What is an Intermediate SUV at a Car Rental? Detailed Guide

What is an intermediate SUV at a car rental?” is probably a question you’re asking while surfing through the car rental website or when planning a trip. Especially if you’re unsure of which one to rent.

Intermediate SUV at a Car Rental

An SUV will make a fantastic choice for a trip since they feature plenty of space for luggage and passengers, but they come in different sizes depending on what you’re looking for. If you’re wondering what the intermediate SUV is, read this guide before visiting the car rental.

What Does ‘Intermediate SUV’ Mean at a Car Rental?

Intermediate SUV’ at a car rental means a midsize SUV that offers space for up to five passengers, speed, durability and off-ride power. It’s an ideal rental car for those who don’t need all the space of a standard SUV but also need more space than a compact SUV.

There are some features that you should expect from an intermediate rental SUV.

Spacious Interior

A midsize SUV features a spacious interior as it can seat up to five adults comfortably, and even more passengers if you’re with kids. It also offers a lot of leg and head-room in the first and second rows, but the third row is usually a bit tight.

The SUV features about two more feet of length than a sedan. Options like Ford Explorer and The Toyota Highlander can fit two full-size adults in the third row but they won’t be as comfortable as those in the front rows.

Attractive Design

If looks are what you’re looking for, intermediate rental SUVs have a design that combine style and function. They are usually fitted with an aggressive front and rear style, roof racks, and running boards. They are also practical in their design, with enough ground clearance and all-wheel drive for driving on the roughest surfaces.

Some SUV models come with impressive features like automatic high beams, cruise control and hands-free power liftgate. You can ask the rental company for the features on the SUVs before choosing one. But, the SUVs usually balance their style and function.

Enough Cargo Space

Whether you’re going on a road trip or you need space to pack gear for outdoor activities, midsize SUVs usually have enough space. You can store some large suitcases and several small bag.

Enough Cargo Space of SUV

The storage space usually goes between 89 cubic feet to 84 cubic feet, depending on the car that you rent.

Reliable Design

Since mid-sized SUVs are often rented by families and friends going on vacation, road-trips or off-roading, it’s no surprise that they are highly reliable. You won’t have to worry about the car breaking down or getting stuck while on your adventure.

The rental vehicles also come with safety features that you can benefit from, like airbags, anti lock brakes and stability control. You can ask the rental service for the cars with extra features like lane departure warning and blind-spot monitoring.

Versatile Uses

There are different things you can do with your intermediate rental SUV. Since it is designed on a truck platform, it has the strength and size to tow RVs and small trailers. With their V-6 engines, you can tow and haul heavy load. Some also come with a V-8 or turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

They are also suitable for off-roading on the roughest terrains. The car can easily take you down a beaten path with the ground clearance and all-wheel-drive. If you simply have a large family, you can rent this SUV and drive through the city without stress.

Ideal for Tough Weathers

Midsize SUVs are also great for handling the toughest weathers. Regardless of where you’re driving to, you don’t have to worry about snow-covered roads, or a rugged off-road trail where it has rained. The all-wheel-drive offers enough traction on slippery roads.

Some intermediate rental SUVs also come with a four-wheel-drive and low-range gearing, making it ideal for handling all types of weather. If you’re going to the backcountry or for some off-road adventures and you’re not sure about the weather, go for these SUVs.

Easy to Drive and Operate

A medium rental SUV is usually easy to drive and use, so you don’t have to worry about the learning curve. They are designed with a simple interior layout and there is plenty of storage in the trunk and around the interior for all your stuff.

Standard SUV Driving

You can also find SUVs with advanced infotainment systems so you can enjoy driving without silence. They come standard with touchscreen infotainment system, rearview camera, and hands-free smartphone integration. So, if you’re worried about the learning curve on an SUV, consider using an intermediate SUV rental.

What is the Difference Between an Intermediate and a Standard SUV?

The difference between an intermediate and a standard SUV is the size, as the intermediate is a mid-size SUV while the standard is a full-size SUV. The standard is a larger vehicle and is more powerful, allowing it to handle a wide range of terrains and road conditions.

If you need an SUV that is more powerful for traveling, towing, or off-roading, this is ideal. The standard elite SUV can usually tow other cars, boats and trailers, unlike the midsize SUV that can tow RVs and smaller trailers. In the standard SUV, you get more seating capacity for passengers and cargo space for your load. But the car is massive and requires a more experienced driver to handle and maneuver.

The medium SUV is easier to drive than the standard, but the latter is ideal for those with more load. Also, the midsize SUV costs less to rent than a standard vehicle. Aside from the initial rental cost, you should consider fuel. The standard premium SUV is not as fuel-efficient as the intermediate rental SUV so you can save money in the long-run.

If cost is not the problem, you should consider the size and drivability. If you have more extensive cargo needs and a large crowd of passengers, and you are an experienced driver, you can go for the standard. But, if you’re looking for a midsize SUV for road-trips and family adventures, the intermediate SUV rental is better.

What are Examples of Intermediate SUVs at Car Rentals?

Examples of intermediate SUVs at rentals include Ford Escape, Jeep Compass, Subaru Outback, Nissan Rogue, Jeep Cherokee, and Toyota RAV4. The categories can also depend on which rental agency you are getting the car from, and each agency will differ in their offerings.

Classic Subaru Outback

For popular agencies like Avis Car Rental, Budget Car Rental and Payless Car Rental, the SUVs include Ford Escape, Hyundai Tucson and Kona, Jeep Compass, Renegade, Cherokee and Patriot, Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross and Outlander, Kia Sportage, Toyota RAV4, Mazda CX, Volkswagen Tiguan and Subaru Crosstrk, Outback and Forester.

From Hertz, Thrifty Car Rental and Dollar Car Rental, the medium SUVs include Chevrolet Equinox, Honda CRV, Mazda CX30 and CX5, Nissan Rogue, Ford Escape, and Jeep Cherokee and Compass. From Enterprise Rent-a-Car, some options include Chevrolet Trax, Hyundai Tucson, Subaru Outback, Buick Encore and Equinox, and Kia Sportage.

Finally, Alamo Car Rental and National Car Rental have intermediate rental SUVs like Buick Envision, Jeep Patriot, Cherokee and Compass, Nissan Rogue, Chevrolet Captiva, Kia Sportage, Mitsubishi Outlander, Ford Escape, and Mazda CR-V and CX5.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Does It Cost to Rent an Intermediate SUV?

How much it costs to rent an intermediate SUV will depend on the rental company you are patronizing. Also, the make and model of the SUV will impact the price.

Car Rental Process

If you’re renting an intermediate SUV from Enterprise Rentals, it costs an average of $78 per day.

How Fuel Efficient Is an Intermediate Rental SUV?

Intermediate rental SUVs are highly fuel efficient, so you can spend less on fuel in the long-run. The exact fuel economy depends on the make and model of the car you rent. If you’re looking for an SUV with high fuel efficiency, consider the 2019 Toyota Highlander Hybrid AWD.

What Should I Know About Towing an Intermediate SUV According to AAA Guidelines?

When towing an intermediate SUV, it is essential to follow the towing policy guidelines by AAA. These guidelines ensure safety and prevent any potential damage to your vehicle and others on the road. Familiarize yourself with the maximum towing capacity of your SUV and adhere to proper hitching and weight distribution techniques. Remember, adhering to AAA’s towing policy guidelines is crucial for a smooth and secure towing experience.


Now that you know the answer to what is an intermediate SUV at a car rental, you know the car to choose when you visit the rental for your trip.

Here’s a rundown of this article:

  • An intermediate rental SUV is a midsize SUV that can accommodate five passengers with enough cargo space.
  • Intermediate sport utility cars are versatile for all kinds of terrains and trips, easy to drive and use, weather durable, reliable, and have a functional, stylish design.
  • The standard SUV is a full-sized SUV that is larger, more powerful but less fuel efficient than the intermediate SUV.
  • Examples of the intermediate SUV include Ford Escape, Jeep Compass, Subaru Outback, Nissan Rogue, Jeep Cherokee, and Toyota RAV4.

With this guide, you can easily choose an intermediate SUV that you and your passengers can enjoy while you’re on the road.



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