As you go through the motions of everyday life, you may start to notice that space becomes scarce and life becomes more cluttered. This isn’t only true for your work or home-life, but also for your car-life. Which is a pretty good portion of your life in general, if you think about it.
There will come a time when you need to consider upgrading your two-door hatchback for something a little bigger. And without running the risk of leaving it too late, start considering whether it’s time to upgrade from a hatchback to an SUV now… or not.
Take a look at your lifestyle
The first thing you need to do is take a look at your lifestyle. How often are you driving around, what cargo are you driving around and how comfortable are you during these driving trips? Obviously, the whole game changes when you have children and need to add a car seat in the back. If you’re a small family of three (parents and child), then you don’t need to worry too much about upgrading just yet.
But if you have more than one child, even if only one of them needs a car seat, you need to start thinking about a bigger car. As long as there’s a car seat involved, the back of your car becomes a two-seater with space for a baby bag and is no longer the three-seater it was designed to be. So, how many passengers are there in your car on a daily basis? And how old are these passengers? You need to ask yourself these questions and be realistic about the safety of your passengers based on the amount of space they’ll have to buckle-up at the back.
If you don’t have kids yet, you may just be someone who enjoys going on roadtrips. Or, perhaps you have adventurous hiking, surfing, fishing, beach-trips with the pets or other hobbies you frequently take part in. You’ll need space for all your gear and equipment and it’s not safe to have it sticking out the window and stretching through the hatchback-boot to the driver’s area of the car.
SUVs come with a lot more space and you’ll be a lot more comfortable doing these trips. You’ll even be able to bring a couple friends with you because of the extra space. And if you’re into adventure driving trails and hitting off-road paths, an SUV will do better than a hatchback.
Then consider your driving style
An issue that may arise when upgrading to an SUV is being able to comfortably drive the vehicle. You won’t be able to fit in parking spaces or squeeze into merging gaps as easily. You will have so much more car than you’re used to in the SUV than you did in the hatchback. You need to know that you will be able to adjust to the size of the vehicle.
Regarding space on the inside of the car, however, is a whole different story. You won’t feel cramped or surrounded like you did in your hatchback. And the kids will be buckled up far enough away from you to keep your personal bubble intact. There’ll be enough storage space for all the bags and extra sets of clothes that need to be carried around with space left over for groceries too. SUV in a parent’s lifestyle is how to achieve comfort and calm through the chaos. You’ll want to change your driving style for that alone.
Take them for a test drive
The next step is to head down to car dealerships and test drive the different vehicle types. And while you’re browsing, you’ll notice that there are “larger” hatchbacks out there as well and you may not need to upgrade to the full SUV just yet.
Pick a brand and model you like, take it for a spin around the block and you’ll be able to make a decision based on comfort, space and drivability. Test drives make it easier to imagine your life in that vehicle which, in turn, will advise you as to whether it’s time to make the upgrade or not.
Then consider your budget
But the ultimate decider, on which car to buy, will depend on what your vehicle-budget is. Remember, you’re not only calculating the cost of the car but also the monthly petrol (which is usually more for SUV vehicles) and the car insurance premium.
There’s a good chance you’ll find an SUV within your budget, especially if you consider browsing through pre-owned vehicles. If you can manage with your hatchback for a little while longer, use that time to save up for a decent down payment on the SUV when you really cannot squeeze everything and everyone in anymore.