The SUV has become one of the most popular vehicles to purchase. Over 7 million SUVs were sold in the year 2017 and this number represented 43% of all new car sales for that year. An SUV or Sport Utility Vehicle is an automobile that is more rugged than a car, similar to a station wagon, and built on a light truck chassis. It is the ideal size being larger than a sedan and more-trendy than a minivan and offers the flexibility that does not exist in other vehicles. Given those facts, it is easy to understand how you could be considering an SUV as your next vehicle. But how can you ensure that you make the right choice.

The overall popularity of something does not necessarily make it right for you. There are a number of things to consider when you are in the market for a new car before you decide if it should be an SUV or something else. In today’s market you certainly have a wide variety of options.

Purpose of the vehicle

As already mentioned, the SUV offers a great deal of flexibility so it can be used to fill a number of needs. This is an advantage to the customer because the large range of choices makes deciding a little easier. However, to be sure that you get the exact features you need, you must first decide on the primary purpose of the vehicle.

WORK – If you will use your SUV for work each day and will be carrying equipment and tools you will want the dimensions of the vehicle’s cargo area to be large and sturdy enough to carry the load. The trunk area should be durable and easy to clean.

PLAY – If recreation is your priority, you still need to look for a long-lasting interior that will stand up to the abuse of your family and friends. You might also want to buy a vehicle that has the perfect balance between storage and seating. An SUV with a fold down or removable third row of seats might be the best alternative. If your idea of fun is to be off-road, then you will need to purchase an SUV that is all wheel drive to ensure traction and stability.

TOWING – Regardless of the item towed or whether it’s for work or play, you will need adequate ground clearance. A higher ground clearance allows you to avoid obstacles particularly on rough or uneven terrain. It also reduces the likelihood of any damage to the underbelly.

The Safety of the Vehicle

Anytime you are considering purchasing an automobile you should be sure to research the vehicle’s safety ratings. You can find the ratings and all the special features on targeted rating online sites or on each car manufacturer’s website. You need to simply search for 2019 SUVs and then click on the section of the site that is entitled safety, special features, safety technology, or something similar.

Today’s car ads stress that added technology equals increased safety but though driver assists create safeguards, the driver still needs to stay alert for unexpected issues that may occur. Be aware of the functions of each of these new features and learn exactly how they can help you stay safe. But understand that some of the old standards like air bags, reinforced body and bumpers and roll over stabilization are equally important. It is an advantage if the SUV is equipped with performance features like automatic anti-collision braking, adaptive cruise control with front and rear cameras, side blind zone alert, and lane keeping and steering assists but you need to remain in control.

Economy of the Vehicle

When you are searching for a new vehicle, you obviously try to find the best one at the best price. In addition to selling price, you need to consider the cost of annual maintenance and fuel. Most of the new SUVs actually have an average gas mileage rating of 30 miles per gallon which is better than some smaller autos. If you spend time doing your research, you will be able to find the vehicle with the ratings and price that work for you.

Luxury of the Vehicle

There are some who are simply interested in buying an SUV that looks good. Most of the new ones are very impressive and the only real difference among them is the type of interior. In a model built more for luxury, you will find a more-plush carpet, a more stylized dashboard, and a little more trim on the exterior. You will still get all the safety and economy features but you will get them in a slightly prettier package.

The SUV has come a long way and today sits in a place of prominence for many. But what might be good for one is not always a fit for another so choose carefully. The good news is that now you have some information about the steps to take and the things to consider before making that all important purchase.