Gone are the days when Sport Utility Vehicle referred to heavy-duty off-road gas guzzlers. Today, SUVs come in enough sizes, shapes and styles they fit with just about any lifestyle. But how do you choose the best SUV for you?
There are two basic kinds of SUVs on the market, car-based or truck-based. Car-based SUVs are commonly referred to as crossovers, they usually offer better ride comfort, handling and mileage. However, they are not built for anything more than moderate off-road driving. Car-based SUVs are classified as: small, compact, or midsized. Truck-based SUVs are often built on the same platform as a manufacturer’s pick-up models. They offer greater towing and off-road capacity than crossovers, but handling and ride is rougher. Truck-based SUVs are classified as large SUVs.
Many car buyers steer away from large SUVs due to poor gas mileage, most average in the mid-teens. However, more hybrid versions are coming to the market every year. According to the US Department of Energy the following SUVs get better than 30 mpg city: Ford Escape Hybrid, Lexus RX 450h, Mazda Tribute Hybrid, and Mercury Mariner Hybrid. These hybrids offer drivers the convenience and power of a sport utility vehicle, with the mileage of a sedan.
Due to their high center of gravity, SUVs as a class have a higher percentage of single-vehicle rollover accidents than cars. Despite this statistic they are often purchased based on the perception of being safe. Before buying an SUV it’s recommended that you review government safety ratings. The following SUVs are the IIHS’ Top SUV Safety Picks of 2010: Dodge Journey, Honda Element, Jeep Patriot, Subaru Forester, Subaru Tribeca, Volkswagen Tiguan, Volvo XC60, and Volvo XC90.
If you’re looking for versatile cargo room and passenger seating it’s hard to go wrong with an SUV. Flat folding or removable seats allow for customizable configuration based on your hauling needs. Large SUVs have load capacities comparable with trucks. Most SUVs can carry up to five people, some models up to eight. Whatever the size a SUV is capable of taking just about whatever you want, wherever you want to go.
A passion for adventure hides in the heart of an SUV driver, longing for the moment when the tires grip dirt. Off-road drivers choose SUVs for their robust construction, ground clearance, and four-wheel drive prowess. Jeep, HUMMER, and Land Rover all built their reputations off the pavement.
From compact to full-size, two-wheel to all-wheel drive, simple to luxury, today’s SUVs are the most versatile vehicles on the road. Whether you’re looking for practicality or off-road adventure you can find the perfect SUV for your life. Request a free SUV price quote and find the best SUV now!