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The increased cargo space, larger size, and additional seating options make SUVs the preferred choice for families when it comes to buying a used car. This powerful machine is considered to be the perfect combination of sedan fineries and rough pickups.

However, selecting the right used SUV that suits your needs and budget can be a daunting process. Apart from selecting the best available make, model and color of the car, there are a number of factors you should be looking for (besides kicking tires and checking engines).

The following are five major factors to consider before buying a used SUV.


Mileage should play a big role in shaping your decision, as it directly affects the value of an SUV. Also, it impacts the need for servicing and the cost of maintenance.  Put simply, an SUV with low mileage has gone through less wear and tear, but once a certain mileage is exceeded, some components are likely to be in need of replacing. Make a point of considering the stated mileage of a used SUV before buying it.

All-wheel Drive, Four-Wheel Drive, or Two-Wheel Drive

When it comes to choosing the 2WD, 4WD or All-Wheel Drive, everything comes down to your needs. That is, take into consideration what you prefer in terms of cargo and passenger capabilities. Also, which sort of weather conditions or terrain you will be dealing with on a daily basis. For instance, all-wheel drive is the best option in poor driving conditions or when off-roading, as it provides better grip on the road in rain, mud, snow, or other areas with less friction than standard roads. Similarly, for an urban area, 2WD is just fine for most driving needs.

Cruise Control

If you want to check the drive quality, you should evaluate the electronic stability program and cruise control. While these features are necessary to have a safe driving experience, they are also imperative for a smooth drive. If you find good and properly functional cruise control in the used SUV, then these features are definitely a plus something positive to keep in mind.

Size of the Vehicle

SUVs, just like other cars, come in a range of sizes. For instance, if you are just replacing a sedan, then a subcompact will provide plenty of space (slightly larger) for a five-person family. Considering the size of an SUV (large, mid-sized, small, or subcompact) will help you in narrowing down your choice. It is also important because every one of these categories also offers a spectrum of models such as luxury-branded SUVs. So, if you know your size preferences, it will help you in simplifying your used SUV buying process.

Safety Considerations

When you go with the larger and more powerful SUVs, safety is a major consideration. So, make sure the used SUV offers functional and durable airbags and antilock brakes. Also, look for lane departure, rear-view cameras and blind spot warning system, if you aim at choosing the best-used SUV in terms of appearance, functionality, and safety.

Come down to Hawthorne Auto Square and take a look at our considerable inventory of pre-owned vehicles, including SUVs.  We do our financing in-house, meaning we can get you approved with bad credit or no credit at all!  We are the premier buy here, pay here dealership in all Los Angeles, so give us a call at (866) 707-7664 or take a look at our selection online.