When deciding on the best vehicle for your family, there are a lot of things to consider. And with how many options there are to choose from, it can be downright overwhelming (there are currently over 130 different SUV options available on the market!)
So today we are talking all about SUVs, from why they are so popular to how you can choose the best one for your family.
Here’s what you should consider when choosing the right SUV for your family.
Why is everybody buying an SUV?
SUVs are more popular now than ever. In fact, SUVs and pickup trucks make up 70% of the auto market. In 2018, worldwide SUV sales hit an all time high of nearly 30 million vehicles. But why exactly are SUVs so popular?
They are safer.
First off, the obvious: SUVs are larger than sedans. Their size means that there is more protection if you get into an accident. SUVs are also higher off the ground, which can give you a better vantage point on the road as well as make you feel safer while you are driving. This is a huge reason why many people have made the shift to SUV from sedan.
They can fit more passengers (and more stuff)
Again, they are larger, so they can fit a lot more passengers and a lot more cargo. SUVs are also more comfortable for passengers because they have taller roofs.
There are electric options.
When SUVs first came out on the market, they were gas guzzlers. Not only did it cost more money to buy an SUV than it did to buy a sedan, but it cost more to keep it filled with gas. But times have changed since then and there are no hybrid and electric SUVs. Some of the electric SUVs on the market can even go over 300 miles on a single charge.
They are better in the winter.
If you live in an area where it snows a lot, you know that weather has to be a consideration when choosing your car. SUVs are a great option in the snow because they have shorter wheelbases and a more even distribution of weight than sedans.
They are versatile.
You can have it all with an SUV: a luxurious ride during the week and a workhorse on the weekend. SUVs often have plush interiors and all the latest tech, but also have powerful engine and towing capabilities. You essentially get two vehicles in one.
How many different types of SUVs are there?
While there are a lot of SUV models on the market today, they all tend to fall across eight different categories based on their size and engine capacity. There are standard SUVs and there are crossover SUVs–standard SUVs are built on truck platforms, while crossover SUVs are built on car platforms.
These are the smallest SUVs on the market. They tend to have good fuel economy and are great commuter SUVs with enough room for four adults. Popular examples include the Jeep Renegade and Honda HR-V.
These SUVs are slightly larger than the subcompact crossovers but still relatively small. They offer more interior space and tend to offer more features. Popular compact crossovers include the Ford Escape and Toyota Rav4.
Mid Size Crossovers
The mid size crossovers are a bit larger than the compact and subcompact crossovers. These models can be equipped to handle off roading (the compact and subcompact can not) and offer significant interior space for passengers and luggage. This is one of the most popular choices for SUVs in the United States. Some of the most loved models include the Ford Edge, Honda Pilot, and Kia Telluride.
Full Size Crossover
Full size crossovers are essentially wagons that offer third row seating and spacious interiors. They are great family cars and tend to have lots of safety features. Popular full size crossovers include the Nissan Armada and the Volkswagen Atlas.
Compact SUVs are a little more durable than the crossovers and are designed with comfort and durability in mind. Some of the most popular vehicles include the Hyundai Tucson and the Jeep Wrangler.
Mid Size SUVs
These models are what many people think of when they hear the term SUV. They are spacious, can typically handle off road driving, and boast a lot of amenities. Some of the most classic SUVs including the Chevrolet Blazer and Jeep Grand Cherokee fit into this class of SUVs.
Full Size SUVs
The full size SUV category is the perfect blend of luxury comfort and high performance. They tend to have the latest technology and comforts. More and more luxury full size SUVs are entering the market, but common models include the Ford Expedition, BMW X7, and the Chevrolet Suburban.
Performance Crossovers and SUVs
These performance SUVs are equipped with powerful engines, making them surprisingly quick for their size. They have fast accelerations, often going 0 to 60 at a rate that matches or exceeds other sports or muscle cars. Popular models include the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S and the BMW X5.
How to Choose an SUV for your Family
There are a lot of factors to consider when deciding which SUV is the right fit for your family. Here are the top things to think about.
What size do you need?
As you can see, there are a lot of different sizes of SUVs on the market. Do you have a large family that necessitates third row seating? Do you do a lot of activities that require you to lug stuff around? If so, a mid size or full size SUV might be better for you. If you have a smaller family and don’t need all the extra space, a compact SUV or crossover might be a better fit.
Do you need 4 wheel drive?
If you want to go off-roading or live in an area where it snows a lot, 4 wheel drive might be a necessity. 4 wheel drive offers more traction and stability on and off the road, but it will limit your options and cost you a bit more, so it might not be necessary based on your lifestyle.
Do you want luxury or durability?
Let’s face it: some kids make more of a mess than others. If your kids participate in a lot of activities and sports, they might give your interior more of a run for its money. But if your kids are older or don’t make as much of a mess, you might want to opt for more of a luxurious interior. Range Rovers and Escalades are good options if you want a nicer ride, but a Nissan Xterra might be a better choice for soccer pickups.
How many miles will you put on it?
Think about how many miles you will put on it, and how much gas you might go through. An electric SUV or hybrid option might be a good idea if you drive a lot, while a regular SUV might work just fine for you if you don’t plan to put a lot of miles on it.
Think about safety.
You are buying a car for your family, so you need to consider the safety features. There are a lot of safety features available on base level models, as well as additional add on safety features. Here are a few options to look for:
- Collision warnings
- Lane-departure warnings
- Lane-keeping assist
- Blind-spot detection
- Park-assist systems
They vary widely by make and model, so be sure to do your research and determine which features are important to you. Below are some of IIHS’s top picks for the safest SUVs of 2022.
- Acura RDX
- Audi Q5/Q5 Sportback
- Cadillac XT6
- Chevrolet Trailblazer
- Ford Bronco
- Genesis GV80
- Hyundai Palisade
- Mazda CX-5
- Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class
- Nissan Murano
- Subaru Ascent
Choose something you love.
As we mentioned before, there are a ton of different SUVs on the market so you don’t need to settle. SUVs are built to last a lifetime now, so be sure that you are completely satisfied with your choice. If you are unsure about making the switch to an SUV, consider renting one for a week or two to see how it fits your lifestyle.
That’s what you should consider when choosing the right SUV for your family.
With so many options out there, it might feel overwhelming to decide which SUV is right for you and your family. But with a little research, thought, and test-driving, you can certainly find the SUV of your dreams.
If you have already purchased your SUV and are looking to refinance, look no further! Auto Approve has helped thousands of people save money on their car payments. We have relationships with lenders across the country, so you can be sure you are getting the most competitive offers and the best rates.
Getting a free quote only takes a few minutes, so don’t wait to start saving money–get started with Auto Approve today!