What is the Best Luxury Hybrid Crossover?
August 19, 2022
Some car buyers might conflate a crossover and an SUV. The difference between these two body types can be confusing; however, an SUV is built on a truck chassis, whereas a crossover is built on a standard car platform. SUVs might be heavier and a bit more rugged. Both vehicles could include three rows of seating and other similar features. There are not very many electric and hybrid luxury crossovers. Buyers who are looking specifically to purchase a luxury hybrid crossover only have a few choices. What is the best luxury crossover? All the new models are from Lexus, and the best option might be related to price or other features. The new luxury hybrid crossover models include: * 2022 Lexus RX Hybrid * 2023 Lexus UX ABOUT THE LEXUS RX HYBRID The Lexus RX is categorized as an SUV by Lexus, but others consider it a crossover. The RX Hybrid has a starting MSRP of $49,795 and can get 30 MPG combined. It offers triple-beam LED headlights and a full-range of safety systems. The standard RX received a Top Safety Pick rating/award (with specific headlights) from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (the hybrid model wasn’t reviewed separately). The 2023 model is already being teased by Lexus and will be available later in 2022. ABOUT THE 2023 LEXUS UX HYBRID The Lexus UX is a compact luxury crossover. It has a starting MSRP of $35,850 and can get up to 42 MPG combined. The UX has space for five and includes a 12.3 inch display and the same full range of safety systems as the RX. Best Luxury Hybrid Crossover [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Why-Are-There-Only-Two-New-Luxury-Hybrid-Crossover-Models.jpg] WHY ARE THERE ONLY TWO NEW LUXURY HYBRID CROSSOVER MODELS? Luxury manufacturers might be focusing more on the SUV body design than the crossover body, and, while there are only two options for luxury hybrid crossovers, buyers can shop used or pre-owned options to expand their choices. For example, Infiniti offered a hybrid option for its QX60. Electric luxury crossovers might be another option for buyers who want to live greener. Luxury electric crossovers/SUVs include the following models: * Tesla Model X * Tesla Model Y * Jaguar I-PACE * Audi e-tron * Audi e-tron Sportback * BMW IX When shopping for luxury electric crossovers, buyers might focus on the estimated range of the model. The range varies with each model, and, depending on daily driving habits, some buyers might want a vehicle with a longer range. ABOUT THE TESLA MODEL X The Tesla Model X is priced at $120,990. It offers an estimated range of 348 miles. The Model X offers three rows of seating and offers enough room for up to seven. The Model X Plaid is priced at $138,990. It also offers three rows of seats but each row only fits two (for a total of six seats). ABOUT THE TESLA MODEL Y The Tesla Model Y Long Range is priced at $65,990 and has an estimated range of 330 miles. The Long Range has three rows of seating and space for seven. The Model Y Performance is priced at $69,990 and has an estimated range of 303 miles. It offers two rows of seating and has space for five. The Model Y received a Top Safety Pick+ rating/award from the IIHS. ABOUT THE JAGUAR I-PACE The 2022 Jaguar I-PACE starts at $71,300 and offers an estimated range of 234 miles. ABOUT THE AUDI E-TRON AND AUDI E-TRON SPORTBACK The Audi e-tron starts at $49,900 and offers an estimated range of 241 miles. The Audi e-tron Sportback starts at $52,700 and offers an estimated range of up to 241 miles. Both the e-tron and the e-tron Sportback received a Top Safety Pick+ rating/award from the IIHS. Best Luxury Hybrid Crossover [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Luxury-Hybrid-SUVs.jpg] LUXURY HYBRID SUVS Again, manufacturers might refer to the models as either an SUV; there are many manufacturers that offer hybrid SUVs (that are not crossovers). The Volvo XC40 also is an electric SUV, and its body type does lean more towards the classic and more rugged SUV design. Rivian also offers a large three-row electric SUV called the R1S; it starts at $72,500 and offers an estimated range of 260 to 320 miles. The Rivian R1S has space for up to seven. For the model year 2023, Mercedes-Benz will offer an EQS Class electric SUV. The price will start at $104,350 and buyers might expect the luxury appointments synonymous with this brand. Bentley offers the hybrid Bentayga, which is an SUV. It has a starting price of $160,000 and offers space for five. In addition, BMW offers the hybrid X5, which is actually a plug-in hybrid. It has a starting price of $65,700. It can get 21 MPG in the city and 26 MPG on the highway. WHEN SHOPPING FOR HYBRIDS BUYERS MIGHT SKIP A LUXURY MODEL While there are only a few luxury hybrid crossovers on the market, buyers might expand their buying options to luxury hybrid SUVs or even luxury electric SUVs. However, those who want even more choices could opt for standard hybrid SUVs versus luxury options. Expanding the model options gives buyers more choices; even standard hybrid SUVs can be made more luxurious with upgraded options like leather interior and upgraded safety systems. There are numerous hybrid SUVs on the market, including several models from Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, and Toyota. Hybrids range in price and in the fuel efficiency they offer. The Kia Niro offers the best fuel efficiency of all hybrid SUVs/crossovers; the Niro can get up to 50 MPG combined. The Niro also is the most affordable option and has a starting MSRP of only $24,690. Car buyers looking for hybrids might also focus on Toyota. Many of the brand’s line-up includes a hybrid option. In fact, the Toyota Sienna minivan comes standard as a hybrid. SHOPPING FOR A USED LUXURY CROSSOVER Buyers who are focused on only purchasing a hybrid luxury crossover might choose to look at pre-owned or used models. Prices vary for used models according to the vehicle’s make/model, mileage, age and condition. In addition, the fuel efficiency of older hybrids might not be as impressive as newer models. Fuel efficiency might be improved with each new model. To understand the fuel efficiency of older models, buyers can use sites like Kelley Blue Book (KBB) or Car and Driver to explore specs. KBB also might be a resource for buyers looking for pre-owned luxury hybrids. The site lets buyers search for cars in their area. Just click the option for “Shop for Your Next Car” and enter all the applicable info about the must-have vehicle. Car shoppers can search by new or used models or according to the budget. KBB doesn’t sell the vehicles, and shoppers can’t buy a car through the site. Instead, KBB is a resource for finding the available new or used options nearby. Once buyers enter the data for the car they want, KBB also will include resources about the vehicle; this allows buyers to research the car and find out the pros and cons of each model. Buyers could discover that they can’t find the model they want. They can expand the geographic scope of their search, but they might consider how far they are willing to travel for their vehicle. Buyers also could opt to broaden their options to other years or makes/models. CHECK FOR NEXT YEAR’S MODELS Another tip for buyers who prefer a hybrid luxury crossover or SUV is to check the brand’s website for information related to upcoming models. Mercedes-Benz offers information related to its upcoming 2023 EQS electric SUV. In addition, if the supply chain remains a bit crunched, buyers might consider placing a reservation for an upcoming model or ordering in advance. This could mean making an upfront payment. However, those who place their reservations early might be one of the lucky buyers to drive off in the model. When Ford released its electric F-150 Lightning, the interest was so high that the manufacturer is no longer accepting orders. Other brands might face similar issues related to in-demand models—especially for electric. Buyers also could reach out to their local dealership to inquire about availability of new or upcoming models. Dealerships might be able to offer input about when new models could be arriving or if they have any available 2022 models on the lot. BEYOND LUXURY OPTIONS Some brands are beyond luxury and might be considered couture cars or high-end luxury. For buyers who want one of the most luxurious hybrids, Ferrari will be releasing its SF90 Stradale, which is a plug-in hybrid supercar (not an SUV). The Stradale will accelerate from 0 to 100 in 2.5 seconds. While interested buyers can inquire about the car, ultimately Ferrari decides who will own one of their sought-after vehicles. The manufacturer is known for choosing its owners. There also are rules related to Ferrari ownership. As MotorBiscuit explains, owners cannot paint their Ferrari pink. In addition, those who also own a Lamborghini won’t get a nod from Ferrari. While buyers only have a few options for a luxury hybrid crossover model, they can expand their choices by looking at hybrid luxury SUVs or even luxury electric SUVs. Those who want a hybrid luxury crossover also can shop used or pre-owned models. In addition, buyers also might consider reserving a 2023 model or pre-ordering these newer models.
What are the Best Hatchbacks of All Time?
August 17, 2022
The hatchback body type debuted in 1938; the vehicle features a covered rear trunk/storage area that is accessed by a back ‘hatch.’ This body type was (and still might be) defined by its back tailgate design, and it remains a popular choice among consumers that want a unique alternative to the more conservative sedan. While Car and Driver notes that the hatchback was once considered a ‘cheaper’ option, the site explains that modern hatchbacks have evolved from their earlier squared-off iterations. Now the hatchback body is featured in luxury and electric vehicles. What are the best hatchbacks of all time? Here are 10 iconic hatchbacks from the late ‘30s until today: * 1938 Citroën Traction Avant 11C Commerciale * 1941 Chrysler Town & Country * 1953 Kaiser Traveler * 1965 Mustang Fastback * 1976 Volkswagen Golf GTI * 1976 Gremlin Hatchback * 1984 AMC Encore * 1990 Pontiac Firefly * 2000 Mini Cooper S * 2022 Tesla Model S Best Hatchbacks of All Time [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/About-the-Humble-Hatchback.jpg] ABOUT THE HUMBLE HATCHBACK Today’s modern hatchback might offer a larger storage compartment thanks to its open rear hatch design. While the early hatchback designs might not have offered the modern and cool design as later models, they are still iconic. The best hatchbacks from the past will vary according to every auto enthusiast. While opinions might vary, many might agree that these hatchbacks were unique and each offers a look back at the decade in which they debuted. 1938 CITROËN TRACTION AVANT 11C COMMERCIALE The 1938 Citroën Traction Avant 11C Commerciale should top all the ‘best of’ lists for one reason. This vehicle was the first hatchback model. The Citroën Traction started it all! The Commerciale model was unique in that it granted the owner access to the back. The Truth About Cars noted that the vehicle was marketed to those who needed space for moving equipment—mainly families and craftsmen. 1941 CHRYSLER TOWN & COUNTRY The 1941 Town and Country wasn’t like its later minivan iteration. The 1941 model is noted as being the first sedan hatchbacks. It featured unique woodwork paneling on the body; this wood design work was fairly common and vehicles that included wood in their body were known as ‘woodies.’ In 1948, the Town and Country had an MSRP of $3,420. 1953 KAISER TRAVELER Autoweek explains that Kaiser’s vehicles never really caught on when they were introduced. However, this car was noted by the site as being one of the first hatchbacks. The model includes lots of storage and it even features a unique swiveling license plate; according to Autoweek, this feature ensured that the plate was always visible even when the hatch was open. 1965 MUSTANG FASTBACK While earlier hatchback designs were slowly introducing the American consumer to this body type, one car might have become ubiquitous to the hatchback design. The Mustang was introduced in 1964 and still offers a hatchback body option; in fact, the modern 2022 GT base is only offered in a fastback body. The 1965 Mustang Fastback is a desirable and collectible classic; the 1965 2+2 fastback was priced at $2,553. Hotcars reports that a 1965 Mustang will now set a buyer back around $30-$40K. 1976 VOLKSWAGEN GOLF GTI The ‘70s were a funky and fun time for cars. The hatchback became popular for Volkswagen thanks to the Golf GTI. The GTI could accelerate from 0 to 60 in about nine seconds and could reach a maximum speed of 110 MPH. The Golf GTI features the stereotypical box design of the hatchback, but it’s design has changed through the years. The Golf GTI remains in the VW lineup, and the 2022 Golf GTI has a starting MSRP of $29,880. 1976 GREMLIN HATCHBACK The Gremlin is probably more synonymous with the ‘80s for many consumers than it is with the ‘70s; American Motors Corporation (AMC) debuted the model in 1970 and it disappeared after the 1978 model. The Gremlin featured a hood ornament bedecked with a small gremlin creature. The Gremlin was noted for its fuel efficiency and could up to 20 MPG. In the 1980s, the movie ‘Gremlins’ might have made this car even more memorable simply because of the name. In addition, the character Mike Damone drove a Gremlin in the movie “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.” 1984 AMC/RENAULT ENCORE The Encore was based on the Renault 11 and was priced between $5,755 to $7,770. The Encore was noted to be sporty and budget-friendly (aka ‘economical’). 1990 PONTIAC FIREFLY The brand Pontiac no longer exists, but its models still live on. The Firefly debuted in the late ‘80s, and this was a car that was only offered up north in Canada. Earlier models only had a three-liter engine, but this was improved to a larger four-liter engine. The Firefly flew away for a few years but continued on from 1994 to 2001. 2000 MINI COOPER S The Mini Cooper became a hit in the early 2000s. This small compact vehicle lived up to its name; it was super small and could likely fit into any parking space. The Mini offered a hatchback design that was unique and quite retro in its body styling. The Mini continues to be popular and it’s now even offered as an electric model. 2022 TESLA MODEL S The hatchback remains a popular body type option and is featured in luxury electric models like the Tesla Model S. The Model S isn’t necessarily called out as a hatchback by Tesla, but auto experts denote the model as a hatchback. The Model S is not for the budget buyer, however. The Model S has a starting price of $104,900 and offers an estimated range of 405 miles. The Model S Plaid starts at $135,990 and offers an estimated range of 396 miles. Best Hatchbacks of All Time [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/The-Modern-Hatchback.jpg] THE MODERN HATCHBACK Car buyers who are interested in a hatchback have many models from which to choose. This body design is found in budget-friendly vehicles and luxury models, too. Even several electric vehicles offer the hatchback body styling. While the hatchback might have first hit the market in the late 1930s, the VW Golf might be one of the more iconic standard hatchbacks. The Golf GTI is still available in the VW lineup, and buyers who want a modern yet notable hatchback might go for the Golf. The electric hatchbacks on the market range in price. While the Tesla Model S is focused on the luxury buyer, the Nissan Leaf also is considered an electric hatchback. The Leaf also is the least expensive electric model on the market; it has a starting MSRP of $27,800. However, the 2022 Leaf only offers an estimated range of 150 to 226 miles. THE HATCHBACK VS. THE SEDAN Buyers might wonder about the differences between a hatchback and a sedan. While the hatchback offers the standard hatch door, the sedan offers a standard trunk space. The difference between the two cars is really all about the back design. The hatchback also could offer more space in the back for cargo. Again, these cars were originally marketed to families or workers who needed the space. Both hatchbacks and sedans can offer four doors. As the design styling of the hatchback has changed, it has morphed from a boxer style to a more modern and contemporary body type. Today’s hatchbacks also aren’t necessarily synonymous with budget-friendly. There are many luxury hatchbacks. Buyers who are struggling to choose between a hatchback and sedan might just focus on their own style preferences. The hatchback might be sportier while the sedan might be considered a bit more conservative. Visiting the dealership or reviewing the car’s specs online also could help buyers decide between a hatchback and a sedan. If buyers need a vehicle that offers the most cargo space, they can compare the trunk and hatch specs . Some vehicles like the Mustang GT base don’t offer any options but a hatchback. Buyers also might want the hatchback body type for a particular model because it is so closely tied to that model (like the Mustang GT). SHOPPING FOR COLLECTIBLE HATCHBACKS What about purchasing collectible hatchbacks? For consumers who are interested in classic hatchbacks from the past, the price can vary and so can the selection and even the car’s condition. A Gremlin might be hard to procure on the resale market. In addition, older Mustangs and more collectible and highly-sought models might be expensive investments. Those who are interested in a fixer-upper, though, might be able to find collectible models at lower prices. When the used car market is competitive and priced higher because of inventory issues, buyers of older models might have to search extensively to find the model they want. Collectors might need to look out of state or drive hours to obtain their dream car. Some collectible cars might need extensive work to get up and running and to pass necessary inspections. For many buyers, choosing a new model might be the easiest and cheapest option. Each year, new hatchback models might be released by manufacturers. Whether a buyer wants a budget-priced hatchback or a luxury model, there is a hatchback to fit the budget and the buyer’s style, too.
These are the Best Luxury SUV Electric Models
August 15, 2022
Electric power is becoming a popular alternative to budget-busting fuel. Consumers might be drawn to electric vehicles for their environmental benefits and because these cars allow consumers to dodge the ever-changing prices at the pump. Every year brings new electric options from manufacturers. While smaller electric cars might be a top choice for some buyers, others want an electric SUV. This body type provides space for a family and for cargo, too. Electric SUVs aren’t typically low-budget options. For buyers eyeing electric, these are the best luxury SUV electric models: * 2022 Cadillac LYRIQ * 2022 Audi e-tron * 2022 Rivian R1S * 2024 GMC Hummer EV * 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS Class * 2022 Tesla Model Y * 2022 Tesla Model X * 2022 BMW iX * 2022 Jaguar I-PACE * 2022 Volvo XC40 Recharge The Definition of Luxury [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/The-Definition-of-Luxury.jpg] THE DEFINITION OF LUXURY When car buyers are researching their electric SUV options, they will find many models at a range of prices. What defines luxury SUV electric models? The price and the brand’s prestige might be markers of a luxury model. Some experts use a vehicle’s starting price to denote a luxury model; for electric SUVs, the price might be the best indicator. However, the price of new cars has risen in the past year. Now the average price of a new car is more than $47,000; while this price point might have once been synonymous with a luxury model, now it’s considered the average. For luxury electric SUVs, the 10 profiled models are produced by brands that are noted for their luxury offerings. In addition, the round-up of best vehicle models will include stats related to its starting price, range and safety ratings, too (when applicable). 2023 CADILLAC LYRIQ Cadillac has been a luxury name for decades. The 2023 Cadillac LYRIQ starts at $62,990, but orders are no longer being accepted for the ’23 model year. Instead, buyers can currently place an order for the 2024 SUV model. The 2023 LYRIQ has room for up to five people and offers an estimated range of 312 miles. It features a 33-inch LED display and a Super Cruise function that Cadillac notes as “…the first true hands-free driver assistance technology.” In addition, the LYRIQ also is capable of towing up to 3,500 pounds. 2022 AUDI Q4 E-TRON The 2022 Audi Q4 e-tron starts at $49,900 and has an estimated range of 218 to 222 miles. It offers two rows of seats and can fit up to five people. The Q4 e-tron features an augmented reality heads-up display and numerous safety features. The e-tron also received a Top Safety Pick+ rating/award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. 2022 RIVIAN R1S Rivian offers two electric vehicles: the R1S and the R1T. The R1S is a three-row SUV, while the R1T is a pickup truck. The R1S starts at $72,500 and offers an estimated 260 to 320 miles of range. It features all-wheel drive and can tow up to 7,700 pounds. The R1S offers space for up to seven. 2024 GMC HUMMER EV The Hummer EV is offered in pickup truck and SUV models. The SUV starts at $84,650; buyers can place their reservations now for the 2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV. It will offer an estimated range of 250+ miles. Features will include surround vision, an infinity roof, power swing gate and more. 2022 MERCEDES-BENZ EQS CLASS The 2022 EQS Class has a starting MSRP of $102,310 and offers an estimated range of 340 to 350 miles. It offers a 17.7-inch OLED touchscreen; Mercedes also notes that the car learns the driver’s face and fingerprint. The MBUX screen also features AI. 2022 TESLA MODEL Y The 2022 Tesla Model Y is offered in two different options: the Long Range and the Performance. The Model Y Long Range starts at $65,990 and offers an estimated range of 330 miles. The Model Y Performance starts at $69,900 and offers an estimated range of 303 miles. The Model Y Long Range has space for up to seven, while the Performance has space for five. In addition, the Model Y received a Top Safety Pick+ rating/award from the IIHS. 2022 TESLA MODEL X The Model X is offered in a standard option or a Plaid option. The Model X (standard) starts at $120,990 and offers an estimated range of 348 miles. The Model X Plaid starts at $138,990 and has an estimated range of 333 miles. The Model X (standard) has space for up to seven, while the Model X Plaid has six seats. 2022 BMW IX The BMW iX has a starting price of $83,200 and offers an estimated range of 324 miles. The iX is considered a Sports Activity Vehicle, and Car and Driver reports that it was BMW’s first electric SUV. The 2023 model can accelerate from 0 to 60 in 3.6 seconds and features all-wheel drive. It offers space for up to five people. 2022 JAGUAR I-PACE Those who want an electric Jaguar can opt for the I-PACE, which has a starting price of $71,300. Estimated range stats for the I-PACE are not available, however. The I-PACE can accelerate from 0 to 60 MPH in 4.5 seconds. The model features all-wheel drive and a range of safety systems and options and offers space for five. 2022 VOLVO XC40 RECHARGE Volvo’s XC40 Recharge has a starting MSRP of $51,700. It offers an estimated range of 223 miles. It offers an air purifier, a premium sound system, a 360 degree camera, driver assistance systems, and more. The XC40 Recharge offers two rows of seats and space for five. It received a Top Safety Pick+ from the IIHS. MOST LUXURIOUS SUVS WITH THREE-ROWS Some car buyers might want an electric SUV that offers three rows of seats. Currently, three luxury electric SUVs offer space for six to seven. These models include: * Tesla Model X * Tesla Model Y Long Range * Rivian R1S The least expensive three-row luxury electric SUV is the Model Y Long Range. However, all three models are more than $65K. WHAT IS THE MOST EXPENSIVE ELECTRIC SUV? For luxury buyers who have an unlimited budget, the market opens up in choices for electric SUVs. However, while an unlimited budget can ensure that electric buyers can find whatever they want, not every luxury manufacturer offers an electric SUV. For example, don’t look for an electric SUV from couture sports names like Lamborghini and Ferrari. Currently, the most expensive luxury SUV might be the Tesla Model X Plaid. As electric SUVs become a more popular choice for consumers, major luxury auto brands might unleash new models in the future. Buyers might keep their eyes open for upcoming electric debuts. When newer models are announced, buyers also might have the option of making a reservation. Best Luxury SUV Electric [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/What-Luxury-Electric-SUV-Offers-the-Longest-Range.jpg] WHAT LUXURY ELECTRIC SUV OFFERS THE LONGEST RANGE? Range anxiety might hold some buyers back from moving forward with purchasing a new electric model. Range anxiety denotes feelings of worry related to a car’s battery losing power or a concern related to the driver being unable to find a public charging station to regenerate a low battery. Gas stations are plentiful across large and small towns in the U.S. However, electric vehicles aren’t popular in all states and regions, and some areas might have few or no available public charging stations. Many electric vehicle owners choose to charge their vehicle overnight at home. Most electric models come with a cord that connects the car to a standard outlet in the garage; this cord is known as a level 1 charger. These chargers aren’t very efficient at regenerating the power of a battery; however, Kelley Blue Book explains that car owners who drive 30 miles or less per day could be fine with a level 1 charger. Car owners who have longer daily drives, though, might choose to upgrade to a Level 2 charger. The level 2 charger does not come with the vehicle. These charging stations need to be installed and they can cost a few thousand dollars. In addition, they also require a higher voltage outlet. If the home is not equipped with a 240-volt outlet, they will need to upgrade their wiring and this requires the professional expertise of an electrician. Car shoppers who are plagued by range anxiety might choose the luxury SUV with the longest range; this would be the Model X which offers an estimated range of 348 miles. To ensure that the vehicle stays fully charged at all times, buyers also might elect to install a level 2 charger in their home. HYBRID OPTIONS Car buyers might shift their attention to luxury SUV electric models to forgo the trips to the gas station and the rising costs at the pump. However, those with range anxiety also could expand their fuel efficiency by choosing a hybrid SUV. There are many choices for hybrid models, and the prices for luxury models vary. Hybrids offer better fuel efficiency than standard models, though, and this can help drivers save money at the pump. Lincoln and Lexus both offer three-row luxury hybrid SUVs. As more electric and hybrid luxury SUVs hit the market, buyers will have more options from which to choose. Brands are debuting 2023 models and some may even be introducing 2024 models. Buyers should find the model that fits their driving needs and their luxury style preferences, too.
These are the Safest Cars for Short Drivers
August 12, 2022
Drivers who are shorter in stature or more petite might find the search for a new car to be a bit more difficult. Most vehicles are made on an assembly line and are designed as a one-size-fits-all approach. While vehicles offer seats that can be adjusted to suit the driver’s needs and other features to aid the drive, not all vehicles are easy to adjust. Shorter drivers need to have plenty of visibility during the drive, but they also need to be able to position the steering wheel and the seat to ensure that they have adequate control. In 2021, Kelley Blue Book (KBB) included a list of the best cars for shorter drivers, but what are the safest cars for short drivers? To understand the safety of the recommended cars for shorter drivers, the list from KBB is compared to safety ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Safety reports are issued for each make/model, and the safest cars are awarded with either a Top Safety Pick+ or Top Safety Pick rating. The vehicles designated with the “+” offer good or acceptable headlights as standard features; those without the “+” offer these headlights as options. The following KBB recommended models were awarded a Top Safety Pick+ or Top Safety Pick for the 2022 model year: * Hyundai Santa Fe (Top Safety Pick+) * Honda CR-V (Top Safety Pick) * Nissan Rogue (Top Safety Pick+) * Toyota Camry (Top Safety Pick+) * Mazda CX-30 (Top Safety Pick+) * Kia Soul (Top Safety Pick) * Subaru Outback (Top Safety Pick+) * Chrysler Pacifica (Top Safety Pick+) Safest Cars for Short Drivers [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Best-Used-Cars-for-Short-Drivers.jpg] BEST USED CARS FOR SHORT DRIVERS KBB’s list was released in late 2021 and included mostly 2021 models. The list can be a great resource for those looking for used models. The list includes the vehicle’s starting MSRP (from 2021), its safety rating from IIHS and fuel efficiency, too. In addition, KBB also rounded up its used car recommendations. Since the list was compiled in 2021, the recommendations for used models go back to around the model year 2015. KBB listed five used car choices for shorter drivers: * 2019-2021 Subaru Forester * 2017-2020 GMC Yukon * 2015-2017 Honda Accord * 2018-2020 Honda Fit * 2018-2019 Audi SQ5 THE MOST AFFORDABLE SAFE VEHICLES FOR SHORTER DRIVERS Among the vehicles that earned a Top Safety Pick+ or a Top Safety Pick rating, there are several affordable options that could be a good choice for buyers on a budget. The most affordable model is the 2022 Kia Soul, which is priced less than $20K. Here are the safest models for shorter drivers from the most affordable to the most expensive: * Kia Soul $19,790 * Mazda CX-30 $22,500 * Toyota Camry $25,845 * 2022 Honda CR-V $26,800 * Nissan Rogue $27,150 * Subaru Outback $27,645 * 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe $27,700 * Chrysler Pacifica $37,095 Safest Cars for Short Drivers [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Tips-for-Shorter-Drivers-Shopping-for-the-Best-Car.jpg] TIPS FOR SHORTER DRIVERS SHOPPING FOR THE BEST CAR KBB also included features that could aid the drive for those who are shorter. Car shoppers can look for cars with telescoping steering wheels, adjustable seats, power/automatic lift gates and even running boards (they can be used as a step). In addition to the features recommended by KBB, shorter drivers also could look for: SMART REARVIEW MIRRORS These use a camera in the back for the vehicle to see a real-time view behind the car. Smart rearview mirrors are beneficial for all drivers during bad weather or night driving. These mirrors aren’t offered by every manufacturer, though. BLIND SPOT WARNINGS Every driver has a blind spot. Some models might offer standard blind spot warning systems to alert drivers about a car in the area that isn’t visible. BACKUP CAMERAS These cameras are starting to become a standard feature. When backing up, most drivers had to turn and look behind them. Backup cameras make seeing the rear view of the vehicle much clearer; in addition, these cameras are useful when backing up in tight parking spots. Safest Cars for Short Drivers [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Take-a-Test-Drive-Before-Buying.jpg] TAKE A TEST DRIVE BEFORE BUYING Shorter drivers and taller drivers might not find that every vehicle model is an ideal fit for them. Taking a test drive could be the best way to determine if a car is the best choice. While buyers can research the recommendations of suitable models and even check out what advanced options they can choose to create a more comfortable ride, the test drive could make or break a buyer’s decision. Not only does the driver need to determine if the model offers what they need in terms of space, affordability, safety and comfort, but the test drive also can reveal the nuances of the vehicle’s mechanics. Even if the car buyer finds that the seats can be adjusted perfectly and the model includes all the features they want, what if the car is just not a smooth drive? The only way to determine how the car handles is to get behind the wheel. Car buyers might have a list of two or maybe even three top models that they like. Then they can test drive their favorites to determine which vehicle fits all their needs. ALL CAR SHOPPERS MIGHT FOCUS ON FUEL EFFICIENCY, TOO The price of fuel is variable according to supply and demand as well as any external disruptions like overseas conflicts, pandemics, and even trade embargos. Older drivers probably remember times when gas climbed to overwhelming prices. When gas prices surge at the pump, buyers might focus on finding the most fuel efficient vehicles. Many standard models offer decent fuel efficiency—around 30 MPG. However, larger SUVs or heavy trucks might not be so fuel efficient. Some buyers focus on hybrid or electric models to lower or even eliminate their dependence on fossil fuels. While there are buyers motivated by the rising costs of fuels, other buyers are focused on the environmental concerns related to standard automobiles and the fuel they consume. Among the models recommended for shorter drivers (that also had great safety ratings), a few offer hybrid options. However, hybrid models are priced higher. What are the best hybrids for shorter drivers? Try these hybrid versions of KBB’s recommended models: * Toyota Camry Hybrid * Honda CR-V Hybrid * Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid * Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid WHAT ARE THE SAFEST ELECTRIC MODELS FOR SHORTER DRIVERS? MotorTrend included a list of the safest hybrid and electric cars, but the list was not focused on the best cars for shorter drivers. A test drive could help determine if the model is right for the buyer. Those who are looking for the safest electric models might focus on these cars: * Tesla Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive: $49,900 / estimated range of 272 miles Long Range: $57,990 / estimated range of 358 miles Performance: $62,990 / estimated range of 315 miles * Tesla Model Y Long Range: $65,990 / estimated range of 330 miles Performance: $69,990 / estimated range of 303 miles * Audi Q4 e-tron $49,900 / estimated range of 241 miles * Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron $52,700 / estimated range of 241 miles Those who want to explore the Tesla models can visit a dealership to see the vehicles in-person and perhaps take a test drive. In addition, buyers also can place orders online. Buyers who want to better understand the design differences of the e-tron and Sportback e-tron can visit Audi dealerships. A test drive also could be beneficial to understand the feel of the electric models on the road. WHAT IF BUYERS CAN’T FIND THEIR IDEAL MODEL? While KBB includes an extensive list of options for shorter drivers, the supply chain for automobiles has been impacted by the microchip shortage as well as other issues that might be related to the pandemic. Depending on the dealership and the preferred model, inventory could be limited. Buyers might not be able to select the exact color they want for their car, or there could be other limitations. Again, though, each dealership might be different. Some buyers might not face any issues. Shopping used models also could be a challenge in some areas. Used car selection is variable; buyers might have a list of different models that they would prefer to ensure that their used choices aren’t so limited. For example, maybe they can find a 2020 Kia Soul but not one from 2019. Used prices also are impacted by several factors including the make/model, age, condition and the mileage. Car buyers on a tighter budget and looking for less expensive used models might face trade-offs on choosing a model with slightly higher mileage or an older vehicle. THE SAFEST CARS FOR SHORTER DRIVERS There are many vehicles that have earned a Top Safety Pick+ or Top Safety Pick rating/award from the IIHS and several are ideal for shorter drivers. While those who are shorter can review the recommendations from sites like KBB, they also might take a test drive to ensure that the model they like really is a great choice and a good fit. Some buyers also might gravitate towards hybrid or electric models to decrease their trips to the gas station or eliminate those trips completely. Several models that were recommended for shorter drivers also are available in hybrid options. Whether shorter drivers are searching for the safest, most affordable or even the most fuel efficient vehicle, they can find a model that is ideal for them. Research the options, take a test drive and visit the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s website to review a safety report on any make/model.
What is the Best SUV Coupe?
August 10, 2022
SUVs have become the preferred family car. Some offer three rows of seating for a spacious ride. There are even many electric options available for those who want to drive cleaner and greener. Some car buyers might have heard about an SUV coupe. How does this body type differ from a standard SUV? An SUV coupe or a coupe SUV is a luxury automobile. These vehicles aren’t offered by standard manufacturers. The design of a coupe SUV is a bit more elegant; the back has a sloping back roof structure. What is the best SUV coupe? The answer depends on the buyer, but the luxury choices include: * Porsche Cayenne Coupe (and Porsche Cayenne e-hybrid Coupe) * BMW X4 * Infiniti QX55 * Mercedes-Benz GLC Class * BMW X6 * Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback * BMW X2 SPORT AND STYLE COLLIDE IN THE BODY OF AN SUV The coupe body design leans sporty. When the coupe mixes with an SUV, the design is sleek, sporty and practical, too. These vehicles are all high-end offerings; again, a coupe SUV isn’t offered in a standard lineup. For this reason, buyers who want the sleek and sporty coupe SUV might need to set a higher budget for their purchase. Porsche, BMW, Infiniti, Audi and Mercedes-Benz all offer coupe SUVs, so which option is the best? That depends on the driver! PORSCHE CAYENNE COUPE The Porsche Cayenne Coupe is offered in a standard engine and a hybrid, too. For those who want the most miles per gallon, the 2022 hybrid offers a battery that can drive up to 13 miles and offers a range of 450 miles for the battery and engine combined. The Cayenne Coupe e-hybrid starts at $88,600. The model also offers a maximum towing capacity of 6,600 to 7,700 pounds. The standard 2022 Porsche Cayenne Coupe has a starting MSRP of $72,200. It offers a towing capacity of up to 7,700 pounds. The Cayenne Coupe offers space for five. The Cayenne features a 12.3-inch touch screen, Dynamic Light System Plus (DLSP), night-vision assist, and more. BMW X4 BMW refers to the X4 as a Sports Activity Coupe. It starts at $51,800 and can get up to 21 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highway. The X4 offers space for up to five. It offers a 12.3-inch display, LED lights and 3D headlights and a Live Cockpit Professional (that comes standard). INFINITI QX55 The QX55 is considered a crossover coupe—so not exactly an SUV. The arch-grille on the front of the QX-55 was inspired by a Japanese bridge. The QX55 includes dual touch screens and augmented reality data that appears on the lower windshield as part of the vehicle’s heads-up display. It also offers numerous safety systems. The QX55 has a starting MSRP of $46,500 and offers space for up to seven. It can get up to 22 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highway. MERCEDES-BENZ GLC CLASS The GLC SUV is actually one of the more affordable options on the list. The GLC Class starts at $43,850. It offers a smaller touch screen than some of its competitors—10.25 inches. However, it also offers voice assist (“Hey, Mercedes…”), includes standard blind-spot assistance/warning, and offers LED lighting. The GLC Class offers decent fuel efficiency—22 MPG in the city and 27 MPG on the highway. It provides space for up to five. BMW X6 The X6 is another sports activity coupe from BMW. It starts at $67,350, so it is an upgrade from the X4. The X6 offers standard leather seats, the Live Cockpit Professional and many standard advanced safety features. The X6 has space for five and can get up to 21 MPG in the city and 25 MPG on the highway. AUDI Q4 E-TRON SPORTBACK The e-tron Sportback is Audi’s SUV coupe, and it’s powered by electric. It has a starting MSRP of $52,700. The Sportback has an estimated range of 241 miles and features Quattro all-wheel drive. The Sportback also offers an augmented reality heads-up display that features all the pertinent driving data. The e-tron Sportback offers enough space for five. In addition, the 2022 Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback received a Top Safety Pick+ rating/award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. BMW X2 The X2 is the lowest priced luxury sports activity coupe offered by BMW; the X2 starts at only $36,600. This might make it more of an intro-level luxury coupe. It offers space for up to five people and better fuel efficiency than the X4 or X6; the X2 can get 24 MPG in the city and 32 MPG on the highway. It offers front-collision warning, lane departure alerts and speed limit data as standard features. It comes standard with a smaller 8.8-inch display. Best SUV Coupe [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/What-is-the-Roomiest-SUV-Coupe.jpg] WHAT IS THE ROOMIEST SUV COUPE? Many of the luxury SUV coupes only have space for five—they offer two rows of seats. However, the QX55 provides three rows of seats and room for seven. For those who want the most space possible for their coupe SUV, the Infiniti is the most spacious option. In addition, it’s also a moderately priced luxury model starting at $46,500. WHAT’S THE MOST BUDGET-FRIENDLY SUV COUPE? Luxury buyers might still have a budget. Some who want luxury are just delving into this class of automobiles. The least expensive SUV coupe is the BMW X2. BMW typically refers to their SUVs as sports activity coupes. The X2 is priced at $36,600. While its standard features aren’t nearly as luxe as higher-end BMW models, the X2 still offers a sleek design and high-end features. Those who want the BMW name could choose this sports activity coupe. HYBRID OPTIONS COULD IMPROVE FUEL EFFICIENCY Those who want SUV coupe options that are better for the environment might choose either an electric or hybrid model. The Porsche Cayenne is offered in an e-hybrid. The model could offer more fuel efficiency compared to standard SUV models. However, buyers should expect to pay significantly more for this hybrid than other options on the list. The Cayenne hybrid is more than $88,000; those who add more options can easily bump the price into the $90K range. LEASING COULD BE A WAY TO SAVE Choosing a luxury automobile comes with a higher price tag, but there could be a way to decrease the monthly payment amounts. Leasing can be a more affordable option than buying, especially for those who don’t rack up too many miles on their vehicle. Leasing is like renting a vehicle, but a lease lasts about two to three years. During the lease period, the leasee makes monthly payments on their vehicle. However, these payments are typically lower than a loan payment (for the same car). While the monthly cost might be lower, there are some downsides to a lease agreement. Leasing a car comes with driving stipulations; there are mileage restrictions tied to a lease. If a driver exceeds the mileage outlined in the lease, there are typically fees related to the overage. However, leasing also means that the dealership handles basic maintenance needs like oil changes. This could be appealing to some buyers. Since a lease isn’t long-term, the buyer can simply turn in the vehicle when the lease ends. Some individuals elect to buy the vehicle, though, if the price is right. All the details of a lease are outlined in the lease agreement. Those who are leasing need to read the agreement to understand mileage restrictions, maintenance responsibilities and more. However, for buyers who don’t drive often or who don’t take long trips, leasing could be a more affordable option that allows them to afford a luxury vehicle like an SUV coupe. USED MODELS COULD BE AN OPTION, TOO Some car buyers never buy a new car. They feel that new cars aren’t worth the investment. Instead, they may purchase a newer used car. Buying a used car means that the car has already been subjected to some depreciation. Once a car drives off the car lot, it can lose between nine to 11 percent of its value. Pre-owned or used cars can be more affordable for luxury buyers who don’t want to spend luxury dollars. Prices of used or pre-owned cars can be influenced by a few factors: * Make/model * Condition * Mileage * Age As the price and availability of new cars is subject to supply and demand, prices might be higher in some areas. Car shoppers can check out dealerships in their area to find out if there are used models of the SUV coupe that they want. In addition, Kelley Blue Book (KBB) also lets shoppers search for available models; the site will include cars at different dealerships. Shoppers also can wait to buy a 2022. As the newer 2023 models start driving into dealerships, the 2022 models could offer better prices. Again, though, prices are subject to supply and demand and availability. If a luxury model is popular, car shoppers might not be in luck. Best SUV Coupe [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Electric-SUV-Coupes.jpg] ELECTRIC SUV COUPES As more manufacturers switch to electric, their lineup could include more plug-in electric SUV coupe models. Audi already offers the e-tron Sportback; some manufacturers also could classify their models as just SUVs instead of denoting them as SUV coupes. However, buyers can expect their electric options to expand soon. The Polestar 4 SUV coupe is an upcoming model that is expected from Polestar in 2023, according to an article from Car and Driver. THE BEST SUV COUPE There are numerous luxury SUV coupes on the market, and the best one might be a matter of opinion. The least expensive luxury option, though, is the BMW X2, and the Infiniti QX55 is the most spacious—offering space for seven. Buyers can test drive their favorite options to find the best SUV coupe for their needs and their style, too.
Cars with 3 Front Seats Include These Models
August 8, 2022
Cars with three front seats used to be fairly common; some might remember three seats in a station wagon or even in an older Chevrolet Malibu, Chevrolet Chevelle and other ‘70s and 80s models. However, as car designs became sleeker, seat space in the front favored room for only two—the driver and one passenger. Are there still cars with 3 front seats? Today, cars with 3 front seats include popular pickup truck models and a few larger SUVs. These pickups and SUV models include a bench seat in the front that can fit up to three people: * Chevrolet Tahoe * Chevrolet Suburban * GMC Yukon * GMC Sierra * Ford F-Series * Chevrolet Silverado * Dodge Ram * Nissan Titan WHY CHOOSE A VEHICLE WITH THREE SEATS IN THE FRONT? A bench seat is a term for a seat that offers room for three people. Instead of two separated seats, the bench seat is designed like a bench or a couch. Car buyers might be focused on the front-seat bench because it simply offers more room. Bench seats in a pickup truck also provide more space for the driver and the front seat passenger. The elongated seat also might allow for extra gear to be stored in the front, too. Older car owners might remember that these spacious front seats used to be the norm, though. What happened to the bench seat in the front? Why don’t more manufacturers offer them? CNBC explained that styles have changed and so have safety rules and recommendations. The site noted, though, that electric cars could start incorporating this older seat style. THREE SEATS IN THE FRONT ARE A BLAST FROM THE PAST In the ‘70s and ‘80s, it wasn’t uncommon for children to ride in the front seat of a car. It also wasn’t uncommon to see children or grown adults riding in the bed of pickup trucks. The understanding of automotive safety has obviously changed dramatically through the years; most parents today wouldn’t think about letting their child ride in the bed of the pickup or in the front seat. The recommendation for enjoying the front seat is now relegated to teens and older. Children under the age of 13 should stick to the back seat. This is due to the fact that front-seat air bags are designed for adults not children; if children are sitting in the front seat and are in an accident, they could face worse injuries. Not all states have regulations related to front-seat passengers, though. Maine specifies that children need to sit in the back seat until the age of 12 (or 100 pounds), while Washington doesn’t allow children to move to the front seat until the age of 13. The understanding that children simply aren’t safe in the front seat might have led to the transition to a two-person front seat. Most adults aren’t going to squish together up front, which makes three-person front seats impractical. As CNBC noted, style and preferences also have changed. Those older bench seats in the front now look dated compared to the standard seats we now associate with the front space. Cars with 3 Front Seats [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Electric-Car-and-the-Bench-Seat.jpg] THE ELECTRIC CAR AND THE BENCH SEAT CNBC’s article also noted that the electric driving trend could propel us back to the past as it relates to front seat space. An article from Reuters confirmed this; the news site reported that at the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show, concept vehicles from Audi and Infiniti featured bench seats that “…point to a future of living-room-like comfort in cars….” The bench seats are noted to allow passengers to stretch out comfortably. Thus, the interior renovation is less about fitting more passengers and perhaps more about creating a luxe drive. Do any current electric models feature three seats in the front? The Drive reported that the new Volkswagen ID.Buzz (the electric bus) would feature a front bench seat. The Buzz is a newer take on the iconic and beloved Minibus from the 60s and 70s; however, the new Buzz is designed more like a van than a bus. Cars with 3 Front Seats [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Shop-Older-Models-with-a-Front-Bench-Seat.jpg] FEELING RETRO? SHOP OLDER MODELS WITH A FRONT BENCH SEAT Unless car buyers are interested in purchasing a larger SUV or a pickup truck, their desire for a new car with a bench seat will need to be benched. Shopping used models, though, could open up lots of options for vehicles with bench seats. The front bench seat was popular in the ‘70s and ‘80s; models from this era might feature that cozy elongated front seat. However, buyers need to be cautious when shopping for older vehicles. Cars built in the ‘70s and ‘80s didn’t offer the safety systems that today’s cars integrate. The back seats didn’t even offer shoulder restraint seat belts; instead, children only had lap belts that secured near their waist. In addition, these older cars also won’t offer the latch systems necessary to fasten modern car seats. While older vehicles might offer more space in the front, buyers with a family might face issues related to car safety. Those who are only shopping for their own driving needs, though, could be drawn to an older model for nostalgia or other reasons. When shopping for a used model, the age of the vehicle impacts the price. In addition, make/model, mileage and condition also could cause the price to rise or decrease. What are the best older vehicles that feature a front bench seat? The best options might simply be the models that are available in an area. Cars from the ‘80s and ‘70s—especially iconic models—might be difficult to find when shopping. Some also might be collectible. If buyers find an older option, it also might require work to make street-legal. Older models from the ‘70s or ‘80s could be incredibly affordable, though. Depending on the condition and other factors, the purchase price might be negligible compared to the price of a new model. However, buyers also could need to build in any rehab costs to repair or upgrade features of the vehicle. In addition, cars that are from the ‘80s or earlier also could cost more in fuel. The efficiency of models has improved through the years. According to stats about the 1983 Chevrolet Malibu, this earlier iteration of the model offered about 20 MPG. However, the most modern model offers 29 MPG in the city and 36 MPG on the highway. LARGE SUVS WITH 3 FRONT SEATS General Motors offers several SUVs that provide a bench seat in the front. Buyers can choose from the following SUVs: * GMC Yukon SLE * Chevrolet Tahoe * Chevrolet Suburban ABOUT THE MODELS Buyers looking for a three-person front bench seat might have limited options in the modern market. However, GM still offers SUVS with a roomier front seat. GMC YUKON AND YUKON XL The Yukon SLE is the only Yukon and Yukon XL trim that has space for up to nine people. The Yukon starts at $52,500 (the XL starts at $56,700). Both the Yukon and Yukon XL can tow up to 8,400 pounds and can get 21 MPG in the city and 27 MPG on the highway. CHEVROLET TAHOE Not all trims allow for the front seat to include space for three. Buyers will need to explore their trim options if they desire the front bench. The Tahoe starts at $52,000 and can tow up to 7,600 to 7,900 pounds. However, it only gets 14 MPG in the city and 20 MPG on the highway. CHEVROLET SUBURBAN The Suburban starts at $54,700. It is one of the roomiest SUVs on the market for cargo space; it offers up to 144.7 cubic feet behind the front seats. The LS trim is the only trim that can fit up to nine people. Like the Tahoe, it gets 14 MPG in the city and 20 MPG on the highway. HOW CAN BUYERS UNDERSTAND THE SIZE OF THE FRONT SEAT? Trying to find the best pickup or SUV might be a tough decision for buyers. When shopping for a new (or used) vehicle, buyers should understand their budget so they know how much they can feasibly spend. Once the budget is set, they can explore their car options using RelayCars. Car shoppers can download the RelayCars app to explore vehicles via 3D interactive imagery or in virtual reality. Those who want to use the virtual reality experience, however, will need access to a Google Cardboard headset. The app is free to download on both Google Play and the App Store. Interactive images utilized by RelayCars let buyers explore the car inside and out. Turn the car around to see all the design features. Interior panorama photos let buyers look inside the car and see details like the infotainment screen or even look up at a sunroof. RelayCars also offers details related to vehicle specs and pricing for every make/model in its online inventory. Car shoppers can use RelayCars for all their research; find out if the price is right, check out cargo space and explore the vehicles using the interactive 3D models. RelayCars makes it simple to find the best vehicle for every buyer.
Cars with Best Driving Dynamics Could Soon Equate to Models with Self-Driving Features
August 5, 2022
Driving dynamics refer to how a car handles on the road. Cars with great driving dynamics take corners without issue and are easier to control. MotorTrend ranked the BMW M2 Competition, the Chevrolet Camaro and the Ferrari 488 Pista as the top three best-handling vehicles of 2020. However, the auto industry always evolves. While driving dynamics currently focus on how the driver is able to handle and maneuver the vehicle, electric vehicles are poised to change the drive and who holds the wheel. Many electric models now feature self-driving options, and cars with best driving dynamics could soon equate to models with these self-driving features. Which vehicles currently offer self-driving driving modes? The site Auto-Pilot Review rounded up a list of all the manufacturers (and models) that feature some type of self-driving driving: * Audi * BMW * Chevrolet * Cadillac * Ford * Hummer * Hyundai * Infiniti * Kia * Mercedes-Benz * Nissan * Tesla * Volvo SELF-DRIVING DRIVING MODES INCLUDE DIFFERENT LEVELS OF CAPABILITIES Auto-Pilot Review explains that there are different levels of self-driving modes for driving. For example, lane assist safety features could be a form of self-driving driving. In addition, the site even classifies common features like cruise control as a ‘level 1’ type of self-driving control. However, when consumers think about this driving mode, they likely perceive the car driving without much assistance from the driver. Today’s vehicles don’t offer full self-driving driving options, but some offer a ‘level 4’ that allows most driving to be handled by the vehicle’s intelligence. Self-driving driving modes also could differ by manufacturer. Again, some might offer basic safety features that allow the car to avoid a collision and automatically stop (using data from sensors). Other safety systems offer alerts to warn a driver of a vehicle in the blind spot. Electric vehicles and some hybrids might provide more advanced autopilot systems that allow the driver to rely on the vehicle’s embedded intelligence to handle some aspects of the drive. However, manufacturers like Tesla explain to drivers that autopilot features still require the diligence and attention of drivers. Cars with Best Driving Dynamics [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Is-Self-Driving-the-Future-of-Driving-Dynamics.jpg] IS SELF-DRIVING THE FUTURE OF DRIVING DYNAMICS? While today’s vehicles rely on the driver to control the driving experience, the future of driving might switch the control to the vehicle. Fully self-driving vehicles are not available to consumers, but manufacturers could steer in this direction. Consumers cannot purchase fully self-driving vehicles, but they might soon be able to ride in them. In some areas, self-driving rideshare (or e-hailing) vehicles are already being tested. Consumers might soon be able to hail a vehicle without a driver! For example, Zoox (a subsidiary of Amazon) offers self-driving rideshare vehicles that are being tested out in several cities in California as well as in Seattle and Las Vegas. TechCrunch explains that Zoox tests include a ‘human driver.’ Yet, these tests could showcase the beginning of a self-driving future. Many modern cars offer numerous safety features either as standard features or upgraded features that take control of the vehicle. Again, lane assist technologies, blind spot warnings and even collision warning systems that stop the car to deter a crash all have become part of self-driving technologies that enhance the safety of many vehicles. Creating a fully self-driving vehicle for consumers, though, might be years away. As Zoox needs to test out its technology to ensure the safest drive possible, auto manufacturers will need to perfect any fully self-driving driving modes, too. When humans stop handling the vehicle, the driver will rely on computerized intelligence for navigation and to understand the nuances of the roadway rules. A self-driving car doesn’t simply need to navigate streets and highways, it also might need to communicate and sense the movements of other cars and traffic signals, too. THE CARS WITH THE BEST DRIVING DYNAMICS NOW Consumers might have a long wait for the drive to become a self-driving experience. Technology hasn’t taken over yet. Humans are still in control of the drive, and even humans that own a car with self-driving modes also must stay in control of that vehicle. Cars are not yet intelligent enough to fully navigate without human input. The driving dynamics of today’s vehicles are still important for those who want the cars with the best control and that are fairly easy to handle. Car shoppers can research the best-handling vehicles, but they might find that some recommendations are luxury models. Not every consumer can afford a Ferrari, for example. To understand the driving dynamics of any car requires the driver to get behind the wheel. For this reason, car buyers shouldn’t skip the test drive. A test drive allows the driver to better understand how the vehicle handles on the road. How does it navigate corners? Is it easy to drive? Every driver or car buyer might have a different list of features that they demand in a car. Some drivers are fine with lagging acceleration; others want the quick power to easily accelerate and merge on a busy highway. Car buyers also should be cognizant of how self-driving features could help them on the road. Review and research the safety offerings of the vehicle to understand all the options. While some features are standard (like a backup camera), others are an added option. Safety features that might be considered a part of self-driving capabilities include: * Lane assist features * Blind spot monitoring * Front and all-around imaging * Automatic braking * Pedestrian warnings or detection Some high-end vehicles include augmented reality heads-up displays that point out hazards ahead. They also show directional arrows to guide the drive and display speed data, too. ELECTRIC VEHICLES WITH SELF-DRIVING FUNCTIONS Electric vehicles and hybrids now offer more advanced driving functions. When car shoppers are considering these vehicles, they need to understand the limitations of any feature that helps navigate the vehicle. Again, Tesla explains to drivers that the Autopilot modes featured on the company’s models still require driver attentiveness. A driver cannot simply be hands-off when they choose to use autopilot modes; modern vehicles aren’t yet designed to drive without some degree of human assistance and attention. When considering electric and hybrid vehicles that feature a higher level of technology, buyers might ask the dealership to explain the limitations and capabilities of the feature. Buyers also could ask if a sales team member could demonstrate the feature. Cars with Best Driving Dynamics [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Driving-a-Vehicle-with-Self-Driving-Capabilities-and-Features.jpg] DRIVING A VEHICLE WITH SELF-DRIVING CAPABILITIES AND FEATURES Self-driving capabilities aren’t the same as an ‘autonomous’ vehicle, which is capable of fully navigating without human assistance. Self-driving capabilities still allow the computer to take some control of the drive, but the vehicle typically takes control when the driver doesn’t act quickly (like features that help the car avoid a collision). Car buyers who are choosing a modern vehicle that offers safety features that include some self-driving functions could be a bit hesitant about how these work. These features also could require a bit of adjustment; for example, even cameras that show all angles of the vehicle could be overwhelming for a driver that isn’t used to the feature. At the dealership, car buyers can ask for demonstrations of any features that make them a bit hesitant. In addition, some features even could be deactivated; many modern vehicles include a switch that, when activated, causes the engine to turn off at stoplights. This auto-stop/start function helps improve fuel efficiency. Not all modern vehicles will include self-driving capabilities and features. Some buyers might simply decide that these features aren’t worth an extra cost or maybe they simply don’t desire the technology. Other drivers, though, might consider these features for added safety during the drive. EXPLORE CAR OPTIONS WITH RELAYCARS While a visit to the dealership is necessary for buyers who want to explore different features of a vehicle or take a test drive, buyers can use RelayCars to explore their vehicle options before visiting the dealership. The RelayCars app is free to download via Google Play or the App Store. The app allows car buyers to explore vehicles in virtual reality (with Google Cardboard) or using 3D interactive car models. RelayCars includes thousands of makes and models for buyers to explore. Once they choose a vehicle, they can navigate the 3D models using just a fingertip. Turn the car around or look inside at the interior. Shoppers can view vehicles in different paint hues, too. For those who don’t want to download an app, they can visit the RelayCars website from a mobile device to explore them using the same 3D images found on the app. Look inside the interior or turn the car around to view it from any angle Both the RelayCars app and website also provide shoppers with specs and pricing data for every vehicle. This helps buyers understand if the vehicle is in their budget. RelayCars is open 24/7, and car shoppers can explore as many vehicles as they wish. Use RelayCars as a resource for previewing different vehicle options and for understanding the specs of different models. Then visit a dealership to see the car in person, take a test drive and ask for any clarification on self-driving features.
What is the Best Utilitarian Vehicle?
August 3, 2022
Some car buyers want a vehicle that is a workhorse. These vehicles can tow, haul and hit all the rougher roads and tough terrain. Vehicles that are designed for work might be referred to as utilitarian vehicles. What are the best utilitarian vehicles? While SUVs and crossovers could lean utilitarian, the body type that’s most utilitarian in design is the pickup truck. While there are a number of different pickup models on the market, not all of them are capable of pulling heavy loads. The best utilitarian vehicles include: * Ford F-Series * Dodge RAM * Chevrolet Silverado / GMC Sierra * Nissan Titan * Toyota Tundra Best Utilitarian Vehicle [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/This-Model-Has-Been-the-Most-Popular-Vehicle-for-Decades.jpg] THIS MODEL HAS BEEN THE MOST POPULAR VEHICLE FOR DECADES The Ford F-Series holds a unique record in American automotive history; it has remained the best-selling vehicle in the country for the past four decades. The F-Series offers numerous models, including the popular F-150 half-ton pickup, the F-250, F-350, and F-450. The F-Series also offers the best towing capacity; both the F-250 and the F-350 can tow more than 24,000 pounds. The F-150 can tow 14,000 pounds and starts at $30,870. Pickup truck owners also know that the utilitarian design of the F-Series also means that it can carry heavy cargo, too. Payload capacity refers to how much weight can be included within the vehicle; Kelley Blue Book explains the payload capacity also includes about 10 to 15 percent of the weight being towed. The F-150 has a payload capacity of 1,310 to 2,238 pounds. The F-250 has a payload capacity of 2,462 to 4,323 pounds, while the F-350 has a payload capacity of 3,893 to 4,663 pounds. THE RAM AND THE SILVERADO BY THE NUMBERS Car and Driver reported that the Silverado 2500 and 3500 can tow up to 20,000 pounds, while the RAM 2500 and 3500 can pull 23,000 pounds. In addition, the GMC Sierra 2500 and 3500 matches it’s Chevrolet counterpart in towing power. The half-ton Silverado 1500 starts at $34,600 and offers a payload capacity of 1,480 to 2,300 pounds. The Chevrolet Silverado 2500 starts at $38,500 and has a payload capacity of 3,614 to 3,900 pounds. The 3500 starts at $39,700 and offers a payload of 4,353 to 4,572 pounds. The GMC Sierra typically mirrors the Silverado; the Sierra was the 13th best-selling vehicle of 2021. The GMC Sierra 1500 starts at $35,400 and has a payload capacity of 1,360 to 2,270 pounds. The Sierra 2500 starts at $40,200 and has a payload capacity of 3,614 to 3,900 pounds. The Sierra 3500 has a starting price of $43,195 and offers a payload capacity of 4,353 to 4,572 pounds. The Dodge Ram 1500 starts at $36,500 and has a payload capacity of 1,225 to 2,325 pounds. The Ram 2500 starts at $42,774 and has a payload of 1,564 to 4,012 pounds. The Ram 3500 starts at $44,520 and offers a payload capacity of 3,745 to 4,644 pounds. THE NISSAN TITAN AND TOYOTA TUNDRA PICKUPS Nissan and Toyota also make larger pickup trucks. While neither the Tundra nor the Titan made the list of 25 best-selling vehicles of 2021, the smaller Toyota Tacoma was the 11th most popular vehicle. The Nissan Titan starts at $38,810 and can tow up to 9,320 pounds. It has a payload capacity of up to 1,500 pounds. However, the larger Nissan Titan XD starts at $46,380; it offers a towing capacity of 10,920 pounds and a maximum payload of 2,430 pounds. The Toyota Tundra starts at $35,950. It can tow up to 12,000 pounds and offers a payload capacity of 1,575 to 1,940 pounds. In addition, the Tundra also is offered in a hybrid model, which starts at $53,000. CUSTOMIZING THE PICKUP Every major brand—Chevrolet, Dodge, Toyota, Nissan, GMC and Ford—offers many different trim options for each model. Each trim also typically allows buyers to upgrade their engine, too. Those who want to maximize their towing or hauling power probably will prefer a diesel engine. Each model also might offer buyers the option to select their cab size. Different brands might have a unique name for similar cab styles. There are crew cabs, extended cabs, king cabs, etc. Some cab styles offer only a small door to the other passenger side that can only be opened from the inside. Others offer a larger—or crew—cab that offers full-sized doors that open like the front doors. Most trucks provide space for five to six passengers. However, legroom and other specs can vary per model or trim. Special upgrade packages for towing or other needs also are often an extra charge. Those who want to tow heavy loads or trailers might need to investigate their package options. Best Utilitarian Vehicle [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Heading-Off-the-Beaten-Paths.jpg] HEADING OFF THE BEATEN PATHS Many pickup trucks provide the capabilities to venture off the paved roads and into the wild. However, buyers who desire to take their truck onto rocky terrain might need to invest in an off-road package. Buyers should research their options to understand what capabilities the base model includes and what it simply cannot tackle. Towing packages and off-road packages might be a necessary add-on, depending on a buyer’s needs. WHY IS A PICKUP TRUCK THE IDEAL UTILITARIAN VEHICLE? Buyers might wonder why pickup trucks dominate over SUVs like a Jeep in terms of utilitarian offerings. While Jeeps are often equated with off-road adventures, they don’t offer the towing capacity of a larger truck. In addition, the bed of a truck offers plenty of space for work cargo, equipment and other needs. Pickup trucks were designed for work and rougher needs. SUVs can offer a decent towing capacity and might have space for cargo with the seats folded down, but the bed of a truck provides options that simply are not available via an SUV. In addition, the towing power of the best and largest trucks on the market cannot be matched by an SUV. WHAT IS THE BEST PICKUP? Buyers might want to know which pickup is the best model. In terms of towing capacity, the F-Series reigns supreme. This vehicle also has remained the country’s best-selling vehicle for decades; it probably isn’t going to be overthrown anytime soon. However, some buyers might have another brand preference. Maybe they simply prefer driving a Toyota; their ideal model might be a Tundra or even the smaller Tacoma. Car purchases could be heavily influenced by the buyer’s budget, too. Some might want the least expensive pickup on the list. The F-150 is actually one of the lower-priced options among the half-ton models. The F-150 starts at $30,870. Ford, however, has stopped taking orders for several of its best-selling vehicles. The Ford F-250 and F-350 models are no longer available. These specific models are considered the Super Duty options. Some dealerships could still have models in stock; availability will vary. Ford recommends that buyers contact their local dealership. Ford also stopped taking orders for its electric truck, the F-150 Lightning. Those who didn’t place their order are out of luck for a new Lightning. Best Utilitarian Vehicle [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Electric-Pickups-are-Utilitarian-and-Eco-Friendly-Models.jpg] ELECTRIC PICKUPS ARE UTILITARIAN AND ECO-FRIENDLY MODELS Buyers also have several electric pickup options. While the Lightning is no longer available for orders, buyers might think about ordering a Rivian R1T pickup truck or a Tesla Cybertruck. The Rivian R1T starts at $67,500. It offers a towing capacity of up to 11,000 pounds. The R1T offers an estimated range of 260 to 314 miles. It has a payload capacity of 1,760 pounds. The Tesla Cyber truck starts at $39,900 but can soar to $69,900 for a tri-motor all-wheel drive option. It has a payload capacity of 3,500 pounds and can tow more than 14,000 pounds and has an estimated range of 500 miles. Electric pickup options could be an eco-friendly option for consumers, but some might find their towing capacity to be too limited. In addition, the range of electric trucks can vary. While the Cybertruck will offer an estimated range of 500 miles, Tesla has pushed back delivery dates for its Cybertruck orders. Those who order a Cybertruck now could have years to wait. For a buyer who needs a new truck for their job or for projects at home, the truck might not be worth the wait. WHAT ABOUT SMALLER PICKUP MODELS? For buyers who are on a tighter budget, there are several smaller pickup trucks that could be an ideal choice. For example, the GMC Canyon starts at $26,800 and can tow up to 7,700 pounds. The Chevrolet Colorado is priced similarly at $25,200. It can tow up to 7,000 pounds. The Toyota Tacoma also is a smaller pickup; again, it also made the list of best-selling vehicles for 2021. The Tacoma starts at $27,150. It offers a towing capacity of 3,500 to 6,800 pounds. There are other smaller pickup models on the market that also could be a good choice for budget- conscious consumers. For example, the Ford Ranger is a smaller alternative to the F-Series; the Ranger starts at $25,930. Ford also offers a small hybrid pickup truck called the Maverick. Unfortunately, the model proved to be so popular that Ford stopped taking orders for that pickup model, too. THE BEST USED PICKUP TRUCK Another option for buyers is to shop used or pre-owned models. Prices may vary based on factors like mileage, age, condition and the make/model. Buyers who are searching for the best utilitarian vehicle, though, can find either a new or used pickup truck that meets their towing, hauling or budget needs. The best pickup truck should check off all the buyer’s requirements while also fitting comfortably within their budget.
These are the Luxury Diesel Cars on the New and Used Market
August 1, 2022
Diesel engines were once a popular option for car buyers who wanted a more fuel-efficient drive. While several luxury manufacturers released diesel cars, the number of models has dwindled significantly over the years. Hybrid and electric vehicles have eclipsed diesel offerings as the energy-efficient preferences for consumers. Mercedes-Benz, Audi and BMW once produced several luxury cars powered by diesel, and buyers can still find these models on the used or pre-owned market. Those who want newer diesel vehicles have a few luxury options from Cadillac and Range Rover. These are the luxury diesel cars available on the new market: * 2022 Cadillac Escalade * 2022 Cadillac Escalade ESV * 2022 Land Rover Range Rover * 2022 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Luxury Diesel Cars [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/What-is-the-Benefit-of-Diesel.jpg] WHAT IS THE BENEFIT OF DIESEL? Diesel engines work a bit differently than standard fuel engines. The difference is related to the combustion timing within the engine. With diesel engines, air is compressed by the pistons, and then the diesel (fuel) is injected. The spark plugs ignite the ball of gas for a powerful explosion that fuels the engine. Diesel engines offer more power. For this reason, this engine is preferred for those who need to tow or haul heavy loads. Standard fuel-injected engines release the fuel into the oxygen, which is then compressed by the pistons. The spark plugs then cause the combustion that powers the vehicle. Why is diesel more powerful? When the air is compressed before it is injected, it is heated. This warm or hot air infused with the fuel creates a stronger combustion, and, thus, offers more power. Diesel fuel also was marketed as a cleaner option that also provided better fuel efficiency. Volkswagen’s lineup and its luxury brand Audi included diesel models with TDI or TSI behind the model name; TDI referred to “turbocharged direct injection” and TSI referred to “turbo stratified injection” Other luxury brands like Porsche and Mercedes-Benz also offered diesel engines for select models. However, diesel engine cars are now not typically offered in the United States; SUVs and trucks, though, still provide for a diesel engine option. One of the issues with diesel cars is that manufacturers were including technology that fooled emissions tests. As the New York Times reported, both Volkswagen and its luxury arms Audi and Porsche were part of the diesel scandal. In addition, Daimler—the parent company of Mercedes-Benz —also faced its own diesel scandal; Motor1 reported that the company paid out $3 billion to settle the case. BMW also incurred a $1 billion fine from the European Union for its diesel scandal; Volkswagen received the same fine. Luxury Diesel Cars [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Shopping-Used-Luxury-Diesel.jpg] SHOPPING USED LUXURY DIESEL Used luxury diesel options from BMW, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz and Audi could be available in the used or pre-owned market. When the scandal related to diesel cars became public knowledge, manufacturers like Volkswagen offered to either fix the glitch to ensure the vehicle abided by emissions standards or buy back the vehicle from owners. Klipnik reported that many owners chose the buy-back option. The acquired vehicles were eventually available in the used or pre-owned market Prices of these models could vary based on: Make/model Mileage Age Condition The availability of used vehicles might vary per area and per dealership. However, buyers might be able to find used diesel vehicles through affiliated brand dealerships (like Audi, Volkswagen, etc.). Depending on the make and model, car buyers might find a deal in a diesel model. However, if they are looking for the most eco-friendly option, they might not gravitate towards diesel. Hybrid options could be a better option. In addition, electric models don’t rely on any fossil fuels and provide a cleaner ride. DIESEL VS. ELECTRIC OR HYBRID Diesel engines offer more power than a standard engine. This makes them a better choice for hauling and towing. Car buyers who need to pull a larger trailer might opt for diesel. Car buyers who want to maximize gas mileage, though, might focus on hybrid or electric vehicles. Many hybrid models offer more than 50 MPG. Electric vehicles don’t require any fuel; they simply need to charge via an electric plug. The efficiency of electric models is denoted by the length of their range. The longest range model on the market is currently the Lucid Air Dream Edition, which is priced at $169,000 and offers an estimated range of 520 miles. Unfortunately, interested buyers can no longer place a reservation for this model. As newer electric models are released, the maximum estimated range might also increase. For example, Tesla is taking reservations for its Roadster model, which is anticipated to have an estimated range of 620 miles. Car buyers who have the budget for a luxury car might not be too fixated on price. A larger budget means that these buyers could choose from many different electric models to decrease their reliance on fossil fuels. Luxury buyers also can choose from a range of hybrid vehicles. Lexus, Porsche, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and several other luxury brands all offer hybrid models. Fuel efficiency varies between models; however, hybrids should get more miles per gallon than the standard models. ARE NEW DIESEL MODELS AVAILABLE? Manufacturers now largely focus on producing hybrid or electric models for their lineup. Diesel engines now tend to be focused on vehicles that need the engine’s power like SUVs and trucks. In fact, the Cadillac Escalade, Escalade ESV, the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport are the biggest luxury names that offer diesel engines. Here’s what buyers should know about these models: 2022 CADILLAC ESCALADE The 2022 Cadillac Escalade allows buyers to choose a 3.0L Duramax Turbo Diesel as an upgraded option; this increases the noted price to $79,540 on the Luxury trim option. The upgrade bumps the price on all trims by $100. The large Escalade can get decent fuel efficiency for its size—21 MPG in the city and 27 MPG on the highway. It has a maximum towing capacity of 7,500 to 7,700 pounds. 2022 CADILLAC ESCALADE ESV The Cadillac Escalade ESV also offers a 3.0L Duramax Turbo Diesel as an upgraded option. The ESV with this upgrade costs $82,540. The ESV offers the same fuel efficiency and towing specs as the standard Escalade. 2022 LAND ROVER RANGE ROVER AND RANGE ROVER SPORT The 2022 Land Rover Range Rover starts at $93,800 and the Sport starts around $83,000. Both vehicles can integrate a diesel engine, which improves fuel efficiency on the highway more than 20 percent. Interested buyers should request a quote for pricing. Towing capacities might vary. OTHER DIESEL OPTIONS Pickup trucks might be considered a luxury model because of their price tag. Many larger pickup trucks have price tags that rival the price of smaller luxury cars. While the Ford F-150 starts at $30,870, the larger F-250 is priced at more than $38,000. These base models don’t reflect any engine upgrades or any added features; the base also doesn’t account for a buyer choosing a roomier cab option. The starting price only denotes the base model that offers only standard features. Car and Driver’s list of the best-selling vehicles of 2021 revealed that pickup trucks were the three most popular vehicles in the country; Ford’s F-Series has remained the best-selling vehicle for 40 years. The Dodge Ram came in as the second most popular vehicle, and the Chevrolet Silverado was the third best-seller. The Silverado and the Ram also are priced in the 30K range. The Silverado 1500 starts at $34,600. The Dodge Ram 1500 starts at $36,500. Again, prices increase with larger models and any added upgrades. THE DIESEL DILEMMA? Some buyers might need a diesel engine for its power. Escalade and Range Rover models offer a diesel option. This engine is often an upgrade, and buyers should expect to pay more. For Range Rover pricing, buyers can reach out to the dealership for a quote. Some buyers might need a diesel engine for its power. Escalade and Range Rover models offer a diesel option. This engine is often an upgrade, and buyers should expect to pay more. For Range Rover pricing, buyers can reach out to the dealership for a quote. Pickup trucks could be considered as a luxury option when their price tag climbs into the ‘luxury range.’ Trucks have a pricier starting MSRP, and any upgraded engine or any added features bumps the price even higher. The most popular pickup truck models could be difficult to find. Ford has stopped taking orders on a few of its models, including the electric F-150 Lightning. Buyers who are interested in an electric pickup truck, though, do still have other options. Tesla is still taking orders for its futuristic Cybertruck. However, new buyers might have a wait ahead of them, as the Cybertruck’s delivery schedule has been moved back. Car buyers who are really fixated on a diesel luxury car could still find models via the used or pre-owned market. While diesel cars were once considered a cleaner and more fuel-efficient option, manufacturers now seem to be focused on hybrid and electric models. Luxury models can still find older diesel cars, but newer models are limited to a few brands and limited to SUVs and trucks.
These are the Best SUVs for Short People
July 29, 2022
Shorter or petite drivers need a vehicle that allows them to feel comfortable, gain proper visibility through the windshield (and mirrors) and reach the pedals without stretching or feeling cramped. Some features can help shorter drivers make adjustments, but not all models could adjust enough to facilitate visibility or comfort. Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) are built on a truck chassis, which gives them more weight and can make drivers feel safer. Some are sportier in design, offer power for towing and provide lots of cargo space. What are the best SUVs for short people? Kelley Blue Book (KBB) rounded up a list of the best vehicles for shorter drivers, and SUV models dominated the list. KBB recommended these SUVS: * 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe * 2022 Honda CR-V * 2021 Nissan Rogue * 2021 Mazda CX-30 * 2022 Chevrolet Equinox * 2022 Subaru Outback * 2022 Volkswagen Taos Best SUVs for Short People [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Features-that-Can-Upgrade-the-Driving-Experience.jpg] FEATURES THAT CAN UPGRADE THE DRIVING EXPERIENCE Some standard and upgraded features can help drivers make the adjustments needed for a more comfortable and safer ride. All drivers need to be able to gain full visibility in their windshield and their side and rear view mirrors. In addition, seats should be easy to adjust to allow drivers to lift the seat higher or lower or to bring the seat closer to the pedals and steering wheel. POWER SEATS All vehicles offer adjustable seats to ensure drivers. However, both taller drivers and shorter drivers might find that power adjustable seats allow for easier modifications. This feature uses buttons to move the seat into position, and the power option tends to provide greater control compared to a seat that requires manual adjustment. MEMORY SEAT FEATURES Couples might share a vehicle or a teen driver might use the car. This means that when drivers sit in the driver’s seat they might have to re-adjust the seat position. To simplify these adjustments, car shoppers can upgrade to memory seats that automatically adjust to the driver. Not all car models might offer this as an upgrade, but it could be worth the extra cost if it is an available option. ADJUSTABLE AND TELESCOPING STEERING WHEEL Taller and shorter drivers also might need to re-position the steering wheel for better accessibility. KBB recommends telescoping steering wheels that allow for proper and easy adjustments. BLIND SPOT ALERTS/MONITORING Every driver has a blind spot. However, sensors that monitor these out-of-sight areas can help warn drivers about potential hazards so they can avoid an accident. Look for safety systems that include blind spot sensors and warnings. SMART REARVIEW MIRRORS Smart rearview mirrors are a relatively newer car feature. These mirrors allow the driver to access a camera that is shown in real time via the rearview mirror. Smart features allow for better rear view visibility during night driving or in bad weather. AUTOMATIC OR POWER LIFT GATES KBB also recommends power lift gates for shorter drivers. These gates ensure that drivers don’t have to reach up to grab the gate to close it. Instead, just press a button and the gate will automatically close (or open). RUNNING BOARDS An exterior feature also recommended by KBB, running boards can be used as a step to help shorter drivers get into taller SUVs. Best SUVs for Short People [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/About-the-Best-SUVs-for-Short-People.jpg] ABOUT THE BEST SUVS FOR SHORT PEOPLE Shorter drivers who are looking for the best SUV options might have their own checklist of must-have features for their new SUV. Some buyers might have a lower budget than others, and price could be the biggest issue. However, fuel efficiency also could be an important feature—especially when gas prices seem to constantly climb. 2022 HYUNDAI SANTA FE The 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe might soon be an older model as 2023 model years begin to debut in dealership showrooms. The 2022 Santa Fe has a starting MSRP of $27,700. It offers 25 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highway; the Santa Fe can tow up to 2,000 to 3,500 pounds. It offers space for up to five passengers. In addition, the 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe earned a Top Safety Pick+ award/rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Car shoppers also can choose a hybrid Santa Fe. 2022 HONDA CR-V The Honda CR-V was the fifth most popular car in 2021. The 2022 CR-V has a starting MSRP of $26,800. It can get up to 28 MPG in the city and 34 MPG on the highway and has space for up to five people. It received a Top Safety Pick rating/award (with specific headlights) from the IIHS. The CR-V also is offered as a hybrid. 2021 NISSAN ROGUE KBB listed its recommended models in 2021, and the 2021 Nissan Rogue was still a newer model. However, now buyers might find the 2021 Rogue as a used option. The 2021 Rogue started at $26,050; used prices might vary. The Rogue offers decent fuel efficiency—27 MPG in the city and 35 MPG on the highway. It can tow up to 1,350 pounds and has space for five. The 2021 Rogue received a Top Safety Pick+ award/rating from the IIHS. 2021 MAZDA CX-30 The 2021 Mazda CX-30 is another model that will be found as a used option. When it debuted, it had a starting MSRP of $22,050; used prices might vary. The CX-30 can get 25 MPG in the city and 33 MPG on the highway. The model provides space for up to five people. The 2021 Mazda CX-30 received a Top Safety Pick+ award/rating from the IIHS; this is applicable to models built after September 2020. 2022 CHEVROLET EQUINOX The 2022 Chevrolet Equinox also has room for up to five people. It has a starting MSRP of $26,050 and can get 26 MPG in the city and 31 MPG on the highway. It can tow up to 1,500 pounds. The Equinox was the 19th best-selling vehicle of 2021. 2022 SUBARU OUTBACK The 2022 Subaru Outback has a starting MSRP of $27,645 and offers space for five. The 2021 Outback ranked 21st of the best-selling vehicles of 2021. Like many models on the list, it also offers decent fuel efficiency—26 MPG in the city and 33 MPG on the highway. The 2022 Outback can tow up to 2,700 to 3,500 pounds. The 2022 Subaru Outback received a Top Safety Pick+ rating/award from the IIHS. 2022 VOLKSWAGEN TAOS The 2022 Volkswagen Taos starts at $23,495 and can seat up to five. It can get up to 28 MPG in the city and 36 MPG on the highway. WHAT IS A GOOD SUV FOR A SHORT PERSON? The best vehicle for any driver can depend on their style, budget and wish list, too. Every driver might want something different in a vehicle. However, for drivers that are shorter, SUVs that offer features to adjust the seat and provide good visibility might be the best options. In addition, car shoppers might choose to add other upgrades like a smart rearview mirror or memory seats. Blind spot alerts and other safety features also can be beneficial during the drive. BEST SUV FOR SHORT DRIVERS 2022 While KBB included its list of best vehicles for short drivers in 2021, the list was filled with 2022 models. Car shoppers could focus their search on these 2022 models: * 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe * 2022 Honda CR-V * 2022 Chevrolet Equinox * 2022 Subaru Outback * 2022 Volkswagen Taos Again, buyers also can add features that make the drive more comfortable. However, they also might research these models to find out which features come standard. Some might offer blind-spot monitoring or other features as a standard option. However, every model differs in its list of standard features. Best SUVs for Short People [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Dont-Forget-the-Test-Drive.jpg] DON’T FORGET THE TEST DRIVE Whether drivers are taller or shorter, the best SUV or vehicle might depend on the individual and their preferences. While certain models might be recommended because of their features, dimensions or other attributes, the best way to find out if a model is a fit is to take a test drive. Not only does a test drive let the shopper adjust the seats and determine if the vehicle fits their height, but a test drive also can help drivers understand how the car handles. Maybe the car feels sluggish on the acceleration, or maybe the driver just doesn’t like a navigational feature. With today’s modern vehicles, there are so many different features that could be appealing or even divisive among buyers. Something as simple as the design or size of an infotainment screen could make or break a buyer’s decision. COULD LARGER SUVS BE AN OPTION? Some buyers might need a large SUV to fit a family, or they might gravitate to a larger model because of the towing capacity or cargo space. While the recommended 2022 models were smaller SUVs, shorter buyers shouldn’t necessarily assume a large SUV won’t be a good fit. Again, the best way to determine the comfort and fit of any vehicle is to take a test drive; at the very least, buyers should sit in the vehicle and adjust the seats to see if it’s comfortable. Larger SUVs also can feature running boards that help shorter drivers climb into a taller vehicle. Every shopper will have their own idea of what SUV is ideal for their driving needs. Explore the options and then visit the dealership to take a test drive to determine that it really is the best choice.