In the age of SUVs, everyone wants an SUV. A few decades ago SUVs were the working man’s car, and most modern-day SUVs did not exist. The ones that did, like the Mercedes G-Class or the Range Rover were primarily aimed for military/farming purposes.
But nowadays, SUVs are the modern staple of luxury, and almost every luxury brand out there is consistently pumping out newer SUV models. For a spot of context, Mercedes and Audi have both released more than 3 times the amount of newer SUV models, compared to any other car type in recent years.
The best compact SUV for newer drivers should be relatively cheap to buy and to insure, but it should also offer all the modern technology features. And the Toyota RAV4 or the Mazda CX-3 are just that. If you want a more luxurious option, an Audi Q5 or the Mercedes GLC are the ones to get.
If you want a full-size large SUV, the Ford Explorer and the Jeep Grand Cherokee seem like fairly popular choices for younger drivers. But the Mercedes G-Class and the Range Rover are the two SUVs every younger person lusts for.
SUV as your first car
You first have to make sure you are well aware of what you are getting when opting to buy an SUV. A raised driving position and increased visibility work favorably for newer drivers, but at the same time an SUV is a big car, and that is something worth considering when it comes to navigating tighter city streets.
SUVs are generally safe, and that should be on the top of your priorities. Furthermore, SUVs are spacious and you able to take your friends with you wherever you go. SUVs are usually a bit more expensive to maintain, but in most cases, you are getting what you are paying for.
Opting for a smaller SUV is probably the best idea. Even though crossover/small SUVs do not offer a through and through SUV experience, they are large enough, but not so much that the size becomes an issue. If that is not enough for you, then go for a mid-size or a full-size SUV.
Best compact/mid-size SUV as your first car
The compact/mid-size SUV segment is booming right now, and there are loads of different options to choose from. But you should focus on the safer ones and the ones that cost the least to insure but still offer a decent SUV experience.
And the Toyota RAV4 is just that. The RAV4 retails for $24k new, and if equipped with a few necessary option packs, the RAV4 costs around $28k. The RAV4 is a great option thanks to proven Toyota reliability which works favorably for repair costs and the insurance rates, both of which are essential for a younger driver.
The Mazda CX-3 costs slightly less than most of its rivals, but the features on offer are fairly comparable which means that the CX-3 is a great value option. Arguably it is a lot better to opt for a $20k CX-3 with a few grand worths of options rather than buying a RAV4 without all that many options for the same price.
If you want a more luxurious option, the Audi Q5 and the Mercedes GLC are the most desirable SUV options in this segment. They do cost considerably more compared to the CX-3 and the RAV4, but they also offer more of everything compared to the CX-3 and the RAV4.
Best full-size SUV as your first car
Full-size SUVs are the flagship sedans of the SUV market. This means that a full-size SUV is not necessarily the first option for a younger driver, but it’s fairly safe to say that everybody still wants a full-size SUV and if you have the means then you should opt for a full-size SUV.
Full-size SUVs are like oversized hoodies, they are huge, comfy, and unnecessary, but everyone wants one, and they usually cost a lot. And the Ford Explorer is one of the most popular choices for younger drivers, the same story goes for the Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Both of these two offer ample space, commanding looks, and a generally capable all-around car. But everyone and their mum wants a Range Rover or a Mercedes Benz G-Class. They do cost a lot, but they retain lots of value, so if you have the means, go ahead and get yourself one of these.
Is a sedan a better first car compared to an SUV?
It depends, but the general rule should be to opt for the car you are interested in, except for unreliable and expensive to maintain cars. A comparable sedan is usually more fuel-efficient and cheaper to buy and run, but an SUV is usually way cooler.
An SUV is also usually safer and it offers better visibility, both of these are essential for newer drivers. If you live in a rural area or on a farm, then buying an SUV is a no-brainer. If you plan to use your car for longer journeys though, go for a sedan.
Should I opt for a compact-sized, mid-sized, or full-sized SUV?
Ideally, you should go for a compact-sized SUV because after all, it is your first car. A compact-sized SUV will enable you what SUVs are all about without the increased stress of piloting a wardrobe-shaped full-size SUV.
A mid-sized SUV is a natural upgrade from a compact SUV. So if you end up loving your compact SUV, then you should try a larger SUV and see which one you prefer. A full-size SUV is surely not recommended, but hey, we all want full-size SUVs though.
How does car type affect insurance rates?
99% of people want an affordable first car, so it’s rather important to realize how a specific car type affects your insurance rates. This means that larger, heavier, more expensive, and more powerful SUVs are the ones that command the highest insurance premiums.
This is rather expectable, but the rates differ a lot. So much so that it sometimes makes more sense financially to go for a smaller version. This is mostly because younger drivers pay higher insurance premiums anyway, and if you pair that with a big, powerful, and expensive SUV, the rater might skyrocket.