How to Pick the Best SUV Size for You


Are you already looking forward to a summer vacation? If so, that’s great! Vacations are a great way to relax, unwind, and spend some quality time with the family.


But what if your current car is too small?


What happens when you start thinking about all the suitcases and gear you’ll need on a family vacation? You may break out in hives when you realize the car you’ve been driving is just too small. But don’t sweat it. You still have time to buy a new or used one. And maybe it’s time for an upgrade anyway. 


Maybe it’s time to buy a used SUV for the family.


SUVs have become more popular than cars in this country. You can find them in all sizes, from compact to giant-sized models. Many drivers like them for their versatility, all-wheel drive, off-road capability, and elevated ride height. If this is your first foray into the world of SUVs, never fear. At AutoMax, we’ve put together some tips to help you pick the SUV that’s the right size for your family’s needs. 


Consider these attributes when shopping for a used SUV.


Overall size. Before you get too far into your choices, give some thought to the overall size of SUV you’d feel comfortable driving. Do you feel competent driving a large vehicle, or are you more comfortable in a smaller one? Where do you park? Do you have to parallel park often? Will the SUV you’re considering fit into your garage? These questions may seem pretty basic, but they’re important to consider when choosing the right-sized SUV for your needs.


Seating capacity. Nearly all SUVs comfortably seat five people, but many of the larger models seat six, seven, or eight. Consider the number of people you’ll be hauling. If you’re taking your family of five on vacation, a smaller SUV may work. But if you often pull carpool duty for the baseball team, you’ll need something bigger. Many SUVs have third-row seating that comes in handy when you have extra passengers along.


Cargo space. Likewise, think about the amount and type of gear you’ll be hauling in your used SUV. If you’re taking the family to Disney World, you may only need one suitcase apiece. In that case, a more moderate-sized SUV should be fine. But sports equipment, school backpacks, musical instruments, and dogs can take up a lot of space. If these are part of your daily routine, consider one of the larger models.


Drivetrain. What are you going to do in your SUV? Do you plan to stick to city streets and highways, or is there an off-road adventure in your future? SUVs are available in two-wheel drive (2WD), four-wheel drive (4WD), and all-wheel drive (AWD) options. If you’re planning on doing some serious off-roading, you’ll want a 4WD model. However, if you’re just looking for additional safety and better handling in inclement weather and adverse road conditions, AWD is a great way to go. If you live in a climate where it doesn’t snow, or it snows infrequently, a 2WD SUV may suit you just fine.


Fuel economy. Keep fuel economy in mind when searching for your used SUV. Be realistic, and remember that a larger vehicle will require more gas just because it’s bigger. But there are SUVs on the market that get decent gas mileage. Do some research before you go shopping so you can narrow your options and save time at the car lot. When your family is on a budget, every penny counts.


Safety and driver-assist technology. Keeping your family safe on the road should be your number one concern. Used SUVs are available with a variety of sophisticated technology features designed to help you avoid accidents and stay safe on the road. Forward collision warnings, blind-spot detectors, and automatic rear braking are just a few of the more popular (and useful) driver-assist features found on SUVs today. Even if you have to pay a little more for them, these advanced technology features are worth it.


Buying used is smart.


Buying a used SUV has benefits for smart shoppers. One of the biggest is in the price. There are very few vehicles that hold their value well, and SUVs are no exception. Once an SUV is driven off the lot, its value automatically plummets. Buying a used SUV helps you avoid that, giving you a good deal on a car that someone else has already taken the hit on. Let them worry about the depreciation. You focus on getting the best deal possible on a used SUV.


Finance your ride.


Even a used vehicle can be tough to finance, especially for people who’ve had credit challenges in the past. Buying used SUVs or cars with bad credit is stressful. No one likes to be turned down for an auto loan, but that’s what usually happens when car dealers see a low credit score on your credit report. Buying through a buy here pay here car dealership might be something for you to consider. These dealers offer bad credit car loans to people with poor credit. They can do this because they finance the vehicles themselves, rather than going through a bank. You don’t have to worry about being turned down for an auto loan; buy here pay here financing options are designed to help people buy cars with bad credit or no credit at all.


Check out AutoMax for your family’s used SUV.


AutoMax is North Carolina’s premier buy here pay here car dealer. AutoMax has car lots in Henderson and Youngsville and also serves the Raleigh and Durham metro areas. We specialize in providing bad credit car loans to those who need safe, reliable transportation. You’ll find many vehicles on our lots, including a good selection of used SUVs. Stop by one of our convenient locations and take a look for yourself. You and your family will be ready for your summer vacation in no time!