What is the Best SUV for Your Money?
Check out these tough beauties! They are sure give you value for your money and prove to be robust companions during rough patches - of roads as well as life.
Kia Sportage LX
A compact crossover SUV manufactured by Korean automakers, Kia Motors, the initial Sportage models dwelt more upon the cuter side and looked a tad unimpressive as an SUV. However, the third-generation model, designed by Peter Schreyer, is a way tougher variation of the previous models of LX and convertibles. The current model is available in two trims, LX and EX. Both trims boast of the reliable standard Kia features of alloy wheels, air conditioning, six-speaker CD stereo which comes with auxiliary and USB audio jacks, tinted glass and a full range of power accessories.
Although it may not look very bulky from the outside, the Sportage packs plenty of head and leg space and the rear seats can be split and folded to form a level cargo floor with a maximum storage space of 67 cubic feet. The safety features include six standard airbags, including front as well as side impact air bags and side curtain airbags. It also comes with traction control and four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes. The engine of the LX trim is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine packing 140 horsepower.
It is also equipped with a five-speed manual and a four-speed automatic transmission. Although Sportages having this kind of engine come in front-wheel-drive variants, Kia also gives the option of a 4WD on models having manual transmission. The upgraded Sportage LX also boasts of a 173 horsepower 2.7 liter V6. All this for less than USD 20, 000!! No, I don't smoke weed - it's absolutely true!
This Chevy baby is one of the best mid-sized SUV which is based on GM's Theta unibody platform. The Chevy Equinox is considered among the top rated SUVs and belongs to the steadily growing segment of plus sized small crossover SUVs, while still maintaining the style and utility that is associated with the more traditional SUVs.
The current Equinox models which we see belong to the second generation and come equipped with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine which is great for 182 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque, except for the LS trim which comes with a 3.0-liter V6 that pumps out 264 hp and 222 lb-ft of torque. It comes in 4 trim levels - LS, 1LT, 2LT and LTZ. The upgraded trims like 2LT boast of such upscale features as automatic climate control and upgraded audio whereas the lofty LTZ cashes on luxury features such as power liftgate and leather upholstery.
All trims come equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive, with all-wheel drive option. Unlike the previous generation models, the current Equinox comes across as strikingly stylish with the assurance of a smooth and quiet ride. This SUV is highly fuel efficient and is one of the best SUV for your money! Yes, yes, I was just coming to the price. It would cost you somewhere between USD 20, 000 and USD 25, 000 - a bit higher than the Sportage but then, consider the look factor!
Another mid-sized crossover SUV, the recent model of Pilot is equipped with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive options and it comes in four trim levels - LX. EX, EX-L and Touring. The initial models of the Honda Pilot literally created the mid-sized crossover SUV market and these had a cheerful, softer look. The current generation models carry a more rugged, rough-n-tough look and a boxy, angular shape to match a 3.5-liter V6 engine, generating 250 horsepower and 253 pound-feet of torque!
With a cargo capacity of 87 cubic feet, the Honda Pilot comes equipped to carry just about anything! All Pilots come with a five speed automatic transmission. The LX variant comes with standard 17-inch steel wheels, offers keyless entry option and a tilt/telescoping steering wheel besides full power accessories, cruise control and a CD/MP3 music system having a seven-speaker feature. The EX trim is furnished with 17-inch alloy wheels, a power driver seat, an in-dash six-CD changer along with luxury features like automatic climate control and satellite radio.
The EX-L boasts of added upgradations like leather upholstery, heated front seats, a sunroof and a rear view-mirror-mounted back-up camera. The top end Touring trim comes with a 10-speaker car audio system, Bluetooth and a navigation system. It also offers a rear-seat entertainment system option. The Pilot somewhat lags behind in the fuel efficiency department. The damages are somewhere between USD 25, 000 to USD 30, 000. Luxury is this SUV's middle name, as is features!
Perhaps one of the smallest SUVs, the RAV4 is ideal for a family of two to four. The current Toyota RAV4 model comes in Base, Sport and Limited trims, with options of either a four-cylinder or a V6 engine, and either front-wheel drive or an on-road-biased all-wheel-drive system and standard automatic transmission. The present generation RAV4 models are equivalent to the mid-sized Toyota Highlander in length and has a more powerful V6 engine.
This SUV's narrow built and light weight makes it easy-to-park and a fuel efficient alternative to higher end SUVs. The 179-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine offers amazingly great acceleration and optimum fuel economy. An RAV4 having 269 horsepower along with 3.5-liter V6 engine is pretty fast and the most fuel-efficient six-cylinder SUV in its category. It requires light steering and boasts of strong brakes, making the driving experience seem effortless. It comes within an attractive price range of USD 21, 000 to USD 25, 000!
The Highlander packs it all - the looks of an SUV, cargo-carrying versatility and the driving experience of a regular car! Attractive package, ain't it? The newest model of this mid-sized crossover SUV has a seating capacity of seven and comes in three trim levels - Base, Sport and Limited. Base models pack all the standard features offered by all contemporary vehicles in this segment.
The Sport comes with bigger wheels and a sport-tuned suspension among other luxury and convenience features. The Limited model boasts of a softer suspension tuning than the Sport, besides leather upholstery and spoils you with an indulgent assortment of interior paraphernalia. Highlanders come in both front wheel as well as all wheels drive options.
The Base trim with front-drive option is equipped with a standard 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine which can easily handle 187 horsepower as well as 186 pound-feet of torque. It also offers a six-speed automatic transmission option. Other trims come with dexterous 3.5-liter V6 engines capable of 270 hp and 248 lb-ft of torque and a standard five speed transmission. A hybrid powered Highlander option is also available. The price range is between USD 25, 000 to USD 42, 000.
These were five of the best SUVs for your money. If you are looking for new generation models, check out the best rated SUVs for the year and conduct extensive research to decide upon the best. There are also some good SUV that offer gas economy among the new models available; do check them out if fuel efficiency is your chief concern. Before you zero in on any one, make sure to evaluate your requirements in terms of seating space, cargo capacity, speed options, engine specifications and particulars of use and match them up against your budget.
Make sure you go for the one that meets all your requirements, albeit a bit pricey, rather than settling for the cheapest one. An automobile is a fixed asset and it is wise to make a one-time-long-term investment which would deliver stable returns for at least 5-7 years than spending less initially and then emptying your pocket on frequent repairs and replacements. Decide wisely and bring home a tough travel companion who would accompany you whenever you hit the road, no matter how tough the going is!