7 Features to Look for When Shopping for a Used SUV

Blue Nissan Suv on Green Grass Shopping for a used SUV? Prospective buyers should pay attention to the various features offered by SUVs to help find one that's perfect.

If it’s time to get a new vehicle, an SUV can be an excellent option, as it provides more interior space for the family and a number of other benefits. For those on a budget, buying a used SUV may be a great way to get the most out of the SUV and still save as much money as possible. When it is time to shop around, prospective buyers should pay attention to the various features offered by SUVs to help find one that’s perfect for their family and needs.

Number of Seats

The number of seats available in the SUV can make a huge difference, especially for a still-growing family. The best used suv will have plenty of seating options, as well as plenty of room for everyone in the vehicle. Most SUVs can seat seven or eight people, so the whole family can easily fit in for the ride. Smaller SUVs may have limited space around the seats, though, so be sure to consider that before making a decision. A smaller SUV might be great for families with smaller kids, but for families with teenagers, it may be better to opt for a larger one that has more legroom for everyone to stretch out a little bit on the ride.

When looking at the seating, be sure to also check out how car seats will fit. Car seats can end up being too wide for a seat or won’t fit comfortably with the connections in the SUV. Those with smaller kids may want to bring the car seats to make sure they fit and that there is enough room for all of the car seats that may be needed at once. This will help prevent having to purchase smaller car seats or worry about fitting the whole family in the vehicle comfortably.

Can it Tow?

Most SUVs can tow, but the capability can be limited. Some of them can only tow around 1,000 pounds, which isn’t a lot at all once the weight of the trailer is considered. Others, though, can tow as much as 8,000 pounds. Check the specific towing limits of any SUV that’s being considered to make sure it will be sufficient. If possible, it is a good idea to weigh whatever will be towed in the trailer. This allows for a better idea of the minimum requirements the SUV needs to reach, which can help to narrow down the options when looking at used SUVs.

Cargo Storage

Even if you know all the tricks to maximize storage space in your vehicle, having a little extra space available can help. Families that love to travel or that do so for work, education, or extracurricular activities know how important it is to be able to fit everything in the SUV. Packing carefully can help, but those who travel often will want to make sure the SUV has plenty of storage space available. Consider also whether seats can be removed to fit more cargo, what hidden features the SUV might have to help, and whether it’ll be easy to keep the cargo from moving around while driving.

Entertainment Options

Don’t forget to consider the entertainment options. An older SUV may have limited entertainment options, but there may be tons of choices for a newer SUV. One that has all of the bells and whistles is going to have more updated options that can connect to smartphones, as well as backseat entertainment to help keep the kids busy on longer trips. Consider what might be needed in the front seat as well as what the kids may need on a trip to make sure the entertainment options will work well for the family. It is easier to purchase a used SUV with entertainment options now rather than to add them to the vehicle in the future.

Fuel Economy

Don’t forget to check the fuel economy, especially in older SUVs. Due to technology rapidly changing and improvements in how vehicles today are designed, newer SUVs are going to have a much better fuel economy compared to older ones. This can impact how long the SUV can go before more gas is needed and how much is spent at the gas station. When looking at the fuel economy for the vehicle, be sure to understand that it can drop over time and likely won’t be as high as it was when the vehicle was new.

Driver-Assist Features

In recent years, an increased focus on new technology for safety has created safer SUVs that have plenty of driver-assist features, such as backup cameras or blind spot monitoring. Newer pre-owned SUVs are going to have more of these features, so it is a good idea to understand what they do and whether they’re worth purchasing. Newer used SUVs can be a little more expensive, but the increase in safety and the additional driver-assist features can make it well worth the expense, especially for families that will travel a lot in the SUV.

Included Extras

Some SUVs will have the bare minimum in features and will be great for the budget-conscious. However, buying used does mean the budget can stretch a little bit further, so it may be a good idea to look into the extras that might be included. This can include upgraded trim packages, additional entertainment options, and a whole lot more. Always consider whether the included extras are going to be a good deal, or if it might be better to opt for a less expensive vehicle that doesn’t have them included.

If you’re ready to start looking at used SUVs for your next vehicle, make sure you think about what you need and what can help make your family more comfortable and safe on the road. Consider each of the features listed here before taking an SUV for a test drive to ensure it’s in good shape and ready to go. Once you find the SUV, you can start enjoying more family trips, get everywhere around town with ease, and take advantage of the SUV’s features to have more fun.

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