Toyota Fortuner, were not really designed for comfort. However, the truth of the matter is that an SUV makes for a poor ride, particularly if you have been in a sedan.
Remember, the sedan that I am using for comparison purposes here is a lowly Corolla that is not really known for it’s drive quality. So it says a lot when I say that even this entry level car drives great when compared to the SUVs.
The feeling of being in a lorry is perpetuated by the fact that the driver sits so high in an SUV. The Fortuner that I drove is, it has to be said, quite imposing. One actually feels on top of the world.
- SUVs tend to be bumpy
The thing about SUVs is that they tend to be bumpy, particularly under normal driving conditions. Hit a slight bump on the road, and there is non of the subtlety that makes driving a sedan so wonderful. Indeed, the SUVs that I have previously driven have all felt as if every scrap on the road was being amplified.
Sedans, on the other hand, are much better at handling normal driving conditions. One actually feels as if one is cruising during each trip, something that cannot be said of the big cars.
- You feel safer in the SUV
One of the things that I noticed when driving the Fortuna and the Ranger is that I felt a lot safer than I do when driving my Corolla. Thing is, you are sitting on so high a position that you feel relatively untouchable.
A couple of months ago, I had reason to drive long distance in an SUV. This is a trip that I have previously made several times in my SUV. Now, the Difference Between Driving a Sedan and an SUV in this regard is that the SUV gives you a better sense of security, particularly when passing trucks and other big vehicles.
Whether or not you are actually safer when driving an SUV, as compared to when driving a Sedan, is something else that we will not dwell on in this article. What I just wanted to point out is that SUVs feel safer than sedans.
So, which one would I rather have?
I have my often mentioned Corolla of course, but given the choice, and considering the Differences Between Driving a Sedan and an SUV that I have just given here, which type of vehicle would I rather choose? Well, SUVs have come a long way in terms of drive quality, but really, they still do not compare with sedans in this regard.
I mean, my 18 year old Corolla still feels like a better drive than a brand new Fortuner. An SUV may look good, and is much more likely to turn heads as it passes by, but in terms of drive quality, it falls way behind when compared to Sedans.