New SUVs are extremely practical, efficient, and safe for an individual or an entire family. But with so many options, finding the right one can be difficult. Look below for great deals on the SUV of your dreams!
We call the smallest SUVs “extra-small,” although they’re typically referred to as subcompact SUVs in the marketplace. For the most part, these vehicles are just high-riding hatchbacks derived from car platforms, but we don’t mean that as a dig. Hatchbacks, after all, are inherently practical, and a higher ride means it’s easier to get in and out. Most subcompact SUVs offer adult passenger comfort, although the rear seat can be cramped if the folks in front are on the larger side. The Mazda XC-30 looks great and is a blast to drive without sacrificing comfort, while the Hyundai Kona offers spunky turbo power and comes loaded with features for a great price. The Kia Soul and Honda HR-V deliver many of the same benefits, though only the latter offers all-wheel drive. Other subcompact SUVs such as the Subaru Crosstrek have bona fide off-road ability.
Small SUVs, also known as compact SUVs, are the lifeblood of today’s SUV market. Nearly every major automaker offers one, and they’ve largely displaced compact and midsize sedans as the go-to vehicle for small families and commuters alike. Not surprisingly, compact SUVs (or “compact crossovers”) are where you begin to feel like you’re driving an SUV and not a hatchback. Most offer generous cargo capacity and ample room for rear passengers, even with long-legged front occupants. The Honda CR-V has long reigned supreme thanks to its thoughtfully designed interior with huge maximum cargo space, while the Mazda CX-5 is prized for its sportier handling. This class is also the domain of the Jeep Wrangler, the preferred choice of serious off-roaders for decades, as well as the revived Ford Bronco that promises to give it a run for its money.
Midsize SUVs take the best parts of their compact counterparts and add even more cargo space and more room for passengers to spread out. At this level, you’ll also start to see more engine power — sometimes even a V6 engine (most midsizers start with a turbo four-cylinder) — and extra towing strength for small toys and trailers. Many midsizers also offer modest off-road ability, or in some cases (think Toyota 4Runner or Jeep Grand Cherokee) exceptional ability. The Honda Passport is tough to top given its comfortable ride, ample interior room and go-anywhere character, while the Ford Edge is a segment stalwart with appealing tech and power options. The Hyundai Santa Fe is a nice alternative if you get the turbo engine.
This segment is the last redoubt of the traditional SUV that dominated American garages from the 1990s into the 2000s. It’s not hard to see the appeal of these brutes, what with their robust towing capabilities and massive interiors that can typically seat eight or nine passengers. On the other hand, large SUVs are relatively cumbersome from behind the wheel, and their interiors are compromised by truck-like platforms that impinge on available space. The Ford Expedition rates highly since it can tow more than 9,000 pounds and be optioned up to exaggerated levels of luxury. The GMC Yukon XL is similarly capable, and just as luxurious. Keep an eye out for the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe and Chevrolet Suburban siblings, which are fully redesigned with a new suspension and interior for increased comfort — there’s even an optional turbodiesel engine for additional towing and fuel economy.