Types of SUVs: What Kind of SUV Should I Buy?

June 13th, 2021 by

Sports utility vehicles are among the most diverse classes of car on the market. With so many options, it means the perfect SUV for you is just waiting to be found, but first you need to understand the difference among the types of SUV available. Choosing the right SUV enables you to customize your selection based on your needs, preferences, and finances.

If you’re in the market for a new SUV, here’s what you need to know about the different types of SUV.

buick enclave storage size

SUV Sizes

You’ll have several sizes to choose from when purchasing a new or used SUV, which means that no matter what your needs are, there’s likely an SUV option that’s just the right size for you. The most common classifications for an SUV’s size are:

  • Compact SUV: A compact SUV is the smallest offering in SUV size classifications and often features a hatchback body design. Some designers include vehicles classified as subcompacts that feature similar styles to compacts but are even smaller, making them among the more affordable SUV options on the market.
  • Midsize SUV: One of the more popular options for SUV owners, a midsize SUV seeks to strike the perfect balance between storage space and efficiency. While larger than a compact, midsize SUVs don’t have intimidatingly large frames and can be excellent commuter vehicles, as they commonly maintain decent gas economy. Many of the most well-known SUV models are midsize SUVs.
  • Full-size SUV: Also known as luxury SUVS, full-size SUVs are the vehicle of choice for SUV owners who put a premium on interior space. Whether you have a lot of things or a lot of people in tow, the full-size options ensure that you’ll have ample space for whatever or whoever you need to get from where you are to where you want to be.

Which SUV is Right for Me?

The other major difference between types of SUVs is what they have underneath the hood and what kind of driving they’re best suited for. The primary categories for SUV performance are:

  • Crossover SUVs: As the name implies, a crossover SUV actually falls in the gray area between a car and an SUV. Crossovers feature a single-body construction like smaller cars, which can enable them to be lighter than many of their counterparts. However, it’s also common for them to have reduced towing capacity, making them a better choice if you’re only concerned with what your SUV can carry inside.
  • Standard SUVs: Standard SUVs offer a balance between high performance and efficient operation. A standard SUV is perfectly capable getting off-road for a weekend of camping or towing a boat down to the lake but can also provide an excellent everyday drive. There are few situations where a standard SUV isn’t an excellent option.
  • Performance SUVs: For drivers who ask for a bit more under the hoods of their SUVs, a performance option may be the way to go. Often sportier in design, performance SUVs have some of the strongest engines in the class and can rival some sports cars on the open road. If you’re interested in a stylish SUV that gets up to speed in a hurry, you may be in the market for a performance SUV.

What Type of SUV Should I Buy?

Buick Encore with truck mounted Bike Rack

If you’re shopping for a new or used SUV, you may look at the many options for styles and types and wonder which is the right one for you. Here are the important considerations that can help you find your perfect fit.

  1. Consider your passengers: How many people you need to accommodate with your SUV is a major consideration. If you’re likely to take most of your trips alone or with just one or two passengers, a compact SUV may be plenty for your needs. If you have a large family, however, a midsize or full-size is likely a better choice to make sure everyone has the space they need on each ride.
  2. Think about how much driving you do: The needs for a driver with a short commute and a driver who regularly spends an hour or more driving to work each day may be vastly different. If you’re doing a lot of driving, choosing a smaller SUV with better fuel economy may help you save money by minimizing the frequency of your stops at the gas station for a fill-up.
  3. Assess your needs: Each type of SUV has its own usage benefits. Maybe you want the off-road capability of a midsize or the improved handling of a compact. If you take family trips, a spacious interior with lots of features can make each journey more pleasant, making a full-size SUV your best fit. What you intend to use your SUV for normally, as well as what you need it to be capable of in the right situation, is an important factor in choosing an SUV that you’ll love.
  4. Set a budget: Anytime you’re making a new or used car or SUV purchase, it’s important to do so responsibly, only buying a vehicle you can afford. It’s better to choose a scaled-down option that fits your budget than splurge on a premium model loaded with add-ons, only to have difficulty maintaining your payments. Set both a soft budget that’s your ideal and a hard budget you can’t exceed no matter how much you love an SUV. This will help narrow your search to SUVs that fit your budget.

If you’re ready to find the SUV you’ve been looking for but are still unsure about which type is right for you, don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. The expert staff at Sweeney Buick-GMC are experienced professionals who can answer your questions and help you find the right SUV for you. Come out to see us or get in touch today to learn what we can do to help you find your next SUV. We’ll be happy to set up a test drive for you and help you finalize your decision about what type of SUV is right for you.

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