Ground clearance and its meaning

By definition, ground clearance is described as the smallest distance between the road and the lower end of the vehicle chassis. Another term for ground clearance is a ride height.

Manufacturers often expressly mark that their vehicle's ground clearance is measured when the car is empty (no passengers or luggage in the cargo area at all). That's the main reason we could notice a slight difference in the numbers when the car is driven fully loaded. (As a rule of thumb, the ground clearance of a fully loaded car is lower than the one, listed on the pages of the owner's manual.)

Th ground clearance is important metric that must always be taken into consideration when choosing a vehicle. Why? Because it defines certain capabilities of the car. If you enjoy off-road adventures then you must look for a car with a higher ride height, because it serves as a chassis protection  when crossing rough terrain. You may, however, choose a car with lower ride height, but possibility to scratch or damage badly the underbody of the car is higher.

Fortunately, we can divide, the cars into three groups, according to their ride height:

  • SUVs - highest ride height
  • Hatchbacks - lower ride height than the SUVs; higher ground clearance than sedans and sports cars
  • Sedans and sports cars - they have the lowest ground clearance, compared with the upper two types of cars.

Author: Diyana Ilieva

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