An Essential Motorpoint Cars Checklist for Buying a Used SUV.

A sport utility vehicle (SUV) can be a great choice for many people who live out in the countryside, have a large family or require plenty of space for transporting pets, sports gear or other equipment. SUV sales have been growing over the years, accounting for 24% of total new vehicle sales in 2015 with 630,400 units, as their popularity increases. There is a wide range available on the used car market (one of my recommended car dealers is Motorpoint of Derby), and following this checklist should help you pick out a top-quality model that meets your needs.

SUV or Crossover?

Mazda CX 3 SUV in metallic red that's currenlty for sale at Motorpoint
The SUV market has grown so much that vehicles such as the Mazda CX-3, which looks like an elevated hatchback, fall into the same broad category as a Land Rover Discovery.
Interior image of Mazda CX 3 from Motorpoint cars
Such smaller models, sometimes referred to as compact SUVS, are technically not SUVs at all, but crossovers. They are built on a lighter car’s frame and feature a smaller body.

Actual SUVs are built on a truck’s frame but with the car style body, with the largest SUVs even higher off the ground. Most include up to three rows of seating (the rear which can often be folded down), greater storage capacity and all or four-wheel drive.

Using a company like Motorpoint when choosing the right SUV for you

Deciding between an SUV or crossover will be the first action, but there are further considerations to make when buying from Motorpoint cars. You will need to define your budget first, as that will narrow down the choice. Then think about what you will most use it for and the environments it will be driven in, as this may impact if you go for an all-wheel drive (AWD) or four-wheel drive (4WD) with a two-wheel drive option.

The number of seats you require, especially if you have a large family, along with storage space to fit in equipment should be considered. If you go on regular holidays with a trailer, caravan or own a boat, be sure to look at the towing capacity as well. The interior for comfort, technology and safety features should also be inspected.

Engines and Fuel Economy

Whenever you buy any used car it is important to do plenty of research beforehand. Reading reviews that include the real world fuel economy is a good start, as this should give the best idea of how the specific SUV performs on the roads. These will also provide a decent account for each engine size, helping you make an informed decision on which offers the best balance of power and fuel economy.

Most small SUVs and crossovers feature a four-cylinder engine, which is fine for cruising down motorways and city driving. Seeking a mid-sized or larger SUV with a V6 or V8 engine is advisable for off-roading, heavy towing and tackling steep hills, and switching to an automatic can improve fuel economy in many cases.

Factors to Check

When buying any used car from Motorpoint there are a number of factors you must check. The same is true when purchasing a used SUV. Ensure you check:

  • Mileage: SUVs are likely to have covered a lot of ground, ensure it lines up with its age
  • Service history: Many used SUVs will probably have been over some rough terrain, potentially causing damage
  • Appearance: Any marks or clear aesthetic damage can be used as a price negotiation point
  • Used car history: To ensure it has not previously been written off or stolen
  • Test drive: That it sounds and feels right to drive, all the electronics, air-con and other elements all work correctly

Making all these considerations and checks should help you narrow down the choice of SUVs and pick out the best used car option for your needs.

If you’re looking to finance your next car check out my AA loans facts and figures page.
The Used Car Guy

Whether buying a car or van privately, from a dealership or even at auction, you must always run your own Total Car Check and never rely on one provided by the existing owner. For more tips on buying a used car visit this page.
The Used Car Guy

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