The sports utility vehicle (SUV) with seven seats, arranged in three rows, not only rides higher on the road than other types of passenger car, such as the saloon and the hatchback. In recent years, the multi-seat SUV has also been riding high on a wave of popularity in Singapore.
It’s a relatively new genre here, combining the “indoor” practicality of a MPV (multi-purpose vehicle) with the outdoorsy body of an SUV.
Four-wheel-drive gives the SUV a “go-anywhere” ability that no MPV can match, but this isn’t much of an advantage in our concrete jungle, where the most common “hills” are multi-storey carparks.
The first seven-seater SUV to gain traction in the Singapore car market was the original Volvo XC90, which made its local debut in early 2003.
But the Volvo wasn’t the first of its kind here – the adventurous Land Rover Discovery V8 had been on sale for a few years already, and the rugged Suzuki Grand Vitara XL-7 was launched in 2002.
The first-generation Volvo XC90 found about a thousand buyers (40 of whom opted for the little-known five-seat variant) during the 12 years it was on sale in Singapore (2003-2015).