Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A black 2009 Cadillac SRX is parked in front of brick buildings after leaving the used luxury SUV dealer.

Used Doesn’t Mean Outdated

It’s no secret that vehicle manufacturers produce lineup refreshes on an annual basis, with adverts constantly being displayed on television and throughout the internet for the hottest new vehicles. The ads are typically not dissimilar from one another with an identically conveyed message that says, “if you don’t get this vehicle, you’ll be left in the dust.” Most drivers who have experience with shopping in the used market for an automobile will agree that you’re far more likely to get a good deal by purchasing a pre-owned vehicle. By shopping at a used luxury SUV dealer, you’ll find vehicles upwards of a decade old that still contain various highly sought after features.

Whether it’s a truck, sedan, or an SUV, you can expect past models to retain their relevance even in an ever-evolving industry. However, SUVs have a wide range of features that are not available in other vehicle classes. These vehicles are often touted for providing a comfortable and modern experience along with a spacious interior for passengers and cargo. As a vehicle class that saw a large rise in popularity in the early to mid-2000s, SUVs have consistently been at the forefront of innovation, often containing the latest and greatest features. Whether you’re looking for a specific seating arrangement, adjustable seats, or even a bustling infotainment center experience, you’ll find it in a wide range of SUV models.

The interior and infotainment system is shown from the back seat on a 2014 Cadillac Escalade.

A Modern SUV Experience

SUVs are well known for their versatility along with a host of safety features. If you’re interested in shopping for a used SUV, there are some luxury features to look for. Firstly, many SUVs offer second-row captain chairs so that each passenger can have their own armrests. Another highly notable SUV feature that many drivers will seek is an automatic liftgate, which gives you quick and easy access to your cargo at all times. All you’ll need to open your automatic liftgate is the keyfob for your vehicle, and some models even have a motion sensor for hands-free operation.

For that luxurious aesthetic, opting for leather seating is the best way to add a sleek aura to your SUV’s interior. To enhance these seats even further, you should look for the inclusion of power-adjustable seats for you and your front-row passenger. These seats can be found in a multitude of different varieties such as 6-way, 8-way, 10-way, and even 12-way power-adjustable seats. Each of these seats will always be more beneficial to the driver than a traditional manual driver’s seat, as adjusting your chair to find your most comfortable position will be significantly easier and quicker as well.

Another luxury feature that you’re very likely to find in a wide range of used SUV models is dual-zone or tri-zone automatic climate controls. Unlike traditional climate controls that make the entire cabin either hot or cold based on the driver’s choosing, dual-zone automatic climate control can allow the driver to be cold and the passenger to be warm or vice versa. With tri-zone climate control, the passengers in the back also have their own separate climate control settings as well.

Although the overall comfort for the driver is important for SUV manufacturers, within the past decade, there has been a slew of new luxury features based on safety and convenience. These features include side-curtain airbags that help to mitigate damage from impacts on the side of your SUV and pedestrian detection, which will apply additional braking pressure to avoid collision with a bystander. Most modern SUVs will contain an infotainment center that serves as the media center’s main hub, but these infotainment centers will also work in tandem with safety features such as rearview cameras. The best rearview cameras that you can opt for in specific SUV models give you a 360-degree view that makes tasks such as hitching a trailer easier than ever.

The black interior, shifter, and climate controls are shown on a 2017 Cadillac XT5.

A Connected Future With Infotainment

Vehicles used to simply be about getting from one place to another, with the only real form of entertainment stemming from a radio. Today, vehicles are more technologically capable than ever before, and this has been the case for many years. Vehicle manufacturers have adapted to the modern age and often enhance pre-existing tech that you may already have, such as your smartphone. If you’re shopping for a used SUV from the past few years, you may find luxury features such as a wireless charging pad for smartphones that support the feature. But this is just one of the ways that the automotive industry and the tech industry have complemented one another in recent years.

It’s difficult to find an SUV that is not equipped with Bluetooth these days, which enables wireless media playback through your vehicle’s sound system. When shopping for a used SUV, be sure to explore your options in regards to sound systems as numerous premium audio systems are available. These audio systems fit an arrangement of speakers throughout your cabin, sometimes fitting up to nineteen speakers in specific models. Another highly-recommended feature is a 4G LTE WiFi hotspot so that your passengers can freely stream content to their devices no matter how far they are away from home.

As mentioned, vehicle manufacturers consider the consumer’s daily life by accommodating devices such as smartphones. One of the most significant ways manufacturers have done this is by teaming up with Apple and Google to bring the software suites known as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to many infotainment centers. An infotainment center essentially acts as a gateway between the driver and any information they need readily available, including directions, weather, and more.

These infotainment centers traditionally come with a built-in display, which can vary in size depending on the model you choose. However, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, your infotainment center will link directly with your phone either through a USB connection or wirelessly on more recent models. Once you’ve connected your smartphone to the infotainment center, the display will look more reminiscent of the phone itself with accompanying apps to use. These apps include full access to your phonebook to allow you to make phone calls and send text messages completely hands-free. By utilizing your virtual assistant, such as Siri, for example, you can control a wide range of your infotainment center’s controls simply by using your voice.

Luxury With A Discount

All of these luxury features should not be missed by any driver in the market for a used SUV. It wasn’t too long ago in the grand scheme of things when each of these features was considered cutting edge. Many industries see new and exciting tech become cheaper and more accessible once production has occurred long enough and has become more mainstream, and the automotive industry is no exception. Shopping at your local used luxury SUV dealer will provide you with a great opportunity to browse through the available models and decide based on what kind of luxury features you’re interested in.

Consider asking a sales representative at the dealership if you can take a vehicle or two out for a test drive since many of these luxury features are best experienced first-hand. Compared to the brand new offerings, you’ll be getting a large discount by shopping used, and your purchase won’t experience depreciation as quickly. Regardless of which luxury feature suits you best, you can always rely on a used SUV to provide you with both value and relevance.