Looking to buy an SUV? Consider these 5 things first

Make the right investment.

The good old SUV (or sport-utility vehicle) was once the rarest car species on the market — a big, boxy thing usually advertised for off-road pursuits through the dirt and mud.

Now, SUVs have become the mainstream, replacing the sedan as one of the most popular cars on the Australian roads. In fact, the SUV market is one of the fastest growing segments in Australia. The reason: people are attracted to its high riding position, can-do character and economical engine options.

If you’re in need of a new car, you probably have an SUV ranked top of your wanted list. Before you make a rash decision and purchase the first SUV model that strikes your fancy, consider these five things first.

Work out your budget

Like any big ticket purchase, you need to work out how much you’re willing to spend on a brand new SUV. Your budget will not only determine the model SUV you purchase but how much money you can spend on extras like additional safety features, styling tweaks and technology upgrades.

While you might think SUVs tend to be a little more pricey than a sedan that’s not always true. The cost of SUVs vary depending on models’ drive systems and engine sizes. With this in mind, do your research and find SUVs that are going to give you a real bang for your buck. Compact SUVs tend to be popular a choice as they are cheaper both upfront and in the long run in contrast to their larger counterparts.

And, if you don’t want to buy your car outright, look for dealers that offer low comparison rates and reasonable payment plans. For example the Holden Trax range is available for weekly repayments that cost you less than you might think. The added sweetener is the Trax also comes with a five year warranty.

Tip: If you’re planning to purchase an SUV, look for a model that prices around the $25,000 mark. If you can’t afford to pay your car outright, look for dealers that offer a low comparison rates (no more than five per cent) and reasonable payment plans.

Compare the fuel consumption of different models

Many SUVs chew through petrol faster than the speed of light. It’s therefore important to find an SUV that is fuel efficient and doesn’t damage the environment (or have you forking out a fortune every time you refuel).

New models come engineered with fuel-saving technology, devices and up-to-date engineering that are not only better for the environment, but save you money as well. Deciphering new engine terminology can be tricky so always be sure to talk through your options with your car dealer and consult the Australian Government’s Green Vehicle Guide, which allows you to compare different vehicles’ annual fuel costs and CO2 Emissions.

The Holden Trax can drive up to 500 kilometres on a full tank of petrol.

(Image: Holden)

Work out what size car you need

It’s often thought that bigger means better, but this isn’t necessarily true when it comes to SUVs. If you’re not planning to take regular road trips or even pack the car with large items (or people), you should probably forgo the idea of owning a large, seven-seater SUV. At the end of the day, the space will be wasted and it will cost you more to run.

This isn’t to say you can’t own an SUV at all, just consider your lifestyle needs before deciding on a size. There are plenty of smaller, more compact SUVs on the market that drive similarly to the larger models. Look out for SUV crossovers with spacious, family-suitable interiors and a high ride height for comfortable, above-road driving vision.

Think about safety requirements

It’s perhaps one of the most important things to consider when purchasing an SUV, and that’s overall safety. While there are guidelines in place today to ensure all models meet the legislated safety standards, always keep safety add-ons in mind that you feel would benefit you and your family, and leave you feeling confident when driving.

While reverse cameras are not mandatory on all vehicles, if you have little ones or live in busy city areas, it could be a safety feature you want to invest in. It’s important to ensure you feel safe when operating your new SUV and that means spending the time shopping around for the features and size of car that works for you.

Consider technology features

Be it an SUV or a sedan, the added bonus of the modern day car is all of its smart technology features, because who doesn’t love Bluetooth connectivity?

When seeking out an SUV, look for a model that comes with a standard colour touch screen, Apple and Android connectivity and in-built cameras to assist with things like reverse parking, such as the Holden Trax range. By choosing a model that is standardised with these features you’ll get to save thousands on added extra, plus car rides are destined to be ten times more entertaining!

Reversing cameras and rear sensors make parking an SUV much easier (and safer).

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