SUV Buying Guide Everything You Need to Know Before You Buy

SUV Buying Guide: Everything You Need to Know Before You Buy

Your essential SUV buying guide: Find the perfect SUV for your needs. New or used, we have got you covered!


Sport-utility vehicles, often SUVs, are incredibly popular in the United States. 

People love them for their high driving position, all-wheel drive, and versatile interiors. 

This guide will explore different types of SUVs, from small to large, and even electric ones. 

We will also discuss what you should consider when buying an SUV, whether it is new or used.

Types of SUVs

1. Car-Based SUVs (Crossovers)

  • These SUVs are more like cars in terms of handling and ride comfort.
  • They offer all-wheel drive for better traction but are not meant for extreme off-road adventures.
  • Many come in hybrid or electric versions.

2. Off-Road SUVs

  • Designed for serious off-roading with good ground clearance and rugged capabilities.
  • Sacrifice some comfort on regular roads for off-road prowess.
  • Fewer in number compared to car-based SUVs.

3. Electric SUVs

  • A growing range of electric-only SUVs is available.
  • Models like the Audi Q4 E-Tron, Ford Mustang Mach-E, and Hyundai Ioniq 5 offer quiet, quick rides.
  • Limited towing capacity and off-road capabilities.

4. Truck-Based SUVs

  • Share components with pickup trucks.
  • Offer more towing capacity but less comfortable on the road.
  • Some models have improved rides with independent rear suspension.

SUV Sizes

1. Subcompact SUVs

  • Compact size, easy to park and maneuver.
  • Limited cargo space and off-road capabilities.
  • Luxury brands offer small SUVs with upscale features.
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2. Small SUVs

  • More room than a small sedan with flexible cargo space.
  • Generally, not great for off-roading.
  • Luxury small SUVs offer better amenities but come at a higher price.

3. Midsized SUVs

  • Ideal for families, offering a balance of power, space, and safety.
  • Two- or three-row models are available.
  • Fuel economy varies, and some come in hybrid versions.
  • Luxury models offer more comfort but at a higher cost.

4. Large SUVs

  • Great for towing and carrying lots of people or cargo.
  • Bulky, less fuel-efficient, and harder to maneuver.
  • Luxury versions can be very expensive.

What to Consider When Buying an SUV

1. Seating

  • Most SUVs seat at least five people.
  • Some have third-row seats, but they may limit cargo space when upright.

2. Cargo

  • SUVs offer versatile cargo space.
  • Look for seats that fold flat for maximum cargo capacity.

3. Safety and Technology

  • Consider safety features like forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and blind-spot warning.
  • Modern SUVs also offer telematics systems, lane departure warning, lane-keeping assistance, and rear cross-traffic warning.

4. 2WD vs. AWD vs. 4WD

  • Understand the difference between two-wheel drive (2WD), all-wheel drive (AWD), and four-wheel drive (4WD).
  • AWD suits regular driving conditions, while 4WD is for off-road adventures.

5. Towing

  • Truck-based SUVs offer the highest towing capacity.
  • Check the tow capacity rating and consider optional tow packages.

New vs. Used SUVs

1. Buying New

  • New SUVs have the latest safety features and warranties.
  • They depreciate quickly but offer peace of mind.

2. Buying Used

  • Used SUVs can save money upfront.
  • Look for certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles for added warranty and reliability.
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Final Thoughts 

Whether you choose a new or used SUV, thoroughly prioritize reliability and research models. 

Look for SUVs that fit your needs, whether for daily commuting, family trips, or off-road adventures. 

Moreover, remember that a well-maintained SUV can serve you well for many miles. 

Make an informed choice and enjoy your SUV journey!

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