The Sedan vs. the SUV: Which Vehicle Is Right for You?
Deciding on what type of pre-owned vehicle you're going to buy can be difficult if you're stuck between purchasing an SUV or sedan. Both come with their own unique pros and cons. A great dealership with an extensive selection of models can help narrow down potential candidates. For Michigan residents looking for the best used car lot Jackson, MI offers, we suggest visiting us here at Paradise Motors, conveniently located in Lansing. Our expert sales team can help take you through our impressive inventory of SUVs and sedans, listen to your specific needs, answer any questions you may have, and ultimately help you decide what vehicle will best serve you.
But how do you figure out whether an SUV or sedan will be the best vehicle for you? That first step on a used car lot can be overwhelming with the sheer amount of choices you have. There are tiny coupes that only seat two, massive full-size SUVs designed to haul lots of people and cargo, and everything in between. Today, we will look at those two popular vehicle styles: the SUV and sedan. While sedans used to be the most popular type of passenger vehicle in the US, SUV sales have continued to rise over the past couple of decades; but just because a vehicle is popular doesn't mean it's the best option for you.
While most drivers can tell the difference between a sedan and an SUV on sight, breaking down the exact benefits and drawbacks of each is trickier. But don’t worry, that’s where we come in. We’re going to look at these two body styles and see what strengths and weaknesses each of them brings to the table. If you’re unsure which one is right for you, then we’re here to help you make an informed decision.
What is a Sedan?
A sedan is a passenger car with four doors, two rows of seats, a hard-top roof, and a sealed trunk. Passenger cars have several distinct sub-categories, so the sedan category is fairly rigid. Take away two of the doors, and the car is now a coupe, replace the roof with a soft top, and it’s a convertible, replace the trunk with an open space behind the second row of seating, and it’s a hatchback. Sedans range in size from subcompact to compact to midsize to full-size. Popular sedan models include the Honda Civic, the Chevy Malibu, and the Toyota Camry.
The Benefits of a Sedan
The most well-known advantage sedans have over SUVs is that they tend to be more fuel efficient. Sedans are typically smaller and more lightweight and therefore don’t take as much power to move around, so they don’t use fuel as quickly. If you don’t drive much, then this might not matter too much to you, but if you commute to Lansing or Ann Arbor from Jackson every day, it will likely have a very big impact on your budget. Speaking of budget, since sedans take fewer materials to make in the first place, they also tend to have a lower sticker price as well. This means you can either save some cash or spring for a nicer trim level with high-end features like heated seats.
Sedans are also typically considered safer than SUVs. Even the safest SUV out there will have a greater risk of rollover during a crash due to its higher center of gravity. The increased height of an SUV can be a risk for pedestrians around them, too. A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has shown that SUVs and trucks are more deadly to pedestrians than passenger cars like sedans.
On top of that, the sealed trunk of a sedan keeps your cargo stored in a separate compartment, so it can’t go flying during a hard brake or an accident, and it can’t block your line of sight out of the rear window. When it comes to performance, sedans tend to be easier to maneuver, especially around sharp corners, since they’re less top-heavy. And since a full-size sedan doesn’t reach the massive proportions of a three-row SUV, they’re generally easier to park as well.
What is an SUV?
SUVs are generally taller than sedans, offering additional ground clearance and a higher seating position for the driver. Instead of a trunk, they have an open cargo area behind the last row of seats that can be expanded by folding the seats flat. SUVs can either have two or three rows of seats and come in sizes ranging from sub-compact to full-size. Some automakers even offer extra-long wheelbases to give passengers extra legroom and additional cargo space. Many offer all-wheel drive, and some have dedicated off-road trims that can handle uneven, unpaved surfaces. Popular SUV models include the Toyota RAV4, the Honda CR-V, the Nissan Rogue, and the Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Benefits of an SUV
Looking at an SUV next to a sedan, it’s clear that it offers more space. If you need to seat more than five people, you’ll have to rule out a sedan altogether and opt for a three-row SUV or a minivan. Even if you get a two-row SUV that offers the same number of seats as a sedan, you’ll likely be getting extra space for each passenger to stretch out with more headroom and legroom, which can be important for taller passengers, especially if you like to go on long drives or road trips. Beyond passengers, SUVs also come in handy for bulky cargo that won’t fit in a sedan, like furniture. Because most have seats that can fold flat, you can divide the space between passengers and cargo as needed from trip to trip, giving you plenty of versatility to work with.
SUVs are also more likely to come with all-wheel drive, which can come in handy during our harsh Michigan winters. All-wheel drive provides extra traction, improving your grip in icy and snowy conditions. And if you like exploring the great outdoors, you can opt for a model that can handle some off-roading, which can come in handy at a campsite or a dedicated recreation area like Bundy Hill Offroad Park. The additional ground clearance provided by SUVs can also come into play in everyday situations, like if a fallen branch or rock has made its way onto the road. On top of that, many drivers prefer the higher vantage point and the visibility it provides. You’re also more likely to find an SUV with a solid towing capacity, which can come in handy if you vacation with a trailer or take your boat down to Center Lake now and then.
We’re Here to Help You Decide Which Vehicle Is Right for You
Each body style brings its own pros and cons to the table. At the end of the day, deciding which is best is difficult to define because the concept of "best" is rather vague. What’s truly important is which one is best for you. If your top priority is fuel economy, you’re probably better off with a sedan. If you’re looking for an extra spacious interior, an SUV is more likely to work for you. Whichever body style floats your boat, we can help you get behind the wheel of one that’s just right for you here at Paradise Motors. All our vehicles undergo a thorough safety inspection, so you can trust that they’re ready to hit the road.
Our friendly staff is here to answer your questions and match you up with your dream vehicle, while our finance department has a good working relationship with all of the major banks and credit unions in the area, so we can get you a great deal that works for your budget. We also have a dedicated service department to keep you in tip-top shape for many miles to come. So contact us or stop by today and let us take care of your automotive needs, from sale to service. Don’t hesitate to let us know exactly what you’re looking for, whether that’s a sedan, an SUV, or something else entirely. At Paradise Motors, we only say YES!