New research from General Tire, the off-road tyre specialists, has discovered the most popular reasons motorists are turning to 4x4s and SUVs – with an elevated driving position, increased storage space and reliability in adverse weather conditions leading the way.
Of the 2,000 4x4 and SUV drivers polled, nearly a fifth are opting for the bigger vehicles because of their off-roading capacity.
Over the time drivers have owned their vehicles, more than four in 10 (43 per cent) have had their requirements for the vehicle change. As a result, many now consider increased traction and stability (35 per cent) and the vehicle’s towing capacity (33 per cent) important factors, when they previously did not.
More than half (52 per cent) claim since owning a 4x4 or SUV it has opened up more recreational activities than they previously anticipated – with road trips, exploring more rural locations and camping holidays on the agenda for motorists.
And a fifth (20 per cent) want to do more off-roading with their 4x4 or SUV.
Matthias Bartz, Business Development Manager at General Tire, said: “It is fascinating to learn just what requirements the 4x4 and SUV community consider to be the most important and just how their needs change over time.
“With so many stating the importance of having a vehicle to combat adverse weather conditions, it really highlights the significance of having a set of tyres that give the motorist confidence.”
“General Tire strongly believe ‘Anywhere is Possible'. Our tyres support adventures whether they be on-or-off-road. With tyres like the Grabber AT3, we have developed an all-terrain tyre to meet the needs of SUV, pick-up truck and off-road vehicle drivers who want a combination of exceptional off-road capabilities and confident on-road manners.”
The survey went on to reveal half of the respondents have been off-roading in their 4x4 or SUV. Of those who have ventured off the beaten track, a first aid kit, spare tyre and a work light are the most common items drivers packed ahead of their journey.
Tyre damage is the most common challenge those who have been off-roading have experienced – highlighting the need for a durable and robust set of tyres when leaving the road. While 41 per cent have got stuck in the mud, but only 12 per cent carry recovery boards to assist them in this situation.
When in the market for a 4x4, more than half (53 per cent) will compare and contrast the off-roading capabilities of the vehicles they are interested in. And finding the right balance between on and off-road performance is important for 61 per cent.
Drivers were then quizzed about their preferences when shopping for tyres for their 4x4 or SUVs. This revealed durability, fuel efficiency, wet grip and mileage as the most important characteristics.
For 67 per cent, they stated it is important to have a robust and durable set of tyres, while 31 per cent will only buy their tyres from a trusted brand. In fact, a quarter will look to a set which has excellent performance both on and off-road.
Matthias Bartz continued: “It is fantastic to learn that once behind the wheel of a 4x4 or SUV, it really opens up a number of possibilities for motorists as these vehicles are so versatile.
“As the research shows many are experiencing off-road driving with their vehicle - or looking to do more of it - it means it is so important drivers are familiar with many of the golden rules before hitting the track.
“That is why we have developed a dedicated section on our website that leaves no stone unturned for motorists to ensure they drive off-road safely but make the most of the adventure.”
For more information about off-roading and picking the best tyres for your next adventure, please visit www.generaltire.eu.