4 tips for choosing the right SUV for your family

At any point during the year or in any climate, you can find a use for an SUV, but how do you go about picking the right one for your needs?

These vehicles come in a range of sizes so you can get the right amount of cargo space. This is a useful benefit if you're typically transporting equipment, a lot of groceries or part of your child's sports team. Plus, SUVs tend to have better handling than sedans or coupes when it comes to snow and ice on the road. Where a car could be trapped in a snow bank, many SUVs can power through winter weather.

Whether you've been saving for a large down payment or have considered auto loans to finance most of your car purchase, you need an SUV that fits your wallet and needs.

Here are four tips to help you make your decision:

How much space do you need?
This is probably the key reason why many people get SUVs. While coupes and sedans offer more agility and better handling at higher speeds, they aren't the most suitable option if you have a growing family. For this specific point, many car buyers opt for an SUV instead of a minivan because they feel the former lacks the soccer mom stigma and appears more fun.

Space concerns may also be tied to your career. If you work in construction or a similar field where you regularly transport equipment, an SUV can provide the storage space you desire.

These vehicles come in three sizes: small, mid-size and large. Small SUVs are a nice step up from a car and provide a little extra storage space. Some mid-size models include an optional third row of seats, which is beneficial for traveling with your children. Large SUVs typically come with the additional seating and the most storage space.

Are you an expert when it comes to parking?
Size considerations are also tied to your driving abilities. If you're not skilled when it comes to parking larger vehicles, you may need to get a small or mid-size SUV. While size may not present an issue at the grocery store parking lot, you don't want to be in a tough spot if you need to parallel park a large SUV on the street in a busy neighborhood.

Do you plan to go off road?
The need to take your SUV off paved road can be due to your location, job or simply because you like to drive off road. If you spend a lot of time on dirt paths or other unpaved surfaces, you'll probably want a mid-size or large SUV. While all of these vehicles come with four-wheel drive, bigger models perform better off road.

What fuel economy do you seek in a vehicle?
Bigger vehicles tend to burn more gas. There are many fuel-efficient SUVs on the market, but consider what you can afford and whether the savings offset the sale price over time before deciding to purchase one of these newer vehicles.

For more information about smart ways to manage your finances, contact Landmark Bank.

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