Life in the Fast Lane...Or Slow: A Car to Suit Your Lifestyle

Have you ever asked yourself what kind of vehicle would best suit your needs? It’s yet another question in the often complex process of buying a new automobile, but a necessary one all the same. Depending on your lifestyle and personal preferences, you might favor something that maximizes passenger seating, storage capacity, safety, looks, or even balances those factors easily.

Today, we’ll be taking a look at how cars (sedans and coupes), trucks, and SUVs generally stack up against one another when it comes to several important car buying factors. With these details, you’ll be able to make a more well-informed decision about what kind of vehicle will best match your day-to-day life.

Safety First

Safety is a prime concern for just about every driver, and in this category, trucks and SUVs generally take the prize. As a 2015 report from Quoted points out, larger, heavier vehicles will always a greater amount of energy to smaller ones, so in a collision, the bigger vehicle does a better job of shielding its occupants:

“In any given collision between a car and an SUV, the driver and passengers in the SUV are 4 to 7 times more likely to walk away than the driver of the car.” 

Which isn’t to say that cars can’t be relatively safe. Being less massive, cars often perform better at braking quickly, according to Consumer Reports. In crash situations, however, an SUV or truck will offer a greater degree of protection.

Passengers v. Load Capability

Sedans are a good choice for passenger-focused drivers, especially moderately sized families. but will often only seat four to five passengers. SUVs, on the other hand, particularly those with third-row seating, can hold up to eight passengers with superior comfort. Even SUVs without third-row seating, though, will often provide more room for passengers and a more accommodating ride.

On the other end of this spectrum, you have trucks, whose beds allow for greater carrying capacity (if you’re moving furniture or other objects) but not as much space for passengers. While you can find some trucks with larger cabins to seat more passengers, the accommodations aren’t typically as comfortable as those of sedans or SUVs.

That being said, there’s some speculation on the part of Consumer Reports that pickup trucks are veering in a more family-friendly direction, despite their higher price tags and relative lack of handling compared to smaller vehicles.

Insurance Costs

Insurance rates will fluctuate around the country, but generally speaking, cars are more expensive to insure than SUVs or trucks. According to the insurance experts at The Zebra, the average yearly cost for car insurance in 2018 was $864, while the rate for SUVs and trucks was lower ($778 and $761, respectively).

Fuel Efficiency

While larger vehicles will often provide more in terms of safety, they’ll also offer less in terms of gas mileage. Removing electric vehicles from the equation, the Environmental Protection Agency’s combined MPG ratings for the most fuel-efficient cars ranks higher than that of SUVs and trucks, with compact cars far outpacing the entire lot.

Wrapping Up

Be sure to keep these very critical factors in mind when researching new cars, in addition to more obvious features like looks and extra comforts. This will allow you to gain a more complete picture of whether that vehicle you’ve been eyeing is a good match for your lifestyle, and help you narrow down your options before you take that trip to the car dealership.