6 questions to ask before buying a new SUV

Ford Kuga

Buying a new vehicle can be a daunting experience. With more brands, body styles and engine options available today than ever before, it can be hard to identify which model best suits your needs.

Around the world, people are discovering that SUVs offer many benefits over traditional sedans. In fact, SUVs have overtaken medium-sized cars to become the world’s largest automotive segment, with sales expected to rise to 42 million by 2031. Here are six questions to find the SUV that’s right for you:

1. Why should I consider an SUV?

SUVs offer advantages such as: a higher driving position that helps you to easily see over the traffic ahead; versatile storage space; and easy access whether stepping in and out or loading kids into children’s seats.

Buyers are also finding that there are simply more SUVs to choose from. Ford, which has been building SUVs for more than 50 years, offers a full range of SUVs, each one designed for the needs of today’s drivers. Ford’s engineers recognize that SUVs are not one-size-fits-all; they must be fun-to-drive, offer smart technologies, and perhaps most of all, feel like an extension of the person driving behind the wheel.

2. How many seats do I actually need?

Think about this as packing smart. You want a vehicle that does all the things you need it to do, but you don’t want pay for or carry around extra features or seats if you don’t plan to take advantage of them.

If you do most of your driving in the city and don’t have kids to worry about, a compact SUV like the EcoSport is easier to park and maneuver through rush-hour traffic, but still gives you plenty of storage space for city trips or a weekend getaway.

3. Do I really plan to head off the beaten track?

We may all have fantasies of using an SUV to participate in extreme driving situations, but how many times have you actually driven offroad in the past few months? One of the top selling points for SUVs is greater confidence when driving in adverse conditions.

If you live in a city where seasonal flooding can be an issue, SUVs offer better ground clearance and can be designed to wade through deep water. Buyer beware: Not all SUVs are as capable as they look. Make sure that the SUV you’re considering is designed from the ground up to take on water - like the capable EcoSport, or the full-sized Everest, which can manage water up to 800mm deep.

4. Are high-tech gadgets part of my life?

If you’re tech-savvy and need an SUV that accommodates family needs, mid-sized SUVs usually offer the latest in technology: interactive touchscreens, Bluetooth connectivity and voice-controlled GPS.

Ford designed the mid-sized SUVs like the Kuga (also called the Escape in some markets) with enough space for families and loads of tech, from parking assistance technology (you can parallel park hands-free) to being able to open the tailgate with a simple kick under the rear bumper if you’ve got your hands full.

5. Do I care about fuel economy?

This is a trick question. Who doesn’t care about fuel economy? The good news is many modern SUVs are very fuel efficient thanks to smart design and engineering. Make sure that the SUV you’re considering takes a holistic approach to improving fuel economy with advanced engine technologies and an aerodynamic design.

6. How much do I want to spend?

This one is entirely up to you. Companies like Ford have responded to a wide range of potential SUV customers with diverse model lineups to meet nearly every conceivable need. No matter what you’re looking for and how much you have to spend, there’s an SUV out there that meets your needs and budget.

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