The Most Comfortable SUVs
The Most Comfortable SUVs
Think about the amount of time you’ll spend in your SUV. You go to work, shop, take your kids to their activities and go on family vacations. With so much of your life spent on the road, it’s important to find an SUV that’s comfortable enough to take you and your family through all of life’s duties.
What size SUV do you need?
The first thing you need to do is decide what type of SUV you and your family need. While most small crossover SUVs seat five people, the Dodge Journey has an optional third row, which adds two seats. Just bear in mind that in small crossover SUVs, third rows tend to cost more and can be cramped and uncomfortable for adults.
For more space, check out midsize and large SUVs, which typically seat anywhere from five to nine people and carry a lot of cargo. The Chevrolet Tahoe, a large SUV, seats up to nine while holding 16.9 cubic feet of cargo. With the second row folded and third row removed, its cargo capacity swells to 108.9 cubic feet. In comparison, the Honda CR-V, a compact crossover, holds 37.2 cubic feet with all five seats in use and maxes out at 70.9 with the second row folded.
If you want a crossover SUV that seats more people than the Honda CR-V, consider the redesigned Hyundai Santa Fe. With an optional third row and seat belts for seven, the Santa Fe has 80 cubic feet of cargo space behind the first row of seats. There’s 40.9 cubic feet of cargo room behind the second row and 13.5 cubic feet behind the third row.
Is the driver comfortable?
When shopping for an SUV, it’s important that the driver’s seat fits you. Check the controls. Can you adjust the temperature and other features without reaching too far? Check the steering wheel. Does it tilt and telescope, and can you find a comfortable driving position?
Are seats plush and adjustable? Imagine yourself after driving for a few hours. If your back starts to hurt after 30 minutes, it probably won’t feel much better after three hours on the road. Don’t forget to check your sight lines. Are there a lot of blind spots? Do you have a clear, commanding view of the road? If the SUV you choose has great visibility, you’ll feel more relaxed and confident behind the wheel.
Interior features can also aid driver comfort. Check for features like steering wheel-mounted controls, hands-free Bluetooth connectivity and conversation mirrors. The less you have to fiddle with the radio and your phone or turn around to check on the kids, the more at ease you’ll feel. Power-adjustable seats, heated and cooled front seats, a heated steering wheel and power lumbar support are also features that should make driving more comfortable. These amenities aren’t standard on all SUVs and crossovers, but it may be worth the extra money to add them.
Are the passengers comfortable?
When checking out the passenger seats, think about who is going to use them most. If you plan on routinely hauling older kids or adults, you’ll need more space. Pay attention to the SUV’s interior dimensions. Keep in mind, though, that just because an SUV looks big from the outside, it may not be particularly roomy on the inside. For instance, the Chevrolet Tahoe is a large, truck-based SUV with up to nine seats, but reviewers say that the third row is best left to children. However, test drivers think the midsize Chevrolet Traverse’s third row is comfortable for adults.