Is an SUV Right for your Family?

If you’re in the market for a family vehicle, you might be thinking about purchasing an SUV. These popular vehicles combine rugged off-roading ability with sleek interior style, but are they a good fit for families?

Features of the Best Family Cars

When carting the family around, you’ll want to make sure that your vehicle is comfortable, safe, and versatile. Sedans and minivans have long been popular for this reason, but over the past decade the SUV market has really caught up in family car sales. Safety is a paramount issue for most families, so you’ll want to look carefully at the safety ratings and features of any car you’re considering. Look at the number of airbags provided, whether or not the car is compatible with child safety seats, and the type of electronic safety features provided. Space is also an important feature when you have the full family on board. A car with ample room will cut down on backseat bickering.

Benefits and Drawbacks of SUVs

Due to their versatility, SUVs can appeal to a wide range of different motorists. Many are capable of carrying seven or eight passengers, with many models sporting three rows of seats. Although they can’t match the cargo-carrying capacity of minivans, they still are heads above smaller passenger hatchbacks or sedans. SUVs were originally designed as sport vehicles, and many come equipped with four-wheel drive systems that make them safe in slippery or unstable conditions.

Some drivers like that SUVs provide a higher vantage point on the road, while others prefer to sit closer to the ground. That height can also be a potential drawback for families, who may find it difficult to lift children and all of their associated equipment into the car. For budget-minded families, SUVs may not offer satisfactory fuel economy in comparison to a smaller car, due to their weight and bulk. Yet this will vary significantly between makes and models, and with new crossovers and hybrids on the market there are certainly efficient options available.

Comparing Different SUVs

As you start shopping around for SUVs, you may become overwhelmed by the variety of options in this class. You’ll not only want to choose a car that will hold the whole family, but is suitable for the type of driving you do, the amount of power you need, and the climate in your region. You can take a look at these SUV reviews and ratings to get started. Although at first glance you might assume you’ll need a large SUV to accommodate the family, smaller or medium-sized options may be a better fit because they are easy to manoeuvre and often provide three-row seating as well. Bear in mind that seating can also vary widely, with some third-row seats not really suitable for adult passengers. Fuel efficiency will be also highest for mid-size or crossover models. For example, if you read Toyota RAV4 review you’ll find that this type of compact SUV boasts an average fuel consumption of 38 mpg, whereas larger models may only be in the teens.

Today’s SUV market is competitive, and families will find a wide range of options to choose from. The versatility, cargo load, safety, and reasonable pricing of SUVs makes them firm competitors for minivans. Because there is so much variety, you’ll want to shop around and try out several different models to find a good potential fit for your family.