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  1. What is your budget/’out-the-door’ price?
  2. What is the most important function of a new SUV in 2024 for you?
  3. What are the best options in the SUV class?

Getting a new vehicle is a huge decision. Vehicle purchases account for a huge percentage of American debt, as most consumers finance their vehicles. That said, driving an older car, truck, or SUV that is no longer worth maintaining can be tedious and dangerous. So, what do you do when it’s clearly time for a new SUV? Here are three things to consider before stepping foot inside a dealership.

1. What is your budget/’ out-the-door price’?

Automobile showroom | Angel Garcia/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Have you ever walked into a grocery store on an empty stomach? Going to a grocer hungry causes many consumers to walk out with items they may not need (or want) the second they’ve had their next meal. Going into a car dealership without a strict budget/price range is similar. You could end up driving off with something you never imagined getting in the first place.

How to establish a budget for a new SUV in 2024

  • Narrow your search down to a specific vehicle segment/standard powertrain
  • Research some of the options you’re interested in within that segment
  • Compare starting MSRPs and account for taxes to establish a price range estimate

So, you’re in the market for a new SUV. There are plenty of great new SUVs on the market. In fact, there are frankly too many to choose from until you refine your search. Do you want a subcompact SUV like the Hyundai Kona? Perhaps you need a hulking large SUV like the Chevrolet Suburban for your large family? The first step in your SUV search journey is to decide which vehicle segment(s) you’re interested in. The next step is to choose the powertrain(s) you’re interested in to further refine your search.

SUV Vehicle Segment (Mainstream non-luxury)Price Range Estimates
Small SUVs$27,000-$44,000 (Across Trim Levels)
Midsize SUVs (Two-Row)$30,000-$50,000 (Across Trim Levels)
Full-Size SUVs$50,000-$80,000 (Across Trim Levels)
Price range estimates for mainstream internal combustion engine small, midsize, and full-size SUV models for 2024.

If you follow these steps and end up selecting a specific vehicle segment, you can then proceed to research the most popular models in that segment. Once you have looked into three or four models within the same segment, you’ll begin to notice a price range.

2. What is the most important function of a new SUV for you?

A blue Ford Bronco SUV is driving off-road.
The 2024 Ford Bronco | Ford

What type of SUV best suits you? Is it a snazzier model like the Mazda CX-5 or maybe a natural off-roader like the Jeep Wrangler? Your daily needs should play a huge role in your decision to get a specific SUV model.

If you need a daily driver that’s good on gas, there are plenty of small hybrid SUVs to consider. If you need a roomy family SUV that can handle rough terrain, a midsize SUV like the Toyota 4Runner is a better match for you.

Once you have chosen a price range, vehicle segment, and can clearly state/identify your needs, you will have a smaller group of SUVs to choose from tailored to your budget and lifestyle. Finally, the last step in the process is to compare the most popular models in your chosen segment to get an idea of which models are ideal for you.

3. What are the best options in the SUV class?

When it comes to things like fashion, being the only person up on a hot new trend or style is admirable. When it comes to choosing a vehicle, it doesn’t hurt to see where everyone else is spending their money and why. The popular bet is often the safe bet in most SUV vehicle segments. The Toyota RAV4 is a perfect testament to this, as a popular SUV near the top of its segment.

Understanding which three SUV models tend to occupy the tops of segment rankings can point you in the right direction. Rankings can also help you eliminate some options from your search using factors like reliability and safety as criteria.

Allow me to simulate a search for a new SUV in 2024. Let’s say that I’m looking to spend around $50,000 before taxes and additional fees on an SUV with an electric powertrain system. This budget automatically narrows down my search to small electric SUVs. Next, I’ll consider my needs, which include traveling as far as possible without needing to recharge frequently.

Finally, after establishing my budget and identifying the needs of my lifestyle, a quick Google search reveals that the Tesla Model Y, Hyundai Ioniq 5, and Kia EV6 are three popular options within my SUV segment of choice. The Model Y fits the price range I am looking at, fulfills my lifestyle needs, and has plenty of reviews for me to read to further understand its pros and cons. Check out first-hand experience-based vehicle reviews from MotorBiscuit here.


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