UNDER $35K Winner: Jeep Grand Cherokee
For the midsize SUVs for Best in Class, we had to set a cutoff point, so it made the most sense to categorize midsize models as having at least a 106-inch wheelbase. The all-new Grand Cherokee is a stellar SUV with an incredible breadth of models, from the Laredo to the new topline Overland Summit, a choice of RWD or 4WD, and V-6 or V-8 engines. The SUV can go anywhere, has the most luxurious interior to date with high-quality materials, and is good-looking. While the diesel and SRT options are gone, there is still a lot to offer here. And it starts at less than $31,000. That's damned impressive.

Over $35K Winner: Volkswagen Touareg
Even though there's no longer a V-8 engine available in the Touareg, it's easy to find a good choice. There's an excellent 3.6-liter V-6, a 380-horse hybrid, and a 50-state-legal turbodiesel with more than 400 pound-feet of torque. The Touareg survives in a sea of crossovers because it's a luxury vehicle that works very well off-road, is comfortable on-road, and achieves up to 28 mpg on the highway. It can tow up to 7716 pounds, too. The VW can get expensive -- base price for the diesel is nearly $49,000 -- but your return is a lot of sport/utility vehicle for the money.

Overall Winner: Land Rover LR4
The LR4 remains essentially unchanged compared with last year's model, which got a new name (upgraded from the LR3), a new powerplant, and a new interior. The fantastic Terrain Response is so intuitive and easy to use off-road that other companies are offering their own versions. This Landie is a good choice for drivers of all experience levels. It's also roomy inside, quiet, and surprisingly quick. It's one of the rare midsize SUVs out there that's more capable than the Grand Cherokee, and that's saying something.


Midsize SUV (over 106-IN WB)
(Acura - Honda)
Vehicle Acura MDX Audi Q5 BMW X3 BMW X5
Base price $43,440 $36,075 $37,625 $47,275
Wheelbase 108.3 in 110.5 in 110.6 in 115.5 in
Engine 3.7L SOHC V-6 2.0L DOHC T I-4 3.0L DOHC I-6 3.0L DOHC I-6
Opt engines   3.2L V-6 $7300 3.0L TT I-6 $4300 3.0L TD I-6 $5400, 4.4L TT V-8 $12,500
Power, SAE 300 hp 211 hp (270) 240 hp (300) 300 hp (265, 400)
Torque, SAE 270 lb-ft 258 lb-ft (243) 221 lb-ft (300) 300 lb-ft (425, 450)
Airbags Fr, f side, f/r curt Fr, f side, f/r curt Fr, f side, f/r curt Fr, f side, f/r curt
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS
Tires 255/55R18 235/60R18 245/55R17 255/55R18
Fuel cap 21.0 gal 19.8 gal 17.7 gal 22.5 gal
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 16/21 mpg 20/28 (18/23) mpg 19/25 (19/26) mpg 16/23 (19/26, 14/20) mpg
Seating cap 7 5 5 7
Curb weight 4550 lb 4100 lb 4150 lb 4950 lb
GVWR 5900 lb 4800 lb 5148 lb 6614 lb
Cargo cap 83.5 cu ft 57.3 cu ft 56.5 cu ft 75.2 cu ft
Max towing cap 5000 lb 4400 lb 3000 lb 6000 lb
 
Vehicle Dodge Durango Dodge Nitro FordExplorer Honda Pilot
Base price $30,045 $22,995 $28,995 $28,825
Wheelbase 119.8 in 108.8 in 112.6 in 109.2 in
Engine 3.6L DOHC V-6 3.7L SOHC V-6 3.5L DOHC V-6 3.5L SOHC V-6
Opt engines 5.7L V-8 $4000 4.0L V-6 $1000    
Power, SAE 290 hp (360) 210 hp (260) 290 hp 250 hp
Torque, SAE 260 lb-ft (390) 235 lb-ft (265) 255 lb-ft 253 lb-ft
Airbags Fr, side, f/r curt Fr, f side, f/r curt Fr, f side, f/r curt Fr, f side, f/r curt
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS
Tires 265/60R18 245/50R20 245/65R17 245/65R17
Fuel cap 24.6 gal 19.5 gal 18.6 gal 21.0 gal
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 16/22-23 (13-14/20) mpg 15-16/21-22 (16/21) mpg 17/23-25 mpg 16-17/22-23 mpg
Seating cap 7 5 7 8
Curb weight 4750 lb 4000 lb 4500 lb 4350 lb
GVWR 7100 lb 5000 lb 6100 lb 5500 lb
Cargo cap 84.5 cu ft 68.7 cu ft 80.7 cu ft 87.0 cu ft
Max towing cap 7400 lb 5000 lb 5000 lb 4500 lb


Midsize SUV (over 106-IN WB)
(Hyundai - Land Rover)
Vehicle Hyundai Santa Fe Hyundai Veracruz Jeep Grand Cherokee Jeep Liberty
Base price $22,490 $29,140 $30,995 $23,995
Wheelbase 106.3 in 110.4 in 114.8 in 106.1 in
Engine 2.4L DOHC V-6 3.8L DOHC V-6 3.6L DOHC V-6 3.7L SOHC V-6
Opt engines 3.5L V-6 $3200   5.7L V-8 $1495  
Power, SAE 175 hp (276) 260 hp 290 hp (360) 210 hp
Torque, SAE 169 lb-ft (248) 257 lb-ft 260 lb-ft (390) 235 lb-ft
Airbags Fr, f side, f/r curt Fr, f side, f/r curt Fr, f side, f/r curt Fr, f/r curt
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS
Tires 235/65R17 245/65R17 245/70R17 225/75R16
Fuel cap 18.0 gal 20.6 gal 24.6 gal 19.5 gal
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 19-22/26-28 (20-22/26) mpg 16-17/21-22 mpg 16/22-23 mpg (13-14/19-20) 15-16/21-22 mpg
Seating cap 5 7 5 5
Curb weight 3700 lb 4300 lb 4500 lb 4300 lb
GVWR 4916 lb 5908 lb 6800 lb 5400 lb
Cargo cap 78.2 cu ft 86.8 cu ft 68.7 cu ft 60.9 cu ft
Max towing cap 3500 lb 3500 lb 7400 lb 5000 lb
 
Vehicle Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Kia Sorento Land Rover LR4 Lexus GX 460
Base price $26,295 $21,790 $48,500 $53,320
Wheelbase 116.0 in 106.3 in 113.6 in 109.8 in
Engine 3.8L OHV V-6 2.4L DOHC I-4 5.0L DOHC V-8 4.6L DOHC V-8
Opt engines   3.5L V-6 $3000    
Power, SAE 202 hp 175 hp (276) 375 hp 301 hp
Torque, SAE 237 lb-ft 169 lb-ft (248) 375 lb-ft 329 lb-ft
Airbags Front Fr, f side, f/r curt Fr, f side, f/r curt Fr, f side, f/r curt, knee
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS
Tires 225/75R16 235/65R17 255/55R19 265/60R18
Fuel cap 22.5 gal 18.0 gal 22.8 gal 23.0 gal
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 15/19 mpg 20-21/27-29 (19-20/25-26) mpg 12/17 mpg 15/20 mpg
Seating cap 5 7 7 7
Curb weight 4100 lb 3600 lb 5850 lb 5300 lb
GVWR 5500 lb 5634 lb 7143 lb 6600 lb
Cargo cap 86.8 cu ft 72.5 cu ft 90.3 cu ft 91.9 cu ft
Max towing cap 3500 lb 3500 lb 7716 lb 6500 lb


Midsize SUV (over 106-IN WB)
(Lexus - Volvo)
Vehicle Lexus LX 570 Mercedes-Benz GLK350 Mercedes-Benz ML-Class Mitsubishi Endeavor
Base price $79,430 $36,375 $47,365 $29,079
Wheelbase 112.2 in 108.5 in 114.7 in 108.3 in
Engine 5.7L DOHC V-8 3.5L DOHC V-6 3.5L DOHC V-6 3.8L SOHC V-6
Opt engines     3.0L TD V-6 $1500; 3.5L hyb $6800; 5.5L V-8 $8600; 6.2L V-8 $43,600  
Power, SAE 383 hp 268 hp 268 hp (210, 335, 382, 503) 225 hp
Torque, SAE 403 lb-ft 258 lb-ft 258 lb-ft (400, 381, 391, 465) 255 lb-ft
Airbags Fr, f side, f/r curt, knee Fr, f side, f/r curt Fr, f side, f/r curt Fr, f side, f/r curt
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS
Tires 285/50R20 235/50R19 255/50R19 235/65R17
Fuel cap 24.6 gal 17.4 gal 25.1 gal (23.8 hyb) 21.4 gal
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 12/18 mpg 16/21-23 mpg 15-16/20 mpg (18/25, 20/24, 13/18, 11/15) 15/19-21 mpg
Seating cap 8 5 5 5
Curb weight 6000 lb 3950 lb 4650 lb 3900 lb
GVWR 7275 lb 5467 lb 6239 lb 5346 lb
Cargo cap 83.1 cu ft 54.7 cu ft 72.4 cu ft 76.4 cu ft
Max towing cap 7000 lb 3500 lb 7200 lb 3500 lb
 
Vehicle Nissan Pathfinder Nissan Xterra Toyota 4Runner Toyota Land Cruiser
Base price $28,670 $24,680 $30,515 $68,830
Wheelbase 112.2 in 106.3 in 109.8 in 112.2 in
Engine 4.0L DOHC V-6 4.0L DOHC V-6 4.0L DOHC V-6 5.7L DOHC V-8
Opt engines 5.6L V-8 $14,760      
Power, SAE 266 hp (310) 261 hp 270 hp 381 hp
Torque, SAE 288 lb-ft (388) 281 lb-ft 278 lb-ft 401 lb-ft
Airbags Fr, f side, f/r curt Fr, f side, f/r curt Fr, f side, f/r curt, knee Fr, f side, f/r curt, knee
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS
Tires 245/75R16 265/70R16 265/70R17 285/60R18
Fuel cap 21.1 gal 21.1 gal 23.0 gal 24.6 gal
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 14-15/20-22 (13/18) mpg 15-16/20-21 mpg 17/22-23 mpg 13/18 mpg
Seating cap 7 5 7 8
Curb weight 4450 lb 4150 lb 4400 lb 5700 lb
GVWR 6499 lb 5399 lb 6300 lb 7275 lb
Cargo cap 79.2 cu ft 65.7 cu ft 89.7 cu ft 81.7 cu ft
Max towing cap 7000 lb 5000 lb 5000 lb 8200 lb
 
Vehicle Volkswagen Touareg Volvo XC90
Base price $45,270 $39,075
Wheelbase 113.9 in 112.6 in
Engine 3.6L DOHC V-6 3.2L DOHC I-6
Opt engines 3.0L TD V-6 $3500; 3.6L hyb V-6 $16,115 4.4L V-8 $9875
Power, SAE 280 hp (225, 380) 240 hp (311)
Torque, SAE 266 lb-ft (406, 428) 236 lb-ft (325)
Airbags Fr, f side, f/r curt Fr, f side, f/r curt
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS
Tires 255/55R18 235/60R18
Fuel cap 26.4 gal 21.1 gal
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 16/23 (19/28, 21/25) mpg 16/22 (14/21) mpg
Seating cap 5 7
Curb weight 4750 lb 4750 lb
GVWR 6173 lb 6100 lb
Cargo cap 71.0 cu ft 85.1 cu ft
Max towing cap 7716 lb 4960 lb

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