In search of the BEST SUV

recently I was hit by a Drunk Driver in a small sedan and although his car was also a small sedan the injuries and damages seemed singnificant. I am now feeling as if I should drive a bigger car and wanted to get everyone’s opinion as to the right one gas and price is not an issue, but protection, durability and not in the shop constantly is a MUST new or used. Please give me your best advice

in case this was relevant no kids so don’t need all the fancy back seat stuff

If gas and price is not an issue, I’d say the Ford Excursion/Chevy Subrban diesel, or one of the new super dutys

Do you really want a SUV/truck, or are you just looking for something safe? Bigger is not always safer, especially SUVs that tend to end up on their roofs. I guess it really comes down to what you mean by “price is not an issue.” If I didn’t need a SUV/truck and was looking for maximum safety under about $100K, I would probably just buy a new S-class. If you really want a SUV and/or want to spend more money, there are probably some interesting choices.

If you want something “bigger” than your best bet is a minivan. 4Wheel Driver does not add any protection. If you only need 2 seats, go for the cheapest full size pickup truck. It gives you the most mass for the money. My neighbor’s wife had an accident in a small car and the Acura salesman got a hold of her and sold her an Acura SUV for $45,000. You can buy 2 pickup trucks with more mass for that price.

So, if price doesn’t matter; you can try any car that interests you. The Ford Taurus is based on something bigger than a car, sort of. I haven’t taken a ride in one but test driving a few cars should be fun.

-thought better of that-

Paramedics, EMTs, firemen, and police I’ve spoken with have all recommended full-sized sedans with good safety ratings as some of the safest vehicles they’ve seen in working accidents.


Bigger does not equal safer. I would much rather be in a small well designed car than in a bigger less well designed car.

My first accident 45 years ago, I was driving a Corvair and was car #17 in a 17 car chain reaction accident. I was able to drive home, the full size (Impala) I hit had to be towed. The 1965 Sunbeam Imp (1200 pounds) I once owned was driven into the back of a parked full size car at 70 mph (he fell asleep) and he walked away with a few scratches. You just can’t draw conclusions from a single accident. Then there was the time a Greyhound bus hit me on the freeway. It tore off a quarter panel from my car (that same Sunbeam Imp) and only put a few scratches on the bus’s bumper. No injury to me, but the bus driver lost his job due to falling asleep on his first run with the company.

Don’t go bigger just to feel safer. Do look at the safety ratings of your next car and do drive defensibly.

If you’re NOT use to driving a Hugh SUV then it’s probably NOT the right choice for a vehicle to be driving for safety reasons.

I do not know you, so I cannot in good conscious preach to you about social responsibility. But consider this:

Had you been hit by an SUV while driving your small sedan, perhaps you would have been killed. Now flip this around: you buy an SUV, something happens while you’re driving (you get distracted, you hit some ice, etc.) and you plow in to a small sedan and kill the occupant(s). Perhaps that person should have been driving an SUV. Well, I’ve got news for you, we can keep increasing the mass of the vehicle in sort of a cold war arms race-fashion, but it’s a war that ultimately no one wins. Do us all a favor, don’t buy a big SUV for the sake of crash safety, it just doesn’t make sense.

If you’re truly worried about crash safety, buy a slightly used Volvo sedan or something of that ilk. Leave the SUVs to the large families and people who tow around trailers.

How about an International Pickup truck… a semi truck with a pickup bed on it.

Or how about a diesel Chevy Silverado, or perhaps a Hummer. But I think the best available is a Suburban.

My mom has a 99 Honda CRV with almost 100k. This has been a completely trouble-free vehicle. Very safe too. Look for one of these.

I can’t even really believe that there is a “good response” to this, but I will give it a shot just as foolishly as everyone else.
Why not just suggest any Volvo? Bigger, durable, protection, and not constantly needing to be maintained. Price and gas not an issue. Problem solved.

Check out the crash test ratings and decide from there. The best ones are summarized here;jsessionid=31PHVL5OP55YZLAYIEWU2UY?section=safe&subject=crash&story=crashRatings&referer=advice&aff=cartalk or go to and click on the crash test results. The new Ford Taurus has a chassis based on the Volvo S80, and has the top rating and you can get it with all wheel drive for under $30,000. Make sure you get the side curtain air back and stability control. It is also a little higher than a sedan but not as high as an SUV, so you don;t have the higher risk of roll over that you get with an SUV.

Well, if you just want to outsize them all . . .

If you just want a decent, full-size, car that should be plenty safe a Crown Vic or Town Car or Cadillac would probably be OK. I like Craig58’s suggestion of a Mercedes S-Class. Nice cars.

your right. I guess when you are a bit bigger on teh road and the amount of driving I do I feel a little safer, but most of the accidents I have seen along the desert are usually SUV when you say S class what kind are you refering to German car?

that is a great point and I agree with you , I do not want to buy something that may also cause serious injury to someone else. Someone told me about the mercedes ML350 SUV seems like it is not as massive as some of the other SUVs thoughts?

that is a great truck, maybe too much for me. How about a used BMW 3 series 1999 am I looking at trouble with 133k on it. I have had several BMWs and loved them is this also a good option, I can get an outstanding deal from someone who wants 4500.00 I know some of the trouble with it but none seems serious mechanically suggestions?

what do you think of the BMW I posted as a reply?