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Car vs SUV: What Are Their Pros & Cons?

Mercedes Benz

SUVs, or sports utility vehicles, are immensely popular, rugged vehicles that can go almost anywhere and have plenty of space. This makes them one of the most sought-after vehicles for adventurers and families. An SUV fills the void between a car and a truck, giving the luxury of a sedan with the power and utility of a truck. Large families have ample leg room and comfort in a vehicle that can do what a sedan is incapable of.

A sedan gives you speed, luxury, and comfort. They are perfect for daily commuters and city-dwellers who experience consistent traffic. If you are torn between a car and an SUV, there are two primary considerations to consider:

  • What will you be primarily using the car for? Are you an astute outdoorsman who likes to drive the roads less traveled? Do you enjoy outdoor activities like fishing or boating? Do you have a large family or need extra space for outdoor gear? Are comfort and the latest technology a requirement for your driving experience?
  • Where do you live? Are you a daily commuter who spends most of your time in traffic? Do you live in the country or travel to places with dirt roads?

Even considering all these preferences, choosing between a Sedan or an SUV can still be difficult. Most people, on average, spend a great deal of time inside their cars, so it’s an important decision. Let’s take a deep dive into the pros and cons of each vehicle to help you decide which is best for you.

car and road divider

Sports Utility Vehicles (SUV)

Mercedes Benz
Mercedes Benz by reverent, Pixabay

Sometimes called crossover vehicles, SUVs sit between a sedan and a truck in a class of their own. They are characterized by their big wheels, high ground clearance, and rugged yet sporty look. They are designed with adventure in mind, as they can go almost anywhere. Their high clearance makes for effortless traveling on road conditions of all types, with bad roads only adding to the fun.

  • High visibility
  • Safety
  • Strength
  • Space
  • Resale value
  • Expensive
  • Fuel economy
  • Comfort
  • High cost of maintenance

The Pros

Because of their height, SUVs have excellent visibility on the road. You are above almost everyone else, enabling a good field of vision. This enhanced visibility makes for a safer drive. Adding to this is their strength: SUVs are made to be tested. Their rugged construction makes them far more likely to be on the better side of a road accident with another car.

A bigger car equals more space. Not only can you stretch out your legs and have more seating room, but SUVs also have loads of space for storage. Usually, SUVs are equipped with roof racks to increase the carrying capacity. This makes it the ideal car for people who enjoy outdoor activities like boating or fishing or any activities that need additional gear. This also makes them perfect family vehicles, providing the space for myriad add-ons that come along with having children.

If space is still a problem, SUVs have excellent towing capabilities. With their powerful engines and 4×4 wheels, towing a trailer or boat is simple. This makes them ideal for extended camping or road trips. You can essentially bring the entire house with you wherever you go!

Due to their newfound and ever-increasing popularity among motorists, SUVs also have great resale value. An SUV’s market value tends to remain pretty stable compared to a sedan.

The Cons

With all the great features of SUVs, there are downsides worth considering. SUVs can be much more expensive unless you are looking to buy a high-end sedan. With extra features like 4×4 capabilities, roof racks, and tow hitches, the price can quickly escalate.

Adding to this expense is the fuel economy. Due to their large engines, 4×4 capabilities, and weight, SUVs are not as fuel efficient. This is a big consideration if you are an environmentally conscious person. However, some SUVs have fairly impressive fuel consumption and even hybrid options. Even so, they cannot compete with the economy of the smaller sedan.

While SUVs can handle rugged terrain, this capability can also make them less comfortable. The suspension is made to handle bad roads, which can lead to a bumpy ride with passengers being tossed around in the seats. With all the technology comes high maintenance costs, especially if your SUV is a 4×4.

Parts and services on these vehicles tend to add up quickly, leading to a maintenance cost that far outweighs a sedan. Worrying about damaging your SUV almost defeats the option of having one: you should be able to go anywhere in it. But shocks, tires, and brakes will all take a hammering in an SUV.


Mercedes Benz
Image credit: Mercedes Benz by Pexels, Pixabay

A sedan is the perfect car for the city commuter. They provide a more comfortable and smoother ride. A sedan is light, making it fast on the road, and its smaller size makes it easier to navigate through traffic and parking spaces. It also makes them more powerful on the open road, overtaking a bulky SUV with no effort at all.

  • Fuel economy
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Low cost
  • Low maintenance
  • Comfort
  • Speed and maneuverability
  • Lack of space
  • Narrow field of vision
  • Safety
  • Not optimal in bad weather

The Pros

The first pro for a sedan is the fuel economy. Their lower weight and smaller engines make them far more gas-friendly than SUVs. Rising fuel costs worldwide make a sedan a more attractive option. Some SUVs are becoming smaller and more like cars. However, they still cannot touch a sedan regarding fuel economy.

Added to this are environmental factors. More fuel economy means less fuel needed per mile and fewer emissions. An eco-conscious driver will be happy to know that the carbon footprint of a sedan is far less than their gas-guzzling SUV cousins.

Sedans are simple vehicles. Since they’re light, they don’t need sophisticated suspension or 4×4 setups. This makes them far more affordable to purchase and run. Their suspension does not get tested like an SUV, their brakes last longer, and their tires are spared the harshness of rocky terrain. Not only will you save on fuel but also on parts and services.

A sedan’s smaller size makes parking and maneuvering through traffic easy. Its faster acceleration capabilities also help, making it agile and quick in traffic-dense areas. Sedans are generally far more luxurious and offer a smoother, more comfortable ride than SUVs. They are also lower to the ground, reducing their center of gravity and improving their handling.

The Cons

The number-one downside to a sedan is that their smaller size leaves less room for storage and passengers. With no roof racks and questionable towing capability, you’ll need to pack light when driving a sedan. This brings us to the safety aspect. A small vehicle low to the ground minimizes the driver’s field of vision. It also hinders bigger cars on the road from seeing you.

Its less rugged build quality could also have potentially dire consequences in an accident. Because sedans are lower to the ground, bad weather can also be a problem. Snow and heavy rain leave a sedan vulnerable to the elements, especially on dirt roads. Sedans’ lack of 4×4 capabilities further enhances this, making them more liable to slide around or get stuck on a muddy road.

car and road divider Conclusion

Both a sedan and an SUV have a unique place on the road.

The decision comes down to your individual needs. Do you need space for more passengers and extra outdoor gear? Then, an SUV will be the obvious choice. If safety is a concern, a bulkier and sturdier SUV may help you feel less vulnerable on the road. If you are a daily commuter who spends a lot of time in traffic, comfort and speed will be vital.

With the demand increasing in recent times, SUVs are becoming more and more sedan-like, improving in speed and stability. But in terms of speed and comfort, the sedan reigns supreme for now.

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