The Pros & Cons of Owning an SUV

In South Africa, people love long weekend getaways and driving the open road. That is why SUVs (‘sports utility vehicles’) are still one of the most popular vehicle types in this country. Some of the things they offer are comfort, space, and performance for the open road and uneven terrain.

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There’s one question that remains – are SUVs worth it for the city dweller? As with everything else in life, there are both pros and cons.

The Pros

1. Storage Capacity, Comfort, Size, and Cabin Space

The large amount of room is one of the biggest advantages you’ll have when owning an SUV. It’s a vehicle that’s perfect for large families as well as those who love sports or the outdoors. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you’ll be enabled to bring along bigger equipment like kayaks, surfboards, tents, and mountain bikes. Many people love SUVs because they have the space they want from a mini (or regular size) van without it seeming like they are buying a family car. This also makes it great for hauling. You’ll probably have the biggest car in your circle and drive everyone around at work.

These vehicles are simply much larger than a sedan and offer luxury and comfort in the cabin. More room also makes them more child and pet-friendly – the extra compartments and space help with toys and snacks being neatly and safely tucked away.

This car is usually wider than a normal automobile. It’s also set on higher wheels. It will provide you with a feeling of safety which is especially great if you have children. Keep in mind that you are at risk of rolling over at higher speeds, so just pay attention when driving.

2. Ground Clearance

Thanks to owning an SUV, you’ll have the advantage of higher ground clearance. Ground clearance is the minimum amount of distance between the bottom of your vehicle and the ground. Besides mounting pavements, you’ll be able to drive through deeper waters than sedans without causing damage to your vehicle. It’s also much easier to plow through snow with high ground clearance, so if you’re in a place where there’s a lot of snow – you’re in luck! But if you ever get caught in a situation like a flooded bridge or street, always err on the side of caution. Since you’ll be in a vehicle with a higher ground clearance – also referred to as ride height – you will get more visibility.

3. Versatility

You can use an SUV for a wider variety of purposes than a sedan. As we have previously mentioned, it’s an excellent vehicle for family outdoor adventure activities, and many have powerful enough engines to let you tow a boat, trailer, and even a caravan. They can also take on different road surfaces easily. They make excellent rides both on the road and off of it. Like we’ve mentioned earlier, they can be used to haul a variety of things, like boats and trailers. They can do all this because of their all-wheel-drive capability, superior power, and excellent sturdy construction.

The Cons

1. Cost of Fuel and Emissions

Since this car is bigger than your regular passenger car, it will take more gas to drive it. Thankfully, manufacturers are working on making them more fuel-efficient with the use of more aerodynamic designs and also making them weigh less with advanced structural materials. This still doesn’t change the fact that sedans are smaller and lighter, so they are hard to beat for fuel economy. With fuel prices rising even higher, SUVs are, unfortunately, uneconomical in this regard.

Logically, it also gives off more emissions because of its size. This is directly related to the fact that it needs more fuel than a smaller vehicle. Owning an SUV will inevitably cause you to have a bigger carbon footprint and be less environmentally friendly. Because of this, SUVs have been attacked by various environmental groups over the years.

2. Price

Most SUVs, particularly the new ones, are quite a bit more expensive than smaller vehicles. Their number of emissions is also a cause for concern in countries and states that have emission taxes. This means you can be charged more money for an SUV than a smaller car.

It also has a higher cost for its vehicle parts. Be prepared for very expensive tires; you can pay 1000$ for four new ones. You should also keep in mind that the added weight puts more strain on its tires and brakes. Because of this, you’ll have faster wear and tear, which means you’ll have to replace them regularly.

3. Weight and Parking

You might not have a nice time driving an SUV while in the city, so be prepared for this. If you’re not using it to transport five or eight people, all that impressive size is wasted space. Something else you might want to take note of is the fact that SUVs usually ride less smoothly than sedans.

When it comes to parking, it isn’t as easy as it is for a smaller car because of its bulkiness. Parallel parking may pose a particular challenge – even for experienced drivers. It requires spacious parking spots and square footage in the garage. There are no tight-squeeze parking jobs with this vehicle.

Should I Choose a Sedan or an SUV?

The sedans vs. SUVs debate continues, so it’s up to you to make your decision. The list above can help you narrow down your field. You need to look at not only what you want today but also what you will need in the future and your budget. The lines between them are starting to blur. For example, more and more SUVs are becoming car-like, getting tech and safety feature found only on cars. On the other hand, more sedans are being offered with all-wheel drive. Make sure to look at the pros and cons of both and take into consideration everything you need to avoid making the wrong decision. Good luck!

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