What to Look for When Buying an SUV

The SUVs of 2016 are a spectacle behold not only visually, but also in the sheer depth of their functionality and design features. When shopping for the right SUV, you're well-aware that the decision will be a significant commitment for your family, business, and personal life. After all, this is a vehicle you'll be doing a lot of driving in, so you'll want it be both safe and comfortable to justify the high price tag that the latest and greatest luxury models demand. With that said, here are the top safety, design, and fuel efficiency trends to watch for when choosing one of the top SUVs of 2016:

Top Trending Safety Features to Watch For

Safety trends come first, because quite obviously safety should be the most important feature for any family. If the SUV you're considering has some or most of the features below, you're on the right track:

Forward Collision Warning

The 2016 Toyota RAV4 and the 2016 Acura RDX are two models that come with forward collision warning, which can automatically alert you if you're encroaching upon the vehicle in front too quickly. The Toyota RAV4 uses front collision warning as part of larger package of features called Toyota Safety Sense, which is worthy of noting because it also includes the rest of the trending safety features listed below.

Collision Mitigating Braking System

The 2016 Acura RDX, and some other 2016 SUVs, also come equipped with an intelligent braking system that will automatically apply the brakes when an impending collision is detected. The 2016 Honda Pilot takes both approaches: warning the driver if a collision is about to occur, and applying the brakes if the driver makes no attempt to slow down.

Lane Keeping Assist Systems and Lane Departure Warning

Once again the 2016 Acura RDX shines as one of the safest models of the year with lane keeping assistance and lane departure warning features, both of which make it very difficult for even the most distracted driver to exit their lane without being warned and/or steered back into the proper lane. The IIHS has rated the Acura RDX and Acura MDX as the top two safest midsize luxury SUVs of 2016.

Adaptive/ Dynamic Radar Cruise Control

The 2016 Audi Q5 is equipped with Audi's proprietary “Pre Sense Front Collision Prevention,” which utilizes adaptive cruise control and tracks the speed of in the vehicle front in order to follow along at an exact distance and at the same speed, autonomously slowing down when the driver in front starts to brake.

Top Trending Design Features to Watch For

It's safe to say that most of us want to look and feel good in our new SUV just as much as we want to feel safe in it, which is why you should be watching for these trendy design features:

Three-Layer Acoustic Glass and Active Noise Control Technology

The 2016 Acura MDX and a few other luxury midsize SUVs are equipped with a design feature that makes them an ultra-quiet ride. Thanks to the three-layer acoustic glass, you can barely hear the noise of the road -- a perfect perk for families that frequently find themselves screaming over each other in competition with the sounds of traffic.

Extended Length and Bold Grilles Contrasted By Sleek Frame Alternatives

The 2016 Cadillac SRX conforms with the recent trend of sleek SUV frames, while the 2016 Cadillac Escalade carries on the model's legacy of being extra large and extra bold, with an extended length and a bold grille that you can see coming from blocks away. Likewise, the 2016 Lincoln Navigator offers a similar strong look, which contrasts the increasingly popular sleek look seen in the popular Acura, Mercedes, Honda, and Toyota SUVs.

Top Trending Fuel Efficiency Features to Watch For

Finally, if you're going to be paying a pretty penny for your new 2016 SUV, you might as well be saving money on gas in the process. Here are some of the top trending fuel efficiency features to watch for in this year's SUVs:

Fully Electric SUVs

How can we mention efficiency without mention the king of efficiency in the commercial SUV market: the 2016 Tesla Model X 90D, which is currently the only fully electric production model SUV available.

Gas-Powered Hybrids that Get 33+ mpg

The 2016 Toyota RAV-4 is known as the most efficient gas-powered model available today, getting excellent mileage of up to 34 mpg by combining a gas engine with front and rear electric motors.

Make Your Pick Based on Research and Personal Opinion

With so many quality models to choose from, ultimately your decision will have to be based on personal preference regarding which features you find most important. If safety is your highest concern, the Acura RDX or MDX might be optimal selections. On the other hand, if a bold luxury frame appeals to you, the Cadillac Escalade or Lincoln Navigator might be a better fit. As always, do your research before you commit to buying or leasing any vehicle.