Exorbitant gas prices and economic downturns appear to have little impact on the well-being and heartiness of the modern-day dinosaurs: SUVs, with all their shapes, sizes, and price ranges, have not been driven to extinction. Quite the contrary: With luxury SUVs here to stay, the consumer can only expect the competitive nature of automobile producers to continually improve their performance and overall quality. Since the market is constantly being introduced to newer and better versions of the models already available, it will be left to the consumer to compile luxury SUV comparisons in order to stay well-informed.
Luxury SUV Comparison
Lucky for the consumer, the Internet provides a myriad of choices, even before the driver gets behind the wheel for the first test drive. Tools for comparing the various sizes and functionalities represented in the SUV market today abound. Unfortunately, the consumer still has to narrow the choices according to individual needs and circumstances. Price is hardly the only consideration. There are so many questions to be answered that the initial weeding-out often seems overwhelming. With so many safety features, amenities, and power levels represented, just getting to the point where the Internet becomes helpful represents an accomplishment in its own right.
Before the SUV comparison research can begin, the customer will find it necessary to do the ground work. A list of questions may get the ball rolling. For example, how many passengers will be traveling on average? How much space will they need and how much baggage will they be taking along? Will the vehicle be used for longer journeys, or will the family use the vehicle daily? How important is headroom? Seating? In-vehicle assistance service? An adjustable gas pedal? A rear armrest? An occupant sensor? A keyless access system? Once these questions have been answered, the real work of comparing the vehicles can begin.
Determining the adequate size of vehicle for one’s needs is perhaps the most important question. Cargo capacity often determines the engine size and powertrain features required by the consumer. The number of luxury amenities desired can also have bearing on the size and configuration of the interior. Making these decisions before the actual search begins can save time and facilitate the online research.
Once the size of the SUV and all of the desired features have been determined, it is time to acquaint oneself with the tools provided on most car SUV comparison websites. In fact, most sites now have the option of viewing vehicles according to size. Comparing the features of several automobiles at once becomes a snap: the features are arranged in columns side-by-side, making the task at hand easier than ever before. In the small-size class, the 2012 Acura RDX, Audi Q5, BMW X3, and Cadillac SRX range similarly in price, with the Acura slightly less expensive. The engines are quite different, however, with the Cadillac coming in with approximately 60 HP more than the others. Where the fuel economy of the Cadillac is not listed, the others all range similarly on the MPG scale. Transmissions are also quite varied, with the BMW offering the only 8-speed automatic.
Prices in the mid-size category range anywhere from $32,000 to $49,000 but the engine size can differ as much as 100 HP. Transmissions range from 5-speed to 8-speed, with fuel economy reflected accordingly. Once again, the mid-size BMW boasts of the best numbers for highway travel, but the Audi fares better in the city.
If the mid-size SUV does not provide the cargo capacity and power to suit the customer’s needs, the large-size SUV may fit the bill. The price ranges begin to vary widely in this category. The Cadillac Escalade and the Land Rover Range Rover vary from $63,000 to $95,000, while the Toyota Sequoia can go home with the customer for as little as $41,000. The BMW X5, which ranges between $46,000 and $59,000, may lie in mid-range as far as price, but it out-performs the others in fuel economy. The BMW is also the only vehicle in this comparison that offers an 8-speed automatic.
Used Luxury SUV Comparison
According to SUV reviews, SUVs of all sizes have become hot items on the used car market. Take, for example, the same Range Rover that cost $70,000 in 2008: it can be had for about $41,000 three years later. That compares to the price of a new 2011 Toyota Sequoia. The 2008 Sequoia would sell for about $23,000 three years later. The Cadillac Escalade, which cost around $70,000 in 2008, would be on the market for $33,000 in 2011. The Japanese and European models definitely enjoy the best resale values.
SUV MPG Comparison
Of the small and mid-size SUVs, the European models exhibited the best fuel efficiency, hands down. In the large-size category, BMW outshined the rest. The Land Rover did remarkably well on the highway with 18 mpg, despite the fact that its engine size dwarfs the competition.
Whether the consumer is looking for the old school SUVs with their extra interior and cargo room, or the newest sleek, fuel-efficient models, there is definitely something for everyone on the SUV market today. The number of super-sized models may have dwindled, but there are plenty of cross-over versions in their place. If the consumer is willing to do a little Suv Comparison research in preparation for the hunt, the rewards will be his to reap. Happy touring!
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