It happens all the time: you show up at a dealership, think you’ve done your homework, and all of a sudden, a brand-new SUV is yours. You’re stuck with a payment totaling thousands of dollars for years to come… and you aren’t 100 percent sure whether you’re completely happy or having second thoughts.
When buying a new car, it’s common to wonder if you made the right choice. Car purchases can be an impulse or emotional buy, even if you think you’re making an educated decision. And you don’t want to wind up with an SUV that isn’t reliable or doesn’t suit your lifestyle. So, how do you pick an SUV you’ll love for years to come? And how can you determine which SUVs are truly the top of pack? Here are four tips to help you find the top SUVs today.
1. Take a Close Look At Photos Online
Every car company updates their websites with enticing photos of the latest, most exciting models. Brands are always marketing vehicles, and automakers want to capture your interest even before you physically come in contact with the car itself. Photos can also be a huge help when you’re trying to narrow down the best SUVs before settling on the model you’ll buy.
Search for and examine different photos of the SUVs you’re considering online. Browsing through photos from owners, auto shows, and even automaker websites will give you a better understanding of the SUVs’ styling, exterior traits and features, and important choices, such as what a color looks like on the exterior or the interior.
Use photos to determine what you want on your checklist and make sure you get a good visual understanding of what your future SUV will look like before settling on a purchase decision.
2. Compare What’s Under the Hood
SUVs are designed to be powerful vehicles. They’re meant to haul passengers and gear, to pull toys like trailers and boats, and to accelerate with ease. But not all SUVs can handle these jobs.
Research the different engine and transmission options available on the SUVs. Horsepower is a crucial factor, and if you’re in need of a lot of power, you’ll only want to consider SUVs with high HP. If you’re planning on driving around the city only, you can look at SUVs with lower horsepower and smaller engine options.
3. Consider Clearance
No, we aren’t talking about clearance as in pricing. When you’re looking at new SUVs, you want to consider the actual clearance off the ground. That clearance can affect your SUV’s ability to navigate different roads and weather conditions.
Do you live in a region with harsh weather like snow and rain? Do you love taking your SUV on back roads or sporadic trips to your favorite rugged off-roading location? Your new SUV will need high clearance if you plan on tackling tough roads.
Remember, SUV stands for Sport Utility Vehicle – but the top SUVs should also be great for city driving. The very best new SUVs will provide enough clearance from road surface to navigate both challenging road conditions and maintain a smooth ride in urban environments.
4. Do Your Research Before Shopping
Lastly, the most important step to take in finding the very best SUV for you is to do your research. Once you’re sure which models meet your style, power, and tech needs and wants, it’s time do one more kind of research: price comparison.
Before you head to your local dealership to hand over a down payment, make sure you know where you can get the best price and the incentives or discounts that make your new SUV a great deal. Search online to see your local area’s best offers and pricing. Look at different websites to compare what’s available, and search for the price most buyers are paying. With this information, you’ll be prepared to demand the lowest possible price and the best deal on your new SUV of any make or model. This last step can pay off significantly – if you’ve gathered better pricing, you can score a deal that helps you save.
Like anything, it’s always a good idea to be aware of the latest research. We recommend comparing at least 3 or 4 options before making a final decision. Doing a search online is typically the quickest, most thorough way to discover all the pros and cons you need to keep in mind.