Winner: Toyota Highlander
Runner-Up: Chevrolet Traverse

Here's another category we continue to wrestle with. As car-and truck-based vehicles seem to move from their respective extremes closer to the middle, we have trouble determining which vehicle should go into which segment of the Best in Class story. For us, AWD crossovers are car-based, mostly front drive, and simply can't do the work a midsize SUV can. They typically lack the capability of a ladder-frame sport/utility (payload, cargo space, towing, seating capacity). But in this group, the Toyota Highlander provides SUV-like ability, putting it closer to the SUV side of the spectrum. Engines include a V-6 or hybrid (and soon an I-4), and the Highlander can tow up to 5000 pounds and seats seven. It's roomy and reliable, and may not be the most exciting of the bunch, but will provide up to 27 mpg while catering to your people- and gear-hauling needs. Looking for something with more style and greater towing capacity? Opt for the Chevrolet Traverse. Its 5200-pound towing capacity, eight-passenger seating, and V-6 economy make it a great SUV alternative.


AWD Crossover
Vehicle Audi Q7 Buick Enclave Cadillac SRX Chevrolet Traverse
Base price $43,275 $34,990 $37,779 $31,990
Wheelbase 118.2 in 118.9 in 116.4 in 118.3 in
Engine 3.6L DOHC V-6 3.6L DOHC V-6 3.6L DOHC V-6 3.6L DOHC V-6
Opt engines 4.2L V-8 $15,000 ------ 4.6L V-8 $7000 ------
Power, SAE 280 hp (350) 275 hp 255 hp (320) 281 hp
Torque, SAE 266 lb-ft (325) 251 lb-ft 254 lb-ft (315) 266 lb-ft
Airbags Fr, f/r cur, side Fr, side Fr, f/r cur, side Fr, f/r cur, side
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS
Tires 255/55R18 255/65SR18 235/65HR17 245/70R17
Fuel cap 26.4 gal 22.0 gal 20.0 gal 22.0 gal
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 14/20 mpg (12/17) 16/22 mpg 15/20 mpg (13/20) 16/23 mpg
Seating cap 7 7 5 8
Curb weight 5027 lb 4780 lb 4164 lb 5066 lb
GVWR 6746 lb 6460 lb 5200 lb 6459 lb
Cargo cap 72.5 cu ft 116.2 cu ft 69.5 cu ft 117.9 cu ft
Towing cap 6600 lb 4500 lb 4250 lb 5200 lb
Vehicle Dodge Journey Ford Edge Ford Flex GMC Acadia
Base price $26,845 $27,785 $34,950 $34,625
Wheelbase 113.8 in 111.2 in 117.9 in 118.9 in
Engine 3.5L SOHC V-6 3.5L DOHC V-6 3.5L DOHC V-6 3.6L DOHC V-6
Opt engines ------ ------ ------ ------
Power, SAE 238 hp 265 hp 262 hp 288 hp
Torque, SAE 232 lb-ft 250 lb-ft 248 lb-ft 270 lb-ft
Airbags Fr, side Fr, side Fr, f/r cur, side Fr, f/r cur, side
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS
Tires 225/55R19 235/65R17 235/60R18 255/65R18
Fuel cap 21.1 gal 20.0 gal 19.2 gal 22.0 gal
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 15/21 mpg 15/22 mpg 16/22 mpg 16/23 mpg
Seating cap 5 5 7 8
Curb weight 4212 lb 4098 lb 4661 lb 4936 lb
GVWR 5005 lb 5300 lb 5500 lb (est) 6459 lb
Cargo cap 67.6 cu ft 69.6 cu ft 83.2 cu ft 115.9 cu ft
Towing cap 3500 lb 3500 lb 4500 lb 5200 lb
Vehicle Honda Element Infiniti EX35 Infiniti FX35/50 Jeep Patriot
Base price $22,145 $37,715 $44,465 $19,670
Wheelbase 101.4 in 110.2 in 113.6 in 103.7 in
Engine 2.4L DOHC I-4 3.5L DOHC V-6 3.5L DOHC V-6 2.4L SOHC I-4
Opt engines ------ ------ 4.5L V-8 $14,800 ------
Power, SAE 166 hp 297 hp 262 hp (303) 172 hp
Torque, SAE 161 lb-ft 253 lb-ft 390 lb-ft (369) 165 lb-ft
Airbags Fr, f/r cur, side Fr, f/r cur, side Fr, f/r cur, side Fr, head
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/drum, ABS
Tires 215/70R16 225/60R17 265/60R18 215/65R17
Fuel cap 15.9 gal 20.0 gal 23.8 gal 13.6 gal
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 19/24 mpg (13/17) 16/23 mpg 16/21 mpg (14/20) 22/27 mpg
Seating cap 4 5 5 5
Curb weight 3515 lb 3915 lb 4299 lb 3108 lb
GVWR 4450 lb 4863 lb 5519 lb 4200 lb
Cargo cap 74.8 cu ft 18.6 cu ft 62.0 cu ft 56.5 cu ft
Towing cap 1500 lb 1500 lb (est) 3500 lb 2000 lb
Vehicle Lexus RX 350 Lincoln MKX Mazda CX-7 Mazda CX-9
Base price $38,525 $40,545 $26,250 $31,890
Wheelbase 106.9 in 111.2 in 108.3 in 113.2 in
Engine 3.5L DOHC V-6 3.5L DOHC V-6 2.3L DOHC T I-4 3.7L DOHC V-6
Opt engines ------ ------ ------ ------
Power, SAE 270 hp 265 hp 244 hp 273 hp
Torque, SAE 251 lb-ft 250 lb-ft 258 lb-ft 270 lb-ft
Airbags Fr, f/r cur, side. knee Fr, f/r cur, side Fr, f/r cur, side Fr, f/r cur, side
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS
Tires 225/65R17 245/60R18 235/60R18 245/60R18
Fuel cap 19.2 gal 20.0 gal 18.2 gal 20.1 gal
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 18/23 mpg 15/22 mpg 16/22 mpg 15/21 mpg (18/24)
Seating cap 5 5 5 7
Curb weight 3870 lb 4400 lb 3929 lb 4550 lb
GVWR 5245 lb 5590 lb 4780 lb 6049 lb
Cargo cap 84.7 cu ft 68.5 cu ft 58.6 cu ft 100.7 cu ft
Towing cap 3500 lb 3500 lb 2000 lb 3500 lb
Vehicle Nissan Murano Saturn Outlook Subaru Tribeca Toyota Highlander
Base price $30,060 $33,360 $30,690 $29,795
Wheelbase 111.2 in 118.9 in 108.2 in 109.8 in
Engine 3.5L DOHC V-6 3.6L DOHC V-6 3.6L DOHC F-6 3.5L DOHC V-6
Opt engines ------ ------ ------ 3.3L hyb $5750
Power, SAE 265 hp 281 hp 256 hp 270 hp (209)
Torque, SAE 248 lb-ft 253 lb-ft 247 lb-ft 249 lb-ft (212)
Airbags Fr, f/r cur, side Fr, f/r cur, side Fr, head, side Fr, f/r cur, side
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS
Tires 235/65R18 255/65R18 255/55R18 245/65R17
Fuel cap 21.7 gal 22.0 gal 16.9 gal 19.2 gal (17.2)
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 18/23 mpg 16/22 mpg 16/21 mpg 17/23 mpg (27/25)
Seating cap 5 8 7 7
Curb weight 4009 lb 4905 lb 4190 lb 4178 lb
GVWR 5250 lb 6398 lb 5600 lb 5800 lb
Cargo cap 64.5 cu ft 115.9 cu ft 74.4 cu ft 95.4 cu ft
Towing cap 3500 lb 5200 lb 3500 lb 5000 lb