Hobbies Cars & Motorcycles 9 Best Reasons to Buy an SUV or Crossover Share PINTEREST Email Print Cars & Motorcycles SUVs Cars Motorcycles Used Cars Trucks ATVs & Off Road Public Transportation By Jason Fogelson Jason Fogelson is an automotive journalist specializing in SUVs. He has also served as president of the Motor Press Guild and published a book. our editorial process Jason Fogelson Updated June 11, 2018 In these days of $4.00-plus gasoline, climate change and social upheaval, the pressure to downsize your vehicle is overwhelming, but there are some very legitimate (and some spurious) reasons to own and drive an SUV. Don't get turned around by peer pressure and don't let your neighbors select your vehicle for you with their disapproving looks. When you need an SUV, you need an SUV. Here are the 9 Best Reasons to Buy an SUV or Crossover vehicle. 01 of 09 Carry More People Efficiently Chevrolet If you've got a big family, it may not be possible to transport everyone in one vehicle unless you drive an SUV. If your family of seven needs to get from point A to point B at the same time and all you own is a Prius and an Insight, you're going to have to make multiple trips or take multiple vehicles. One trip in a big SUV, and you've saved fuel, taken up less space in traffic and in the parking lot, and made maximum use of your resources. 02 of 09 Get Excellent Gas Mileage Subaru Back in the old days (five or more years ago), many SUVs were actually inefficient gas hogs. But now, there are multiple SUVs that are rated to achieve over 30 miles per gallon on the highway, still retaining the capacity and benefits of an SUV. 03 of 09 Safer Chevrolet There's actually some truth to this reason, within certain parameters. No matter what kind of standard safety equipment, airbags, traction control, or anti-lock brakes you put on a 2,337 lb subcompact Chevy Spark, it will be the loser in a head-on collision with a 5,820 lb Chevrolet Suburban. It's just a matter of physics. 04 of 09 Tow More Ford Even in times of economic strife, people still have hobbies. And some of those hobbies require towing. If you love horses, motorcycles, boats, fishing, camping or even antiquing, chances are you need to tow once in a while, if not more often. You can add a towing kit to a car, but it's a Frankenstein operation at best. Many SUVs arrive with towing capability built right in, and some even come with trailer sway control. 05 of 09 Off-Road Jason Fogelson It's not just the ground clearance and the beefy suspension systems that make SUVs better off-road than cars. It's also transmissions and differentials that are designed to perform off-road. It's underbody protection, like skid plates, which many SUVs come with. It's features like hill descent control and low range. It's fenders that are shaped to accommodate long suspension travel, and hoods that slope away from the driver for visibility. SUVs were born for off-roading, and they've still got that ability. 06 of 09 Room for Pets IFCAR / Wikimedia Common While it's not safe to allow your dogs to roam freely through the cabin of any vehicle (they may interfere with your operation of the vehicle, or worse, become dangerous projectiles in the event of a collision), in an SUV, accessories like a pet barrier or a pet carrier can turn your SUV's cargo bay into a safe haven for your dogs during travel. A few manufacturers have even put out dog-friendly editions of their SUVS, strictly to appeal to dog owners. 07 of 09 Better in a Flood Jason Fogelson With all of the recent hurricanes and heavy rains across the country, you've noticed a bunch of swamped sedans and coupes on city streets. A Toyota 4Runner can ford over 24" of water. With some simple aftermarket equipment, many SUVs can be outfitted to ford even deeper water, up to 36" and even deeper. 08 of 09 Carry More Cargo Jason Fogelson Picture this: You're driving down the road and as you come around a corner you see a fantastic recliner on the curb with a sign that says "FREE." The chair is in perfect shape. Dark clouds are forming overhead—it's about to rain. If you don't take this chair right now, it's going to get ruined, which would be a terrible shame. Luckily, you're driving your SUV. You pull over, lift the tailgate, flop the second and third row seats flat and muscle the recliner into the cargo bay. Slam the tailgate shut, drive on home and enjoy your new chair. If you were in a coupe or a sedan, that beautiful Barcalounger would be waterlogged right now, and you'd be sitting in your old beanbag chair. 09 of 09 Command Seating Position Jason Fogelson Sitting up higher, you can see further down the road. Sometimes, you can even see over other traffic, which can help you to prepare for hazards ahead and avoid trouble. Command seating position also helps in parking lots (you can see empty spaces), in the suburbs (you can see over hedges) and off-road (you can see over obstacles).