SUV or Sedan for long drive? 

It’s common having any of these cars as your first car. But as with choosing the best cars, if you don’t have some sort of prior driving need; It gets tricky deciding between.

Sedans are awesome; but so are SUVs (if loving Sport Utility Vehicles is a crime, then we’d be wanted!).

Today, Sedans are common all over the world, and SUVs becoming just as popular. There has been a lot of innovations over the years since the first SUV.

No doubt, both types of vehicles will do just alright when driving around town, but what if you need to go on a long drive; which is better?

We’d certainly love to give you an answer as simply as anyone you’d find on the web but then that leaves the “WHY” hanging. In this article, we’ll be as thorough as we can in helping you find which of the two cars is the most comfortable for long distance driving.

In order not to get it twisted, let’s get to know what Sedans and SUVs truly are

What is an SUV?

Our article on what SUV stands for better explains what these kinds of vehicles truly are.

Simply put, SUV stands for “Sport Utility Vehicle” and it is the fastest-growing car segment!


This category of vehicle combines elements of road-going passenger cars with features from off-road vehicles, such as raised ground clearance and four-wheel drive.

Honestly, it would be a miracle trying to define an SUV in one paragraph because that’s what we’re doing with one website. However, we already put up an article that explains what an SUV is and what it’s not. You may want to read that.

What is a Sedan?


A sedan or saloon as British English call it is a passenger car in a three-box configuration with separate compartments:

  • The front box is home to the engine
  • The middle box is larger and houses the passengers
  • The third box is the trunk; an enclosed cargo hold, separated from the passenger compartment by the rear seatback and the immovable package tray below the rear window.

The biggest difference

Beyond differences in how SUVs and sedans look, the biggest difference is what they provide an owner. SUVs are able to tackle any kind of terrain that you throw at them while Sedans are known primarily for the comfort they offer, most especially at the rear seat.

Compared to SUVs, the long length and wheelbase of Sedans allow for a lot more space at the rear. Not forgetting the added comfort that comes with an armrest.

Even at that, there are still many SUVs in the market today offering premium and comfortable experience for passengers.

Are SUVs better for long distance driving?

Going on a long journey by road can be exhausting.

Most times, the comfort offered by your car can be a big difference between you falling sick after your road trip.

For long distance drive; Sedans are lightweight and can be controlled easily. However, if you need to keep a firm grip on a steering wheel on slippery roads while having a clear view of obstacles, SUVs will make a better choice.

Let’s look at the pros and cons of SUVs and Sedans to see which one does better on long distance drives and road trips.


SUV vs Sedan: Which one is the most comfortable

1. Space

You can’t talk of comfort without making mention of space. If you’re searching for a car that can accommodate your entire family, the SUV could be a better option with more leg and luggage space. It can hold up to 5 to 6 people (even more with third-row seating) and can be more comfortable for pets too.

SUVs have a box-shaped build and thus will give significantly more interior space for passengers and luggage more than a sedan.

2. Headroom

SUVs are taller than Sedans and as such, offer more headroom. There’s evidently more room in the first and second rows in an SUV compared to a sedan. The third row is usually a miss on some smaller sized SUVs – a more reason why Nissan Rogue traded off its 3rd-row seating

3. Smooth Ride

If you’re in search of a city ride, you may find sedans more appealing. This is because sedans offer better performance and a smoother ride on highways and city roads.

4. Better ride quality on bad roads

If most part of your journey will be on bad or broken roads then an SUV can be a better alternative out of the two.

While the sedans might offer a better ride on the highways, the larger wheels and better suspension travel that SUVs offer make riding over bad roads easy. So, if you are looking at long-distance driving, particularly on bad or broken roads, going for the big wheels makes more sense.

5. Softer suspension setup

Sedans have relatively softer suspension unlike the stiff and jarring suspension In SUVs that are designed to handle the rugged terrain and/or heavy loads. Generally, the ride quality is more comfortable in a sedan.

6. High Speed stability

Sedans have a lower center of gravity, they’re long and sleek, and also have a low ride height compared to SUVs.

Larger vehicles like SUVs, vans, and school buses have a higher center of gravity and are therefore more likely to rolling over. The risk is much higher when these types of vehicles travel at high speeds

Sedans are significantly more stable at high speed that’s why the police use them for high-speed pursuit rather than SUVs.

7. Interiors Design

It’s easy falling in love with a car for its beauty on the outside, but where you’ll be spending most of your time once you buy, it is on the inside. A lovely, well-designed interior makes road trips with the family fun and the commute to work more pleasant.

Quality materials, plenty of available features, and comfortable seats are all a part of creating an interior that feels like home – this is something Sport Utility Vehicles offers a little more.

If you want to give a blind eye to the more luxurious SUV that offers even more premium interiors and style, a sedan will have a better style, and attract more people compared to an SUV of the same price

8. Fuel efficiency

SUVs are versatile vehicles for hauling passengers and cargo. Although they have gotten smaller and more fuel efficient over the years, they are still behind Sedans when it comes to gas mileage.

Sedans provide better mileage and are more fuel and consequently cost-effective than SUVs. An average sedan can be approximately 30% to 40% more fuel-efficient than an SUV.

If you’re certain you’ll need an SUV for your long drive; choosing space over fuel economy is a sacrifice you have to make.

Final Verdict

While the factors we listed above should be put into consideration when making your choice, other personal preferences like family size and budget should equally be kept in mind.

If your travel is primarily in urban areas and highway travel, get a sedan. Unless you are over 6 feet tall, it is more comfortable, faster, and much more fuel-efficient at the same time.

If your travel involves bad roads or if you need seating for more than 5 passengers, SUV is the better option. It also helps your luggage needs if any. Keep in mind though that SUVs have lower fuel efficiency and relatively higher maintenance costs.

SUV vs Sedan, which do you prefer for long drives? Let us know your thoughts in the comment

About the Author

Larry Cruise


I know a lot about cars, man. I can look at any car's headlights and tell you exactly which way it's coming.

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