What makes people want to own an SUV? Is it the promise of extra space or the combination of luxury and off-road performance? No matter what you are looking for in a vehicle, it is important not to rule out an SUV purchase based on size or price alone.

If you are interested in buying a sport utility vehicle, here are four main characteristics to look for before selecting a specific model.

Look for a Fuel Efficient Model

Whether you are buying a sports car or a pickup truck, fuel efficiency plays a major role in the type of vehicle you choose. As a matter of fact, many people choose smaller car because they believe that a truck or SUV will be too expensive. Fortunately, technological advances have made it easier to maximize fuel economy for larger vehicles like the 2016 Honda CR-V. For families who spend a lot of time driving to school, work and activities, an SUV purchase only makes sense if you can still maintain a reasonable budget for gasoline.

Get More Ground Clearance

Another trait to look for in an SUV is high ground clearance, a feature that benefits your vehicle in several ways. To begin with, SUV’s are generally heavier than a sedan, so more clearance helps to offset the weight of the body. However, ground clearance is also important for those who want to use their SUV for off-road driving. This prevents your vehicle from getting stuck, and you will be less likely to damage the undercarriage on rough terrain after making an SUV purchase. The 2016 Toyota Land Cruiser, for example, boasts 8.9 inches of ground clearance, providing plenty of space for an improved suspension system that stabilizes your vehicle electronically.

Cargo Space

When you think of a sport utility vehicle, what comes to mind first? Do you think about a car full of passengers or a trunk full of camping gear and supplies? Either way, buyers who are actively looking for an SUV reap the benefits of roomy seats and storage areas, but how you use it is ultimately up to you. Most new models fit anywhere from five to seven people and feature folding seats, an SUV purchase should not be based on seating alone. You should also consider the amount of trunk space available for groceries and luggage, especially if you travel frequently. The 2016 Ford Expedition even has a sturdy roof rack for bike storage and canoes.

Towing Capability

Finally, towing is a considerable advantage for SUV owners that is often overlooked. This feature is still on the rise with many new vehicles, but mainstream manufacturers are starting to optimize their designs to demonstrate more overall tow power. For instance, the 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee has a 3.0L V6 engine that can handle up to 7,400 pounds for emergency towing.

Ultimately, it is normal to be hesitant about making an SUV purchase, but you can’t beat the versatility and efficiency of a car that can seat half a dozen people and your dog. Just be sure to compare features carefully before settling on an SUV.