Jeep is credited with making the first SUV. The predecessors to SUVs date back to military and low-volume models from the late 1930s, and the four-wheel-drive station wagons and carryalls that began to be introduced in 1949. The 1984 Jeep Cherokee (XJ) is considered to be the first SUV in the modern style. Some SUVs produced today use unibody construction; however, in the past, more SUVs used body-on-frame construction.
Carryall or Panel Truck
1984 XJ Jeep Cherokee
During the late 1990s and early 2000s, the popularity of SUVs greatly increased, often at the expense of the popularity of large sedans and station wagons. More recently, smaller SUVs, mid-size, and crossovers have become increasingly popular. SUVs are currently the world’s largest automotive segment and accounted for 37.9% of the world’s passenger car market in 2020.