Can You Call an SUV a Truck? This is the Truth!

To reply to the question, we first need to think of the evolution of both.

The truck used to be a small delivery simple cargo hauler. But it’s now a heavy-duty all-terrain vehicle. Whilst the SUV evolved from a simple off-road vehicle. And is now a full-size passenger-carrying all-terrain vehicle.

Now, can you call an SUV a Truck? And the answer needs some explaining.

In this article, we will walk through the details of both vehicles. What makes them similar and different. And we’ll solve the question that’s roaming in your mind.

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Can you Call an SUV a Truck?

Can you call an SUV a Truck

The most common answer you’ll hear on the street is yes. But it doesn’t make it the right one. And it wouldn’t be such a wrong answer since they both have a common history.

But, if we get down to technicalities, then the answer would be most certainly no. An SUV is not a truck. Do you want to know why?

Let us get into the why!

How to Define an SUV

The name SUV comes from Sports Utility Vehicle. It’s a vehicle designed for personal use. Entirely focused on family safety, easy handling, and fuel consumption.

It’s a four-wheeled vehicle that serves the purpose to transport big groups of people. Up to seven in some models! And it’s usually the vehicle of choice for most families that look for comfort and safety. As well as decent cargo space.

But to define SUV, we first need to understand what was the idea behind its creation.

Its predecessors were the Dodge trucks of the 1930s and 1940s. Yes, trucks. Yet, the origin doesn’t represent what it is today.

Then came the Ford truck, which we now think of as an SUV. The line separating both was not clear back in the day, but it is now.

Let’s first jump right into the definition of a truck. That way we can then better understand why the answer to the question can be so ambivalent!

How to Define a Truck

A truck is a two-wheel drive designed for a heavy-duty workload. If you think of it, trucks are made for professional use rather than a personal one.

Trucks are vehicles that allow for a great deal of cargo but are very hard to handle. And since they’re a two-wheel drive, they’re not ideal for certain terrains.

We can hardly consider trucks as family vehicles. And they usually offer fewer seating options.

What are the Similarities of SUV and Truck

Even though they are two different types of vehicles, they do share similarities.

Fuel Consumption

Both vehicles have very similar fuel consumption on the same terrain. Trucks might consume more when fully loaded. However, when on a minimum load, both SUVs and trucks will get similar results.

Safety Measures

Both have sturdy frames and structures. The driver and co-pilot will always be protected in case of an accident. However, the SUV does usually better when it comes to passenger safety in general.

What are the Differences of SUV and Truck

The list of differences is slightly longer than the one of similarities. Thus creating a clearer line between the two.

Technical Differences between SUV and Truck

For starters, an SUV is a four-wheeled vehicle whilst trucks are usually two-wheeled. The SUV can seat up to seven people. However, the truck is mostly focused on cargo so there will never be more than three seats available.

Maneuvers and Handling

The end-user is the main reason behind the design of SUVs. Meaning that they are easy to handle and maneuver on purpose. On the other hand, trucks are made for professional use and heavy workload. Its two-wheel drive makes it also harder to handle in general.

Cargo Efficiency

Trucks are the ideal choice for heavy-duty hauling. By removing seats, it creates a large cargo space, perfect for work. However, SUVs are not so much focused on cargo utility, but rather on user experience.


Even though both are great options, they serve different needs.

Trucks focus on professional cargo transportation by experienced drivers. SUVs are family-optimized vehicles. Both keep safety in mind but from different perspectives.

That said, even though SUVs were originally designed after trucks, they have now been set apart.

So, coming back to the original answer: no, you cannot call an SUV a truck.

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