I love looking at and talking cars. Unlike some, I haven’t actually owned many cars. I’ve owned a total of 6 cars since 1995. The type of car that I had wasn’t always up to me. I’ve had cars, 2 minivans, and 2 SUVs. My heart stays with the SUVs. Although I haven’t owned many cars, thanks to this blog I have been blessed to test drive many cars over the past few years. And again… the SUVs have it!

5-tips-for-choosing-the-right-suv

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love all shiny cars. However, when thinking about what works for myself and my family I prefer SUVs. There is something about a big, beautiful, shiny hunk of steel that makes my heart flutter. Here are the reasons why I’m sticking with an SUV.

3 Rows (Room for the Whole Family)

As you know I have 4 children. This means at any one time there could be 6 people in the car. 7 if my youngest step-daughter is hanging out with us. I have to have room for everyone. Yes, I can get this in a minivan, but been there… done that.. not going back!

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Most SUVs are configured with only 2 rows. This is not enough room for 7 people. I have to have a 3rd row, and room for 7 passengers. Some larger SUVs even have the option of room for 8 passengers. And that 3rd row needs to be made for people with actual legs! That may sound funny, but some that I have tried out had no leg room whatsoever.

Style

One important thing for me is having a vehicle that makes me happy to drive it, even when I’m not with the kids. And I did not feel that way with my minivan at all! There was nothing sexy about it. But now, when I’m driving around in my Ford Explorer it is a car that I actually enjoy driving.

2012-explorer-side-view

Cargo Space

As a mother, hauling 4 kids, backpacks, weekend bags, and more means that I need actual cargo space. Not all SUVs are created equal in this department. The cargo space is one of the first things that I look at when checking out a new car.

rav-4-cargo

If it is not up to par, I move on. I am really not sure what some manufacturers were thinking when they created 6 inches of cargo space in an SUV! Don’t sell yourself short based on the looks of the SUV. Be sure that the cargo space will actually work for your family.

full-cargo-space

Legroom

As mentioned above, having enough space for the whole family is very important. But this is NOT just the # of seats. This is also about whether or not your family actually fits comfortably. Many families go with minivans because they typically have more depth which allows for more legroom. However, there are a few SUVs out there that fit the bill. When choosing a new one, take the family with you. Or at least sit in EVERY seat while someone else sits in the seat in front. Test the legroom, and adjust the seats. Remember, your kids are going to grow… fast! Your 12 year old who fits fine now may not fit very well in 8 months.

Versatility

When I’m not driving the kids around, I’m often heading on photography jobs. This means that I need to haul my equipment. Having an easy to convert and load cargo area is key.

folding-seats

Some are much easier than others. Some even have automatic folding seats. Test out the seats and make sure that you can easily convert them yourselves without help or grunting!

 

See Also: 5 tips to Prepare You & Your Car for the Back to School Commute Life

Check out the Steel Matters blog for more tips and information on choosing your next car, and how #SteelMatters in the vehicles that we drive.

 

Disclosure:

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Steel Market Development Institute. The opinions and text are all mine.