An Essential Guide for Buying an SUV
Buying a new car is always fun and exciting. However, when you are planning to get one, do not dive straight into the project without giving the process a lot of careful thought. There are several factors to consider and you should never feel later that you have made a wrong choice out of haste.
The first point is your plans after you buy the car. For daily commuting to and from work or a casual spin around town with a small family in tow, a hatchback or a sedan will be perfect for you. But when the call of adventure holidays beckons and you still want a vehicle that will serve your daily needs, an SUV should be your first choice.
This post will focus on SUVs only and the factors that should be taken into account before buying one.
When is an SUV a good choice?
The SUV has become a much-loved family car even though it was originally conceived as a utility vehicle. It can tackle the bustling city roads as well as the hills and rough terrains. It is powerful and can match any occasion, often with eight people with space to spare for luggage. SUVs also have an elevated driving position making it an excellent off-road option for long road trips and camping.
There are two options that you can choose from. The first is the crossovers that are the small SUVs with typical driving conditions and handling that are similar to small cars. For example, if you live in the southern part of USA, and you want to tour Canada, you might have to ship car Canada and start your trip from there instead of driving across the country. But with the conventional SUVs that are bigger vehicles and drive more like trucks with towing capabilities and power, you can easily take a cross country ride across the USA to Canada. When your idea of a holiday is towing a caravan into the wilderness, the bigger models should be your first choice. Generally, small families can meet their requirements with a crossover.
Decide a Definite Budget
The next aspect is deciding on a budget and sticking to it after you walk into a showroom. Most people get carried away by the hard sell of the salesman and other exciting features in certain models which you will probably never use. Be rational when you choose an SUV within your budget. A sub-compact SUV starts from $20k and goes into the $30k range with fancy features. Mid-sized ones are available in the $30k to $50k range while the premium sized big SUVs start at $60k.
The best way to decide what best fits your budget is the use that the vehicle will be put to and your or family’s personal preferences. For example, if you foresee that you will be traveling to the usual tourist spots, buy a lower range model. But if you and your family love music, do not compromise on the quality of your entertainment system, even when the vehicle costs a thousand dollars more. This is how you should decide the budget with only minor variations in the showroom.
Features that you should look out for
The first look should be the heart of the SUV that is, the engine. Consider the engine type and the fuel economy. Modern SUVs are optimized for fuel efficiency, regardless of the size and power of the engine. If you want to toe the middle path, a V6 engine is a good option in the mid-range. It is good for city traffic and will take you over the hills too.
Next is the two-wheel-drive or the four-wheel-drive preference. Here again, the choice will depend on usage. If you typically drive around urban areas, a two-wheel option is fine. But when your vision extends to places where the road ends, go for a four-wheel drive. But remember, two-wheel drive is more fuel-efficient of the two and easier to maintain.
For SUVs, unlike sedans, towing capacity is a factor to be considered and this is directly linked to the power of the engine.
Finally, take a look at the safety features. SUV’s boast excellent safety and durability features with high-tech electronics stability and control. SUVs are heavier than conventional cars and hence stopping distances are greater. Antilock brakes are mandatory for SUVs regardless of the size of the vehicle. Buy an SUV with airbags all around. Some high-tech features that you can choose are rearview cameras, and lane departure and blind-spot warning systems.
Before reaching for your wallet, take a test run in the SUV of your choice. Buy only after you have ticked off the boxes given in this post.