The Top Five 2018 CUVs for Seniors

CUVs are excellent vehicles for young adults who are about to graduate and begin a new career. They are roomy enough for all of your stuff but small enough to be fuel efficient. Look for a CUV that is inexpensive, has high safety ratings, is fuel efficient, and has the latest safety technology. Oh, yeah - it has to have a great, hi-tech infotainment system. Here are the answers to questions you may have if you are a senior looking for a new car to begin your new adventure in.


Is a small Mazda SUV a good car for a young adult?

Yes. Either the CX-5 or subcompact CX-3 would be excellent for a high school or college senior. The CX-5 is the larger of the two. It is one of the top two compact SUVs on the market, according to U.S. News & World Report. It is a five-passenger CUV with a classy interior that is very easy to drive. The 2018 CX-5 models come with blind spot monitoring. Other safety features include a rearview camera, low-speed automatic braking and rear cross traffic alert. More active-assist safety features like lane departure warning and lane keep assist are available. The CX-5 earned a four-star overall crash rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and a Top Safety Pick award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. There is plenty of room for stuff, although the CX-5 isn’t quite as spacious as some of the competition. There’s 31 cubic feet of room behind the back seat and 60 cubic feet with the back seat folded down. The infotainment system includes Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio connectivity, a 7-inch touchscreen, AM/FM/CD/MP3 with six speakers and two USB ports. One of the drawbacks is that Mazda doesn’t offer Android Auto or Apple CarPlay at all. If those two features are important to you, you’ll want to look elsewhere. The CX-5 is available with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The engine in the CX-5 is a 187-horsepower four-cylinder that provides plenty of power for this CUV. It gets better gas mileage than many competitors with 25 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. MSRP for a 2018 CX-5 ranges from $24,150 for the Sport trim to $29,645 for the Grand Touring Trim.


Is the Mazda CX-3 a CUV that would be a smart buy for a graduating senior?

Yes, the CX-3 would be excellent for a graduating high school or college senior. It is a subcompact CUV, so it is smaller than the CX-5 but still has room for five passengers. It comes with a 146-hp engine which gets even better mileage than the CX-5 with 27 to 29 mpg in the city and 32 to 34 mpg on the highway. The CX-3 is also a little easier on the wallet at the dealership with prices ranging from $20,110 to $25,165. It is available with FWD or AWD. The CX-3 has quite a bit less cargo space. There is only 12.4 cubic feet behind the rear seat and 44.5 cubic feet when the back seat is folded down. The infotainment system in the CX-3 is about the same as the one in the CX-5. The CX-3 earned five out of five stars from the NHTSA and Top Safety Pick from the IIHS. Low-speed automatic emergency braking and a rearview camera are standard. Blind spot monitoring, forward collision warning, and more active-assist features are available.


Is the Ford Escape a good CUV for a graduating senior?

Yes, the 2018 Ford Escape is a great CUV for a senior or new graduate. U.S. News & World Report placed the Escape in second place along with the Mazda CX-5. It has plenty of room for five passengers and more cargo space than the CX-5. With the back seat in place, there are 34 cubic feet. Fold the back seat down, and there are 70 cubic feet. A rearview camera comes standard in all 2018 Escapes. Other active-assist features like blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, automatic parking, and driver drowsiness monitoring are available. The NHTSA gave the 2018 Escape five stars while the IIHS gave it a good rating. You can get it with FWD or Ford’s Intelligent 4WD system. The Escape comes equipped with Ford’s SYNC 3 infotainment system. It includes an AM/FM/CD/MP3 player with six speakers, voice-activated technology with WiFi Hotspot, a responsive touchscreen and Android Auto and AppleCarPlay connectivity. There are three available four-cylinder engines from which to choose that make 168 hp, 179 hp, and 245 hp. The Escape gets 20 to 23 mpg in the city and 27 to 30 mpg on the highway, depending on which engine you get. MSRP ranges from $23,940 to $32,140.


How good would the Honda CR-V be for a young adult who has just graduated?

The Honda CR-V is an excellent crossover SUV for a senior or new graduate. In fact, U.S. News & World Report ranked the 2018 CR-V number one on their list of compact CUVs. It is a roomy five-passenger CUV with more cargo space than most. With the rear seat in place, there are 39.2 cubic feet of space. When the back seat is folded flat, there are a whopping 75.8 cubic feet of room. The only standard safety feature in the base trim is a rearview camera. Higher trims come equipped with Honda’s Sensing Suite safety features that include lane keeping assist, forward collision warning, lane departure warning and automatic emergency braking.  Blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert are also standard in the higher trims. The NHTSA gave the 2018 CR-V a five-star rating and the IIHS gave it their Top Safety Pick ribbon. The 2018 CR-V is available with either FWD or AWD and either a 184-hp 2.4-L or 190-hp 1.5-L turbocharged engine. The latter engine is the better way to go if you will be driving out of town regularly. The CR-V gets 25 to 28 mpg in the city and 31 to 34 mpg on the highway. MSRP base prices for a 2018 CR-V are $24,250 to $32,750.


Is the new Hyundai Kona a good crossover SUV for a senior?

Yes. The all-new Hyundai Kona is an excellent subcompact CUV for a senior. U.S. News & World Report has given it a number one ranking. It’s a five-passenger CUV with plenty of room for average adults in the back seat. It has less cargo space than some competitors, though, with only 19 cubic feet behind the back seat and almost 46 cubic feet when the back seat is folded down. A rearview camera is the only standard safety feature. Available active-assist safety features include lane change assist, forward collision warning, driver drowsiness monitoring and more. The IIHS gave the Kona a Good overall rating with Superior Crash Avoidance & Mitigation. The NHTSA hasn’t tested the Kona yet. The Kona’s infotainment system includes a six-speaker stereo, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Bluetooth connectivity. All trims except the lowest come with SiriusXM Satellite Radio and HD Radio. This little CUV is available with AWD or FWD and a 147-hp four-cylinder or 175-hp turbo-four engine. The smaller engine produces plenty of power for average drivers. It gets good mileage with 25 to 28 mpg in the city and 29 to 33 mpg on the highway. MSRP for a 2018 Kona is $19,500 to $27,400.

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