If you’re in the market for a midsize SUV, it can be easy to get overwhelmed with all the options. The good news is, unless you accidentally stumble into a VinFast dealership, there aren’t really any bad options anymore. But who wants to spend all day driving to every dealership in your area test-driving crossover after crossover?
The good news is, our friends at Consumer Reports recently published a cheat sheet you can use to help narrow down your list. You’ll probably like one or two more than the others, but the SUVs that made the cut all scored well in CR’s testing, have a history of good reliability and also get solid fuel economy. What more could you want out of a midsize SUV?
You can get the Hyundai Santa Fe with a conventional powertrain, and you’ll probably be happy with it. But if you can afford it, the one you really want is the Santa Fe Hybrid. Not only does it get better gas mileage, but it also rides better. You can also get it as a plug-in hybrid that comes with 30 miles of range.
Currently, Subaru doesn’t offer the Outback as a hybrid, but it still gets pretty good gas mileage as-in. Plus, it’s comfortable, practical and drives great. If you have any plans to go on any off-road adventures, it’s hard to beat an Outback.
The Toyota Venza doesn’t really stand out from a styling or driving perspective, but where it really delivers is in the fuel economy department. What can we say? Toyota just knows its hybrids.
The Ford Edge isn’t as fresh as it used to be, but it’s quiet and comfortable, which makes it a solid choice for family duty. Sadly, there’s no hybrid version available, but if you want to have some fun, you can always spring for the sporty Edge ST.
If you don’t need the third row offered in the Honda Pilot, you may want to consider the five-seat Passport. It offers plenty of room for your family and has a great engine. We just wish you could get a hybrid version for even better fuel economy.
If you forgot that Nissan still makes the Murano, we can’t blame you. But if you like the Murano’s stylish design, you really can’t go wrong with it. It’s no sports car, but it’s surprisingly quick, and the interior is more luxurious than you might expect from a Nissan. Sadly, Nissan doesn’t offer it as a hybrid.
Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport
The Volkswagen Atlas may be a big, spacious three-row SUV, but the Atlas Cross Sport drops the third row to give you a sportier roofline. And while it may only offer seating for five, your passengers should have plenty of room even if they’re adults. A hybrid option would be appreciated, though.
If you do need a third row, it really is hard to beat the Kia Telluride. It’s not sporty, and you can’t get it as a hybrid, but those are about the only downsides. Let’s just say it’s as popular as it is for good reason.
If you like the Telluride but wish it got better gas mileage, look no further than the Toyota Highlander Hybrid. It’s available with a conventional powertrain, as well, but the hybrid is the one you want, partly because it comes standard with more safety features.
The CX-90 is Mazda’s first new vehicle introduced as part of its latest attempt to move up-market. And for the most part, it has succeeded. You can get it with a powerful turbocharged engine, but we recommend going with the plug-in hybrid version that trades power for fuel efficiency.
The Hyundai Palisade is the Kia Telluride’s mechanical twin, so if you like the Telluride but either can’t get one or don’t want to pay dealer markup, consider buying a Palisade instead. It’s got all of the same stuff that makes the Telluride such a great choice, just with different styling. Unfortunately, that also means there’s no hybrid option.
Do you like the Subaru Forester but need something a little bigger with a third row? Look no further than the Subaru Ascent. You can’t get it as a hybrid, but for a conventional powertrain, it still gets solid gas mileage. And like all Subarus, it’ll be more comfortable off the beaten path than most other three-row crossovers.
The Kia Telluride may get all the attention these days, but don’t overlook the Sorento. It also offers three rows of seats, and unlike the Telluride, you can get it as a hybrid. In fact, you can even get it as a plug-in hybrid with 32 miles of range if you like. But we suspect most people will be perfectly happy just sticking with the regular Sorento Hybrid.
If you’re looking for a sporty three-row crossover, the Mazda CX-9 delivers. Plus it looks great. But if you have your eye on a new CX-9, you’ll have to act fast. After this year, it’s going out of production and will be replaced by the CX-90.
If you’re looking for something a little more luxurious, consider the BMW X5. Apparently, it’s one of the best vehicles that Consumer Reports has ever tested. It’s quick, comfortable, well-built and just a solid overall package. And if you have the cash, it also comes as a hybrid.
Lexus recently redesigned the RX, trading the old V6 for a turbocharged four-cylinder. It’s not as refined as the previous engine, but it gets good gas mileage. The RX Hybrid is probably the one to get, though, since it gets significantly better fuel economy than the the gas-only RX.
We’re not sure what dark magic the engineers at Porsche use to make the Cayenne drive so well, but whatever it is, we approve. You pay a premium to get the Porsche badge on the hood, but if you can afford it, we promise it’s worth it. If you want Porsche performance without sacrificing gas mileage, you can also get it as a hybrid, ranging from the more pedestrian Cayenne E-Hybrid to the 729-hp Cayenne Turbo E-Hybrid.
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