Not so long ago, sport utility vehicles — SUVs for short — were declared dead. In the light of climate change, they were considered dinosaurs to be consigned to the scrapheap in favour of smaller, more efficient cars. In 2004, the then mayor of London stated that SUV drivers were "idiots". If SUV drivers are idiots, then there are lots of idiots in SA, and elsewhere in the world for that matter. In recent years, global sales of SUVs have soared. In Europe in 2016, 25% of all new car sales were SUVs, while in SA the figure is not far behind at 20%. Elsewhere, SUVs make up an even greater proportion of new car sales. In the US, the figure is 33%, while in China, it’s 40%. Volkswagen has announced it will produce 19 SUV and crossover models by 2020. By the same date, Ford is promising 13 different models. SUVs now account for a third of Audi’s sales. The fastest-selling vehicle in Jaguar’s 95-year history is the F-Pace SUV, which makes up 55% of its sales. You can even buy a Maserati S...

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