If you are looking for a family vehicle with extra, flexible space, and some towing ability, an SUV might be the right option for you. Bonus? It's NOT a minivan!
Used SUV Buying Guide
SUV can stand for Sports Utility Vehicle or, what it is more commonly used for, Suburban Utility Vehicle. These vehicles are characterized by four doors and internal cargo space. The back row, or rows, will fold down to give you even more space. You can find an SUV that can seat anywhere from five people, with two rows of seats, to nine people, with three rows of seats.
Smaller SUVs feature car engines and bodies, but raised and styled differently. That means easier handling and drivability and a smoother transition from vehicle to SUV. Larger SUVs are built on truck bodies, which means you lose some mobility and drivability but gain power for towing.
SUVs come in a few different sizes, each of which have their own styling and personality.
- Sub-Compact SUVs like the Toyota C-HR or the Mazda CX-3
- Compact SUVs like the Ford Escape or the Hyundai Tucson
- Mid-Size SUVs like the like the Honda Pilot or the Kia Sorento
- Full-Size SUVs like the Chevrolet Suburban or the Nissan Armada
The used SUV market gives you a great deal of choice. The sizes differ dramatically with a difference of up to 5 feet in length! So, if you are planning on transporting a large family regularly, you might want to spring for the extra space of a third row SUV. The extra length can make parking a little more challenging, but a lot of the newer models have things like parking assist, back-up cameras, and rear cross traffic alert to help you out with that. Another thing you gain with SUVs that smaller cars don't have is the option of back row entertainment with built-in DVD players and power outlets.
One of the biggest wins for most SUV drivers is that it's not a minivan but offers many of the practical options that a minivan offers but without sacrificing style.