Sometimes less is more. And sometimes more is more. If you feel that you’ve outgrown your car, it might be time to start looking for something a little bigger. Let’s talk size…
Are Bigger Cars Safer?
Many drivers report feeling safer in bigger cars, especially when surrounded by lots of other fast moving large cars on the freeway. Research has shown that women in particular prefer the elevated seating position offered by SUVs, feeling that if there was to be a collision they would be much safer. In fact, many drivers – men and women – won’t even consider a smaller car for this very reason.
Are they right?
Well, it depends on the car. Some smaller cars will certainly come off significantly worse in a collision with a large car. Others have a range of special features that compensate for their lack of mass. The front end will have been designed to withstand a crash so that the occupants are protected, and the roof will be able to withstand a force of at least four times its own weight (as opposed to the minimum government requirements) in the event of a rollover. Inside the car, the seats and headrests will provide extra support to help prevent whiplash.
To make a decision about safety, it’s best to research the car’s performance in safety tests. For example, the relatively small 2013 Honda Civic has the highest possible crash test score from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. For some, this could make it a more appealing car than bigger vehicles which received lower safety scores.
Safety isn’t just about size.
Are Bigger Cars Less Fuel Efficient?
You might be surprised to learn that smaller cars can be significantly less fuel efficient . The smaller engines have to work harder to accelerate than larger ones.
Why is this not showing up in emissions test results? It’s because of the way the cars are tested – manufacturers test cars at lower speeds than we tend to drive at, so the scores might not be as accurate as you think.
Whatever size of car you drive, it’s possible to maximize fuel efficiency by following this simple advice:
- Keep your car well maintained
- Make sure tires are fully inflated
- Don’t carry a lot of weight
- Buy a car with stop-start technology that shuts off the engine after a minute of idling (we predict that 2016 will be the year when this tech is fully embraced by the US car industry and drivers)
- Avoid heavy acceleration
- Slow down…slowly
Due to advances in technology and the increasingly tough fuel economy regulations imposed by Congress, all cars – regardless of size – are becoming more fuel efficient. If you are very concerned about this issue, an electric vehicle or hybrid would be the best option for you.
The Right Size For You
If you consider how you use your car, it won’t be hard to make a decision if you’re torn between sizes. Long journeys are so much more comfortable in larger vehicles, so if you make annual trips across the country, don’t even consider a small car. Kids, luggage, pets and sports gear crammed into a small vehicle for several hours aren’t the way to start off a happy family vacation!
City driving doesn’t generally require a large car, in fact it might be more of a hindrance when it comes to finding parking spaces.
Also worth considering is how you shop. Do you make several trips a year to Ikea? Trying to squeeze flat-pack furniture into a small car is no fun. The same goes for bulky garden purchases.
The right car will fit seamlessly into your lifestyle.
Still Interested In a Bigger Car? Here’s What’s Available Right Now On TRED
Cars sell extremely quickly on TRED (see why here), so the cars listed below might not be available depending on when you’re reading this. There’s a huge range available, so please check the vehicles out on our website.
What makes this special: Feel like one of the jet set with the beautiful leather interior and wood trim. You can own this for as little as $184 per month.
What makes this special: This car’s practically brand new with only 9,000 miles, Bluetooth connectivity and a digital in-dash screen. For only $252 per month you could be its proud owner.
What makes this special: This car has been maintained at Lexus franchise dealerships so you can be sure it’s in peak condition. You can be the next owner for just $249 per month.