If you are in the market for a new car, chances are you are feeling overwhelmed by all of the choices available to you. With so many options, it can be hard to know exactly which type of car will suit you best. As soon as you begin your search you will be inundated with choices ranging from spacious SUVs to gas saving hybrid and electric models. The best thing to do is spend some time researching and finding out as much information as you can about these different kinds of vehicles. Each one has its pros and cons and with the right planning and research, you will find the right vehicle for you. To help you narrow down your search, let’s examine the pros and cons of SUVs, hybrid, and electric vehicles.
SUVs (Sport Utility Vehicles)
SUV’s were initially designed to provide a spacious interior for hauling passengers and goods while built on a frame similar to a truck. This made the vehicle ideal for off-roading and driving in adverse weather conditions. However, it rose to popularity as consumers found the spacious interior to be ideal for accommodating the needs of their family. As with any other type of vehicle, there are advantages and disadvantages to owning an SUV.
As previously mentioned, a big advantage to buying an SUV is the amount of interior space and storage they provide. Average mid-full size sedans can’t compete with all of the storage capacity of an SUV. They are perfect for families needing to haul children and equipment to daily activities. They provide the space of a van while still feeling like a car.
Stability and Safety
SUV’s tend to be wider than sedans and certainly sit up higher which makes them slightly safer than cars. However, it should be noted that because they sit higher off the ground, SUV’s are more prone to rollovers when accidents occur at high speeds. Although drivers may feel much safer in a larger SUV, crash tests have determined that they are only slightly safer.
Since most SUVs are equipped with four-wheel drive, they tend to perform better than cars in rain and snow. The four-wheel drive feature helps to prevent slipping and skidding on slick streets.
SUVs are not known for being fuel efficient. Due to their size and weight, they use more fuel than a car which equates to increased fuel costs in the long run. You can, however, look for models with better fuel economy.
Again, this is certainly not an advantage for SUV’s as they give off a lot more emissions than smaller cars. Increased gasoline consumption correlates to more fumes and emissions. This is one of the main reasons automakers began designing hybrid and electric SUVs.
Hybrid vehicles got their name because they utilize two different engine technologies together. They feature a standard gasoline engine as well as an electric motor that is powered from a rechargeable battery pack. Hybrid vehicles were created to address the emissions problems associated with SUVs. The purpose of hybrid vehicles is to create an environmentally friendly vehicle that offers better gas mileage and lower emissions. Although they are commonly confused with electric vehicles, hybrid vehicles are very different in that they still run primarily on internal combustion gasoline and are only assisted by an electric motor. Like SUVs, there are pros and cons to hybrid vehicles.
Hybrid vehicles are the most fuel efficient of all standard gasoline vehicles and typically get anywhere from 48-60 mpg. This means savings on fuel costs over a period of time. This is also one of the biggest reasons people choose to purchase a hybrid vehicle.
Aside from fuel efficiency, the next biggest advantage of hybrid vehicles is the lowered emissions. Consumers who are looking to purchase a “green” vehicle that is better for the environment will certainly be pleased to know that hybrid vehicles produce very little emissions compared to standard SUV’s.
Easier to Charge
Another benefit of hybrid vehicles over electric vehicles is that the gas motor charges the battery while it's running. Unlike electric vehicles that rely solely on charging stations, hybrid owners never have to worry about their battery running out of juice. When the battery gets low, the gas motor kicks in. Therefore, hybrid owners never have to worry about plugging their vehicle into an outlet.
While the technology that powers hybrid vehicles is certainly impressive, it is also complex and expensive. All of these systems working together make for a pricier vehicle and can expect to pay several thousand dollars more for a hybrid vehicle as opposed to a standard SUV. Furthermore, this complex technology can make for more time in the shop and heftier repair bills.
As the name suggests, electric vehicles do not use gasoline at all and are instead powered by a rechargeable battery. The large battery is coupled with a powerful electric motor that can deliver adequate range and performance without the need to include a gas tank at all.
When you begin shopping for an EV you might be surprised at the cost of these vehicles. The more affordable models start between $30,000-$40,000 while luxury models can be as much as $80,000 or more. Consumers can definitely expect to pay between $10,000-$50,000 more for an EV. Although you will save a great deal of money on fuel costs, the initial investment might not outweigh the fuel savings.
EV’s are designed to drive between 80-100 miles on a charge. That makes them ideal for city driving but it can be a bit more of a challenge for traveling. Unless you live in an area where there are multiple EV charging stations, it can be difficult to charge your vehicle when you are traveling. Lack of charging availability is a drawback for some customers. In addition, it can take several hours for an EV to be fully charged, compared to the few minutes it takes to fill up a tank of gas.
For many consumers, this is one of the most attractive features of EVs. Since there is no exhaust system, EVs have zero emissions. This makes them the most environmentally friendly vehicle available.
Since EVs do not require oil, there is no need for routine oil changes and other maintenance that you have to deal with on a standard vehicle. The brakes also have a longer life on EVs so that can be even more savings.
Electric vehicles are practically silent, which makes for a very enjoyable ride. In addition to being virtually noise free, owners of EVs get a tax credit from the government that can be as much as $7500 depending on the make and model.
Each of these vehicles has its own advantages and disadvantages so you will need to decide which features are most important to you. Consider things like your budget, what you plan to use your vehicle for, where you live, and what features are most attractive to you in order to find the vehicle that best suits your needs.