The Most Comfortable SUVs
The Most Comfortable SUVs
Think about the amount of time you 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 for your family.
Is it big enough?
First, decide how many seats and how much cargo space you need. Most compact SUVs seat five people, but sometimes you can select an optional third row. Just bear in mind that on compact SUVs, third rows tend to cost more and are usually uncomfortable. For more space, check out mid-size and full-size SUVs, which fit anywhere from five to nine people and all their stuff. The Chevrolet Tahoe, a large SUV, seats nine and holds up to 108.9 cubic feet of cargo. In comparison, the Honda CR-V, a popular crossover, holds 35.7 cubic feet with all five seats in use.
Cargo space might be an odd thing to consider when we’re talking comfort, but ample rear storage will make everyone happier, especially on road trips. With enough cargo space, it’s easy to pack luggage and suitcases won’t block the driver’s rear view. Rear passengers will also be a lot more comfortable if duffel bags aren’t crammed under their feet and luggage doesn’t fall on them because gear is stacked too high. If abundant cargo space is important to you, look at large SUVs. The Chevrolet Suburban’s total cargo space is huge, and can hold 137.4 cubic feet of stuff. Just keep in mind that while most large SUVs have tons of cargo space overall, that amount decreases with passenger seats in use. In the Suburban, for example, cargo space decreases to 45.8 cubic feet with passengers in the third row.
Is the driver comfortable?
Think about it: you may drive your car without passengers, but it’s not going anywhere without a driver. Make sure 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, making it easier to find a comfortable driving position?
Are seats plush and adjustable? Imagine yourself driving in the SUV for a few hours. If your back starts to hurt after thirty minutes, cross that SUV off the list -- it won’t withstand the long haul. Also 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 behind the wheel.
Interior features also aid driver comfort. Check for features like steering wheel-mounted controls, hands- free Bluetooth connectivity and conversation mirrors which are available in the Honda CR-V and Toyota Highlander. Conversation mirrors help you keep an eye on kids in the back. The less you have to fiddle with the radio and your phone and turn around to check the kids, the more at ease you’ll feel. Not all of these features are standard, but it may be worthwhile to add them.
Are the passengers comfortable?
When checking out the passenger seats, think about who is going to be back there the most. If you plan on routinely hauling older kids or adults, you’ll need more space. Pay attention to the SUV’s interior dimensions. Larger numbers mean more available space and more comfort, but you’ll still need to check out the seats.