As students across the country wrap up their senior year of high school, many are hoping for a graduation gift, preferably one that has four wheels. There are many types of vehicles out there, so making the decision on the best one for these future college students can be very challenging. As a college student myself, I hope to shed some light on what I believe to be the best college vehicles: SUVs and trucks. Based on my experiences and the experiences of friends, here are 10 reasons why every inbound college student should get an SUV or a truck.
Over the last couple of years we have seen a tremendous drop in gas prices. In the summer of 2008, gas prices soared to over $4 a gallon nationwide. Currently, the average in the United States is only $2.34 a gallon. It’s well known that trucks and SUVs don’t get as many miles per gallon as cars, however, with gas prices this low, filling up shouldn’t break the budget. The benefits far outweigh the cons.
Room for moving in and out of school
Many college kids (myself included) have a tendency to overpack when moving in to school. This raises the question, “How can I possibly get everything I need for school to school?” Some incoming college students may resort to making two trips or spending a lot of money to ship additional items directly to where they will be living. This problem can be easily overcome by using a truck or SUV. Since these vehicles are so much larger than cars, students will have no problem fitting the majority of their belongings inside and making it in one trip.
Road trip capabilities
I found myself on more than one occasion making a trip to another college where other friends attended. Sitting in a vehicle that has extra legroom can make all the difference in the world on a six-hour road trip. Trucks and SUVs allow you to ride comfortably and enjoy the road trip, as opposed to the experience you would have if you were driving a smaller car where you hardly have room to breathe.
Ability to go off road and handle hazardous conditions
Trucks and SUVs are built to perform on all surfaces (pavement, sand, mud) and in all weather conditions (rain, snow, sleet). Many of these vehicles also have four-wheel drive, which is rarely found in cars. Four-wheel drive is critical for imperfect driving conditions. EBay reported that, “Whether used during undesirable weather, hazardous road conditions, or off road completely, some variation of all wheel drive or four wheel drive is a smart choice for added safety. Without these extra features, drivers are more prone to slipping and losing control of their vehicles.”
Driving to and from college can be a dangerous task, especially if you live far away from school. This makes safety one of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a vehicle. The size and weight of SUVs and trucks make them one of the safest vehicles out there on the road. In the case of an accident, the laws of physics prevail. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Highway Loss Data Institute found that, “Size and weight affect injury likelihood in all kinds of crashes. In a collision involving two vehicles that differ in size and weight, the people in the smaller, lighter vehicle will be at a disadvantage.”
Amount of miles you can put on
Cars are notorious for breaking down after they reach the 100,000-mile mark. When you’re in college you don’t have a lot of time (or money) to deal with a vehicle that is going to break down and be unreliable. A recent iSeeCars.com study ranked the top 10 vehicles that car owners can get the most miles out of and found that, “Pickup trucks and SUVs dominated the list, with only one passenger car in the top 10 ranking.” There’s no doubt that if you purchase a truck or an SUV, it will still be running strong long after you graduate from college.
Attending football games is a highlight of many students’ time in college. Equally as fun as the game is the tailgate beforehand. Trucks and SUVs can use their cargo room to transport coolers, grills, cornhole games and other tailgate necessities with ease. Not only can they carry items in the trunk or bed of the vehicle, they have the ability to tow things as well. It’s not uncommon to see a trailer that has a large smoker on it cooking tasty food for a game-day tailgate. Cars just simply don’t have the ability to do many of these things that are so crucial to the college experience.
Ability to fit a lot of people inside
Around a college campus you will frequently see students carpooling on the way to a party, sporting event or class. Using the proper seating and seatbelts provided, college students will find that trucks and SUVs have the ability to transport far more people than a small coupe, for example, which can only comfortably seat two people.
Trucks and SUVs are more immune to damage
The massive amount of careless drivers on a college campus can be a major problem for car owners. Fender-benders and dings in your door from cars parking too close to you happen often. Thankfully, driving an SUV or truck can help prevent these scuffs and dents in your vehicle. Many trucks and SUVs often have a metal bumper that will not get damaged if a car were to lightly hit you from behind. Also, the metal around the frame is thicker, causing it to be more resistant to dents. This might save you hundreds of dollars in repairs over the life of your car.
Easier for tall individuals
I can tell a huge difference between sitting in a car and sitting in a truck/SUV, being that I am 6’3”. There is far more head room in trucks and SUVs which makes being in the vehicle exponentially more comfortable. The 2016 Chevrolet Tahoe has 42.8 inches of headroom compared to the 2016 Ford Mustang, which has 37.6 inches, for example. This space is a major help for anyone, especially those who are taller. I’d have trouble finding someone who wouldn’t want a little extra free space in his or her vehicle.
There is no doubt that a basic car can get you to and from class. Beyond that, however, you will be missing out on a lot of capabilities and features if you drive a car over a truck or SUV. Personally speaking, driving an SUV in college has been a great experience for me, and has allowed me to do almost anything I could imagine throughout my college years. I would highly recommend an SUV or truck to any future college student.