Things to Consider Before Buying an SUV
As the auto industry  continues to report another strong year and dealers offer summer incentives, you may be tempted to buy a new car. If you’re debating whether to get an SUV, consider the following points before you make the investment:
SUVs are notorious for their poor fuel inefficiency – Depending on the make and model, the average SUV gets as little as 14 miles per gallon. As gas prices continue to rise, can you really afford to spend more money on gas?
Does your daily routine necessitate a larger car? Accurately assess your lifestyle  before you splurge on an SUV. Most of the time, you don’t need 40 cubic feet of space for daily tasks like running to the grocery store or taking the kids to soccer practice.
But what about special occasions? Yes, it’s true that a camping trip or a week in the mountains will be more comfortable if you have a roomier car, especially if you have more than two children. For those occasions, why not use a car sharing service rather than owning an SUV? A car rental service, such as Zipcar, means you get the kind of vehicle you need for a lot less money. If you reserve a hybrid SUV for your vacation, you’ll save money and garage space, and you’ll sleep better knowing that you’re discharging less CO2 in the atmosphere.
But I truly need an SUV! If you live in an area that sees a lot of snow every winter and an SUV is your only means of getting around, then at least consider buying a more fuel efficient model. Each year, the auto industry produces vehicles that get better mileage and are better bargains. For example, the 2012 Ford Escape Hybrid gets an average of 32 mpg and is cheaper than the 2012 Chevrolet Suburban.
A Personal Choice with Larger Ramifications
Unfortunately, the places where people drive the most fuel inefficient cars are often the places where people drive the most. Larger family cars tend to be popular in the suburbs and rural areas because people have to drive farther and more frequently in order to get to school, work, the grocery store, etc. In an ideal world, we could all rely on public transportation for most of our needs. Until then, compare the higher purchase price, the additional gas prices and the higher maintenance costs of owning a larger car. You might find that a smaller, more economical car will be best for you.
What are your experiences with SUVs and/or hybrid cars? Please comment below.