How Big of a Car Do I Need?

June 19th, 2018 by

Bigger is always better, but less is more, right? When it comes to cars, both of these statements can be true depending on your needs. When deciding on a new vehicle, it can be easy to focus on one specific factor like gas mileage while ignoring all other needs you might have.

For example, a small car with great gas mileage is fantastic if all you need your vehicle for is basic commuting purposes. However, that awesome mileage won’t do you much good if you need to constantly find other vehicle solutions whenever you need to haul large items or take a road trip with luggage. Similarly, a tank-like SUV is fantastic for a group camping trip, but it’s probably a massive drain on your wallet during an hour-long commute to work.

Determining your Car Usage

To avoid either of these situations, you need to realistically consider what your vehicle will be used for. When buying a minivan, visions of family road trips may be swimming in your head but how often are you likely to take these trips and for how many years?

When Less is More

Older Children: With the average life expectancy of a car running around 8 years, considering your long term uses can be important especially if you’re buying a large vehicle based on the idea that you’ll be taking a lot of family vacations. As kids get older it can be increasingly difficult to coordinate schedules for a group vacation. Moreover, teens are likely to want their independence and won’t be relying on rides as often.  If your kids are already in their teens or close to them, consider a smaller vehicle.

Long Commutes: Similarly, if you have a long commute to and from work or need to do a lot of travelling on a daily basis, gas mileage will be a big cost factor. Initial costs are also likely to be a consideration with small cars typically having smaller price tags (though this isn’t always true!)

Space: Compact cars can also make driving and parking in congested urban areas much easier.  A small or cluttered garage is also less of an issue when your vehicle is smaller.

When Bigger is Better

While larger cars often fall short in fuel economy and may make parking more difficult, they typically excel in most other areas and situations. Consider a large car if:

You Need the Space: If you need to transport a lot of things or people on a regular basis, a large car is a must. For reference, a typical small sedan is only going to fit around 5 people and at least one of those people is not likely to be very comfortable on a long trip. A full-size SUV, on the other hand, can typically handle up to 8 people comfortably. Similarly, if you know you’ll have to haul products or equipment for your job or hobbies frequently, a large car will save you trouble and time in the long run.

Rough Roads: Love the country life? If you live in or travel around dirt roads or other rough terrain often, larger SUVs are likely to serve you better. Small cars are simply less likely to be able to traverse hills and rocky areas as well.

Safety: While there are plenty of new small cars with great safety ratings, larger cars, on average, do outperform in this category. However, older, larger cars are not safer than new small cars, so age makes a difference!

Are you struggling to find the right-sized vehicle for you? At Lebanon Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram dealership, we carry a full range or large, small, new and pre-owned vehicles to suit your needs. Call or visit and our knowledgeable representatives will help you find the perfect vehicle for you!

Posted in Just for Fun