There are many things that will go through your mind when you choose your SUV. Unfortunately, most people just think about how much money they will spend. This is not a good indicator of what you buy. Some SUVs are a whole lot better than others for you. If you just consider price, you end up making a bad choice.

If you want to choose a great SUV, one that you will be really happy with, here are those factors that have to be considered when you buy. We will not focus on engine choices and similar. We will stay focused on those things that are so often neglected by most buyers.

Seating

Most SUVs carry a minimum of 5 people. There are full-sized and midsized models that include the third-row seat. This increases capacity to up to 8 passengers. However, many of the three-row SUVs come at a cost, which is limited cargo space with these seats upright. The third-row seats can be fold flat in the event that they are not used. This can open up extra luggage space.

Cargo

Speaking about cargo, SUVs have versatile seating configurations. This practically means that the space behind front seats can be used for cargo, if the second and the third-row seats are folded flat.

The best convenience is found in the third-row seat that has the split design. You can thus fold a part to store cargo and still have seating available for a passenger.

SUVs come with higher cargo floor when compared with the minivans. Loading the heavy objects can become difficult. There are luxury models that include air suspensions. These allow drivers to lower vehicles, thus making it a lot easier to load cargo.

We also have truck-based models that have a higher maximum payload capacity. Drivers can thus carry even more weight. We even have hands-free, power-operated liftgates that make it much easier to access an SUV’s cargo bay.

Safety And Driver-Assist Technologies

While most SUV buyers do think about the two factors mentioned above, they rarely consider this one. Safety ratings are very important as they include crash-avoidance capabilities assessments and also crash-test results. There are tests that are performed by the insurance industry and by the government. Also, road tests include some details about extra factors like headlight performance and child seat installation.

There are different crash avoidance technologies that are available right now and are included in modern SUVs, like FCW (forward collision warning), AEB (automatic emergency braking) and BSW (blind spot warnings). All these increase an SUV’s safety and they should be included.

FCW technology will offer an audible, tactile or visual alert that warns the driver if a collision is impending with an object or a car. AEB will respond to an imminent collision. It brakes even if the driver cannot react in proper time. BSW will monitor the flanks of the SUV. It warns the driver that there is another vehicle near it in an area that is tough to see.

Obviously, there are many other modern safety features that are included in SUVs, like telematics systems capable of alerting the designated emergency personnel whenever airbags are deployed. No matter the case, what is really important is knowing as much as possible about these safety features.

You want to check safety ratings for the SUV you are interested in buying and you need to see what security features are included. When you do this, it is really easy to find an SUV that will offer safety.

2WD – AWD – 4WD

Most of the SUVs you will buy use front-driven platforms. They tend to include all-wheel drive. The truck-based models are the ones that have a rear-drive configuration. These are available with 4WD.

Both AWD and 4WD offer power to wheels. They do sound similar but they are different. AWD is more light-duty. The system remains engaged and can vary power distribution between rear and front wheels. AWD is great for the regular adverse weather conditions. They can often tackle dirt roads.

The SUVs that have true 4WD are not as common as they might think. Also, the technology included is not the same. There are low-range gearing options that are available to tackle really difficult off-roading terrain, like steep dirt hills and rocks.

The drivers that usually travel on pavement that does not feature ice or snow are better off looking for the two-wheel-drive models. This keeps price lower and exposes you to better fuel economy. If you choose 4WD, you need a system that offers full-time 4WD operation.

Don’t drive the vehicles that have part-time 4WD systems on dry pavement. They cannot properly manage front and back power distribution. Handling is affected and mechanical components end up being damaged.

Towing Capabilities

If you need towing capabilities, the truck-based SUVs are the one to consider. The only other vehicles that can tow more are the pickup trucks. A larger model is capable of towing up around 9,000 pounds, which is practically the weight of a really large boat. There are also powerful midsized models that can pull around 5,000 pounds, which is enough for a camper or a smaller boat. Choose an SUV that offers the towing capability you need.