So you want to buy a used SUV. But where to start? If you’ve been out of the game for a little while, you might feel floored by the huge number of SUV options. As Americans have shown with their dollars that they love SUVs, the market has risen to meet the demand. We now have SUVs for just about every need and in almost every size. Quality is all over the map as well. As more and more brands get in on the SUV game, you need a handy guide. That’s where we come in. So, sit back, strap in, and get ready for a whirlwind tour of the bestselling segment in the auto industry.
Crossover or SUV
The single-biggest split among SUVs is that between crossovers and traditional SUVs. What’s the difference? Crossovers are SUVs built on a car’s frame. Experts call that unibody construction, because the frame and body are one piece of metal. Chances are if you’re looking at a smaller SUV, like a subcompact Ford EcoSport, a compact Honda CR-V, or a midsize Volkswagen Atlas, that’s what you’re looking at. Because of their size, crossovers do better with thrifty fuel economy and car-like handling. They’re a good choice for daily driving and won’t feel like much of a transition if you’re new to the SUV game.
Larger sport utility vehicles, including some midsize SUVs like the Toyota 4Runner, are built more like a truck than a car. In fact, they literally share a frame with trucks in their category. You’ll find this mainly with large SUVs like the Chevrolet Suburban or the Nissan Armada. These titans have superior towing and seating capacity and are a must for big weekend-warrior families because they have more interior space.
Why Buy Used?
Sport utility vehicles depreciate fast--but most new vehicles do. They may lose half their value in just a few years of driving, which means you can find an near-new car for half the sticker price of a brand-new model. And you’ll find a ton of used SUVs out there, especially given the fact that leasing companies usually see SUVs returned after two or three years. That means you can get most of the latest tech and features while paying less--and with a vehicle with most of its life ahead of it.
What Features Should I Consider?
The first thing to consider is how much space you need. You can get a fun little five-seater like the Hyundai Kona all the way up to a three-row, nine-seater like the GMC Yukon XL. There’s also cargo room to consider. A Yukon XL is the industry leader with 121.7 cubic feet in its latest model, followed swiftly by the Ford Expedition with 121.5 cubes. Bear in mind that there are different cargo capacities depending on how many rows of seating are in use.
Towing might also be important. Some of the smaller crossovers might not be slated to tow anything at all. Other options include SUVs like the Dodge Durango and Ford Expedition that have class-leading towing in excess of 8,000 or 9,000 pounds, depending on model year.
Finally, there are features, both safety and entertainment. Obviously, the more recent the model year, the more cutting-edge the features are likely to be. Surprisingly, smartphone integration in the form of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay only really proliferated in the last few years. When considering anything earlier than a 2017, you should ask specifically for this feature. But if you’re fine with a CD player and AM/FM radio, you should be fine. Also look for crash-avoidance technologies like forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and blind spot warnings. These are life-saving features, but only really became commonplace in the last three or four years.
As you’re looking for a used SUV that works for your family, make sure you take into consideration what you’ll need now and in the years to come. Whether you’re looking for utility or passenger space or both, you’ll find the used SUVs you need at the Swope Family of Dealerships. Come see our selection!