Previously we looked at B-segment sedan vs C-segment sedan and now to make things a little more interesting, we're looking at C-segment SUV vs D-segment sedan.
Let's take the Honda CR-V and Honda Accord as an example since both are priced fairly close to each other.
What do you get when you go for the CR-V over the Accord?
CR-V's taller ride height gives a more commanding driving position and better view out. The height also makes going in and out of the car easier, especially for the elderly.
Larger items can loaded into the back of the CR-V whereas the Accord is limited by the size of the boot opening.
And of course, the high ground clearance means it can fair better going over obstacles, all-wheel drive or not. For city dwellers especially during the monsoon season, there would be less anxiety going through flooded roads.
And what do you sacrifice?
Here’s where the CR-V's taller ride height plays at a disadvantage and may come as a surprise - comfort.
The high seating position means that the driver or passengers will rock about more in the cabin when going over uneven roads. It’s just the law of physics. If the suspension is stiffened up to compensate the motion, ride quality suffers.
This issue is less pronounced in the Accord, which is able to strike a better balance between comfort and handling.
While larger items can be loaded into the CR-V, it would require more effort due to the taller loading height. And if the CR-V is backed into a wall, the boot lid may not be able to open.
Like for like, sedans are lighter than SUVs and that means better acceleration, braking, handling, and fuel efficiency. Also contributing to the fuel efficiency is the lower height and having less surface area to go against the wind.
Lower height generally means lower center of gravity and that along with less weight, mean sedans take the cake when it comes to driving dynamics.
It all comes down to your preferences
If you prefer a better view out the road, easy ingress and egress, or if you need to go off-road, then SUVs like the CR-V will suit your needs better.
On the other hand, if you don’t go off-road, prefer a car that handles and is comfortable at the same time, then sedans like the Accord is for you.