Top 10 SUVs of 2013

There are as many self proclaimed experts at rating America’s vehicles as there are companies manufacturing them worldwide. The following list is a composite of the best known nationally respected rating expert publications for Suburban Utility Vehicles (SUVs). The listing shows those SUVs which were agreed upon as best rated by Edmonds, U.S. News & Reports, and Consumer Reports for the year 2013, and individual summaries on why. With all due respect to the sources, remember to do your own research to find that particular SUV needed for your family and varous needs. Only you can determine if you are a high spirited family who likes to jump goats on mountain slopes and 4×4 it through mud bogs, or a soccer family who needs to safely and smoothly transport the entire team season after season.

Economy Priced

FORD ESCAPE- $22,400-$32.000
This SUV benefits from redesigning, has sporty agile handling, and the 2.0 4 cylinder turbo is the one to choose. The base interior cloth seats lack but the option of choosing leather makes up for it. Boasts 22 mpg on the road.

MAZDA CX-9 -$29,000-$36,000
Mazda has a hidden gem in this 6 cylinder. Ride is quiet, comfortable, and handling is agile and easy. Interior is trimmed out attractively. The 3d row has enough space and the 2nd and 3d row move forward and back to adjust for leg room. Mileage 17 mpg on the road.

2014 KIA SORENTO – $29,000-$37,900
This model says 2014 but you can buy it now. This Kia Sorento had an awesome design upgrade plus upgraded interior looks and controls. Even the suspension was redesigned for this model. It has direct-injection 290-hp, 3.3-liter V6, and a $4,000 optional package brings a sun roof, stereo, navigation gps, all bells and whistles. For another $1,000 you get 3rd seat, which might crowd comfortable interior. Mileage varies with your extras, check with dealerships.

Luxury SUVs

LINCOLN NAVIGATOR – $57,800 – $62,900
The Navigator is longer for increased cargo space behind the very comfortable third-row seat, which is powered and folds flat into the floor. A 310-hp 5.4-liter V8 six-speed automatic tranny and rear view camera come with this SUV. Handling is controlled. Mileage is 13 mpg on the road.

LEXUS R X 350- $39,600-$47,700
The RX is plush. It is quiet. It is comfortable. The 3.5-liter V6 gives power. The RX The rear seat is roomy. However, the slope of the back hurts visibility and cargo volume. An F Sport version, with eight-speed automatic, is new. 26 mpg on road.

This has the same V8 as the Tundra pickup. It rides quietly and comfortably, and has plenty of interior room. The Land Cruiser is awesome as a goat creeping up and down steep slopes. Its split 3rd seat folds up against the side of the storage hold. 14 mpg on the road.

Hybrid SUVs

LEXUS R X HYBRID – $39,600-$47,700
The RX Hybrid comes in strong with all the good things in the RX 350 without losing hybrid gas mileage, boasting 29 mpg on the road.

Off Road SUVs

The Grand Cherokee Laredo has smooth controlled ride and easy handling. Most versions lack low-range gearing but excellent off road abilities and it has an optional Quadra Drive II system, plus an option offered for terrain selection. The attractive interior is quiet and comfortable. FYI: A 2014 eight-speed automatic is here. A diesel engine will come later. V8 engine has below average reliability; V6 has average.
14 mpg on road

Such a heavy name but this SUV dropped 800 lbs through redesign, yet is longer, due to the new aluminum based unibody–which benefits economy and performance ratings. Pick your choice of 2 engines, super charged 6 or super charged V8. Land Rover Ranger Rover boasts its benchmark leather, wood, and wool plus the very latest electronic safety features surrounding you, so this has to be a great machine. It even has a third-row seat. Unknown mpg, check with dealership.

GMC ACADE- $37,900 Base
Last year the Acade had only one problem, poor rear visibility, and in their redesigning for 2013 the Acade added wrap around rear windows, making this a win-win SUV. It has power, styling, comfort, ease of handling, roomy interior (seats eight), excellent safety features, and mpg on highway of 29, in town 17 mpg and cites 19 mpg overall. It is one of the General Motors triplets, which suggests GMC is determined to get your business this year.

In an also-ran position, the 2012 LEXUS RX was actually given honorable mention by more than one of the nation’s respected SUV expert publications. One, who shall be nameless, actually listed the 2012 LEXUS RX SUV as No. 10 on their 2013 list. The reasoning cited was that it was a grand SUV last year and still holds up to the current year’s models.

We all should be able to claim that.


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