Work, Earn, Invest With Us
There's no denying that the popularity of SUVs has grown significantly over the years. It has actually grown so much that there is now a huge selection when it comes to this type of vehicle. This is both good and bad. As far as selection goes, you can get just about anything you want in the SUV class. On the other hand, with so many options, it can be hard to differentiate between models. So what are the types of SUVs available today? Mainly, the difference is in the size and chassis.
When it comes time for you to decide which SUV is right for you, there are some things you should know. First of all, it will either be on a car chassis or a truck chassis. Secondly, you should know the size you're looking for. Various sizes include:
- Compact crossover
Lastly, you'll want to know what type of engine and features the SUV you're considering comes equipped with. Each automaker will have its own special twist on this increasingly popular vehicle type.
What's in the Size?
If you're still confused about how these different sizes compare, let's dig a little deeper. In the crossover segment, SUVs are more car-like. These will be the smallest SUVs you can buy. This type of SUV drives more like a car than a truck and is typically equipped with either a four- or six-cylinder engine. While they can handle some off-roading, they're not really made for rugged roads. You can expect much better gas mileage from a crossover SUV than its larger counterpart.
A mid-size SUV is more truck-like. It Still Runs explains that these types of SUVs are able to handle rougher terrain when they're equipped with four-wheel drive. They also mention that most of the time a mid-size SUV will come with a six-cylinder engine, however, they can have an eight-cylinder engine under the hood. Additionally, you'll have more room inside a mid-size SUV, especially behind the rear seats.
Full-size SUVs are also truck-like and will be closer to an automaker's largest trucks. This means that you'll have the ability to tow and haul the most with this type of SUV. They also provide a higher driving position and give you increased traction in slippery road conditions. The downside to a full-size SUV is that it can be difficult to maneuver and slow to accelerate. Chances of a rollover are much higher in this type of SUV. These are also the least fuel-efficient vehicles in this class with their powerful six- or eight-cylinder engines.
As listed on Vehicle Charts, some of the SUVs You'll find in each class are as follows:
- Toyota RAV4
- Honda CR-V
- Dodge Journey
- Jeep Cherokee
- Kia Sorento
- Jeep Grand Cherokee
- Ford Explorer
Making its debut in 1994, the Toyota RAV4 has since made a name for itself in the SUV market. The latest models are equipped with modern driver-assist technologies such as forward collision warning, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, and more. Standard features available on all trim levels include LED headlights, a 7-inch touchscreen, a rearview camera, and 17-inch steel wheels. For added comfort and flexibility, you'll also get 60/40 split-folding rear seats that also recline. The starting MSRP for the RAV4 is $25,950, according to cars.com.
You can get the Honda CR-V in one of four trim levels. They each add features as you move up the line, but standard on every trim level is the same capable turbocharged four-cylinder engine that creates 184 horsepower, a continuously variable transmission, a rearview camera, and Bluetooth connectivity. If you want a more powerful engine, you can opt for the EX trim level, while the Touring trim will get you lots of luxurious touches. You can get this one, cars.com says, for a starting MSRP of $25,050.
The Dodge Journey is a favorite among families because of its third-row and affordable price. The second row has a 60/40 split-fold configuration, while the third row folds down in a 50/50 split configuration. This makes it easy to fit the passengers and cargo you need to carry. Front-wheel drive is standard on all three trim levels, but you can upgrade to all-wheel drive if you prefer. It's equipped with either a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine or a 3.6-liter V-6. The first one is paired to a four-speed automatic transmission, and the other one is mated to a six-speed automatic.
Get behind the wheel of the Jeep Cherokee, a mid-size crossover SUV that is sure to impress. Starting at its base trim level, you'll enjoy features such as an infotainment system with a 7-inch screen, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration, a 60/40 split-fold rear seat, and more. It has a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that comes standard, but a 3.2-liter V-6 or a 2.0-liter turbo are available options. Every engine will come mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission.
Anyone who wants a quiet and stylish ride that still offers plenty of room for passengers will love what the Kia Sorento has to offer. It features a third-row seat and lots of standard features, such as integrated turn signals in the side mirrors, a rearview camera, Bluetooth connectivity, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. CarMax says that there are two engines available for this SUV. Depending on the trim level you want, you will get either a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine paired to a six-speed automatic transmission or a 3.3-liter V-6 with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Jeep Grand Cherokee
Head off on an adventure in the Jeep Grand Cherokee, this capable SUV is ready for anything. Standard features you'll find starting at the base trim level are dual-zone automatic temperature control, rear parking sensors, a six-speaker audio system, and a 7-inch touchscreen. For true off-road adventures, you'll want to choose the Trailhawk trim level, as it includes four-wheel drive. Upgrade to the Trackhawk to also get an engine capable of 707 horsepower.
Inside the quiet cabin of the Ford Explorer, you'll find a power-adjustable driver's seat and a USB port, and a panoramic sunroof that lets in plenty of light and fresh air is available on the top-tier trim level. Go with the Sport trim to get upgraded suspension and a powerful turbocharged V-6 engine.
These are just some of the types of SUVs out there. Know what the differences are so you can make an informed decision when it's time to buy.
Information and research in this article verified by ASE-certified Master Technician Duane Sayaloune of YourMechanic.com. For any feedback or correction requests please contact us at [email protected].