In case you’re planning on buying an SUV for everyday use, it can be overwhelming to choose from the wide variety of options available out there. With constantly improving features and new shapes and sizes of SUVs released over the years, there are many different aspects that you need to consider before opting for one.
SUVs have been popular ever since they had the form factor of small trucks, and this trend has continued till today’s mainstream SUVs. In this article, you will learn how to choose the best SUVs you can find. We will introduce you to the basic features and design factors that you need to look out for in an everyday SUV.
Basics of an SUV
SUVs stand for Sport Utility Vehicles and are meant to be equipped with more powerful engines, suspensions, higher ground clearance, and extra cargo space. The cars under the category of SUVs come in many different shapes and sizes. Anything that has a more elevated ride height than traditional cars and a hatchback-style body, can be categorized as an SUV.
The term ‘Crossover SUV’ is also kind of a sub-category of SUVs, and generally describes the SUVs that are based on regular cars, rather than trucks. It is not really an official vehicle type, but it is important to know when describing or looking for modern SUVs.
Different Types of SUVs
In the USA and many other markets, SUVs are the most popular category of cars to buy amongst the population. As clarified earlier, SUVs come in many different shapes and sizes. SUVs range from subcompact cars to luxury vehicles and even include mainstream cars that are being better equipped with every passing day. Take a look at some of the subcategories that SUVs are classified into:
- X-Small, Small, Small 3-Row
- Midsize, Midsize 3-Row
- Small Luxury, Midsize Luxury, Midsize Luxury 3-Row,
- Large Luxury, Super Luxury, Electric SUVs
Compact and midsize SUVs are the most popular amongst buyers and are suitable for a wide variety of use-cases. Then there are the more powerful SUVs that may be preferable for longer travels and towing purposes. Then there’s also the choice between either a mainstream SUV or a luxury SUV.
Now that you have a clear idea of the distinct SUV categories, let’s take a look at the factors to consider when choosing an SUV for everyday life, including the best SUVs you can find.
How to Choose an SUV for Everyday Life?
Determine the Cargo and Passenger Space Needed
The first thing before settling on an SUV is to check the storage space in the vehicle. The cargo and passenger space you need depends on the nature of your daily usage and factors like whether you need to carry your pets or not. Some SUVs offer up third-row seatings, while others offer a little more space than traditional 4-door sedans.
- In case you need space for a lot of passengers and/or cargo, consider popular options like the GMC Yukon or Chevrolet Tahoe.
- Some SUVs offer third-row seating while being compact in overall size at the same time, like Honda Pilot or the Toyota Highlander.
Choose between Four-Wheel Drive or Two-Wheel Drive
Next, you need to consider the road you’ll be driving on, and whether or not you need the extra power and traction offered by a 4-wheel drive. Use cases such as off-road driving or towing large cargo is better done with 4-wheel drive cars and you also need to take into consideration the GMC wheel size or other SUV wheel sizes since they can vary before purchasing.
With 4WD, you get better stability and traction control and offer an overall safer experience in harsh conditions. But, in case you’ll be driving on normal paved roads or in the city, 2-wheel drive cars are often the cheaper and more accessible choice.
- For driving in harsh climates and uneven roads, consider powerful SUVs like the Jeep Wrangler or other similar options.
- For driving in city roads or highway conditions, a crossover or a hybrid SUV would be the better choice.
Luxury or Mainstream Options
In case you need spacious and premium interiors with other extra luxuries, ten consider a Luxury option like the Range Rover or Escalade. For regular usage, mainstream options like the Nissan Xterra are much more convenient to maintain and clean.
Having a Luxury SUV also incurs more maintenance charge over time, and needs them over shorter periods of time. Overall, you need to decide whether you need functionality or pure luxury.
Efficiency and Reliability
Gas prices are often increasing on a daily basis, and fuel efficiency is one of the important factors to consider while getting a new SUV. If efficiency is your prime concern, or you need to drive on a regular basis on longer roads, then opt for the 2015 Lexus NX 300h. This car offers about 35 MPG in cities and 31 MPG on highways.
Some other options would be the 2015 Subaru XV Crosstek, or the 2015 Lexus RX 450h. Look for SUVs that offer at least over 25 MPG for lower fuelling costs over time. Also, with the ever-increasing availability of electric and hybrid SUVs, you can also consider an electric SUV, like the Toyota Highlander.
Safety and Versatility
Before purchasing an SUV for everyday life, one of the most important aspects to look out for is the safety measures available. Always do research and make inquiries to the salesperson to find the exact specifications of the safety measures offered.
- In terms of safety, the Acura RDX, BMW X5, BMW X3, and the Acura MDX are considered to be some of the best options available.
- Cars like the 2016 Volvo XC90 also offer versatile options like child seat attachments.
- Look out for features that can be upgraded down the line, like dashboards, remote start features, and blind-spot monitoring.
There are several SUVs available that are suitable for daily usage. The SUV you choose depends on different factors and your specific use case. Some SUVs are better suited for everyday use, while others are better for off-roading or towing. We hope this article has guided you towards the things to look out for when getting the best SUVs you can find for everyday use.