UNDER $35K

Winner: Jeep Grand Cherokee
We've arbitrarily designated SUVs with a wheelbase over 106 (actually 106.3) inches as midsize SUVs, which makes this the largest chart we've ever assembled. In fact, there are so many entries, we've chopped this category into three separate winners, with the Jeep Grand Cherokee walking away with the prize for the Under-$35K designation. We like that it has five different engine choices, the coolest of which is the Mercedes-sourced 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel that puts out almost 400 pound-feet of torque. If fact, you can order a 4WD turbodiesel and still keep the price under $35,000.


Over $35K

Winner: Toyota Land Cruiser
We expect this to become a shrinking segment. Fuel prices continue to rise and manufacturers are racking their brains on how to get their overall CAFEs to 35 mpg by the end of next year. In the meantime, we still have some solid midsize choices, if you don't mind heavy construction, a true four-wheel-drive system, and probably more capability than you need. We consider that "just in case" insurance. We've always liked the Land Cruiser and this new one is even more impressive with its new body and frame, redesigned interior, and yet another use for the Tundra-sourced 5.7-liter V-8. Still, it sure would be nice if this thirsty motor had cylinder deactivation.


Overall

Winner: Land Rover LR3
When we look for an overall winner from this large field, it has to offer a lot of technology, capability, and function for the money. As those prices have climbed over the last several years, so has the technology, capability, and function. Case in point: The Land Rover LR3 still has our judges impressed with its clever seven-passenger seating, tremendous four-wheel-drive system, and clean good looks. Yes it's pricey, listing at $49,000 base, but this is an example where you really do get what you pay for.



Midsize SUV (over 106-IN WB)
Acura-Kia
Vehicle Acura MDX BMW X3 BMW X5
Base price $40,910 $38,775 $46,675
Wheelbase, in 108.3 110.1 115.5
Engine 3.7L DOHC V-6 3.0L DOHC I-6 3.0L DOHC I-6
Opt engines     4.8L V-8 $9000
Horsepower, SAE 300 260 260 (350)
Torque, SAE 275 225 225 (350)
Airbags Dual, head, side Dual, head, side Dual, head, side
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, 4WAL Disc/disc, 4WAL Disc/disc, 4WAL
Tires 255/55HR18 235/55R17 225/55R18
Fuel cap, gal 21 17.7 22.5
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 15/20 17/24 15/21 (14/19)
Max pass 7 5 5
Base curb weight, lb 4539 4012 4982
GVWR, lb 5900 5104 6008
Max cargo cap, cu ft 83.5 71 69
Max towing cap, lb 5000 3500 6000
Vehicle Chevrolet Equinox Chevy/GMC TrailBlazer /Envoy Ford Explorer
Base price $22,995 $26,313/$27,850 $26,510
Wheelbase, in 112.5 113 113.7
Engine 3.4L OHV V-6 4.2L SOHC I-6 4.0L SOHC V-6
Opt engines 3.6L V-6 $5000 5.3L V-8 $1250 4.6L V-8 $1285
Horsepower, SAE 185 (264) 285 (300) 210 (292)
Torque, SAE 210 (250) 276 (321) 254 (300)
Airbags Dual Dual, head Dual, head, side
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, 4WAL Disc/disc, 4WAL Disc/disc, 2WAL
Tires 235/65R16 245/65R16 235/70R16
Fuel cap, gal 20 22 22.5
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 17/24 (16/24) 14/20 (14/20) 14/20 (13/20)
Max pass 5 5 7
Base curb weight, lb 3660 4356 4436
GVWR, lb 5070 6001 5720
Max cargo cap, cu ft 68.6 80.1 85.8
Max towing cap, lb 3000 6800 7300
Vehicle Honda Pilot Hummer H3 Hyundai Santa Fe
Base price $28,230 $21,690 $30,750
Wheelbase, in 106.3 111.9 106.3
Engine 3.5L SOHC V-6 3.7L DOHC I-5 2.7L DOHC V-6
Opt engines   5.3L V-8 $9000 3.3L V-6 $2900
Horsepower, SAE 244 242 (300) 185 (242)
Torque, SAE 240 242 (320) 183 (226)
Airbags Dual, head, side Dual, head, side Dual, head, side
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, 4WAL Disc/disc, 4WAL Disc/disc, 4WAL
Tires 235/70R16 265/75R16 235/70R16
Fuel cap, gal 20.4 23 19.8
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 16/22 13/18 (13/16) 18/24(17/24)
Max pass 8 5 5
Base curb weight, lb 4264 4700 3727
GVWR, lb 5500 6001 5556
Max cargo cap, cu ft 87.6 56.4 78.2
Max towing cap, lb 4500 6000 2000
Vehicle Hyundai Veracruz Isuzu Ascender Jeep Commander
Base price $27,595 $27,844 $28,110
Wheelbase, in 110.4 113 109.5
Engine 3.8L DOHC V-6 4.2L SOHC I-6 3.7L OHV V-6
Opt engines     4.7L V-8 $9000,
Opt engines     5.7L V-8 $13000
Horsepower, SAE 260 285 210 (305, 330)
Torque, SAE 257 276 235 (334, 375)
Airbags Dual, head Dual Dual, head, side
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, 4WAL Disc/disc, 4WAL Disc/disc, 4WAL
Tires 235/65R17 245/65R17 245/65R17
Fuel cap, gal 20.6 21.7 21.1
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 16/23 14/20 14/19 (14/19, 13/19)
Max pass 7 5 7
Base curb weight, lb 4417 4417/4790 4643
GVWR, lb 5908 5750 6500
Max cargo cap, cu ft 86.8 80.1 68.5
Max towing cap, lb 3500 5800 7400
Vehicle Jeep Grand Cherokee (Under $35K) Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Kia Sorento
Base price $29,215 $21,240 $21,695
Wheelbase, in 109.5 116 106.7
Engine 3.7L OHV V-6 3.8L SOHC V-6 3.3L DOHC V-6
Opt engines 3.0L TD V-6 $2585   3.8L V-6 $3300
Opt engines 4.7L V-8 $930,    
Opt engines 5.7L V-8 $645,    
Opt engines 6.1L V-8 $11,000    
Horsepower, SAE 210 (215, 305, 330, 420) 202 242 (262)
Torque, SAE 235 (376, 334, 375, 420) 237 228 (260)
Airbags Dual, head. side Dual Dual, head, side, knee
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, 4WAL Disc/disc, 4WAL Disc/disc, 4WAL
Tires 245/65R17 225/75R16 245/70R16
Fuel cap, gal 21.1 18.6 21.1
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 15/20 (18/22, 14/19, 13/18, 11/14) 16/21 16/22 (15/20)
Max pass 5 5 5
Base curb weight, lb 4400 3976 4068
GVWR, lb 6150 5500 5644
Max cargo cap, cu ft 67.4 82 31.7
Max towing cap, lb 7400 3500 3500


Midsize SUV (over 106-IN WB) cont...
Land Rover - Volvo
Vehicle Land Rover LR3 (Overall) Lexus GX 470 Lexus RX 350 (400h)
Base price $49,300 $47,580 $38,165 ($41,945)
Wheelbase, in 113.6 109.8 106.9
Engine 4.4L OHV V-8 4.7L DOHC V-8 3.5L DOHC V-6
Opt engines     3.3L hybrid $2100
Horsepower, SAE 300 263 270 (268)
Torque, SAE 315 323 251 (282)
Airbags Dual, head, side Dual, head, side Dual, head, side, knee
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, 4WAL Disc/disc, 4WAL Disc/disc, 4WAL
Tires 255/60R18 265/65R17 225/65R17
Fuel cap, gal 22.8 23 19.2 (17.2)
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 12/17 14/18 18/23 (27/24)
Max pass 7 7 7-May
Base curb weight, lb 5426 4871 3870 (4190)
GVWR, lb 6800 6200 5245 (5520)
Max cargo cap, cu ft 87.4 77.5 84.7
Max towing cap, lb 7000 6500 3500
Vehicle Mercedes-Benz ML350 Mercury Mountaineer Mitsubishi Endeavor
Base price $44,425 $26,850 $28,249
Wheelbase, in 114.7 113.7 108.3
Engine 3.5L DOHC V-6 4.0L SOHC V-6 3.8L DOHC V-6
Opt engines 3.0L TDI V-6 $1000, 4.6L V-8 $3600  
Opt engines 5.5L V-8 $9000,    
Opt engines 6.3L V-8 $43,000    
Horsepower, SAE 268 (215, 382, 503) 210 (292) 235
Torque, SAE 258 (398, 391, 465) 254 (300) 248
Airbags Dual, head, side Dual Dual, head, side
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, 4WAL Disc/disc, 4WAL Disc/disc, 4WAL
Tires 255/55R19 245/65R17 265/65R17
Fuel cap, gal 25.1 22.5 21.4
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 15/20 (18/24, 13/18, 11/14) 14/20 (13/20) 15/22
Max pass 5 7 7
Base curb weight, lb 4705 4567 4167
GVWR, lb 6240 5740 5400
Max cargo cap, cu ft 71.5 85.8 78.2
Max towing cap, lb 7200 1500 3500
Vehicle Nissan Pathfinder Nissan Xterra Saturn Vue
Base price $26,525 $21,875 $21,450
Wheelbase, in 112.3 106.3 106.6
Engine 4.0L DOHC V-6 4.0L DOHC V-6 2.4L SOHC I-4
Opt engines 5.6L V-8 $4900   3.5L V-6 $3000,
Opt engines     2.4L hybrid $3300,
Opt engines     3.6L V-6 $6000
Horsepower, SAE 266 (310) 261 169 (222, 172, 257)
Torque, SAE 288 (380) 281 161 (219, 167, 248)
Airbags Dual Dual Dual, head, side
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, 4WAL Disc/disc, 4WAL Disc/disc, 4WAL
Tires 245/75R16 265/70R16 235/65R16
Fuel cap, gal 21.1 21.1 19.2
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 15/22 (13/18) 16/20 19/26 (15/22, 22/28, 16/22)
Max pass 7-May 5 7
Base curb weight, lb 4427 3839 3824
GVWR, lb 6500 5750 5000
Max cargo cap, cu ft 145.7 65.7 56.4
Max towing cap, lb 7000 5000 1500
Vehicle Suzuki XL7 Toyota 4Runner Toyota Land Cruiser (Over $35K)
Base price $21,999 $28,240 $63,885
Wheelbase, in 112.4 109.8 112.2
Engine 3.6L DOHC V-6 4.0L DOHC V-6 5.7L DOHC V-8
Opt engines   4.7L V-8 $2015  
Opt engines      
Opt engines      
Horsepower, SAE 252 236 (260) 381
Torque, SAE 243 266 (306) 401
Airbags Dual, side Dual, head, side Dual, head, side
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, 4WAL Disc/disc, 4WAL Disc/disc, 4WAL
Tires 235/65R16 265/65R17 285/60R18
Fuel cap, gal 18.6 23 24.6
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 16/22 18/21 (16/20) 16/21
Max pass 7-May 7-May 7
Base curb weight, lb 3886 4045 5690
GVWR, lb 5150 5330 7275
Max cargo cap, cu ft 95.2 75.1 81.7
Max towing cap, lb 3500 7300 8500
Vehicle Volkswagen Touareg 2 VolvoXC90  
Base price $40,000 $36,995  
Wheelbase, in 112.4 112.6  
Engine 3.6L DOHC V-6 3.2L DOHC V-6  
Opt engines 4.2L V-8 $9000, 4.4L V-8 $12,500  
Opt engines 5.0L TD V-10 $19,000    
Horsepower, SAE 280 (350, 310) 235 (311)  
Torque, SAE 265 (302, 553) 236 (325)  
Airbags Dual, head, side Dual, head, side  
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, 4WAL Disc/disc, 4WAL  
Tires 255/60HR17 235/65R17  
Fuel cap, gal 26.4 21.1  
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 12/17 (15/20, 14/20) 14/20 (13/19)  
Max pass 7 7  
Base curb weight, lb 5086 4356  
GVWR, lb 6500 5640  
Max cargo cap, cu ft 71 88.8  
Max towing cap, lb 7716 3970  

  • «
  • |
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
  • |
  • View Full Article