It's what Americans want.
We've seen some interesting claims from automakers lately based on surveys. Currently, Nissan says nearly 78 percent of people that don't own a sedan would consider buying one, and now Volkswagen claims that a study of 1,000 SUV owners finds that almost nine out of ten expect to own an SUV in the future.
We tend to take surveys with a pinch of salt, and we know that how a survey is conducted can influence the results and be spun to say whatever the commissioning company wants to say. On the other hand, they can also throw up some fascinating insight, confirmation of beliefs, or dispel some preconceived notions.
"This survey confirms that our current portfolio of SUVs aligns with what consumers are prioritizing here in the US," said Hein Schafer, Senior Vice President, Product Marketing and Strategy for Volkswagen of America, Inc. "All of our SUVs rank high on independent measures of comfort, standard safety features and passenger space within their classes, and we're focused on those priorities as we develop new entries like our upcoming subcompact SUV."
Of the survey carried out, Volkswagen says 97 percent agreed that they feel more confident on the road when driving an SUV (94 percent). The word "agreed" gives us an idea of how the survey was worded, but it also goes on to show that 68 percent of drivers rate comfort and safety as the key features of an SUV. We suspect that wouldn't change much if you changed SUV to car, but the survey also shows that men tend to value comfort more while women tend to put more importance on safety. Breaking that down further, it's the younger generation Z that places most value across the sexes on safety.
Volkswagen also says that the survey showed that: "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." To Volkswagen, that suggests the SUV has become the new American living room. We're not so sure that's any different from the past, though, as going to school and family trips in a vehicle are not a new thing.