How Big is an SUV?

If you are like most people, an SUV tops your list of possible vehicles, but just how big are these vehicles? After all, if you are used to your standard family sedan-size car, is an SUV going to feel like a school bus once you are behind the wheel? And will it even fit in the garage?

These are all good questions to ask before you even head down for a test drive. So, to help you with your SUV dilemma, we have compiled the data on two separate categories, including some of the hottest vehicles on the market today. How Big Is An SUVThen, we averaged them out to create the "average" midsize and full-size SUV. Here they are:

Average Dimensions of a Midsize SUV:

  • Height: 68.2 inches
  • Weight: 4,336 lbs
  • Width: 75.8 inches
  • Length: 193.6 inches

Average Dimensions of a Full-Size SUV:

  • Height:  75.4 inches
  • Weight:  5706 lbs
  • Width:  80.2 inches
  • Length:  208.9 inches

Okay, so now we know what the average-sized SUV in both size categories looks like. If you want much more than a general idea, however, you are in luck - further down, we provide the exact dimensions of 19 of the most popular SUVs on the market today.

SUV Size Comparison

Let's now take a deep dive into the exact dimensions of some of the most popular SUVs on the market today. Here, we will provide you with the exact outside measurements - length, height, width, and weight. Use this data to compare and contrast the different models within as well as across the two classes of SUVs we are looking at in order to find out exactly how big modern SUVs are.

Note that, while these SUVs offer premium cabins and a shorter overall length than pickup trucks, there are some times when buying a truck is the right answer. For example, an SUV will never be able to pull a 5th wheel trailer because of the way they are built. Also, no modern SUV is built on a heavy-duty truck platform, so if you need to tow or haul really big loads, you will once again need to call on a pickup.

Before we begin, let's cover a couple of quick notes about the specs listed here. All models come in many different trim levels, so to be as consistent and average as possible, we tried to pick the most mid-level trim available. Also, the width measurement excludes the door mirrors. Also, note that, while we are talking strictly about the exterior dimensions of these vehicles in this article, we have done a previous article for anyone interested in the inside dimensions (cargo capacity).

Midsize SUVs

Midsize SUVs are wildly popular today, and it's easy to see why. For the most part, the vehicles in this huge market segment offer the most enticing blend of size, performance, and fuel economy - all at a reasonable price. Move up a segment, and you will struggle to find a vehicle that can get much better than 20 mpg on the highway. Stick with the midsize SUV, however, and many can get close to 30. And, while there are smaller SUVs out there, we will stick to the two larger classes as those tend to be the only ones that owners use to pull travel trailers.

While these sport utility vehicles are larger than your standard Corolla or Civic, they are still a manageable size for maneuvering about town, no matter how tight the parking spaces are. Another factor that makes these such a hot commodity is the fact that all of them are built on unibody platforms. That means they are built like cars - not trucks. What that gets you is improved ride and handling over the truck-based behemoths we find in the full-size SUV category. The downside, of course, is that their towing and off-road performance suffers as a result.

To put the following numbers in perspective, a 2019 Honda Accord is 57.1 inches tall, 192.2 inches long, 73.3 inches wide, and weighs 3,428 lbs. Interestingly, that's not too much shorter than the midsize SUV average. Moving from car to SUV does, however, mean increasing your height and weight in almost every instance. The width of the vehicle increases as well, sitting at about 2 inches wider than that Accord. As you can see, midsize SUVs don't require tons more space than the standard family sedan. That means they will feel mostly normal to drive for anyone who is used to driving something larger than a Mini Cooper.

Without further ado, here are the specs for the 10 most popular midsize SUVs:

1. Ford Explorer Limited:

Height: 70 inches

Weight: 4,458 lbs

Width: 78.9 inches

Length: 198.7 inches

2. Toyota Highlander XLE AWD:

Height: 68.1 inches

Weight: 4,464

Width: 75.8 inches

Length: 192.5 inches

3. GMC Acadia SLT-1 AWD:

Height: 66 inches

Weight: 3,956

Width: 75.4 inches

Length: 193.6 inches

4. Ford Edge Titanium:

Height: 68.3 inches

Weight: 4,124 lbs

Width: 75.9 inches

Length: 188.8 inches

5. Dodge Journey Crossroad AWD:

Height: 66.6 inches

Weight: 4,238 lbs

Width: 72.2 inches

Length: 192.4 inches

6. Lexus RX350 AWD:

Height: 67.7 inches

Weight: 4,222 lbs

Width: 74.6 inches

Length: 192.5 inches

7. Nissan Pathfinder SL 4WD:

Height: 70.6 inches

Weight: 4,489 lbs

Width: 77.3 inches

Length: 198.5 inches

8. Kia Sorento EX AWD:

Height: 66.5 inches

Weight: 4,101 lbs

Width: 74.4 inches

Length: 189 inches

9. Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4x4:

Height: 69.3 inches

Weight: 4,746 lbs

Width: 76.5 inches

Length: 189.8 inches

10. Infiniti QX60 Pure AWD:

Height: 68.6 inches

Weight: 4,562 lbs

Width: 77.2 inches

Length: 200.6 inches

Full-Size SUVs:

Now we venture into the big boy territory. No more car-based SUVs here. These are all big, heavy vehicles built on ladder frames, just like the trucks they are related to. Still, this class of SUVs is shockingly civilized. Part of the reason is that half-ton trucks are becoming more luxurious and comfortable every year. In fact, if you haven't been in one of these vehicles in several years, you should really check them out because the levels of comfort and refinement will blow you away.

That doesn't have a lot to do with size, though, as the simple truth is that these SUVs are as big as ever. With an average weight dangerously close to 6,000 lbs, no one will ever mistake one of these SUVs for anything resembling a Camry from behind the wheel. Sure, they aren't as long as the various half-ton pickup trucks (Ford F150, Chevrolet Silverado, Nissan Titan, etc) that they are based on.  However, in every other size category, there is little to no difference. That means it will take some practice getting used to handling and parking if you haven't driven full-size trucks much.

All of that size really pays off when it comes to capabilities. From their cavernous cargo areas to the spacious 3-rows of seating, all of these SUVs offer levels of space unrivaled by anything short of a van. And, with that truck chassis underneath them and 4WD engaged, they can handle just about anything you will encounter on your vacation. From pulling a boat to the lake to navigating rutted forest roads, a full-size SUV will get you there safely and confidently.

  1. Ford Expedition Limited 4x4:

Height: 76.4 inches

Weight: 5,623 lbs

Width: 79.9 inches

Length: 210 inches

2. Chevrolet Suburban LT 4WD:

Height: 74.4 inches

Weight: 5,653 lbs

Width: 80.5 inches

Length: 224.4 inches

3. Chevrolet Tahoe LT 4WD:

Height: 74.4 inches

Weight: 5,456 lbs

Width: 80.5 inches

Length: 204 inches

4. GMC Yukon SLT 4WD:

Height: 74.4 inches

Weight: 5,626 lbs

Width: 80.5 inches

Length: 203.9 inches

5. Nissan Armada SL:

Height: 75.8 inches

Weight: 5,685 lbs

Width: 79.9 inches

Length: 208.9 inches

6. Cadillac Escalade Luxury 4WD:

Height: 74.4 inches

Weight: 5,551 lbs

Width: 80.5 inches

Length: 203.9 inches

7. Lincoln Navigator Reserve:

Height: 76.3 inches

Weight: 5,855 lbs

Width: 79.9 inches

Length: 210 inches

8. Toyota Sequoia Limited 4WD:

Height: 77 inches

Weight: 5,985 lbs

Width: 79.9 inches

Length: 205.1 inches

9. Infiniti QX80 Luxe 4WD:

Height: 75.8 inches

Weight: 5,921 lbs

Width: 79.9 inches

Length: 210.2 inches

Find Your Perfect SUV

It's no wonder SUVs are replacing sedans on the roads lately. Midsize SUVs, for instance, offer way more cargo room, off-road capability, and an elevated seating position - all in a very manageable package. Meanwhile, their full-size cousins do the work of pickup trucks while still being able to fit in most garages. If you are like most people, you will find at least one of these propositions mighty enticing.

But let's get to the real reason we are discussing SUVs here - towing. While few cars are rated to tow more than 1,000 lbs, even midsize SUVs can handle upwards of 5,000 lbs (sometimes more).  Plus, SUVs in this class come with the added benefit of a lower cost of ownership compared to larger sport utilities and trucks.

Meanwhile, full-size SUVs can just about do it all; from taking you and your 7 best friends to the cabin to towing between 6,000 and 9,000 lbs. Just don't expect Camry or Accord-like MPGs.

So, which will you choose? Are you already driving an SUV? Let us know what your dream vehicle is by leaving a comment below.

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