Last Updated on March 19, 2023 by Victor A

Is an SUV a truck? It’s a common question that many people ask when discussing the different classifications of vehicles. 

Both vehicles share similarities and differences, making it sometimes unclear whether to classify an SUV as a truck or a different type of vehicle.

 In this blog post, we’ll explore the question of whether an SUV is a truck and uncover the truth about these two popular types of vehicles.

is an suv a car or a truck: Chevrolet Blazer vs Chevrolet Colorado
Chevrolet Blazer vs Chevrolet Colorado

are SUVs trucks?

The answer to whether an SUV is a truck is not a straightforward one. The term “SUV” stands for “sport utility vehicle,” while a truck is a vehicle that automakers design for transporting cargo. 

Is an SUV considered a truck? While an SUV may have some similarities to a truck, it is not designed primarily for hauling cargo.

Instead, manufacturers design SUVs to transport people in comfort and style, rather than function primarily as a pickup truck. Therefore, although there may be some overlap between the two categories, an SUV is not traditionally classified as a truck.

There are several reasons why an SUV is not classified as a pickup truck:

Generally, manufacturers build an SUV on a unibody frame, which integrates the body and the frame into one piece.

However, manufacturers do build some exceptions for SUVs on a body-on-frame platform, but they limit its use, as they generally prefer to integrate the body and frame into one piece using a unibody frame.

This is in contrast to a truck, which typically has a separate frame and body, while there are very few unibody-built trucks.

Manufacturers typically design an SUV with a focus on comfort and luxury features, while they design a truck with a focus on utility and durability.

Is an SUV a truck or a car?

Another question that often arises is whether an SUV should be classified as a car or a pickup truck. 

Again, the answer is not entirely clear-cut. Technically, manufacturers consider an SUV to be a car, as they build it on a car platform and equip it with many of the same features as a car.

However, an SUV often has a higher ground clearance and a larger, more rugged body than a typical car, which can make it feel more like a truck.

Ultimately, whether an SUV is considered a car or a truck depends on the context. If you’re talking about technical classifications, an SUV is generally considered a car. 

However, some SUVs may feel more like trucks when considering their driving experience or intended tasks.

Although, the majority of crossover SUVs and most mid-size SUVs have a more driving feeling close to a car than a truck.

So if you wondered, Is an SUV a car or a truck? The answer is a car since trucks are a whole different category.

Difference between SUV and truck

Now that we’ve established that an SUV is not a truck, let’s take a closer look at the truck vs SUV differences. Several key differences set trucks and SUVs apart:

Body style: The main difference between an SUV and a truck is that typically, trucks have a separate bed to carry cargo, whereas SUVs integrate an enclosed cargo area into the body of the vehicle.

Frame: Trucks typically have a separate frame and body, also known as body-on-frame, while SUVs have a unibody frame. With a few exceptions on both sides.

Towing capacity: Design-wise, trucks are generally meant to tow heavy loads, while SUVs typically possess a lower towing capacity.

Off-road capability: SUVs are often designed with features like all-wheel drive and higher ground clearance to make them more capable off-road, while trucks are designed with 4WD to handle rough terrain with ease.

Interior space: Automakers typically design SUVs with more interior space and comfortable seating for passengers, while trucks may sacrifice some interior space in favor of a larger cargo area.

difference between suv and truck: Toyota Sequoia vs Toyota Tundra
Toyota Sequoia vs Toyota Tundra

Truck vs SUV: Which one should you choose?

If you’re in the market for a new vehicle and are trying to decide between a truck and an SUV, there are several factors to consider. Here are some of the key factors to keep in mind:

Intended use: If you plan to use your vehicle primarily for hauling cargo, a truck may be the better choice. If one intends to prioritize comfort and style in people transportation and frequently drive in urban areas, then an SUV may be a more suitable choice.

Towing capacity: Trucks typically can tow heavier loads than SUVs, with some models capable of towing up to around 20,000 pounds. SUVs, on the other hand, generally have a lower towing capacity, with most models capable of towing between 3,500 and 6,000 pounds. 

Fuel efficiency: In general, SUVs tend to be more fuel-efficient than trucks, since they have better aerodynamics, and many come in hybrid forms, or with smaller engines.

Off-road capability: If you plan to do a lot of off-roading, an SUV may be a better choice, as manufacturers often design them with features like all-wheel drive and higher ground clearance. However, they also design some trucks for off-road use, so it’s important to research specific models.

Budget: Trucks and SUVs come in a wide range of prices, so it’s important to consider your budget when making a decision.

Ultimately, the choice between a truck and an SUV comes down to personal preference and specific needs. If you prioritize cargo space and towing capacity, a truck may be the better choice. Prioritizing passenger comfort and off-road capability makes an SUV a better fit for you.

Conclusion – are SUVs trucks? SUVs are a different category

Although there may be some overlap between the categories of trucks and SUVs, manufacturers do not consider an SUV to be a truck in the traditional sense of the word.

Manufacturers design trucks mainly for hauling cargo, while they design SUVs to transport people comfortably and in a more pleasing way.

If you’re trying to decide between a truck and an SUV, consider factors like intended use, towing capacity, fuel efficiency, off-road capability, and budget. 



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