Americans Love Affair with SUVs Explained. Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – December 17, 2019 VW initiated a survey of 1,000 SUV owners and finds nearly nine in ten expect to always own an SUV in the future. 2018 VW Tiguan As SUVs have grown in popularity to account for nearly half of new U.S. vehicle sales, like all OEMs, VW now offers SUVs like the Atlas, Tiguan and smaller Atlas Cross Sport. VW released results of a survey of 1,000 SUV owners that illustrates their motivations for their choices and shows that the shift toward SUVs will continue for the foreseeable future. The survey polled drivers in the U.S. who currently own or lease an SUV and identify it as their primary household vehicle. The survey indicated that safety and comfort are the two features that matter most when it comes to purchasing SUVs. Results also 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. 2019 VW Atlas Cross Sport Three Key Findings Nearly nine in ten owners ranked SUVs as the best vehicles for your money (96 percent) and indicated that they do not plan on owning any vehicle other than an SUV in the future (87 percent). Drivers also agreed that they feel more confident on the road when driving an SUV (94 percent). Safety and comfort are the highest priority features when it comes to SUVs, with 68 percent 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. The SUV is the new American living room. More than eight in ten 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 percent) and use their SUV as a place for family discussions. 2018 VW Atlas SUV owners with a third row are more likely to say family discussions take place in their SUV (75 percent, vs. 60 percent of owners without a third row) and younger SUV owners (18-34 and 35-54) and parents are more likely to use their third row on a daily basis. Gen Z and Millennials want to be safe, first and foremost. Generationally, 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.