Each year, the lines that divide vehicle categories get blurrier, making the "Best in Class" story that much more difficult to put together. It's hard enough to pick winners for each category; factor in determing the categories themselves, and it's exponentially harder! We also strive to make sure the comparisons within each category are as fair as possible.

That's why we continue to work on our Best in Class categories. Last year, we totally revamped the Midsize SUV category, now basing it on towing capacity instead of wheelbase length. That does a better job of keeping competitive vehicles together. Within that, we split them up between those that can tow up to 3500 pounds and those that can tow more, and split them again between vehicles offering luxury amenities and those that don't. We figure that buyers either want to buy capability, luxury cachet, or maybe both.

This year, we have made the Vans category cargo only, giving Full-Size and Compact each its own award.Some things haven't changed. The truck categories remain the same, as do Hard-Core 4x4, Full-Size SUV, Passenger Van, and Factory Power Runner. All vehicles here are from the 2013 model year and all specifications are from the manufacturers' media sites, accurate as of press time. Prices reflect the specific models listed in each category, and in some cases include optional equipment. In the case of Ram Heavy-Duty trucks, specifications are for the 2012 model year, as the 2013s were not on sale as of press time.


Best In Class: Work Truck

Winner: Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra 2500HD
Runner-Up: Ford Super Duty F-250

These are the true workhorses, the regular-cab 3/4-ton two-wheel-drive models that would be part of a fleet. This was a difficult category to vote on, more so than usual because we know what the 2013 Ram Heavy-Duty is going to be capable of, yet it isn't on sale yet -- nor have we driven it -- so it would be unfair to have it win here. We know that it will likely have the top towing capacity (estimated at 18,350 pounds), but as of press time, we don't know pricing. The Silverado HD and Ford Super Duty tie in GVWR, but the Chevy/GMC edge the Super Duty's towing capacity by 1000 pounds.

Work Truck, 3/4-ton 2WD Reg Cab
Vehicle Chevy/ GMC Silverado/ Sierra 2500HD Ford F-250 Super Duty Ram 2500 HD
Base price $30,295/$30,295 $30,580 $30,215
Wheelbase 133.7 in 137.0 in 140.5 in
Base engine 6.0L OHV V-8 6.2L SOHC V-8 5.7L OHV V-8
Opt engines 6.6L TD V-8 $7195 6.7L TD V-8 $8095 6.7L TD I-6 $7795
Transmission 6-speed auto 6-speed auto 6-speed man
Opt transmissions 6-speed auto $1200 6-speed auto $500
Power, SAE 360 hp (397) 385 hp (400) 383 hp (350)
Torque, SAE 380 lb-ft (765) 405 lb-ft (800) 400 lb-ft (650-800)
Airbags Front Front Front, cur
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS
Tires 245/75R17 E 245/75R17 E 245/70R17 E
Fuel cap 36.0 gal 35.0 gal 35.0 gal
Seating cap 3 3 3
Curb weight 5788 lb 5936 lb 5464 lb
Max GVWR 10,000 lb 10,000 lb 9000 lb
Payload 4192 lb 4240 lb 3190 lb
Max towing cap 17,800 lb 16,800 lb 15,500 lb

Best In Class: Compact/Midsize Pickup

Winner: Toyota Tacoma
Runner-Up:
Nissan Frontier

While this category has lost one vehicle for 2013, we expect it will return for 2014. When the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon arrive, they will be all-new. In the meantime, the Tacoma is still at the head of this class. Toyota continues to offer a wide variety of trim levels, bed, engine, transmission, and cab options. It also has the best towing capacity, but for power and payload capacity, the Frontier remains a close second.


Compact/Midsize Pickup, 4WD Ext Cab
Vehicle Honda Ridgeline Nissan Frontier King Cab Toyota Tacoma Access Cab
Base price $30,280 $25,500 (est) $25,095
Wheelbase 122.0 in 125.9 in 127.4 in
Base engine 3.5L SOHC V-6 4.0L DOHC V-6 2.7L DOHC I-4
Opt engines None None 4.0L V-6 $1555
Power, SAE 250 hp 261 hp 159 hp (236)
Torque, SAE 247 lb-ft 281 lb-ft 180 lb-ft (266)
Tires 245/65R17 265/70R16 245/75R16
Fuel cap 22.0 gal 21.1 gal 21.1 gal
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 15/21 mpg 15-16/21 mpg 19-21/24-25 mpg (16-17/21)
Seating cap 5 4 4
Curb weight 4504 lb 4311 lb 4000 lb
GVWR 6050 lb 5690 lb 5350 lb
Payload 1546 lb 1355 lb 1350 lb
Max towing cap 5000 lb 6300 lb 6500 lb

Best In Class: Crew Cab Pickup, 2WD

Winner: Ford F-150 SuperCrew
Runner-Up:
Ram 1500 Crew Cab

We know what you're going to ask: How can the Truck of the Year come in second in this category? With Truck of the Year, we look at a full line of trucks, with a very specific list of criteria. With this Best in Class category, we're looking at one configuration: the heart of the market, the two-wheel-drive crew-cab. To narrow the field a bit, we restricted this award to half-tons and smaller. This is the segment of the market most light-duty truck buyers are going to consider. The Ford F-150 SuperCrew is tops when it comes to towing capacity, GVWR, and payload capacity. Trucks are tools, and in this segment, just these few numbers can be the deciding factor in a purchase decision. The Ford also offers the most engines and trim levels in this specific configuration. You can choose from the innovative, hard-working EcoBoost, a good base V-6, and two terrific V-8s, and eight trim levels. We think the Ram is an excellent truck (it wouldn't be TOTY if we didn't), but in this specific category, the Ford wins.


Crew Cab Pickup, 2WD
Vehicle Chevrolet Avalanche Chevy Silverado/ GMC Sierra Ford F-150 SuperCrew Nissan Frontier Crew Cab
Base price $36,795 $32,610/$32,635 $32,150 $24,000 (est)
Wheelbase 130.0 in 143.5 in 144.5 in 125.9 in
Engine 5.3L OHV V-8 4.8L OHV V-8 3.7L DOHC V-6 4.0L DOHC V-6
Opt engines None 5.3L V-8 $825, 5.3L V-8 $4105 5.0L V-8 $1000, 3.5L T V-6 $2095, 6.2L V-8 $7435 None
Power, SAE 320 hp 302 hp (315, 403) 302 hp (360, 365, 411) 261 hp
Torque, SAE 335 lb-ft 305 lb-ft (335, 417) 278 lb-ft (380, 420, 434) 281 lb-ft
Airbags Fr, side, cur Front, side, cur Front, side, cur Front, side, cur
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, ABS Disc/drum, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS
Tires 265/70R17 245/70R17 235/70R17 265/70R16
Fuel cap 31.5 gal 26.0 gal 26.0 gal 21.1 gal
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 15/21 mpg 14/19 mpg (15/20-21, 13/18) 17/23 mpg (15/21, 16/22, 13/18) 16/22 mpg
Seating cap 6 6 6 5
Curb weight 5705 lb 5163 lb 5128 lb 4219 lb
Max GVWR 7000 lb 7100 lb 7400 lb 5690 lb
Payload 1295 lb 1937 lb 2272 lb 1457 lb
Max towing cap 8100 lb 10,600 lb 11,300 lb 6300 lb
Vehicle Nissan Titan Crew Cab Ram 1500 Crew Cab Toyota Tacoma Double Cab Toyota Tundra CrewMax
Base price $32,815 $30,860 $23,370 $31,630
Wheelbase 139.8 in 140.5 in 127.4 in 145.7 in
Engine 5.6L DOHC V-8 4.7L SOHC V-6 2.7L DOHC I-4 4.6L DOHC V-8
Opt engines None 3.6L V-6 $450, 5.7L V-8 $1310 4.0L V-6 $2085 5.7L V-8 $1245
Power, SAE 317 hp 305 hp (310, 390) 159 hp (236) 310 hp (381)
Torque, SAE 385 lb-ft 269 lb-ft (330, 407) 180 lb-ft (266) 327 lb-ft (401)
Airbags Front, side, cur Front, side, cur Front, side, cur Fr, side, cur, knee
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/drum, ABS Disc/disc, ABS
Tires 265/70R18 265/70R17 215/70R15 255/70R18
Fuel cap 28.0 gal 26.0 gal (32.0) 21.1 gal 26.4 gal
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 13/18 mpg 17-18/25 mpg (14/20, N/A) 19-21/24-25 mpg (16-17/21) 15/20 mpg (13/18)
Seating cap 6 6 5 6
Curb weight 5049 lb 5083 lb 3865 lb 5250 lb
Max GVWR 7100 lb 6800 lb 5250 lb 7000 lb
Payload 2011 lb 1700 lb 1450 lb 1750 lb
Max towing cap 9400 lb 10,150 lb 6500 lb 9900 lb

Best In Class: Topline Power Puller

Winner: Ford F-350 Super Duty Platinum
Runner-Up:
Ram HD 3500 Laramie Longhorn

On the other side of the heavy-duty truck spectrum are the topline power pullers, which combine big luxury with loads of capability and toughness. They can tow the equivalent of 10 cars at once and have enough payload capacity to carry the weight of a 3/4-ton work truck, all while allowing the driver to ride in style. This was a close one, but the new Platinum is the best combo of both, with a good-looking cabin, 22,300-pound towing capacity, and a near-6000-pound payload. We like the Laramie Longhorn, too, even when considering the 2012 model.


TopLine Power Puller, 4WD Crew Cab Diesel Dualie
Vehicle Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD LTZ/ GMC Sierra Denali 3500HD Ford F-350 Super Duty Platinum Ram HD 3500 Crew Cab Laramie Longhorn
Price incl diesel $56,525/$58,420 $64,345 $60,700
Wheelbase 167.7 in 172.4 in 168.9 in
Engine 6.6L OHV 32-valve TD V-8 6.7L OHV 32-valve TD V-8 6.7L OHV 24-valve intercooled TD I-6
Transmission 6-speed auto 6-speed auto 6-speed auto
Power @ rpm, SAE 397 hp @ 3000 rpm 400 hp @ 2800 rpm 350 hp @ 3000 rpm
Torque @ rpm, SAE 765 lb-ft @ 1600 rpm 800 lb-ft @ 1600 rpm 800 lb-ft @ 1500 rpm
Airbags Front Front Front, cur
Brakes Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS
Tires 235/80R17 245/75R17 235/80R17
Fuel cap 36.0 gal 37.5 gal 35.0 gal
Seating cap 6 6 6
Curb weight 7997 lb 8191 lb 7965 lb
Max GVWR 13,025 lb 14,000 lb 12,300 lb
Payload 5028 lb 5930 lb 4330 lb
Max towing cap (fifth wheel) 22,500 lb 22,300 lb 19,050 lb

Best In Class: Cargo Van

Full-size: Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
Compact:
Ford Transit Connect

This is the category we have changed the most for 2013. This year, we decided to eliminate passenger vans altogether, as we estimate that most Truck Trend readers are more interested in the most capable vans available -- the cargo vans -- and we also changed our specs to include towing capacity. The full-size van voting came down to two top contenders, the NV and the Sprinter. The Sprinter has a diesel, boasts a low cost of ownership, and offers plenty of amenities for work and comfort. And even though we know an all-new model is coming, the Transit Connect wins for the Compact Van category. It's built for work and has a payload capacity of 1600 pounds.


Cargo Van
Vehicle Chevrolet Express Dodge C/V Ford E-Series Ford Transit Connect
Base price $26,745 $23,460 $28,455 $23,420
Wheelbase 135.0-155.0 in 121.2 in 138.0-176.0 in 114.6 in
Engine 4.3L OHV V-6, 4.8L OHV V-8, 3.6L DOHC V-6 4.6L SOHC V-8 2.0L DOHC I-4
Opt engines 5.3L OHV V-8 $995, 6.0L V-8 $2500, 6.6L TD V-8 $13,450 none 5.4L V-8 $3475, 6.8L V-10 $3895 None
Power, SAE 195 hp (280, 310, 323, 260) 283 hp 225 hp (255,305) 136 hp
Torque, SAE 260 lb-ft (296, 334, 373, 525) 260 lb-ft 286 lb-ft (350,420) 128 lb-ft
Airbags Front Fr, side, cur Front Front
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/drum, ABS
Tires 245/70R17 225/65R16 225/75R16 205/65R15
Fuel cap 31.0 gal 20.0 gal 33.0-55.0 gal 15.4 gal
Fuel econ, city/hwy 13/17 mpg (11/16, N/A) 17/25 mpg N/A 22/27 mpg
Tow cap 10,000 lb 3600 lb 10,000 lb N/A
Curb weight 4919 lb 4150 lb 5750 lb 3400 lb
Payload 4187 lb 1800 lb 3920 lb 1600 lb
Cargo cap 239.7-284.4 cu ft 144.4 cu ft 256.5 cu ft 129.6 cu ft
Vehicle GMC Savana Mercedes- Benz Sprinter Nissan NV1500 Nissan NV2500/ 3500HD
Base price $26,745 $37,285 $26,415 $27,415
Wheelbase 135.0-155.0 in 144.3, 170.3 in 146.1 in 146.1 in
Engine 4.3L OHV V-6, 4.8L OHV V-8, 3.0L DOHC TD V-6 4.0L DOHC V-6 4.0L DOHC V-6
Opt engines 5.3L OHV V-8 $995, 6.0L V-8 $2500, 6.6L TD V-8 $13,450 5.6L V-8 $1900 5.6L V-8 $900
Power, SAE 195 hp (280, 310, 323, 260) 188 hp 261 hp (317) 261 hp (317)
Torque, SAE 260 lb-ft (296, 334, 373, 525) 325 lb-ft 281 lb-ft (385) 281 lb-ft (385)
Airbags Front Front Front Front
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS
Tires 245/70R17 245/75R16 245/70R17 245/70R17
Fuel cap 31.0 gal 26.4 gal 28.0 gal 28.0 gal
Fuel econ, city/hwy 13/17 mpg (11/16,N/A) N/A N/A N/A
Tow cap 10,000 lb 7500 lb 9500 lb 9500 lb
Curb weight 4919 lb 5125 lb 3049 lb 3063 lb
Payload 4187 lb 2873 lb 2535 lb 3925 lb
Cargo cap 239.7-284.4 cu ft 318.0-547.0 cu ft 323.1 cu ft 323.1 cu ft

Best In Class: Factory Power Runner

Winner: Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8
Runner-Up:
Ford FX2 SuperCab

We love the idea of being able to go fast while carrying cargo, and there are two awesome vehicles in this category that'll achieve both without making you broke in the process. The Grand Cherokee SRT8 is powered by a 470-hp, 6.4-liter V-8, and hits 60 mph in 4.6 seconds. Our runner-up is new to the category; the FX2 F-150 is about as close as you can get to a modern-day Lightning. A rear-drive pickup with 411 horsepower and 11,300 pounds of towing capacity sounds pretty good!


Factory Power Runner
Vehicle BMW X6 M Cadillac Escalade AWD Ford F-150 FX2 SuperCab
Price w/hi-po opt $93,795 $66,715 $38,760
Wheelbase 115.5 in 116.0 in 144.5 in
Engine 4.4L DOHC TT V-8 6.2L OHV V-8 6.2L SOHC V-8
Transmission 6-speed auto 6-speed auto 6-speed auto
0-60 mph, sec 4.5 sec 6.4 sec 6.5 sec (est)
Power, SAE 555 hp 403 hp 411 hp
Torque, SAE 500 lb-ft 417 lb-ft 434 lb-ft
Airbags Fr, side, cur Fr, side, cur Fr, side, cur
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS
Tires 275/40R20 F; 315/35R20 R 275/55R20 265/60R18
Fuel cap 22.4 gal 26.0 gal 26.0 gal
Fuel econ, city/hwy 12/17 mpg 13/18 mpg 13/18 mpg
Seating cap 4 7 5
Curb weight 5324 lb 5723 lb 5530 lb
GVWR 6261 lb 7300 lb 7650 lb
Payload 911 lb 1577 lb 1880 lb
Towing 6000 lb 8100 lb 11,300 lb
Vehicle GMC Sierra Denali AWD Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 Mercedes- Benz ML63 AMG 4WD
Price w/hi-po opt $50,125 $61,290 $97,005
Wheelbase 143.5 in 114.8 in 114.8 in
Engine 6.2L OHV V-8 6.4L OHV V-8 5.5L DOHC V-8
Transmission 6-speed auto 5-speed auto 7-speed auto
0-60 mph, sec 6.2 sec 4.6 sec 4.7 sec
Power, SAE 403 hp 470 hp 518 hp
Torque, SAE 417 lb-ft 465 lb-ft 516 lb-ft
Airbags Fr, side, cur Fr, side, cur Fr, side, cur
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS
Tires 255/55R20 295/45R20 265/45R20
Fuel cap 26.0 gal 24.6 gal 27.7 gal
Fuel econ, city/hwy 12/19 mpg 12/18 mpg 13/17 mpg
Seating cap 5 5 5
Curb weight 5377 lb 5150 lb 5238 lb
GVWR 7000 lb 6500 lb 6349 lb
Payload 1623 lb 1350 lb 1249 lb
Towing 9400 lb 5000 lb 7200 lb
Vehicle Porsche Cayenne Turbo Range Rover Sport S/C Toyota Tacoma Access Cab X-Runner 2WD
Price w/hi-po opt $112,725 $76,495 $27,620
Wheelbase 114.0 in 108.0 in 127.4 in
Engine 4.8L DOHC TT V-8 5.0L DOHC S/C V-8 4.0L DOHC V-6
Transmission 8-spd auto 6-speed auto 6-speed man
0-60 mph, sec 4.4 sec 5.9 sec 6.1 sec
Power, SAE 500 hp 510 hp 236 hp
Torque, SAE 516 lb-ft 461 lb-ft 266 lb-ft
Airbags Fr, side, cur Fr, side, cur Fr, side, cur
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/drum, ABS
Tires 265/50R19 275/40R20 255/45R18
Fuel cap 26.4 gal 23.0 gal 21.1 gal
Fuel econ, city/hwy 15/22 mpg 12/17 mpg 15/19 mpg
Seating cap 5 5 4
Curb weight 4784 lb 5816 lb 3835 lb
GVWR 6500 lb 6889 lb 4700 lb
Payload 1565 lb 1073 lb 865 lb
Towing 7716 lb 7716 lb 3500 lb

Best In Class: Full-Size SUV

Winner: Chevrolet Tahoe/GMC Yukon
Runner-Up:
Mercedes-Benz GL-Class

This is our favorite SUV category in Best in Class, because it's where a vehicle has to be body-on-frame and full-size to be allowed to play. These are the big boys, the sport/utilities that can tow nearly 9000 pounds and have room for three rows of people. The Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon stay at the top -- they work hard, have hybrid models and active fuel management, nine-passenger seating, and 8200-pound towing capacity.


Full-size SUV, 4WD
Vehicle Chevy Suburban/ GMC Yukon XL Chevy Tahoe/ GMC Yukon Ford Expedition/EL Infiniti QX56
Base price $47,135/ $48,440 $44,885/ $46,190 $44,500/ $47,210 $64,845
Wheelbase 130.0 in 116.0 in 119.0/131.0 in 121.1 in
Base engine 5.3L OHV V-8 5.3L OHV V-8 5.4L SOHC V-8 5.6L DOHC V-8
Opt engines 6.0L V-8 $1605*, 6.2L V-8 $11,960 6.0L hyb V-8, $9710/$11,185 None None
Power, SAE 320 hp (352, 403) 320 hp (332) 310 hp 400 hp
Torque, SAE 335 lb-ft (382, 417) 335 lb-ft (367) 365 lb-ft 413 lb-ft
Airbags Fr, side, cur Fr, side, cur Fr, side, cur Fr, side, cur
Tires 265/70R17 265/70R17 265/70R17 275/60R20
Fuel cap 31.5/39.0* gal 26.0 gal 28.0/33.5 gal 26.0 gal
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 10-15/16-21 mpg 15/21 mpg (20/23) 13/18 mpg 14/20 mpg
Seating cap 9 9 8 8
Curb weight 5824/6419* lb 5567 lb 5781/6078 lb 5855 lb
GVWR 7400/8600* lb 7300 lb 7500/7720 lb 7500 lb
Cargo cap 137.4 cu ft 108.9 cu ft 108.3/130.8 cu ft 97.1 cu ft
Max towing cap 8000/9400* lb 8200 lb 9000/8700 lb 8500 lb
Vehicle Mercedes- Benz GL-Class Nissan Armada Toyota Land Cruiser Toyota Sequoia
Base price $63,305 $47,785 $79,550 $46,675
Wheelbase 121.1 in 123.2 in 112.2 in 122.0 in
Base engine 3.0L TD V-6 5.6L DOHC V-8 5.7L DOHC V-8 5.7L DOHC V-8
Opt engines 4.7L V-8 $1500, 4.7L V-8 $24,500 None None None
Power, SAE 240 hp (362, 429) 317 hp 381 hp 381 hp
Torque, SAE 455 lb-ft (406, 516) 385 lb-ft 401 lb-ft 401lb-ft
Airbags Fr, side, cur, knee Fr, side, cur Fr, side, cur Fr, side, cur, knee
Tires 275/55R19 265/70R18 285/60R18 275/65R18
Fuel cap 26.4 gal 28.0 gal 24.6 gal 26.4 gal
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 19/26 mpg (14/19, 13/18) 12/18 mpg 13/18 mpg 13/17 mpg
Seating cap 7 8 8 8
Curb weight 5401 lb 5606 lb 5730 lb 5985 lb
GVWR 6944 lb 7300 lb 7385 lb 7300 lb
Cargo cap 84.1 cu ft 97.1 cu ft 81.7 cu ft 120.1 cu ft
Max towing cap 7500 lb 9000 lb 8500 lb 7100 lb

Best In Class: Hard-Core 4x4

Winner: Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
Runner-Up:
Ford F-150 SVT Raptor

This is another fun one to argue over. Both first and second place combine excellent off-roading with decent on-road ability. Short-wheelbase versus long, SUV versus truck -- it isn't easy to choose. The Raptor adds beadlock wheels for 2013, and is still an amazing truck for high-speed driving, but the Rubicon gets the edge here for its abilities on slickrock, in dirt, and when rock-crawling.


Hard-core 4x4
Vehicle Ford F-150 SVT Raptor SuperCab Jeep Wrangler/ Unlimited Rubicon Land Rover LR4 (w/H-D pkg) Mercedes- Benz G550
Base price $44,625 $31,590/$35,090 $50,745 $113,905
Wheelbase 133.3 in 95.4/116.0 in 113.6 in 112.2 in
Engine 6.2L SOHC V-8 3.6L DOHC V-6 5.0L DOHC V-8 5.5L SOHC V-8
Transmission 6-speed auto 6-speed man 6-speed auto 7-speed auto
Power, SAE 411 hp 285 hp 375 hp 382 hp
Torque, SAE 434 lb-ft 260 lb-ft 375 lb-ft 391 lb-ft
Axle ratio 4.10:1 4.10:1 3.54:1 4.38:1
Low range 2.64:1 4.00:1 2.93:1 2.16:1
Tires 315/70R17 255/75R17 255/55R19 265/60R18
Fuel cap 26.0 gal 18.6 gal 22.8 gal 25.4 gal
Fuel econ, city/hwy 11/16 mpg 16-17/20-21 mpg 12/17 mpg 12/15 mpg
Seating cap 5 5-Apr 5 (7) 5
Curb weight 6016 lb 4104 lb 5659 lb 5578 lb
Max GVWR 7000 lb 5000 lb 7143 lb 5467 lb
Cargo cap 67.0 cu ft 55.0/86.8 cu ft 90.3 cu ft 79.5 cu ft
Max towing cap 6000 lb 3500 lb 7716 lb 7716 lb
Vehicle Nissan Xterra PRO-4X Ram Power Wagon Toyota 4Runner Trail Toyota FJ Cruiser Trail Teams
Base price $31,250 (est) $43,350 $38,000 $34,500 (est)
Wheelbase 106.3 in 148.9 in 109.8 in 105.9 in
Engine 4.0L DOHC V-6 5.7L OHV V-8 4.0L DOHC V-6 4.0L DOHC V-6
Transmission 6-speed man 6-speed auto 5-speed auto 6-speed man
Power, SAE 261 hp 383 hp 270 hp 260 hp
Torque, SAE 281 lb-ft 400 lb-ft 278 lb-ft 271 lb-ft
Axle ratio 3.69:1 4.56:1 3.73:1 3.91:1
Low range 2.63:1 2.72:1 2.57:1 2.57:1
Tires 265/75R16 285/70R17 265/70R17 265/70R17
Fuel cap 21.1 gal 34.0 gal 23.0 gal 19.0 gal
Fuel econ, city/hwy 16/20 mpg N/A 17/21 mpg 15/18 mpg
Seating cap 5 6 5 5
Curb weight 4408 lb 6287 lb 4750 lb 4290 lb
Max GVWR 5399 lb 9600 lb 6300 lb 5570 lb
Cargo cap 65.7 cu ft 60.9 cu ft 89.7 cu ft 66.8 cu ft
Max towing cap 5000 lb 10,200 lb 5000 lb 4700 lb

Best In Class: Luxury SUV (Towing 3500 Pounds and Below)

Winner: Land Rover LR2
Runner-Up:
Mercedes-Benz GLK

Last year, we picked the Range Rover Evoque as the winner of this category, but thanks to improvements in the LR2, the Evoques kin is winner for 2013. Why? The LR2 now has the same engine as the Evoque, has a lower base price, and offers more cargo volume and a higher GVWR, and can tow 3500 pounds. The runner-up this year is the new GLK. We applaud Mercedes for being the first automaker to make a diesel engine available in this size and price category.


Luxury SUV
(Towing 3500 pounds and below)
Vehicle Acura RDX Buick Encore BMW X1 BMW X3
Base price $35,215 $24,950 $31,695 $39,745
Wheelbase 104.3 in 100.6 in 108.7 in 110.6 in
Engine 2.3L turbo I-4 1.4L turbo I-4 2.0L T I-4 2.0L I-6
Opt engine None None 3.0L T I-6 $7800 3.0L twin-turbo I-6 $5200
Power, SAE 240 hp 138 hp 240 hp (300) 260 hp (300)
Torque, SAE 260 lb-ft 148 lb-ft 260 lb-ft (300) 221 lb-ft (300)
Airbags Fr, side, cur Fr, side, cur, knee Fr, side, cur Fr, side, cur
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS
Tires 235/55R18 215/55R18 255/45R18 245/50R18
Fuel cap 18.0 gal 14.0 gal 16.6 gal 17.7 gal
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 19-20/27-28 mpg 23-25/30-33 mpg 22-24/33-34 mpg 21/28 mpg
Opt engine None None (18/27) (19-26)
Seating cap 5 5 5 5
Curb weight 3743 lb 3190 lb 3726 lb 4112 lb
Max GVWR 4800 lb 4372 lb 4700 lb (est) 5137 lb
Cargo cap 60.6 cu ft 48.4 cu ft 47.7 cu ft 56.5 cu ft
Towing cap 1500 lb N/A N/A 3000 lb
Vehicle Cadillac SRX Infiniti EX37 Infiniti FX Land Rover LR2
Base price $38,225 $37,895 $44,650 $37,295
Wheelbase 110.5 in 110.2 in 113.6 in 104.7 in
Engine 3.6L V-6 3.7L V-6 3.7L DOHC V-6 2.0L turbo I-4
Opt engine None None 5.0L V-8 $16550 None
Power, SAE 308 hp 325 hp 325 hp (390) 240 hp
Torque, SAE 265 lb-ft 267 lb-ft 267 lb-ft (369) 250 lb-ft
Airbags Fr, side, cur Fr, side, cur Fr, side, cur Fr, side, cur, knee
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS
Tires 235/65R18 225/55R18 265/60R18 235/55R19
Fuel cap 21.0 gal 20.0 gal 23.8 gal 18.5 gal
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 16-17/23-24 mpg 17/24-25 mpg 16-17/22-24 mpg 17/24 mpg
Opt engine None None (14/20) None
Seating cap 5 5 5 5
Curb weight 4277 lb 3790 lb 4209 lb 4255 lb
Max GVWR 5556 lb 5024 lb 5766 lb 5520 lb
Cargo cap 61.1 cu ft 18.6 cu ft* 62.0 cu ft 58.9 cu ft
Towing cap 3500 lb 1500 lb (est) 3500 lb 3500 lb
Vehicle Lexus RX Lincoln MKX Mercedes-Benz GLK Range Rover Evoque
Base price $40,555 $40,470 $37,995 $45,040
Wheelbase 107.9 in 111.2 in 108.5 in 104.8 in
Engine 3.5L DOHC V-6 3.7L DOHC V-6 3.5L DOHC V-6 2.0L turbo I-4
Opt engine 3.5L hyb $6650 None 2.1L TD I-4 None
Power, SAE 270 hp (295) 305 hp 302 hp (200) 240 hp
Torque, SAE 248 lb-ft (234) 280 lb-ft 273 lb-ft (369) 250 lb1-ft
Airbags Fr, side, cur, knee Fr, side, cur Fr, side, cur Fr, side, cur, knee
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS
Tires 235/60R18 245/60R18 235/50R19 235/55R19
Fuel cap 19.2 gal (17.2) 18.0-19.0 gal 17.4 gal 18.5 gal
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 18-24 mpg 17-19/23-26 mpg 19/24-25 mpg 18/28 mpg
Opt engine (30-32/28) None (N/A) None
Seating cap 5 5 5 5
Curb weight 4340 lb 4236 lb 4079 lb 3915 lb
Max GVWR 5974 lb 5590 lb 5467 lb 3902 lb
Cargo cap 80.3 cu ft 68.6 cu ft 54.7 cu ft 51.0 cu ft
Towing cap 3500 lb 3500 lb 3500 lb 3500 lb
Vehicle Volkswagen Tiguan Volvo XC60  
Base price $23,820 $35,245  
Wheelbase 102.5 in 109.2 in  
Engine 2.0L turbo I-4 3.2L I-6  
Opt engine None 3.0L turbo I-6 $6300  
Power, SAE 200 hp 240 hp (300-325)  
Torque, SAE 207 lb-ft 236 lb-ft (325-354)  
Airbags Fr, side, cur Fr, side, cur  
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS  
Tires 215/65R16 235/60R18  
Fuel cap 16.8 gal 18.5 gal  
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 18-22/26-27 mpg 18-19/24-25 mpg  
Opt engine None (17/23)  
Seating cap 5 5  
Curb weight 3393 lb 3958 lb  
Max GVWR 4960 lb 5368 lb  
Cargo cap 56.1 cu ft 67.4 cu ft  
Towing cap 2200 lb 3300 lb  
*Behind second row

Best In Class: Luxury SUV (Towing More Than 3500 Pounds)

Winner: Land Rover LR4
Runner-Up:
Mercedes-Benz M-Class

There have been some changes to this segment, and some new models, but we still voted for the Land Rover LR4. Yes, it's a big, heavy box, but it has no trouble getting from Point A to Point B in a hurry. In addition, it is fantastic off-road, its cabin is comfortable and quiet, and this brute is genuinely luxurious. It offers room for seven passengers, and can tow more than 7700 pounds. The runner-up, the M-Class, may be more biased toward on-road work, but also is highly capable.


Luxury SUV
(Towing More THAN 3500 pounds)
Vehicle Acura MDX Audi Q5 Audi Q7 BMW X5
Base price $44,175 $36,795 $47,695 $48,395
Wheelbase 108.3 in 110.5 in 118.2 in 115.5 in
Engine 3.7L SOHC V-8 2.0L DOHC T I-4 3.0L DOHC V-6 3.0L DOHC T I-6
Opt engine None 3.0L T I-4 $8000, 3.0L T H $15,000 3.0L TD $5200, 3.0L SC V-6 $13,750 3.0L TD I-6 $9200, 4.4L TT V-8 $16,700
Power, SAE 300 hp 211 hp (270) 280 hp (240, 333) 300 hp (265,400)
Torque, SAE 270 lb-ft 258 lb-ft (243) 295 lb-ft (406, 325) 300 lb-ft (425,450)
Airbags Fr, side, cur Fr, side, cur Fr, side, cur Fr, side, cur
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS
Tires 255/55R18 235/60R18 255/55R18 255/55R18
Fuel cap 21.0 gal 19.8 gal 26.4 gal 22.5 gal
EPA fuel econ 16/21 mpg 20/28 mpg 16/22 mpg 16/23 mpg
Opt engine None (18/26, 24/30) (19/28,16/22) (19/26, 14/20)
Seating cap 7 5 7 7
Curb weight 4550 lb 4079 lb 5192 lb 4960 lb
GVWR 5900 lb 4800 lb 6746 lb 6669 lb
Cargo cap 83.5 cu ft 57.3 cu ft 72.5 cu ft 75.2 cu ft
Towing cap 5000 lb 4400 lb 6600 lb 6000 lb
Vehicle Buick Enclave Cadillac Escalade/ ESV Infiniti JX Land Rover LR4
Base price $39,340 $64,165/ $66,765 $42,245 $49,995
Wheelbase 118.9 in 116.0/130.0 in 114.2 in 113.6 in
Engine 3.6L DOHC V-6 6.2L OHV V-8 3.5L DOHC V-6 5.0L DOHC V-8
Opt engine None 6.0L V-8 hyb $10,680 None None
Power, SAE 288 hp 403 hp (332) 265 hp 375 hp
Torque, SAE 270 lb-ft 417 lb-ft (367) 248 lb-ft 375 lb-ft
Airbags Fr, side, cur Fr, side, cur Fr, side, cur Fr, side, cur
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS
Tires 255/65R19 265/65R18 235/65R18 255/55R19
Fuel cap 22.0 gal 26.0/31.0 gal (24.5 H) 19.5 gal 22.8 gal
EPA fuel econ 16-17/22-24 mpg 13-14/18 mpg 18/23-24 mpg 12/17 mpg
Opt engine None (20/23) None None
Seating cap 8 8 7 7
Curb weight 4724 lb 5527 lb 4280 lb 5659 lb
GVWR 6460 lb 7400 lb 5937 lb 7143 lb
Cargo cap 115.2 cu ft 108.9/137.4 cu ft 15.8 cu ft* 90.3 cu ft
Towing cap 4500 lb 8300 lb N/A 7716 lb
Vehicle LR Range Rover/ Sport Lexus LX Lexus GX 460 Lincoln MKT
Base price $83,500/ $60,895 $82,425 $54,690 $46,160
Wheelbase 115.0 in 112.2 in 109.8 in 117.9 in
Engine 5.0L DOHC V-8 5.7L DOHC V-8 4.6L DOHC V-8 3.7L DOHC V-6
Opt engine 5.0L SC V-8 $18,695/ $15,200 None None 3.5L T V-6 $1995
Power, SAE 375 hp (510) 383 hp 301 hp 303 hp (365)
Torque, SAE 375 lb-ft (461) 403 lb-ft 329 lb-ft 278 lb-ft (350)
Airbags Fr, side, cur, knee Fr, side, cur, knee Fr, side, cur, knee Fr, side, cur
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS
Tires 255/55R19 285/50R20 265/60R18 235/55R19
Fuel cap 27.7/23.3 gal 24.6 gal 23.0 gal 18.6 gal
EPA fuel econ 12-13/17-18 mpg 12/17 mpg 15/20 mpg 16-17/22-24 mpg
Opt engine   None None (16/21)
Seating cap 5 8 7 7
Curb weight 4850/5540 lb 6000 lb 5305 lb 4702 lb
GVWR 7055 lb 7385 lb 6600 lb 5500 lb
Cargo cap 71.7/71.0 cu ft 83.1 cu ft 91.9 cu ft 75.9 cu ft
Towing cap 7716 lb 7000 lb 6500 lb 4500 lb
Vehicle Lincoln Navigator/L Mercedes- Benz M-Class Porsche Cayenne Volkswagen Touareg
Base price $58,870/ $61,035 $48,175 $49,825 $44,820
Wheelbase 119.0/131.0 in 114.8 in 114.0 in 113.9 in
Engine 5.4L SOHC V-8 3.5L DOHC V-6 3.6L DOHC V-6 3.6L DOHC V-6
Opt engine None 3.0L TD V-6 $1500, 4.7L $9030, 5.5L $46,330 3.0L TD $9900, 4.8L V-8 3.0L TD V-6 $3500, 3.6L H $18,630
Power, SAE 310 hp 302 hp (240, 402, 518) 300 hp (240,400) 280 hp (240, 380)
Torque, SAE 365 lb-ft 273 lb-ft (455, 443, 516) 295 lb-ft (406,369) 266 lb-ft (406, 428)
Airbags Fr, side, cur Fr, side, cur Fr, side, cur Fr, side, cur
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS
Tires 255/70R18 255/50R19 255/55R18 255/55R18
Fuel cap 28.0/33.5 gal 27.7 gal 22.4 gal (26.4) 26.4 gal
EPA fuel econ 13/18 mpg 18/23 mpg 15-17/22-23 mpg 17/23 mpg
Opt engine None (19/28, 20/24) (20/28,16/22) (20/29, 20/24)
Seating cap 8 5 5 5
Curb weight 5780/6031 lb 4652 lb 4398 lb 4711 lb
GVWR 7500/7720 lb 6239 lb (est) 6100 lb (est) 6415 lb
Cargo cap 103.3/128.2 cu ft 80.3 cu ft 62.9 cu ft 64.0 cu ft
Towing cap 9000/8700 lb 7200 lb 7716 lb 7716 lb
Vehicle Volvo XC90  
Base price $40,595  
Wheelbase 112.6 in  
Engine 3.2L DOHC I-6  
Opt engine None  
Power, SAE 240 hp  
Torque, SAE 236 lb-ft  
Airbags Fr, side, cur  
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, ABS  
Tires 235/60R18  
Fuel cap 21.1 gal  
EPA fuel econ 16/23 mpg  
Opt engine None  
Seating cap 7  
Curb weight 4667 lb  
GVWR 6080 lb  
Cargo cap 85.1 cu ft  
Towing cap 4960 lb  

Mainstream SUV (Towing 3500 Pounds and Below)


Winner: Ford Escape
Runner-Up:
Chevy Equinox/GMC Terrain

These vehicles fall into the gray area between crossover and sport/utility. However, with a towing capacity of fewer than 3500 pounds, they certainly lean more toward the crossover side of the fence. The all-new Escape does a great job of providing SUV-like capability on a crossover platform. In fact, when it switched to the all-new platform, towing capacity didn't suffer -- the Escape can still tow up to 3500 pounds.


MAINSTREAM SUV
(Towing 3500 Pounds And Below)
Chevrolet to Mazda
Vehicle Chevy Equinox/ GMC Terrain Dodge Journey Ford Edge Ford Escape
Base price $25,015/ $27,130 $19,990 $28,450 $23,365
Wheelbase 112.5 in 113.8 in 111.2 in 105.9 in
Engine 2.4L DOHC I-4 2.4L DOHC I-4 3.5L DOHC V-6 2.5L DOHC I-4
Opt engine 3.6L V-6 $1645/$2900 3.6L DOHC V-6, $5700 2.0L T $995, 3.7L V-6 $4305, 3.5L T V-6 $9340 1.6LT I-4 $2600, 2.0L T I-4 $3695
Power, SAE 182 hp (301) 173 hp (283) 285 hp (240, 305) 168 hp (178, 240)
Torque, SAE 172 lb-ft (272) 166 lb-ft (260) 253 lb-ft (270, 280) 170 lb-ft (184, 270)
Airbags Fr, side, cur Fr, side, cur Fr, side, cur Fr, side, cur
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS
Tires 225/60R17 225/65R17 235/65R17 235/55R17
Fuel cap 18.8 gal (20.9) 20.5 gal (21.1) 18.0, 19.0 gal 15.1 gal
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 20-22/29-32 mpg 17-19/25-26 mpg 18-19/25-27 mpg 20-23/27-28 mpg
Opt engine (16-17/23-24) (16/24) (21/30, 17-19/23-26) (19-20/25-27, 30-34/27-31)
Seating cap 5 5 (7) 5 5
Curb weight 3777 lb 3818 lb 3998 lb 3502 lb
GVWR 5300 lb 5600 lb 5300 lb 4200 lb
Cargo cap 63.7 cu ft 67.6 cu ft 68.9 cu ft 68.1 cu ft
Towing cap 3500 lb 2500 lb 3500 lb 3500 lb
Vehicle Honda CR-V Hyundai Santa Fe Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Hyundai Tucson
Base price $23,625 $30,000 (est) $25,295 $20,240
Wheelbase 103.1 in 110.2 in 106.3 in 103.9 in
Engine 2.4L DOHC I-4 3.3L DOHC V-6 2.4L DOHC I-4 2.0L DOHC I-4
Opt engine None None 2.0L I-4 $3250 2.4L I-4 $3350
Power, SAE 185 hp 290 hp 190 hp (264) 165 hp (176)
Torque, SAE 163 lb-ft 252 lb-ft 181 lb-ft (269) 146 lb-ft (168)
Airbags Fr, side, cur Fr, side, rear, cur Fr, side, cur Fr, side, cur
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS
Tires 215/70R16 235/60R18 235/65R17 225/60R17
Fuel cap 15.3 gal 18.8 gal 17.4 gal 15.3 gal
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 22-23/30-31 mpg 18/24-25 mpg 20-21/26-29 mpg 20-22/26-29 mpg
Opt engine None (19-20/24-27) (19-21/27-30)
Seating cap 5 7 5 5
Curb weight 3305 lb 3946 lb 3459 lb 3179 lb
GVWR 4560 lb 5908 lb 5202 lb 4608 lb
Cargo cap 70.9 cu ft 80.0 cu ft 71.5 cu ft 55.8 cu ft
Towing cap 1500 lb 5000 lb 3500 lb 2000 lb
Vehicle Kia Sorento Kia Sportage Mazda CX-5 Mazda CX-9
Base price $23,950 $19,800 $21,790 $30,580
Wheelbase 106.3 in 103.9 in 106.3 in 113.2 in
Engine 2.4L DOHC I-4 2.4L DOHC I-4 2.0L DOHC I-4 3.7L DOHC V-6
Opt engine 2.0L T I-4 $2550 2.0L T I-4 $7900 None None
Power, SAE 175 hp (276) 176 hp (276) 155 hp 273 hp
Torque, SAE 169 lb-ft (248) 168 lb-ft (248) 150 lb-ft 270 lb-ft
Airbags Fr, side, cur Fr, side, cur Fr, side, cur Fr, side, cur
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS
Tires 235/65R17 215/70R16 225/65R17 245/60R18
Fuel cap 18.0 gal 15.3 gal 14.8-15.3 gal 20.1 gal
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 20-22/27-32 mpg 19-21/25-30 mpg 25-26/31-32 mpg 16-17/22-24 mpg
Opt engine (18-20/24-26) (20-21/25-28) None None
Seating cap 5 (7) 5 5 7
Curb weight 3605 lb 3157 lb 3208 lb 4317 lb
GVWR 5634 lb 4608 lb (est) 4323 lb 5997 lb
Cargo cap 72.5 cu ft 54.6 cu ft 65.4 cu ft 100.7 cu ft
Towing cap 3500 lb 2000 lb 2000 lb 3500 lb

Mainstream SUV (Towing 3500 Pounds and Below) continued...


MAINSTREAM SUV
(TOWING 3500 POUNDS AND BELOW)
From MINI to Toyota
Vehicle Mini Countryman Mitsubishi Outlander Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Nissan Juke
Base price $22,700 $23,520 $19,995 $21,070
Wheelbase 102.2 in 105.1 in 105.1 in 99.6 in
Engine 1.6L DOHC I-4 2.4L DOHC I-4 2.0L DOHC I-4 1.6L DOHC T I-4
Opt engine 1.6L T I-4 $3600, $12,850 3.0L V-6 $3900 None None
Power, SAE 121 hp (181, 208) 168 hp (230) 148 hp 188 hp
Torque, SAE 114 lb-ft (177, 207) 167 lb-ft (215) 145 lb-ft 177 lb-ft
Airbags Fr, side, cur, knee Fr, side, cur Fr, side, cur, knee Fr, side, cur
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS
Tires 205/55R17 215/70R16 225/55R18 215/55R17
Fuel cap 12.4 gal 15.8, 16.6 gal 15.8, 16.6 gal 11.8, 13.2 gal
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 25-27/30-35 mpg 22-23/27-28 mpg 23-25/28-31 mpg 25-27/30-32 mpg
Opt engine (23-26/30-32) (19/25-26) None None
Seating cap 4 5 (7) 5 5
Curb weight 3097 lb 3384 lb 3087 lb 2912 lb
GVWR 4200 lb 5181 lb 4343 lb 4167 lb
Cargo cap 42.2 cu ft 72.6 cu ft 49.5 cu ft 35.9 cu ft
Towing cap N/A 3500 lb N/A N/A
Vehicle Nissan Murano Nissan Rogue Subaru Forester Subaru Outback
Base price $31,295 $23,455 $22,090 $24,290
Wheelbase 111.2 in 105.9 in 103.0 in 107.9 in
Engine 3.5L DOHC V-6 2.5L DOHC I-4 2.5L DOHC flat-4 2.5L SOHC flat-4
Opt engine None None 2.5L T flat-4 $6000 3.6L flat-6 $5000
Power, SAE 260 hp 170 hp 170 hp (224) 173 hp (256)
Torque, SAE 240 lb-ft 175 lb-ft 174 lb-ft (226) 174 lb-ft (247)
Airbags Fr, side, cur Fr, side, cur Fr, side, cur Fr, side, cur
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS
Tires 235/65R18 215/70R16 215/60R16 215/70R16
Fuel cap 21.7 gal 15.9 gal 16.9 gal 18.5 gal
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 18/23-24 mpg 22-27/26-28 mpg 21/27 mpg (19/24) 19-22/27-29 mpg
Opt engine None None None (18/25)
Seating cap 5 5 5 5
Curb weight 3958 lb 3292 lb 3250 lb 3386 lb
GVWR 5287 lb 4526 lb 4000 lb 4800 lb
Cargo cap 64.5 cu ft 57.9 cu ft 68.3 cu ft 74.4 cu ft
Towing cap 3500 lb 1500 lb 2400 lb 3000 lb
Vehicle Subaru Tribeca Suzuki Grand Vitara Toyota RAV4
Base price $33,390 $20,799 $24,145
Wheelbase 108.2 in 103.9 in 104.7 in
Engine 3.6L DOHC flat-6 2.4L DOHC I-4 2.5L DOHC I-4
Opt engine None None None
Power, SAE 256 hp 166 hp 176 hp
Torque, SAE 247 lb-ft 162 lb-ft 172 lb-ft
Airbags Fr, side, cur Fr, side, cur Fr, side, cur, knee
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS
Tires 255/55R18 225/70R16 225/65R17
Fuel cap 16.9 gal 17.4 gal 15.9 gal
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 16/21 mpg 19/23-26 mpg 22-24/29-31 mpg
Opt engine None None None
Seating cap 7 5 5
Curb weight 4173 lb 3468 lb 3435 lb
GVWR 5600 lb 4360 lb 4600 lb
Cargo cap 74.4 cu ft 70.8 cu ft 73.4 cu ft
Towing cap 3500 lb 3000 lb 1500 lb

Best In Class: Mainstream SUV (Towing More Than 3500 Pounds)

Winner: Jeep Grand Cherokee
Runner-Up:
Toyota Highlander

There are some new entrants in this category, but for us, the Grand Cherokee is still the champion. It offers the comfort and luxury of a unibody vehicle, with the off-road capability Jeep is known for. Within the posh cabin is an easy-to-use four-wheel-drive system, plus you can tow up to 7400 pounds. While the 5.7-liter engine is excellent in this SUV, the 3.6-liter V-6 is very good as well, and you can get the Grand Cherokee for around $30K.


MAINSTREAM SUV
(TOWING MORE THAN 3500 POUNDS)
Vehicle Chevrolet Traverse/ GMC Acadia Dodge Durango Ford Explorer Ford Flex
Base price $31,370/$34,945 $30,490 $29,995 $31,795
Wheelbase 118.9 in 119.8 in 112.6 in 117.9 in
Engine 3.6L DOHC V-6 3.6L DOHC V-6 3.5L DOHC V-6 3.5L DOHC V-6
Opt engine None 5.7L V-8 $7015 2.0LT $995, 3.5LT $11,680 3.5L T V-6 $13,400
Power, SAE 281-288 hp 290-295 hp (360) 290 hp (240, 365) 287 hp (365)
Torque, SAE 266-270 lb-ft 260 lb-ft (390) 255 lb-ft (270, 350) 254 lb-ft (350)
Airbags Fr, side, cur Fr, side, cur Fr, side, cur, knee Fr, side, cur
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS
Tires 245/70R17 265/60R18 245/65R17 235/60R17
Fuel cap 22.0 gal 24.6 gal 18.6 gal 18.6 gal
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 16-17/23-24 mpg 16-17/23-25 mpg 16-18/22-25 mpg 16-17/22-24 mpg
Opt engine None (13/20) (20/28) (16/22)
Seating cap 8 7 7 7
Curb weight 4713 lb 4756 lb 4448 lb 4471 lb
Max GVWR 6459 lb 7100 lb 6100 lb 5500 lb (est)
Cargo cap 116.4 cu ft 84.5 cu ft 80.7 cu ft 83.2 cu ft
Towing cap 5200 lb 7400 lb 5000 lb 4500 lb
Vehicle Honda Pilot Jeep Grand Cherokee Nissan Pathfinder Nissan Xterra
Base price $30,350 $30,390 $29,495 $25,900 (est)
Wheelbase 109.2 in 114.8 in 112.2 in 106.3 in
Engine 3.5L SOHC V-6 3.6L DOHC V-6 3.5L DOHC V-6 4.0L DOHC V-6
Opt engine None 5.7L $1695, 6.4L $30,900 None None
Power, SAE 250 hp 290 hp (360, 470) 260 hp 261 hp
Torque, SAE 253 lb-ft 260 lb-ft (390, 465) 240 lb-ft 281 lb-ft
Airbags Fr, side, cur Fr, side, cur Fr, side, cur Fr, side, cur
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS
Tires 235/65R17 245/70R17 235/65R18 265/70R16
Fuel cap 21.0 gal 24.6 gal 19.5 gal 21.1 gal
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 17-18/24-25 mpg 16-17/23 mpg 19-20/25-26 mpg 15-16/20 mpg
Opt engine None (13-14/20, 12/18) None None
Seating cap 8 5 7 5
Curb weight 4295 lb 4470 lb 4149 lb 4148 lb
Max GVWR 5500 lb 6800 lb 5913 lb 5399 lb
Cargo cap 87.0 cu ft 68.7 cu ft 79.8 cu ft 65.7 cu ft
Towing cap 4500 lb 7400 lb 5000 lb 5200 lb
Vehicle Toyota 4Runner Toyota FJ Cruiser Toyota Highlander
Base price $32,335 $27,875 $29,715
Wheelbase 109.8 in 105.9 in 109.8 in
Engine 4.0L DOHC V-6 4.0L DOHC V-6 2.7L DOHC I-4
Opt engine None None 3.5L V-6 $1375, 3.3L H $11,300
Power, SAE 270 hp 260 hp 187 hp (270, 280)
Torque, SAE 278 lb-ft 271 lb-ft 186 lb-ft (248, 215)
Airbags Fr, side, cur, knee Fr, side, cur Fr, side, cur, knee
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS
Tires 265/70R17 265/70R17 245/65R17
Fuel cap 23.0 gal 19.0 gal 19.2 gal (17.2)
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 17/21 mpg 15-17/18-20 mpg 17/22 mpg
Opt engine None None (28/28)
Seating cap 5 (7) 5 7
Curb weight 4400 lb 4050 lb 3946 lb
Max GVWR 6300 lb 5570 lb 6000 lb
Cargo cap 89.7 cu ft 66.8 cu ft 95.4 cu ft
Towing cap 5000 lb 4700 lb 5000 lb