SUVs offer some great benefits that are attractive to many drivers. At some point, everyone finds themselves in a situation where they wish their vehicle had more room for cargo, passengers, or both, and an SUV is often a desirable solution to those issues. But not everyone loves paying the premium price that many SUVs carry with them, and often people who live in densely-populated urban centers simply can’t find room to park a full-size SUV.
Luckily, there are several different options that car buyers can look into that will provide some of the desired features of an SUV while avoiding some of the drawbacks. You may not be able to find a vehicle that gives you exactly what an SUV would, but you can prioritize which features are most important to you, and find an affordable car in a class that fits your needs.
Auto manufacturers have worked hard to remove the stigma from minivans that they are only dull, slow boxes for soccer moms. So while they’re still a great choice for many families, today’s minivans feature sleek modern lines, enhanced performance specs, and the newest innovations in entertainment systems and comfort technology.
Most minivans offer customizable seating arrangement, so you can keep all of the seats up when you’re carpooling with eight people, and lower some when you need more room for that new appliance from the hardware store. Motor Trend reports that minivans often hold a slight edge in fuel economy over SUVs and crossovers, so you’ll be saving at the pump as well.
And because auto manufacturers know that the families looking at minivans take safety very seriously, they are engineered to meet the strictest and toughest safety standards. According to the Boston Globe, inside a minivan is the safest place to be in a crash and they are, as a class, “probably the safest light vehicles on the road.” Many minivans also feature optional all-wheel drive for drivers who are looking for extra traction in wintry conditions.
Pickup trucks offer excellent value in comparison to SUVs, with even more cargo carrying and towing ability. Although pickup trucks are an incredibly popular class of vehicle, so many are produced for the American market that there is often a chance of finding one with your desired features at a competitive price. And these days, you don’t even have to sacrifice much interior space. Modern crew cab pickups seat five comfortably, and offer great flexibility for when you need to carry even large loads or tow another vehicle.
Pickup trucks also don’t have to be huge, unwieldy vehicles to be effective. Many compact pickups would be a great option for someone who doesn’t want the size of a large SUV, but still needs the cargo carrying capacity. Because of the open bed, compact pickups are able to accommodate larger cargo loads while still keeping the frame of the vehicle small enough to park and maneuver in urban areas. You can have the best of both worlds with the size of a compact car and the cargo space of an SUV!
Also, four-wheel drive is almost always an option when shopping for a pickup truck. As opposed to all-wheel drive, which is a feature that is always activated on equipped vehicles, four-wheel drive offers the driver the option to engage or disengage based on the driving conditions.
Traffic School/Defensive Driving Course
Whichever SUV alternative you decide on, the first thing that you should do is consider enrolling in a defensive driving course. A defensive driving course will allow you to brush up on your knowledge of traffic laws and teach you valuable defensive driving techniques that may help you prevent accidents in the future, but there are other great benefits to the courses as well!
Many states will allow you to take a course in order to dismiss a traffic ticket that is not alcohol-related, and you can avoid having points added to your license. The eligibility for the program will be determined by your traffic court, but for many people a defensive driving course is a great way to avoiding having to pay an expensive fine, or possibly having your driver’s license suspended because you have accumulated too many points.
As an added bonus, many insurance companies offer an instant discount on your rates simply for passing a defensive driving course. Contact your auto insurance company for more details, and enroll in a defensive driving course today!