How Much Does An SUV Weigh?

Dustin Hawley | Feb 09, 2021

Due to the growth of both off-road culture and consumer vehicles themselves, SUVs are becoming increasingly popular. Sport utility vehicles currently account for the largest automotive segment in the world, making up nearly 50% of U.S. car sales.

how much do suvs weigh

Many of us are aware that SUVs come in all shapes and sizes, but not too many of us know how much these vehicles weigh. Since they are neither cars nor trucks, they fit into a unique spectrum in the consumer vehicle market, and their weights can vary accordingly. 

Let’s discuss how much an SUV weighs, starting with the difference between an SUV and a CUV. To follow, we will dive into the different SUV weight classifications, so let’s get started!

Difference Between SUV and CUV - Find the best car deals!

Despite being remarkably similar in appearance, crossover utility vehicles (CUVs) are not full-fledged SUVs. There are fundamental differences between the two as it pertains to design, purpose, and technology. Crossovers are characterized by: 

  • Shared platform with a passenger car
  • Unibody construction
  • Focus on the interior and ride comfort
  • Limited off-road capability 

Though popular to use as everyday drivers, SUVs are primarily designed to handle off-road terrains. While they can serve the same purpose as a typical car, tradeoffs like decreased fuel-efficiency can sometimes make impractical choices for commuters. However, the increased performance can be well worth the compromise in certain situations. Traits of a standard SUV include:

  • Shared platform with pickup/light trucks
  • Body-on-frame construction
  • Focus on off-road capabilities
  • Limited ride comfort (with the exception of luxury models)

The differences between these vehicles become apparent once you know what to look for. This is particularly true when it comes to weight. CUVs are considerably lighter than SUVs because they do not have a conventional chassis or the heavier mechanical components found on off-road vehicles. 

SUV Classes and Weights - Find the best car deals!

The most common classifications separate SUVs into five classes. Let us look at the average weights and the most prominent models in each of the categories.

Mini SUV

The Mini class is the smallest of all SUV categories. On average, mini-SUVs that are outfitted with basic equipment have a curb weight of just over 2000 pounds. 

Despite their smaller size, these models are extremely capable off-road vehicles, with the Lada Niva from Russian manufacturer AvtoVAZ being one of the most respected SUVs ever made. In recent years, the mini class has been overtaken by CUV models, likely due to cheaper production costs. Popular models in this class include:

  • Lada Niva
  • Chevrolet Tracker
  • Jeep CJ
  • Jeep Renegade

Compact SUV

The compact sport utility category established its roots in the U.S. marketplace back in the early ‘80s, when the major SUV manufacturers were in intense competition with one another. 

Jeep revolutionized the SUV market with the Cherokee XJ. Unlike their competitors, Jeep didn’t have a pickup truck platform to base their SUV on, in turn building a unibody SUV from the ground up. 

The departure from traditional design meant that the Jeep Cherokee XJ boasted a robust and lightweight construction with a quality of ride that matched some passenger vehicles. It spawned numerous clones and became the gold standard for the modern SUV design. 

Compact SUVs typically weigh just over 3,000 pounds, but with the current technology and focus on interior comfort, the weight can easily reach 3,500 pounds. Key examples of compact SUVs include:

  • Jeep Cherokee XJ
  • Chevrolet S-10 Blazer 2-door
  • Ford Bronco II 2-door
  • Nissan Xterra
  • Suzuki Vitara/Grand Vitara

Mid-Size SUV

The mid-size class has some of the most popular SUV models ever produced. Whether they’re utilizing a unibody design or built upon an appropriate pickup truck chassis, SUVs of this segment are the best at combining off-road capabilities with a comfortable ride.

As SUV classes do not have strict requirements, a wide array of 5-seat and 7-seat vehicles fall into the mid-size category, meaning that weights can vary drastically from one model to another. Mid-size SUVs can weigh anywhere from 3,500 to 6,000 pounds, but the average weight of a sizeable, off-road-ready SUV is roughly 5,000 pounds. Notable models include:

  • Jeep Wrangler
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • Land Rover Discovery
  • Range Rover Classic
  • Mercedes-Benz G-Class
  • Ford Explorer

Full-Size SUV

The largest conventional models of SUV are placed in the full-size class. The increase in weight and size (especially the wheelbase) can limit the off-road effectiveness of some SUVs in this class. However, models like the Ford Expedition and Chevrolet Tahoe maintain a strong focus on off-road capabilities. 

But while the Expedition and Tahoe are tailored for off-roading, other models forgo this functionality in favor of luxury. Some of the best examples include the Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator. A majority of these models are based on a full-sized pickup platform, so they remain in the SUV class. Full-size SUVs commonly weigh between 5,300 and 6,000 pounds, with prominent examples being:

  • Cadillac Escalade
  • Chevrolet Tahoe
  • Ford Expedition
  • GMC Yukon
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • Toyota Land Cruiser

Extended-Length SUV

In North America, and especially in the United States, manufacturers make full-size SUVs in a long-wheelbase variant. These models offer additional rear passenger space and more cargo volume based on full-sized or heavy-duty pickup platforms. 

Despite the increase in size, extended-length SUV models have roughly the same weight as the full-size models, ranging between 5,400 to 6,000 pounds. With just over a dozen models in production, some of the most popular include:

  • Chevrolet Suburban
  • Ford Excursion 
  • GMC Yukon XL
  • Jeep Commander
  • Toyota Mega Cruiser
  • Lincoln Navigator

Summary - Find the best car deals!

When looking at the weights of different SUV models, it’s useful to know the size classes they belong to. Most SUVs weigh between 2,000 and 6,000 pounds, with the most popular, mid-size models weighing around 5,000 pounds. Mid-size SUVs also offer the perfect mix of practicality, comfort, and off-road capability. Larger classes sacrifice off-road potential to increase luxury features, while the smaller classes do not provide the same amount of comfort.

For more information on SUVs, read more of our informative guides and articles below!

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