View Full Version : Is the Volkswagen Thing an SUV?
01-22-2006, 12:13 PM
the VW Thing
was based on the Nazi Army's Kubelwagen, the Germans' answer to the Jeep.
But the Thing only has 2 wheel drive, and my own personal definition of Sports-utility vehicle is a truck with standard or at list optional four wheel drive of some kind. Dune Buggies, Audi Quattros, and most Subarus don't fit the def.
Mr. Blue Sky
01-22-2006, 12:18 PM
I wouldn't call it an SUV. Like you said, it's more Jeep-like.
Most SUVs are truck-based. The Thing is based on the Beetle and uses a lot of the Beetle's mechanicals.
They're cool. but hard to find in decent shape.
01-22-2006, 12:19 PM
No, it's not. Why should it be? 'SUV' is a fairly modern concept. A brief google shows that the VW Thing was an accident of history, due to a failure to get a full 4WD vehicle onto the market. Even if it had 4WD, it would be no closer to being an SUV than a WW2 jeep.
Mr. Blue Sky
01-22-2006, 12:28 PM
In the 80's, VW offered the Vanagon with the Synchro 4WD system. Before the Touareg, that was probably as close to an SUV as VW got.
01-22-2006, 01:05 PM
One might make the case that the Thing was a utility vehicle, which would be a reasonable description of a Jeep. But the sports aspect just ain't there.
01-22-2006, 01:11 PM
umm, did you ever see a yuppie driving to work in a VW Thing?
it ain't no SUV
01-22-2006, 01:35 PM
There is no clear cut definition of SUV, so it depends on how you want to define it.
I use the light truck definition for SUV's, but I don't know if it would qualify for that.
01-22-2006, 03:46 PM
Generally, SUVs have bodies similar to station wagons, with an enclosed pasenger cabin and cargo area, and with 4WD at least available as an option. Under those circumstances the VW Thing was not an SUV.
01-23-2006, 12:38 AM
Indeed. The Subaru Outback is marketed as a Sport Utility Wagon...though its just a gussied-up Legacy wagon.
The Quattro wagon is also just a station wagon.
There are crossover vehicles which blur the line between wagon, SUV, and minivan, like the Chrysler Pacifica and the Ford Freelander, the wagon version of the Five Hundred.
Perhaps the first crossover vehicle is the AMC Eagle wagon...basically, a Hornet station wagon with a lift kit and extra side moldings.
The Jeep Cherokee had an optional 2WD, thus making it little more than a station wagon, but its still an SUV.
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