When considering the best rated SUV of 2014 the choice is not black and white due to the three different size categories. With that in mind this article will compare apples to apples so to speak which should give everyone researching SUV’s a good point of reference for their research.
Besides the size category price is a consideration. Comparing a Mercedes to a Kia will not provide the information you need if you can only afford to purchase a Kia. Separating the SUV’s with an affordable label verses a luxury label will narrow down your search.
Affordable Compact SUV’s
This is the fastest growing class of SUV’s and is gaining popularity with just about every segment of the population. These small vehicles are big on the interior and family friendly. The affordable price range is under $30,000.
1) Honda CR-V. The CR-V has been popular since its introduction and leads the field here. Plenty of room on the interior and lots of standard features to go with Honda quality.
2) Buick Encore. Buick’s compact entrant is classy and good looking. It comes with loads of features standard and an interior to be proud of. The engine is a bit under powered but it is not meant for off road driving.
3) Mazda CX-5. The CX-5 is the fuel efficiency leader of the group and makes it a good choice for that reason. The Mazda also has excellent handling that makes it a safe choice as well.
Affordable Luxury SUV’s
Luxury compact SUV’s start at $30,000 and includes the manufacturers you would expect. Top level interiors and increased engine performance are big bonuses in this category,
1) Infiniti QX50. This Infinity has great road handling ability and a powerful motor. The interior is in line with Infinity’s high standards but is considered by some to be undersized.
2) Audi Q5. The Q5 is German engineering at its best. Agile handling to go with a nicely powered engine makes the Audi a good choice. Standard luxury interior make for enjoyable drives through the countryside.
3)BMW X3. The X3 has one of the roomiest interiors in this class and is a leader in fuel efficiency. More than enough power from the engine is balanced by the nimble handling.
Affordable Midsize SUV’s
With a starting price range of below $40,000 this group of SUV’s has maintained a good portion of the market share.
1)Buick Enclave. Buick gets the nod in this category also. The Enclave has refined interior features and superior agility on the road. Add in high safety scores for the win.
2) Hyundai Santa Fe. Hyundai sneaks in at number two with the most affordable of all the choices. Nice ride, loaded with standard features, and a great warranty makes this a good choice.
3) Jeep Grand Cherokee. The Grand Cherokee is the only real off road winner in this category. A roomy comfortable interior helps balance the rough ride common with Jeeps.
Luxury Midsize SUV’s
This groups price starts at $40,000 but well equipped models can go for $65,000 or more.
1) Acura MDX. The MDX is an Acura through and through. Great handling, seven seat comfort, and excellent fuel economy for the class brings this SUV to the top of the class.
2)Lexus RX 350. If the RX 350 doesn’t have it you probably don’t need it. Spacious interior, especially the backseats, and highest rated dependability are two good reasons to choose this Lexus
3)BMW X5. This X5 was redesigned for this model year and the improvements are notable. Agile driving ability, elegant and stylish interior plus a wide choice of powerful engine options.
Affordable Large SUV’s
With a starting price of $55,000 these are where SUV’s began. Seeing the two most notable models in the top three should come as no surprise.
1) Chevrolet Tahoe. No surprise here. The Tahoe just keeps getting better and more driver friendly. Great power train and comfortable interior.
2)Toyota Sequoia. The Sequoia sneaks in between the big two with a spacious interior for hauling lots of family members and a smooth ride.
3)Chevrolet Suburban. This is the last model of this design and is an excellent choice for families. Plenty of room and power for vacations and trips to the soccer field.
Luxury Large SUV’s
For the families where luxury is paramount and money is a small consideration these SUV’s start at $55,000 and can top $100,000.
1)Mercedes-Benz GL-Class. The GL-Class sports a strong diesel engine and a refined interior. This SUV has everything you want.
2)Lexus LX 570. Lexus is a leader in the SUV category and this model is one of the main reasons. Elegant interior, smooth ride, and actual off road capabilities make this one of the very best.
3) Toyota Land Cruiser. Toyota may be showing that it wants a part of the luxury market with this model. At $75,000 it is near the top starting price of the bunch. The Land Cruiser was built for off road driving but has interior comfort and ride to make it family friendly.
The best rated SUV’s would not be complete without mentioning Hybrids.
1)Lexus RX 450h, As you would expect the 450h has great fuel economy. Combine that with a spacious interior and great reliability for the top choice here.
2) Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid. The Touareg has great reviews which puts it at number two. The lofty price puts it out of the range of many buyers.
3) Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid. Subaru’s all wheel drive gives this hybrid traction all year round. The quiet interior makes long drives pleasurable.