5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying an SUV

When it comes to car shopping, part of the research phase is asking yourself a few different questions that could help you locate the right vehicle that you need. For example, buying an electric car can come with its unique set of criteria in order to make sure that an electric car will fit well into your lifestyle. The same goes for an SUV.

While the rising popularity of SUV sales and many tempting examples like the Kia Telluride, Hyundai Palisade, and Honda Passport currently in the market, there some aspects that you should take into consideration before spending the time, effort, and money in actually obtaining a vehicle like one of those. As such, here are five questions that you should ask yourself before buying an SUV.

Do I really need an SUV?

This is a question you should probably ask yourself before buying any product. But when it comes to buying an SUV, you should first ask yourself if you really need one.

Sure, they look nice, have a host luxurious amenities, and can fit all your kids, however, do you really need a big, powerful and luxurious SUV just to take them to school?

Keep in mind that SUVs are technically made for their capability on and off the road, which means that they were meant to tow and haul large cargo, boats, and trailers in addition to the staff and people that you can put inside of them.

Chances are if you’re not going to haul or tow anything other than children, animals, and other small things, you might actually be better off with a minivan.

What kind of tow rating do I need?

If you do happen to tow large items like trailers, cars, or boats, then you might want to look into the specific tow rating of each SUV that you’re interested in.

Some SUVs like the Honda Passport or Pilot can tow up to 5,000 pounds, while bigger vehicles like the Cadillac Escalade can tow up to 8,300 pounds.

On the other hand, smaller two-row SUVs might only be able to tow up 1,500 pounds, so read the specifications carefully.

How many seats do I need?

This one might seem like a no-brainer, however, this is a question that some buyers tend to overlook when doing their research.

Do you only have two kids and never take their friends along for the ride? Then a two-row SUV with five seats would probably work well.

Or do you have three kids and in-laws to tote around or do you need more space for longer cargo? Then a three-row SUV with up seven or even eight seats might be better for you.

2020 Honda Pilot Elite interior layout
2020 Honda Pilot Elite interior layout | Honda

What kind of safety features do I want?

If you decided that you want an SUV and have narrowed down your choices to three or four different brands, then the next part you can look into is which safety features, as well as other features, that you would want.

Safety is important, and after all, that most likely one of the reasons you’re wanting to buy an SUV in the first place. Just keep in mind that some safety features like adaptive cruise, lane assist, and rear-cross traffic alert might only be available on higher trim levels on certain cars, so ask yourself which features are most important to you.

How important is fuel efficiency for me?

If you’re coming from a smaller car or sedan, then you can probably guess that an SUV is going to be worse when it comes to fuel economy. Some smaller SUVs like a RAV4, CR-V, or Subaru Forester can actually get 30 mpg or more on the highway.

But if you’re looking for a bigger SUV, then expect your mileage to drop to the high teens or lower 20s.

MIAMI, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES – 2017/04/28: Woman’s hand holding a pump nozzle in car fuel tank door. She self serve gasoline in her main transportation vehicle. (Photo by Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Shop wisely

There are plenty of SUVs of all shapes and sizes to choose from and it’s best to take your time and figure out which style might work best for you. Keep in mind that there might not be “the perfect one” for you, however, you can come as close as possible by asking yourself the right questions.