5 alternatives that you should evaluate before buying an SUV, with its pros and cons

More than half of the new cars sold in Spain are SUVs. SUVs have become the body of fashionfrom the most compact (23.4% of the market), to the medium-sized (29.2%), which have completely displaced the traditional segments, attracting the buyer for its aesthetics, comfort (easy access on board because of their height), space (they usually have a good trunk and comfortable rear seats) and because of the immense catalog of SUVs available to manufacturers, who have been focusing and diversifying their range on all kinds of SUVs for some time.

However, there is life beyond the SUV. And with this article we would like to contribute, at least, to the reflection of anyone who is evaluating the purchase of a new car, on the pros and cons of the different alternatives to the SUV that exist. Generalizing a lot about segments and categories that are increasingly blurred and in which it is increasingly difficult to catalog a vehicle.

Toyota Corolla.

The SUV compared to the 5-door of a lifetime

Despite the advancement of SUVs, one in three cars registered in Spain continue to have one of the most traditional bodies, that of the five-door B and C segment. In favor of the 5-door of a lifetime against the SUV, its price. They are still the cheapest option and you will usually find that a small SUV, from a lower segment (a B segment up to 4.2 meters in length), will have a price close to or even higher than that of a compact from a higher segment ( a segment C up to 4.4 meters).

For example, a Toyota Yaris Cross (4.18 meters) is priced at €24,100, while a Toyota Corolla (4.37 meters) starts at €23,550.

Against the 5-door of a lifetime, that SUVs are usually more comfortable and accessiblefor enjoying a higher access and proportions that maximize cargo space and offer more spacious and comfortable rear seats.

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SEAT Leon ST.

The familiar, like the real anti-SUV

Comfort and space are usually the most common arguments used to defend the purchase of an SUV, although in practice we know that aesthetics is, without a doubt, one of the most powerful arguments for deciding to buy any car – and not just an SUV. If what we are looking for is space and comfort, probably the family derived from 5-door utility vehicles are the perfect alternative to the SUV and those that are among the vehicles that offer more space with a tighter budget.

The great advantage of the family compared to the SUV is that they are usually cheaper and offer a larger trunk.. A SEAT León ST starts at €23,940 with a 620-litre boot, compared to a SEAT Ateca that starts at €24,100 with a 510-litre boot.

Against the familiar in front of the SUV that there is not so much variety of products, especially in the small segment (Fiesta B segment, Clio, 208). And, above all, that these family members are usually much longer than their SUV alternative. The León ST reaches 4.64 meters, compared to 4.36 meters for the Ateca. And a greater length in the environment of 20 or 30 centimeters, although it seems little, can make a difference to maneuver comfortably in a garage or even for our car to enter the garage without protruding, or not. And let’s be honest, garages in Spain and much of Europe are not always designed for cars that exceed 4.5 meters in length.

Dacia Sandero (left) next to Dacia Sandero Stepway (right).

SUV looks like… but it’s not

The success of SUVs has led to a no less interesting strategy. If we like SUVs, why not create 5-door passenger cars with SUV aesthetics? In this way, from the traditional segments, from the utility vehicles (Fiesta, Sandero) and the compact ones (Focus, Tipo), crossover-type versions have emerged, with characteristics typical of SUVs, such as black plastic protections on the bottom, wheel arches and bumpers and generally a little more ground clearance. The great advantage of this kind of crossover, that they are generally cheaper than SUVs. The drawback, that they are more expensive than the tourism from which they are derived and, ultimately, they are not SUVs, they do not enjoy their space, their height, or their ability to leave the asphalt.

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The paradigm of tourism that looks like an SUV but is not is called Dacia Sandero. For €12,790 you can buy a Sandero, but for a little more, for €14,067, you can buy a Dacia Sandero Stepway. In fact, most of the sales of the Sandero range go to its Sandero Stepway version.

Mercedes T class.

The real minivans

There was a time when the minivan was the car of choice. Practical, spacious and economical. Until the SUV arrived. Today minivans, at least as we understood them until recently (C-MAX, Picasso, Scénic) are on the verge of extinction. But they are making a comeback thanks to a kind of vehicles derived from vans – commercial and industrial vehicles – that have been refined and equipped to the point that they have nothing to envy to any passenger car and any SUV. The great advantage of these minivans, compared to the SUV, that we will hardly find so much space in another vehicle for that price.

You can buy a Mercedes T-Class for €28,062. For that price you will not find any other Mercedes-Benz, except for a Class A (much more expensive) that, obviously, has nothing to do with the Class T in terms of space and habitability. If what you want is an SUV, the cheapest you will find in the Mercedes-Benz range will be a GLA that caresses €40,000.

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The great disadvantage of these MPVs compared to SUVs is that their image It is still that of a van, even though they have increasingly attractive equipment and aesthetic details, and even versions with a “campero” look. And, above all, that the minivans of yesteryear are disappearing, those products that, like C-MAX, Picasso and Scénic, offered us a minivan that had really been derived from a compact car.

Toyota Corolla Sedan.

The sedan of all life

There was a time when the vehicle that best reflected what they call status, and that most visually appealed to buyers, was the sedan. The great advantage of the sedan over the SUV usually lies in its good dynamics, they are comfortable cars, with a good trunk, agile and fun to drive and, often, their prices are lower than or similar to those of the SUV alternative. On the other hand, its trunk is not usually as accessible or usable as in an SUV and, as is the case with family cars, to get a comparable sedan, in the same segment, and with similar space as in an SUV, its length must necessarily be greater. .

A Toyota Corolla Sedan, for example, starts at €25,350, while a Toyota Yaris Cross starts at €24,100, a Toyota C-HR starts at €27,950 and a Toyota RAV4 starts at €38,050.

About Alicia Peters

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