Mainstream SUV

(towing 4500 pounds and below)

Winner: Jeep Cherokee
Runner-Up: Ford Escape

These vehicles fall into the gray area between crossover and sport/utility. However, with a towing capacity of 4500 pounds or less, they certainly lean more toward the crossover side of things. There is a standout in this category, one that combines the efficiency of a crossover with some of the off-road capability of an SUV. That is why we picked the Jeep Cherokee as the best in this category.


MAINSTREAM SUV
(TOWING 4500 POUNDS AND BELOW)
Vehicle Chevy Equinox/ GMC Terrain Dodge Journey Ford Edge Ford Escape
Base price $25,315/$27,390 $20,490 $28,995 $23,595
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 $3145/$3000 3.6L DOHC V-6 $5,700 2.0L T $995, 3.7L V-6 $4305 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 (16-17/23-24) 17-19/25-26 mpg (16/24) 18-19/25-27 mpg (21/30, 17-19/23-26) 20-23/27-28 mpg (19-20/25-27, 30-34/27-31)
Seating cap 5 5 (7) 5 5
Curb weight 3777 lb 3818 lb 4050 lb 3515 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 Ford Flex Honda CR-V Honda Pilot Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
Base price $29,910 $23,775 $30,500 $25,605
Wheelbase 117.9 in 103.1 in 109.2 in 106.3 in
Engine 3.5L DOHC V-6 2.4L DOHC I-4 3.5L SOHC V-6 2.4L DOHC I-4
Opt engine 3.5L TT V-6 $13,400 None None 2.0L I-4 $3350
Power, SAE 287 hp (365) 185 hp 250 hp 190 hp (264)
Torque, SAE 254 lb-ft (350) 163 lb-ft 253 lb-ft 181 lb-ft (269)
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 235/60R17 215/70R16 235/65R17 235/65R17
Fuel cap 18.6 gal 15.3 gal 21.0 gal 17.4 gal
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 16-17/22-24 mpg (16/22) 22-23/30-31 mpg 17-18/24-25 mpg 20-21/26-29 mpg (19-20/24-27)
Seating cap 7 5 8 5
Curb weight 4471 lb 3305 lb 4295 lb 3459 lb
GVWR 5500 lb (est) 4560 lb 5500 lb 5181 lb
Cargo cap 83.2 cu ft 70.9 cu ft 87.0 cu ft 71.5 cu ft
Towing cap 4500 lb 1500 lb 4500 lb 3500 lb
Vehicle Hyundai Tucson Jeep Cherokee Kia Sorento Kia Sportage
Base price $22,245 $23,990 $24,950 $22,450
Wheelbase 103.9 in 106.3-107.0 in 106.3 in 103.9 in
Engine 2.0L DOHC I-4 2.4L DOHC I-4 2.4L DOHC I-4 2.4L DOHC I-4
Opt engine 2.4L I-4 $2550 3.2L V-6 $2995 3.3L V-6 $1600 2.0L T I-4 $1900
Power, SAE 164 hp (182) 184 hp (271) 175 hp (290) 182 hp (260)
Torque, SAE 151 lb-ft (177) 171 lb-ft (239) 169 lb-ft (252) 177 lb-ft (269)
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 225/60R17 245/65R17 235/65R17 215/70R16
Fuel cap 15.3 gal 15.9 gal 18.0 gal 15.3 gal
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 21-23/25-29 mpg (20-21/25-28) 21-22/28-31 mpg (19/27-28) 20-22/27-32 mpg (18-20/24-26) 19-21/26-28 mpg (19-20/24-26)
Seating cap 5 5 5 (7) 5
Curb weight 3232 lb 3775 lb 3594 lb 3280 lb
GVWR 4608 lb 5500 lb 5468 lb 4696 lb
Cargo cap 55.8 cu ft 58.9 cu ft 72.5 cu ft 54.6 cu ft
Towing cap 2000 lb 4500 lb 3500 lb 2000 lb
Vehicle Mazda CX-5 Mazda CX-9 Mini Countryman Mitsubishi Outlander
Base price $22,190 $30,780 $24,190 $24,620
Wheelbase 106.3 in 113.2 in 102.2 in 105.1 in
Engine 2.0L DOHC I-4 3.7L DOHC V-6 1.6L DOHC I-4 2.4L DOHC I-4
Opt engine 2.5L I-4 $3120 None 1.6L T I-4 $3600, $12,850 3.0L V-6 $3900
Power, SAE 155 hp (184) 273 hp 121 hp (181, 208) 168 hp (230)
Torque, SAE 150 lb-ft (185) 270 lb-ft 114 lb-ft (177, 207) 167 lb-ft (215)
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 225/65R17 245/60R18 205/55R17 215/70R16
Fuel cap 14.8-15.3 gal 20.1 gal 12.4 gal 15.8, 16.6 gal
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 25-26/31-32 mpg 16-17/22-24 mpg 25-27/30-35 mpg (23-26/30-32) 22-23/27-28 mpg (19/25-26)
Seating cap 5 7 4 5 (7)
Curb weight 3194 lb 4317 lb 2954 lb 3384 lb
GVWR 4537 lb 5997 lb 4200 lb 5181 lb
Cargo cap 65.4 cu ft 100.7 cu ft 42.2 cu ft 72.6 cu ft
Towing cap 2000 lb 3500 lb N/A 3500 lb
Vehicle Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Nissan Juke Nissan Murano Nissan Rogue
Base price $20,295 $21,070 $29,300 $23,350
Wheelbase 105.1 in 99.6 in 111.2 in 106.5 in
Engine 2.0L DOHC I-4 1.6L DOHC T I-4 3.5L DOHC V-6 2.5L DOHC I-4
Opt engine None None None None
Power, SAE 148 hp 188 hp 260 hp 170 hp
Torque, SAE 145 lb-ft 177 lb-ft 240 lb-ft 175 lb-ft
Airbags Fr, side, cur, knee 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 225/55R18 215/55R17 235/65R18 225/65R1
Fuel cap 15.8, 16.6 gal 11.8, 13.2 gal 21.7 gal 14.5 gal
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 23-25/28-31 mpg 25-27/30-32 mpg 18/23-24 mpg 25/32-33 mpg
Seating cap 5 5 5 5 (7)
Curb weight 3087 lb 2912 lb 3958 lb 3393 lb
GVWR 4343 lb 4167 lb 5287 lb N/A
Cargo cap 49.5 cu ft 35.9 cu ft 64.5 cu ft 70.0 cu ft
Towing cap N/A N/A 3500 lb 1000 lb
Vehicle Subaru Forester Subaru Outback Subaru Tribeca Toyota RAV4
Base price $22,820 $24,620 $34,920 $24,160
Wheelbase 103.9 in 107.9 in 108.2 in 104.7 in
Engine 2.5L DOHC flat-4 2.5L SOHC flat-4 3.6L DOHC flat-6 2.5L DOHC I-4
Opt engine 2.0L T flat-4 $4500 3.6L flat-6 $5000 None
Power, SAE 170 hp (250) 173 hp (256) 256 hp 176 hp
Torque, SAE 174 lb-ft (258) 174 lb-ft (247) 247 lb-ft 172 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 225/60R17 215/70R16 255/55R18 225/65R17
Fuel cap 15.9 gal 18.5 gal 16.9 gal 15.9 gal
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 24/32 mpg (23/28) 19-22/27-29 mpg (18/25) 16/21 mpg 22-24/29-31 mpg
Seating cap 5 5 7 5
Curb weight 3296 lb 3386 lb 4173 lb 3435 lb
GVWR N/A 4800 lb 5600 lb 4600 lb
Cargo cap 74.7 cu ft 74.4 cu ft 74.4 cu ft 73.4 cu ft
Towing cap 1500 lb 3000 lb 3500 lb 1500 lb