Is An SUV A Truck? Find Out Whether a Sport Utility Vehicle is a Truck!)

Last Updated on January 7, 2023 by Leepu Da Maxim

Well, an SUV is built on the same truck-based platform but an SUV is not a truck. SUVs are larger than cars and they are designed to transport passengers. On the other hand, trucks are designed to carry heavy loads and cargo.

Key Takeaways

  • In various USA states, SUVs are classified as light trucks and not an automobile
  • SUVs are specially designed for passenger comfort and convenience, rather than for carrying heavy loads
  • SUVs are shorter and lighter compared to trucks and they have a small wheelbase
  • Due to their size and weight, SUVs are easier to control and maneuver compared to full-size trucks

Differences Between An SUV And A Pickup Truck

FeaturesSUV And Pickup Truck
Engine power


Gas Mileage

Comfortable level

Pickup trucks can provide diesel engines with increased power and torque for many situations.

SUVs provide greater ease for maneuvering on the road or even parking relative to pick-ups.

SUVs offer better fuel economy by using a gasoline engine relative to pickups.

The comfort level of SUVs is higher due to the increased interior passenger space.

Both towing and off-road capabilities are superior in pickup trucks in most cases.

How Many Types Of SUVs Are There?

Contrary to what many people may believe, sport utility vehicles do not have one single design. On the contrary, there are at least 6 different types of SUVs in existence today. This way, better features can be provided to users who do not have the same needs. Recognizing each of them will allow you to make better decisions.

1. Crossover SUV

In particular, the first thing that defines this type of vehicle is that it is a unibody construction. So, in this case, a shared platform is included in this vehicle for the passengers. Compared to SUVs that are designed from trucks, this type of vehicle has a greater design advantage.

While less off-road capability is incorporated here, fuel efficiency is superior to other types of vehicles. Also, the interior design is combined with a high level of driving comfort. So it’s one of the best options for large families who don’t want to go through difficult terrain.

Most of the time these types of vehicles do not have all-wheel drive so the off-road level is not appropriate. That’s why the definition of a sport utility vehicle is somewhat contradictory in this case. Sometimes certain countries may classify this vehicle as a light truck and not as a car.

Apart from that, in these times there is a large number of people who decide to opt for this type of vehicle for various situations. Compared to other types of vans, fuel efficiency allows people to save an excellent amount of money. This makes it one of the best options when it is not a vehicle for transporting objects.

2. Mini SUV

Another option that can be widely versatile on many occasions is the mini version of the sport utility vehicles. In this case, it is the smallest version of this type of vehicle. Here, we can mention one of the most popular versions of Mitsubishi which is the Mitsubishi Pajero Mini vehicle.

This type of vehicle in its mini version is intended to provide the main advantages and design of the best sport utility vehicles. Because it’s a much smaller vehicle than most trucks, the fuel efficiency is usually superior. Of course, it is a vehicle specially designed for 1 or 2 people only.

In turn, the construction of these vehicles is similar to sub-compact crossovers. This Mitsubishi model has an unladen weight of 850 kilograms and a height of 1630 mm. Additionally, the width of the last known design is 1,475 mm while the length is 3,295 millimeters. So, it is a very small vehicle that can be excellent in a wide variety of terrains.

In the same way, this vehicle can be highly chosen for those single people who do not have a complete family. Here, the extended size of the other models of sport utility vehicles is not very required. Besides, these vehicles have the advantage of attracting much lower taxes due to their smaller and more convenient design for some people.

3. Compact SUV

The compact SUV is another peculiar variety. In this case, it is a type of vehicle that is located with a larger size than mini SUVs and with a smaller size than medium or full-size SUVs. Beyond that, this type of vehicle is not usually found in all parts of the world.

In a large number of cases, sport utility vehicles known as crossovers are compact at the same time. Even these vehicles are also built on the same platform through unibody construction. Additionally, the larger size of these types of vehicles can be adapted to the needs of some people.

For families that are not very large, this vehicle can provide some additional space. You still do not get the off-road features that larger vehicles can provide. Also, we can note that the design of this vehicle sub-segment combines the best of large sedans with some minivans.

Among them all, the 2021 Jeep Wrangler model is one of the most popular and well-known in this vehicle segment. In short, it is one of the sport utility vehicles with features that are somewhere in between the larger options and the smaller vehicles.

A large number of people say they choose one of these models to get a good level of driving and a certain level of versatility on different roads.

4. Mid-Size SUV

In particular, this term is often really important within North America. When we leave this territory the term mid-size SUV is not usually used. On the contrary, in other territories and countries, full-size SUVs are often grouped with those that are mid-size.

On the other hand, some mid-size vehicles of this type have construction that includes shared platforms with passenger cars. So, if we consider only this aspect, we are dealing with crossover vehicles. Thus, other different medium-size designs base their design on medium or compact vans.

Usually, this option is one of the most appropriate for a really large family. The models here usually have more than generous space for passengers but also for a large amount of luggage. Even the good characteristics of this type of vehicle can satisfy not only the family but also other types of owners.

In many cases, single and young people can enjoy the best capabilities of mid-size SUVs. In turn, there are some vehicles of this type today with excellent features including off-road abilities and optimal fuel efficiency. So, it’s one of the most popular choices these days for a versatile vehicle.

5. Full-Size SUV

When it comes to finding a common production sport utility vehicle, the full-size design is the largest size you can find in most countries. In this case, there are a variety of options that can provide off-road capabilities. One such option is the Chevrolet Tahoe, Ford Expedition, and Toyota Sequoia.

Also, some owners with a good budget may choose the options that are marketed as luxury vehicles. In these cases, it is possible to find the Cadillac Escalade or the Lincoln Navigator. Of course, these particular vehicles are the most chosen by millionaires and businessmen who are somewhat eccentric.

In this case, most of the options share their platforms with full-size vans. Beyond that, it is sometimes possible to find some models with a manufacturer that includes dedicated platforms. Either way, those vans can provide the best features of all sport utility vehicles.

Compared to larger vans, such as pickup trucks, fuel efficiency remains excellent. When comparing a full-size SUV to a car, fuel efficiency is not as good. At the same time, better terrain capabilities allow a family to enjoy different natural sites without too much effort.

6. Extended-Length SUV

Last but not least, it is very easy to find good availability of the largest size sport utility vehicles in the United States. In this case, it is an extended-length design due to the longer wheelbase. Compared to full-size SUVs these vehicles increase many of their capabilities on the road.

Some of the most common models chosen in this segment are the Chevrolet Suburban and the Ford Expedition EL. So, for those who enjoy large vehicles with good off-road characteristics, this is the best option you can get. In this case, the additional space compared to full-size vehicles offers greater comfort from different aspects.

In particular, it is possible to obtain a greater luggage capacity in combination with additional space for rear passengers. At the same time, these vehicles are designed with full-size sport utility vehicles in mind. That is why in most cases manufacturing requires dedicated platforms for these extended-length vehicles.

This is also the reason why heavy-duty truck or full-size truck platform designs are usually used. At this time, it is possible to find this type of vehicle mainly in the Philippines, the Middle East, South America, and North America. Even if it is a trip to a natural place the off-road characteristics of this vehicle are usually really formidable.

Beyond that, fuel efficiency is lower than smaller sport utility vehicles. However, the personality and driving comfort of this vehicle is often superior. Finally, some Motorsport-designed sport utility vehicles are specially designed for professional racing.