4 Aug 2016

SUVs now most popular vehicle

7:58 am on 4 August 2016

For the first time ever, SUVs have become the most popular light vehicle for people to buy new.

SUV

SUVs have become the most popular vehicle to buy new in New Zealand for the first time. Photo: 123RF

The Motor Industry Association said SUVs accounted for 34 percent of vehicle registrations for the month of July followed by passenger sedans with 32 percent and light commercial vehicles such as vans and utes with 28 percent.

The association's chief executive David Crawford said drivers saw the SUV as a practical vehicle.

"They are great for families, they have got a lot of space and they have got extra height in them, the driver is in a higher position, so there is better visibility when they are driving.

"Drivers feel safer in an SUV - in reality there is no material difference - but drivers usually feel safer," he said.

SUVs are usually more expensive and have higher emissions but Mr Crawford said buyers were not put off by this.

The association said SUVs were forecast to take 37 percent of the market by the end of the year, up from just 12 percent in 2002.

It said for July, the top models sold were either SUVs or light commercial vehicles.

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