The Guide to the Right SUV: Comparisons and Evaluations

Sport-utility vehicles (SUVs) are found from almost every manufacturer because they’re popular. You can find many price ranges and sizes. Some of them aren’t much larger than a sub-compact car, though some are giant behemoths that have pickup-truck stylings. While most people choose midsized models for fuel economy, plenty of cargo space, and full power engines, you may want to consider smaller SUVs that get better fuel efficiency, though may have less space for cargo. Large models offer towing capabilities and have the most space, though they aren’t as maneuverable, get poor fuel economy, and may cost more.

Reasons to Purchase an SUV

The best thing about SUVs is that they appeal to many types of drivers. They’re versatile because they can carry a lot of cargo (and you can rearrange the seats to bring more stuff), but they also carry up to eight people, depending on the design. They also allow the driver a higher sitting position, which allows them to see more of the road. Most of them have some towing capacity, though it does vary depending on the style, size, and manufacturer.

SUVs also have all- or four-wheel-drive systems, which means they get more traction in rain, snow, and sleet. Extra traction also allows them to have more control in off-road terrain.

The one caveat is that they do have a higher profile and more weight, which could lead to roll-overs if you have to maneuver quickly in an emergency. Along with such, the extra weight and height can lower fuel economy.

Points to Consider

Power train options are plentiful but do vary depending on the manufacturer. Therefore, you can find four-cylinder engines and many smaller SUVs utilize them to help with fuel economy. You can also find turbocharged four-cylinders, six-cylinder engines, and V8s available. Some of the larger models may offer upgrades to diesel engines.

You can also find hybrids or Eco Boost options that allow you to use some green energy or prevent the engine from using too much fuel while driving or in stop-and-go traffic.

It’s also essential to mention that some of the seating isn’t as comfortable as others. Third-row seats can seem like the best idea to add more seats for passengers, but it’s always a good idea to sit on them before buying to make sure an adult can be comfortable.

It’s best if you can determine what size SUV you require before researching options. You can find subcompact, large, midsized, and small. Knowing what you want ensures that you only research those models, saving yourself some time and helping you create a shopping list of sorts.

Price Ranges

You can find options that are less than $20,000, but that’s only if it’s a subcompact vehicle that’s stripped down with hardly any features. Most prices start in the mid $20,000 range and are equipped with standard features. Of course, standard features vary depending on the maker. If you want something with all the bells-and-whistles, you’re likely to spend around $30,000, all for subcompact SUVs.

If you’re interested in a midsized SUV, you should expect to pay between $30,000 and $50,000, depending on how upscale the design and features are. Along with such, large SUVs can cost more than $60,000, especially if you want a premium or luxury model.

While you can find diesel or hybrid models, these tend to cost more than their traditional counterparts because they use a different method for the power  train.

Types Available

Most people aren’t aware that there are multiple types of SUVs. Learning about the different options can help you choose one based on your needs.


Some people classify SUVs into two types: Car-based and truck-based. The car-based SUVs, sometimes called crossovers, have unibody construction, which means the body and frame are bonded into a single piece or unit. They usually have an independent suspension, which provides smoother rides and better handling. Many of them include all-wheel-drive systems and can handle some off-roading but aren’t suitable for deep water, high rocks, steep inclines, or loose sand. Most crossovers have limited towing capacity, as well.

Truck-based SUVs, while still popular, aren’t as easy to find. The market is shifting to crossovers because of the fuel economy selling point. Truck-based SUVs use a body-on-frame platform, usually similar to the manufacturer’s pickup truck style. They usually allow for more towing capacity and hold more cargo than crossovers. You can usually find four-wheel-drive systems, allowing you to tackle the more serious off-road terrains. However, the ride is usually bumpier, and the handling can get cumbersome.

Many reporting agencies now use a size grouping system to ensure that more information is provided.


Vehicles like the Honda HR-V, Chevrolet Trax, or the Jeep Renegade usually fall into the category of subcompact SUVs. You can also find smaller models like the Toyota RAV4 or the Honda CR-V. These typically have less space for cargo and passengers, but they are still roomy inside. Because they’re smaller, they are easier to maneuver and park.

Small SUVs

While tough to find sometimes, small SUVs are perfect for people who want more room than a traditional car. You’ve got a higher driving position and more cargo space. Sometimes, fuel economy is similar to sedans, as well. If you are considering a similar-style wagon, the Subaru Outback is an excellent choice.

Compact Sport

If you’re looking for performance-oriented driving and want something upscale, the compact sporty SUV has a nice finish, quiet cabin, and better handling. They also have more amenities. However, most of these styles come from Japanese or European brands.

Midsized SUV

The midsized SUV is an alternative to the minivan and looks sleeker and less like a soccer-mom style. They usually provide excellent balance between interior space, power, safety, and cargo room. You can find a variety of manufacturers that offer midsized SUVs, such as the Honda Pilot and the Toyota Highlander.


Larger SUVs do offer more towing capacity and power, but they’re bulky, clumsy, big, and thirsty. If you routinely haul heavy trailers, they’re perfect, but if you want cargo and seating capacity, it might be best to choose a midsized version.


The Guide to the Right SUV: Comparisons and Evaluations

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