MISUSE OF THE TERMS 'SUV' AND 'JEEP'


hyundai jeep
The Hyundai Jeep you
can never have
I was moved to write this article after reading a report on a popular Nigerian news website about a Nigerian lawmaker who bought an alleged faulty Hyundai ix35 for his wife. The report can be read here http://saharareporters.com/news-page/nation-represented-idiots-nigerian-house-reps-summon-hyundai-motors-over-faulty-n41m-car-b. Throughout the report, he kept referring to the vehicle as ‘Hyundai ix35 Jeep’. And that brought my attention to how wide spread and common it is for a Nigerian to refer to any car in the SUV class as a ‘Jeep’. You can hear someone say my friend just bought a jeep, only to discover well you see the vehicle that is is actually a Toyota highlander. It got me thinking what the source of this common misuse was. 

That took my mind back to the colonial and early post colonial days when the most common trucks on Nigerian roads (mostly among military personnel) were the Willys Jeep and early Land Rover models. These SUVs have the large wheels, high ground clearance and boxy body characteristics of today’s SUVs.
Willy's Jeep
Willy's Jeep
Land Rover
Land Rover
I found out that it wasn’t just a Nigerian thing as it was common in others countries sometime after World War II to refer to all those truck as Jeeps. Records have it that the name Jeep itself seem to be a modification and later adoption of the letters ‘GP’ (General Purpose/Government Purpose), which is what the trucks were called then.  This still doesn’t mean that over 50 year after, people on this side of the globe should still keep referring to all SUVs as Jeeps.
Jeep, just like Toyota and Hyundai are different automobile manufacturing companies. While Jeep is in the American GMC group and specializes in making only SUVs like Jeep Liberty, Jeep Wrangler among others. Toyota is a Japanese Brand that makes a variety of cars including SUVs like Toyota Highlander. Hyundai on the other hand is a Korean automobile company that makes different cars including the Hyundai ix35.


SUV stands for Sport Utility Vehicle and it is the proper name for the class of cars we refer to as Jeep today. Other class of cars includes Sedans and Coupe. So next time we hear something like ‘BMW Jeep’, let it be from an over aged fellow on the street and not be from a reputed new website like ‘Sahara reporter’. 

Send us a comment if you are familiar with this misuse or any other in your area. 


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Comments

  1. true, these terms have been misused for quite sometime. as a jeep enthusiast,I wouldnt describe a jeep as an SUV, to me it is a car that I can take out for an off road adventure and rely upon it to deliver to my expectations. SUVs are much more customized and have little in the way of ruggedness.

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  4. It happens many time people don't know difference between suv and jeep. In this blog you can know difference between them.

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