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The Ultimate SUV Buying Guide

by pps-DUEditor

If you’re considering picking up an SUV, we’ve got all the details you need to know. 

Types: There are car-based SUVs and truck-based SUVs. The former are also called crossovers or CUVs and are built on a car-like unibody platform and are best on the road. The truck-based SUVs have ladder frames with bodies mounted on them and are excellent off the road.

Price: Typical subcompact SUVs start under $20,000 but can climb into the late 20s. Small SUVs start in the low 20s, and top trims cross $30,000. Mid-sizers range from the mid-30s to the mid-50s. Large SUVs go up to $80,000. If you’re considering luxury SUVs, add about $20,000 to the higher end of the price scale of each size.

Seating: Ensure that your SUV can seat at least five adults. Some have third-rows that allow you to carry seven or eight people too. But most of these limit cargo space when the third row is upright. To carry people and cargo, you’ll have to fold the third-row flat.

Cargo: SUVs have versatile seating that makes all the space behind the front seats fair game to haul cargo. So ensure that the second and third-row can fold flat. Better still, check if you can get split/folding seats that enhance versatility. Also, truck-based SUVs can always carry more weight than crossovers.

Safety: Check Consumer Reports safety ratings and assessments of crash avoidance capabilities and crash-test results. Read all the road tests. Check all the features. Ideally, choose an SUV with Forward Collision Warning, Automated Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, and Blind Spot Warnings. If you can afford a safer vehicle, go for it.

2WD, AWD, or 4WD: Crossovers favor front-wheel drive to maximize fuel-efficiency, but some are available with all-wheel drive. Truck-based SUVs usually have rear-wheel or four-wheel drive. AWD always sends power to all wheels, whereas four-wheel drive can be engaged as and when needed.

Towing: Truck-based SUVs always offer more towing capacity than other types of SUVs. Larger models, when properly equipped with optional tow packages, can tow over 10,000 pounds. Mid-sized SUVs can tow about 5,000 pounds. Always check tow-capacity ratings and ensure you can handle the vehicle with the towing load.

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