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What is a frame SUV: an overview of models, specifications, manufacturers, pros and cons

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What is a frame SUV: an overview of models, specifications, manufacturers, pros and cons
What is a frame SUV: an overview of models, specifications, manufacturers, pros and cons

What is a frame SUV? The answer to this question is quite simple. Some cars are equipped with a supporting frame, on which the remaining components and assemblies are fixed. The design remotely resembles a human skeleton. The frame is focused not only on holding the mechanical parts of the vehicle, but also overcoming static and dynamic loads. In this case, deflections or deformations of the frame should not be allowed.

The design of the frame SUV
The design of the frame SUV

Types of loads

To understand what a frame SUV is, you should study the types of loads acting on the structure. These include:

  • mass of cargo and passengers;
  • twisting moments when moving over uneven surfaces;
  • lateral side loads due to road features, cornering drift and side wind forces;
  • torsion effect from motor and transmission unit;
  • compress when braking, longitudinal stretch when accelerating or hard starting from a standstill;
  • possible collision impacts.

Varieties of frames

To understand in more detail what a frame SUV means, the division of the main structures into types and subspecies will allow. There are three varieties: frame models, versions with a monocoque body, options with an integrated frame. There is a significant difference between these configurations.

In the first case, the frame is the skeleton of the vehicle and the body, suspension and other units are attached to it. Models with a load-bearing body are equipped with a cab, which plays the role of a frame, and components and assemblies are fixed directly on it. The third option is a cross between the first two versions.

According to the structural device, the frames are divided into several types:

  1. A system of spars connected by welding, bolting or riveting, including additional cross members.
  2. Spine models. Here, the transmission tube acts as the base, and all other elements are attached to it.
  3. Forked spinal devices. An additional forked structure of spars is attached to the tubular part, which serves to mount the engine.
  4. Frame with load-bearing base. In this case, the frame is combined with the floor of the machine, resulting in a carrier platform.
SUV frame (diagram)
SUV frame (diagram)

Benefits of frame structure

Continuing to study what a frame SUV is, consider the main advantages of the design. Among them:

  1. Easy to make. It is much easier for designers to carry out calculations of the device and frame structure,including key features. Engineers working on monocoque bodies require more complex calculations.
  2. The second significant feature is passenger comfort. This indicator is achieved thanks to plastic joints and rubber shock absorbers in the form of reinforced cushions. Reliable frame SUVs have improved sound and vibration isolation, since the main loads from the suspension unit are transformed onto the frame and leveled by the damping block.
  3. The frame greatly increases the possibilities for tuning the car and changing its configuration, if necessary. The design is not difficult to shorten or lengthen by mounting the appropriate spars or adding cross members. In addition, different types of bodies and cabs can be installed on the same frame.
  4. Frame cars are not so prone to corrosion processes, because there are fewer hidden elements and more ventilated planes on the basis.
  5. The construction under consideration is easier to handle with special tools. In addition, the frame is assembled from reinforced metal, and the fixing parts are thicker.


Knowing the disadvantages of this framework, it will be easier to understand what a frame SUV is. The disadvantages include the following points:

  1. Significant weight increase. As a result, more fuel is consumed, dynamics decreases, a more powerful power unit is required.
  2. Spars take up useful space, which reduces the comfort of the cabin. For this reason, such SUVs are made with large overall dimensions.
  3. Framethe design is inferior to the load-bearing options in terms of rigidity at the moment of torsion. Agree, twisting a sheet of cardboard is easier than a box of the same material.
  4. Passive safety is deteriorating, which is expressed in the possibility of the cabin breaking off the latches and subsequent deformation.

Best frame SUVs

Almost all well-known car companies have these types of cars in their assortment. Consider some of the most popular models. Let's start with the legendary Toyota Land Cruiser.

The machine is distinguished by high build quality, excellent technical parameters. The first model has been produced since 1951, the ninth generation began to be manufactured in 2007. In the Russian market, the modification is quite popular, despite the high cost. The SUV is available with several engine options. The most powerful of them develops 282 horsepower, its volume is six liters.

Frame SUV "Toyota"
Frame SUV "Toyota"

Nissan Patrol

The review of frame SUVs will continue with another popular Japanese representative. The specified machine has not only a powerful power unit, but also has an increased level of comfort. The capacity of the vehicle is seven people, the equipment includes computerized systems that allow you to set several parameters at the same time with one movement, including the operation of the climate system, the tilt of the mirrors, and the like.

"Nissan Patrol" has been manufactured for several decades, directly competes with the "Land Cruiser" in all respects. The SUV is available with a long and short base, with five or three doors. The features of the car include a powerful frame, one-piece body, reinforced bridges, impressive dimensions. The sixth generation was released in 2017 in the back of the Y-62.

Frame SUV "Nissan"
Frame SUV "Nissan"

Mitsubishi Pajero Sport

If you want to know what a frame SUV means, pay attention to the flagship of the Mitsubishi line. The Pajero Sport was updated three times. The last generation turned out to be the most successful. A feature of the car is a specially designed eight-speed automatic transmission. It aggregates with a three-liter gasoline engine, with a power of 181 "horses". These elements made it possible to improve the dynamics, even on the slope in the most loaded condition.

Other innovative implementations include:

  • separate climate control;
  • LED light elements;
  • electric parking brake;
  • multimedia system with rear view camera;
  • starting the engine without a key.

The disadvantages include a rather high fuel consumption, a rather weak paintwork, not very good noise insulation. All the disadvantages are covered by excellent indicators of reliability, cross-country ability and comfort.

Frame SUV "Mitsubishi"
Frame SUV "Mitsubishi"


Mercedes Benz G series has been in production since 1979. At the same time, only two generations have changed. Initially, the car was equipped with two types of gasoline and a pair of diesel engines. Allmodifications were completed with a mechanical box for four ranges, front-wheel drive. The machine is produced with a short and long base. In 2018, new frame SUVs of the G-Class-3 series were developed, which are positioned in the back of the W-464.

In the luxury version, the car has five doors, an “engine” with a volume of 4966 cubic meters. cm (power - 296 hp). The car accelerates to “hundreds” in 10.2 seconds. There are legends about the quality of these machines, they are well known all over the world, including in Russia. The unit price depends on the configuration, starts from 6.8 million rubles.

Frame SUV "Mercedes"
Frame SUV "Mercedes"

Chinese frame SUVs

China is not far behind Japanese and European manufacturers. Almost all Chinese car brands produce these modifications. For example, one of the most reliable and recognizable is the Great Wall Hover. This model is the first to be exported to Europe. The car has a high cross-country ability, behaves well on roads with any surface. The equipment of the car includes climate control, fog lights, rain and light sensors, a complete electrical kit, 17-inch alloy wheels.

In the cabin - leather upholstery, an electric sunroof is provided. "Great Wall Hover" is equipped with a two-liter gasoline engine (122 hp), which aggregates with a five-mode manual transmission. The pluses also include a roomy trunk, spacious interior, modern design. Among the shortcomings - weak dynamics, not very high build quality.

Among Chinese"ramnikov" also stands out the model Haval H9. The interior of the car is designed for seven people, equipped with all-wheel drive, a steel frame, a reduction gear, it copes well with any off-road. The basic package includes a rear view camera, parking sensors, audio system, navigator and climate control.

Among the new Chinese developments, the Photon Savannah mid-size SUV is distinguished. It was first presented in 2014. The car has a five-door body, the equipment includes a multimedia system with a seven-inch monitor, a multifunctional steering wheel and 17-inch alloy wheels. Under the hood is placed a two-liter gasoline "four" with a capacity of 201 "horses" or a Cummins diesel unit (163 hp).

Chinese frame SUVs
Chinese frame SUVs

Domestic modifications

Frame SUVs in Russia are represented by several cars. The most popular model is the UAZ Patriot. The machine has been produced since 2005. Benefits include:

  • affordable price;
  • high maintainability;
  • good cross;
  • good handling;
  • spacious interior;
  • ease of maintenance.


  • poor noise insulation;
  • failures in the checkpoint;
  • poor body corrosion protection;
  • poor build quality.

Despite the disadvantages, "Patriot" is popular with users due to its unpretentiousness and cheapness. Among other popular "frames" of domestic production are UAZ "Hunter" and TagAZ. Taganrog manufacturers produce replicas of Ssang Yong Musso and SsangYong Korando.

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