A Guide to SUV Features That Are Impossible to Live Without

February 12th, 2021 by

A gray 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee parked in front of a downtown café with red umbrella

Are you looking to buy a used SUV for sale? Durham, NC, has plenty of options to choose from. It’s a fact that SUVs are among the most beloved vehicles in the United States, so choosing to buy an SUV can start out being an easy decision. That said, the tough part about buying an SUV is what comes after that initial thought: what features do you want in your new SUV?

While SUVs are without a doubt beloved by Americans across the country, this also means that the number of available features in such a popular vehicle type will be just as expansive. Between heated seating, safety features, and many other options, the question of what to buy in your vehicle can be just as difficult as choosing a make and model. Fear not, while choosing between optional features can be time-consuming, there are a few notable features that will make your life easier and are virtually impossible to live without.

What Is an SUV Made Of?

As we already mentioned, SUVs are one of the big three vehicle types in the American automotive market, along with sedans and pickup trucks. It may be more accurate to say that the SUV is a blend of the two, with the capability of a truck and the comfort of a passenger vehicle. This may be an ample explanation for why the SUV has grown in popularity throughout the years.

By incorporating a truck chassis instead of a much smaller passenger car chassis, the SUV can handle a lot more than a mere sedan can. To be more detailed, it would be accurate to say that the performance of an SUV is more like that of a truck than a sedan; its chassis allows for the SUV to handle more difficult road conditions, and its larger size allows it to carry more cargo and passengers. On the other hand, by incorporating the upper design of a passenger vehicle, the SUV feels more comfortable than a truck normally would be. Largely, to create the most comfortable SUV experience, the features of your vehicle should aim to enhance this blended design.

Front-view of a blue 2019 Ford Edge driving fast on a woodland road

What Are Some Features to Look For?

Of course, most features found in an SUV will be able to suit this blend of design. SUVs on the market today largely do this with their plentiful arsenal of different comfort, safety, and performance features. From blind-spot protection to improved seating to foldable seating, there has not been a limit on the possible combinations when it comes to buying an SUV in the modern-day.

Nonetheless, buying a used SUV is different from buying a new factory-made vehicle. There is only a limited amount of used vehicles on the market, and when it comes down to it, the combinations of features in a used SUV are going to be limited to how the vehicle was bought by its previous owner. While this can be a hassle when choosing a vehicle to buy, here are some features that will make any SUV purchase worthwhile.

Blind Spot Protection and Back-up Cameras

Although these are two different features, we’re going to group these together because their usage is basically for the same purpose. To put it more clearly, one of the biggest issues with an SUV that differs from the normal passenger vehicle design is its large size. And with a large size comes larger blind spots and mobility issues; these kinds of issues are what set apart safety technology in an SUV from safety technology in a sedan.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with getting as many safety features as possible. However, a backup camera is often more useful in an SUV than in a sedan. Because parking is becoming more difficult as the car-owning population rises, a backup camera is nearly impossible to live without in an SUV today. It doesn’t only make parking easier, but it makes backing into a parking space and onto the road safer for everyone in the vehicle.

Blindspot warning systems are also an important touch in an SUV, even more so than other features like automatic braking. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that blind-spot warning systems are the safety feature that has most revolutionized safety in the car market overall, especially in larger blind-spot vehicle types like trucks and SUVs. Believe it or not, a large portion of vehicle accidents that have occurred over the years have been the result of lane changing.

A black 2019 Nissan Armada parked in front of a wall of colorful graffiti

Foldable Seating

Convenience is important in the modern SUV. One could go so far as to say that the very design of the SUV was based on convenience by implementing the best features or trucks and smaller vehicles. Nonetheless, folding seats is possibly one of the surprisingly most useful convenience features for an SUV owner.

To begin, one of the biggest targets for convenience features in any large vehicle is cargo space. Large vehicles, especially utility vehicles like the standard SUV, have become the ideal vacation vehicle for family road trips due to their mix of comfort and size. Of course, cargo is the most important part of these kinds of trips, so maximizing the cargo hold can be equated to increasing the enjoyment of a trip; this is where foldable seating is important. By sacrificing seats that you aren’t using in the first place, you’re able to significantly increase the amount of luggage you can pull in one vehicle.

Of course, this assumes that you aren’t using all of your seats. Truthfully, in that case, this feature would be less useful, but there are other uses for this feature outside of vacation. This type of feature is useful for situations ranging from transporting large items to fitting a large number of tools for the handyman. In the end, foldable seating is one of the more versatile convenience features in the modern SUV and can be enhanced when coupled with features like automatically opening tailgates.

Comfortable Suspension

The design of an SUV may seem simple, but there are hundreds of parts that build up the intricate design of any vehicle. The powertrain and interior design are one portion, but the suspension is another story that is often not considered when looking into a new vehicle. But the importance of good suspension features cannot be underestimated, as it will be the base for the smooth drive that is expected from an SUV.

Suspension upgrades are notably different from the features we’ve talked about above in that they can be lived without. But, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that suspension is the pinnacle of the SUV experience. In a way, suspension absorbing the vibrations and bumps of the road is what makes the drive of an SUV different from the bumpy drive of a sedan or a truck. So, in a way, it is possible to live without suspension upgrades, but you certainly won’t be enjoying the same experience that other SUV owners are.

What Does It All Mean?

In a world of complexity, the modern SUV has become a machine full of gadgets and features. All in all, this means that choosing only a few available features can be incredibly difficult. There are, however, a selection of features that are impossible to live without in an SUV: high-quality safety technology, flexible seating, good suspension, and a plethora of other comfort features to make the drive more enjoyable. With that said, there isn’t a better time to pay a visit to your nearest dealership in Durham, NC, to learn more about used SUVs on the market today.