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Video: How to choose the best SUV

Video: How to choose the best SUV

SUVs remain the most popular car type at ConsumerReports.org. And it is no wonder, with their all-weather, and, for some, all-terrain capabilities; command seating; interior versatility; and towing ability. But with the market overflowing with choices, how can you pick the best for your needs and budget? We’ll show you how.

Our updated SUV buying guide video (below) guides you through key considerations, starting with “How much SUV should I buy?”

There is a real temptation to overbuy in this segment. After all, many SUVs promise the ability to tackle any of life’s vehicular challenges, on or off the pavement. It is natural to want to prepare for rare occasions, such as annual road trips or towing a boat to camp. But being pragmatic about this decision can save you significant money on the initial purchase and over the life of the vehicle.

Visit our SUV buying guide for quick access to the latest advice, Ratings, road tests, and videos.

For most drivers, a small or midsized SUV will suffice. Focus on abilities rather than size because, increasingly, midsized SUVs provide three-row seating and moderate tow capability, making them smart alternatives to larger models. Likewise, so-called small SUVs are not as compact as they once were.

Take extra care in considering a large SUV, as the compromises in operating costs, parking convenience, and performance are significant.

We are seeing significant interest in small SUVs, a segment that offers a step up from cars, literally, without digging too deep into your wallet. Several main players in this segment have been updated or redesigned, providing numerous good choices for buyers. We face-off two notable examples in the May issue, the Mazda CX-5 and Toyota RAV4. And soon, we’ll report our test findings on the Subaru Forester.

To help narrow down the field, our SUV buying guide includes a list of recommended models that score well in our tests, have average or better reliability scores, and have performed well in government and insurance industry crash tests, if tested.

Dig deeper by clicking through to the model pages, where you’ll find detailed road tests, reliability, owner satisfaction, owner cost, and pricing information that can help you make an informed decision.

There are many great choices, so you’d better get busy. Watch the video below to start your SUV adventure.

Discuss SUVs in our forums.

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