When it comes to choosing the right SUV for yourself and your family, there are a lot of options to choose from. SUV's have come a long way and continue to be a favorite car choice. We've compiled a list of some of our favorites and why we like them to help you choose which SUV is right for you.
There have been tons of SUV’s that have come and gone over the years. Some have been stellar and some we wonder how they were ever designed and produced. We have put together a list of some the ones we like and why we like them, hopefully it will help in your quest to find the best SUV of all time. It’s hard to pick just one. Obviously some have better qualities than others and everyone has different preferences- but there are some awesome SUV’s on this list. Let’s get stared.
- The Jeep Wrangler: It’s been around forever and has been a favorite of millions of people. In first models were actually designed to be war vehicles. People young and old have flocked to these vehicles and they’ve been a weekend get-away favorite among those who like to rock crawl and go off road. They are sturdy, robust and simple. They aren’t over done and fancy, and aren’t the best option if you are looking for luxury. It’s a vehicle for adventure, exploring and dust.
- Honda CR-V: These are pretty affordable. They score ridiculously high on the reliability and safety crash test ratings. They have won several awards for best compact cross over SUV. They have plenty of horsepower for most drivers needs and are comfortable and get good gas mileage. It also has great cargo space for a smaller SUV.
- Jeep Grand Cherokee: This is where tough SUV meets interior luxury with options. Perfect for professionals that still want to go off-roading on the weekends. This is the make and model that brought an end to Ford Explorers reign on the charts (at the time that the Cherokee was finally released into production). The Cherokee has a single body construction, which gave it a much smoother ride vs. the Explorer that had a separated body from the chassis, which allowed it to go over extreme terrains but hurt the ride. These SUV’s are still wildly popular and won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
- Saturn Outlook: Saturn hasn’t always been the most popular carmaker out there but back in 2009 the outlook was a great car. It was a midsize SUV that could haul around eight passengers and was a huge competitor of the mini-van for those that didn’t want a soccer mom mini-van. They scored really high on the reliability scores and were reasonably priced. Great cargo space and came equip with a V6 engine. The ride was smooth and the handling was impressive.
- The 2012 GMC Terrain came equip with features that many other compact SUV’s didn’t. There was everything from lane departure signals, forward collision alerts, touch-screen audio systems and other features that came standard. It was a good-looking SUV that had a quiet and comfortable ride and got great gas mileage. To top it off, it also was highly reliable and got great safety crash test ratings.
- If you want an SUV that’s as pretty and luxury as it is tough, then you may want an LX570. What we love about this SUV is the power it has. It’s got 383 horsepower and one of the most technologically advanced 4-wheel drive systems that have ever been seen in an SUV, so if off-roading is your thing, you will have no problem with this SUV. The suspension on them is also killer and can be altered at the touch of a button and will adjust to any real time conditions you may encounter. It’s probably unlikely though that if you buy this SUV, you may not be trying to rock crawl with it but if you want to head to the wilderness on a whim, you certainly can.
- Ford explorers have long been on the list of the top best-selling SUV’s of all time. They came out in 1991 and have been going strong ever since. In 2010 they switched to a crossover platform that offered a unibody chassis like their cars did. Before the crossover, the body on frame design allowed it to handle very heavy weight, and very heavy shocks, even if it felt more like driving a truck than a comfortable car. The heavy shocks allowed it to drive easily in extreme conditions and off-road with ease. It was a pretty good mid-sized SUV that was still affordable and could be versatile in its use.
- The Chevrolet Tahoe is a great choice that provides three rows of seats for all of your crew. Some can even hold nine passengers if you choose the model that comes with a bench seat in the front. These are also very reliable vehicles that score well on their tests. The V8 engines can tow up to 8.500 pounds and drive remarkably well for their size. They handle well and get pretty good gas mileage considering.
- GMC Yukons were also great in 2010 (not that they aren’t still great). But these V8 engines have plenty of power for all your towing needs and can haul a heavy amount of weight. They also are large and can carry a large amount of passengers while still getting fairly good gas mileage for the class. The Yukons have a great interior with trims that make them feel more luxury than many of their counter parts. These also have some upscale features like satellite radio and Bluetooth. If you want even more space behind the third seat then you can choose the Yukon XL, which has a longer wheel base and gives you more room. These cars score well on their tests and are a great family car choice.
- The Dodge Durango has been a favorite of many people for years. They are strong and sturdy and have a design that resembles more of a truck, which many people appreciate. Because the Durango is based off the RAM, it’s stronger than many of its other counterparts. Dodge specifically built this vehicle to be their strong and tough SUV and they have been in production since the late 90’s. They actually went through a change with later generations to change the Durango from a mid-size to a huge SUV. They seat at least seven people and have out performed the mini-vans for years. It’s got a roomy interior and plenty of legroom, especially in the third row where space usually is scarce. These vehicles are strong, and powerful and can get you through the toughest jobs.
- The Toyota Highlander is a perfect family car. It’s functional, reliable, and fuel-efficient. It’s a midsize cross over SUV that has won awards and earned top marks on all their tests. It’s got a stylish interior with lots of options, flexible-seating arrangements, and can seat up to seven passengers in its three rows of seats. You can choose either a four-cylinder engine or a V6 for those that need a little more power. These are practical everyday vehicles that can get you from point A to point B or be taken up in the mountains for an adventure. They are also priced well and retain their value.
- The Hummer H1 has to make the list because of its massive size and popularity amongst those who want talk about consumerism, and overbuilt American meathead gas guzzling vehicle. But really, they are pretty iconic and tough. It’s like driving a tank in a vehicle form. It comes from a long line of tough military vehicles and uses some of their hardware. This SUV can travel down steep inclines that would scare off any other vehicle. That is due to their very short wheelbase that causes the wheels to stick out in front of the nose of the vehicle. You’ll never have to worry about getting yourself out of a jam if the end of the world happens. You can just jump in your hummer and drive over everyone else and down a steep cliff to escape. Granted, it’s not the most practical SUV either, but it’s an iconic SUV that can’t be forgotten if we are talking about tough, badass vehicles. The H1 could be found in either wagon or truck form and were hugely popular because of their military vehicle status.
- The Mazda CX-9 is pretty reliable and reasonably priced. It was the first full sized SUV that was converted to a car platform, which gives it great gas mileage and a smooth ride. It’s gotten all sorts of awards and has lived up to its reputation. It can hold seven passengers and has a long and varied list of standard safety features. It also has good cargo space and is a great vehicle for those that want a vehicle that can be their every day vehicle or their adventure maker vehicle. This SUV can do it all.
- Toyota RAV4: This car has the Toyota name, which means it’s reliable, safe, gets good gas mileage and holds its value well. It’s a smaller SUV that holds five passengers. It does have a third row seat that you can get upgraded from the base model that might work for younger kids but isn’t a place any adult would want to sit. It’s comfortable and functional and very cost effective even if the interior isn’t posh or fancy. You can get a regular 4-cylinder engine or upgrade for a V6. It’s a good little SUV that can get the job done and will be a good little every day car.
- The Nissan XTerra has proven itself to be a good off-roading vehicle. It’s not fancy and doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles or luxury items that some people desire but it’s wasn’t really designed to be a showy, fancy vehicle that you’d flash around town to impress everyone. Instead it takes a no-frills approach to attacking the roads and trails head-on and making the off roading experience one that will turn even the most novice off-roader into a junkie in no time. These are tough SUV’s that can get the job done and will every time. The Pro-4x version has gas shocks that provide additional strength when going over large items. It also has additional skid plates installed to protect the under carriage of the SUV from hitting things in the middle of the trail. It also comes with special gearing in the transmission that gives the vehicle more torque and more off-road ability.
- The Chevy Suburban: This SUV has some serious longevity and has been around in some from since 1935. It’s gone through several variations from a large station wagon to what it is today. If you need to haul an entire team around then this is the SUV for you. It’s gone from being a two-door vehicle to a four-door vehicle and is one of the strongest SUV’s of all time. These SUV’s are total monsters that pack a ton of cargo, a ton of people and a ton of power. You can pretty much haul whatever you need to haul and still have room to spare. It may not be as luxurious as the Escalade or Yukon, but it’s a beast in its own right and has hauled families around for generations.
- The Toyota Land Cruiser 70 Series hasn’t always had the luxury and over the top bells and whistles like some of the other SUV’s but it’s earned it’s respect and has kept it since it’s debut in 1984. It’s been known as the SUV for rough areas. It’s similar to the Range Rover in it’s engineering plans and has a short wheel base option that makes taking it off road a no brainer. There was a special version that was offered in Australia that was longer and wider than the traditional model and could haul around 10 passengers and still have room for plenty of cargo. It was nicknamed the “troop mover” and for good reason. These vehicles like the 70 series are still used to this day across Canada for mining companies. In fact, if you aren’t a miner, you can’t get one. These are tough and nearly indestructible vehicles. These are the vehicles that create legends and the 70 Series is definitely one of them.
- The Land Rover Discovery was what became of the merger with Range Rover. It’s been a very popular vehicle, in fact so much so that they have created the same vehicle for 18 years. The Land Rovers seat seven comfortably and have been used for years as tour and expedition vehicles. These SUV’s can pretty much do anything you need them to do. You can drive them on road or off-road comfortably and with ease. There is a turbo diesel option for an engine but most people have been fine with the standard V8 option.
- The Chevy Blazer was made from 1969 until 1998 and was a fantastic farm vehicle that was pretty small in size and could carry equipment and get around easily. They were pretty safe and reliable and could be taken off-road with ease as well. It had a sturdy construction made of steel that made everyone feel safe at all times. Some of the Blazers have come collectors’ items. You can still find them for sale on the market from $30,000 to a peak of $220,000. Obviously that’s not the norm, but obviously there is some value in these robust little SUV’s.
- The Toyota 4Runner has been wildly popular through the years. It’s small enough that it can get around on small trails but large enough that it can haul some passengers around comfortably. It’s versatile and can be the perfect around town vehicle or the weekend adventure vehicle. It’s long been one of Toyota’s most successful vehicles and is safe, reliable, fuel-efficient and practical. Some of the early models were a little light on horsepower, but then Toyota had the bright idea to start offering a turbo charged model that completely changed the game. These are tough and strong SUV that’s comfortable to drive and has allowed it to be one of the favorites for the last 40 years.
If you need an SUV, there are so many on the market these days that you can choose from. Evaluate what you need to use the SUV for (luxury, hauling, off-roading, transporting a lot of passengers etc.) and it will become clear which make and model is the right one for you. You’ll want to be sure you are caring for your SUV in such a way that it will retain its value to keep it nice and allow you to get top dollar for re-sale if you choose to sell it or trade it in. We suggest you get a good insurance policy for it, keep it garaged whenever possible, get a good quality suv car cover to protect the body from dust and damage and be sure you take it and give it frequent washes especially if you take it off-roading. If you take care of your car and make sure you do all of the scheduled maintenance items for it, you will be sure to have a fantastic SUV that will hold up and fit your needs for years to come.