They are safer in some situations and less safe in others. Their high center of gravity and crude suspension makes it far more difficult to execute evasive maneuvers and these vehicles are more likely to roll than lower vehicles.
Remember a few years ago the problems with the Ford Explorer. Firestone supplied some dodgy tires that had a higher than usual blowout rate. In any vehicle a blowout can be a treacherous situation; especially a front blowout at high speed. In a vehicle like the Explorer has a blowout it has a high likelihood of rolling over. After a spate of rollover deaths both companies blamed each other. Ford pointed out that if the Firestone tires didn't blow out in the first place their SUVs would rollover so often while Firestone countered that any tire can blowout and that vehicles shouldn't rollover just because they suffer a blowout.
For most of us road travel is the most dangerous thing we do on a daily basis. Looking for a safer vehicle is a reasonable thing to do. Vehicles with the lowest death rate/miles driven are import luxury cars followed by domestic large and midsize cars. SUVs come in next followed by compact and sub-compact cars, pickup trucks, and sports cars which are the most dangerous to drive. Of course a good, experienced and careful driver in a sports car is safer than an inexperienced, distracted, or reckless driver in a luxury import. The most important nut in any vehicle is the nut behind the steering-wheel.
I have a SUV because thats pretty well all now a days that is powerful enough to pull a trailer. Mini vans, even with a towing package, just don't cut it.
They are also roomier and as I have a giant size dog thats important and they are better for going through the snow and rough weather conditions (I live in the country in Canada)
I would have loved to bought an alternative but we could not find anything else that would pull our trailer, not get stuck in the snow and fit our big dog.
Depends on where you live. If you're in a country with poor roads or live in the countryside with dirt roads, a small car is going to fall apart quickly, it's also really uncomfortable to be bouncing around in a small car. They're roomier and have more space, so you can carry more stuff. I personally cannot drive them because I'm constantly concerned about flipping the car over. The way I drive an SUV would end up flipping off the road.
They're roomy, they have great engines and they provide a level of safety (our extended SUV protected my mom during a highway accident; most come equipped with 4WD which is amazing in bad weather). Of course, there are also many cons that outweight the pros...the gas-guzzling, the emissions, the fact that they can barely fit in a parking space...
Well, above me have been written some pretty good answers. Two things that weren't added were their easy customization ability (take Cherokees or Wranglers for example) Some are fun to drive, they're great if you don't like someone riding your tail cause its a large-looking-so-kind-of-intimidating vehicle.
Great to travel in, more room for bigger/larger families and are good for any family trips.
nothing if you want a good car roomy fun to drive and fast and safe drive a BMW =]
They have the ability to irriate most people on the road....
People like to tower over small cars on the road...