The Most Important Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying an SUV

When buying a new or used vehicle, there are some specific questions that one needs to ask beyond, “Does this look cool, and how much is it?” The world of SUVs has become one of the most crowded segments in the automotive market. Since the definition of a Sports Utility Vehicle can vary, there are some specific questions that you might want to consider before buying.

2020 Kia Telluride
2020 Kia Telluride | Kia

The Most Important Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying an SUV

What size best fits my family? 

This first question will significantly narrow the field since the term SUV, or Sports Utility Vehicle has such a wide breadth. One has to ask, “What size do I need?” With the 2021 Chevy Suburban growing in size. It will have an additional 23 cubic feet of cargo room giving it a max of 144.7 cubic feet. Additionally, it will be 1.3″ inches longer than the 2020 model at 225.7″ with an extra 4.1″ inches between the wheelbase. 

2021 Chevrolet Suburban
2021 Chevrolet Suburban | Chevrolet

Compare that with the Honda CR-V Hybrid at 32.2 cubic feet of cargo space and a total length of 182.1″ in. It becomes very evident that size matters here. Will you be doing more city driving (and parking) or more country/rural driving. In the US, the most common size parking space is 8.5 feet wide by 19 feet long. Meaning the Suburban gives you just 2.3 inches of wiggle room.

There are also plenty of sizes in between, so finding the right size is just a matter of preference. From the luxury side with the 2020 Lexus GX 460 with plenty of room for six people, assuming the group is a mix of adults and children. To the practical side with the 2020 Honda Pilot, which has the most room, is the safest, and provides the right amount of value and features. You can find the right fit. 

How many rows/seats do I need? 

The number of seats will be just as significant to many drivers as the size of the vehicle itself. Third-row seating has come a long way since it’s inception. Along with the number of seats comes the ease of access to those seats.  

2020 Kia Telluride
2020 Kia Telluride | Kia

The Kia Telluride took home the US News 2020 Best 3-Row SUV for Families award because it has the best combination of cargo and passenger space, safety and reliability ratings, positive reviews from automotive journalists, and available family-friendly features.

2020 Chevrolet Tahoe
2020 Chevrolet Tahoe | Chevrolet

Another contender for the title of the third-row first place is the Chevy Tahoe. The third-row seating of the Tahoe makes it great for big families, plus back row passengers have lauded Tahoe for years about their comfort. 

What if I need power?

Do I need something to take care of in-town driving, or am I looking for more off-road capability or both? The space, towing capability, and at least some ability to go off-road make the Ford Explorer or Jeep Grand Cherokee good fits for you. 

2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee
2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee | Jeep

If you are hauling kids to soccer practice and hauling your camper to the mountains, both of these vehicles are a good fit.  

How much am I willing to spend? 

Now comes the big question, “How much am I willing to spend?” For something in a smaller size, The 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe finishes near the top of the 2 row midsize SUV rankings according to US News.  The only drawback is the smaller cargo space. If you are looking for eco-friendly as well as being pocketbook-friendly, The 2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid took the #1 spot within the Hybrid and Electric SUVs category. 

2020 Toyota RAV4
2020 Toyota RAV4 | Toyota

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The bottom line right now is no matter how you define SUV, and there is no shortage of amazing vehicles on the market for every size, budget, and need.