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Published August 15, 2022
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SUVs are popular due to their practicality. In fact, some automakers, like Ford, have phased out their cars, with the exception of the ever-popular Mustang, to concentrate on building SUVs and trucks.
There are many reasons why SUVs are so popular these days. They offer lots of passenger and cargo area, so you can load up the family, the dog and everyone’s gear with room to spare.
Because they have a higher ride height, SUVs also offer good visibility while you’re on the road. And as outdoor activities become more popular, a SUV with higher ground clearance means you can do some light off-roading and access those harder to reach trailheads. Love weekend fun? Even smaller SUVs have enough towing capacity to pull a light camper or boat, so start planning those adventures.
The SUVs on our “best of” list range from compact to midsize SUVs, which means they have plenty of power and fuel-efficiency for both the weekday commute and light-duty towing for those DIY projects at home or weekend adventures.
Even SUVs on the smaller end of the scale offer far more cargo space than a car, so there will always be room for the kids’ sports gear and everyone’s bags for a week’s vacation.
Many of EchoPark’s SUVs are 1-5 years old, so that means they have some of the latest safety features and tech, and the sleekest new body styles. Let’s take a closer look at the fan favorites, which boast adequate engines, lots of room and good reliability and safety as well.
Its ride is described as “well-mannered,” and its cargo space and passenger room, “voluminous.” The Honda CR-V is powered by a capable turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder with 190 horsepower and 179 pound-feet of torque that also gets 28 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. Those are great estimates for its class.
An upscale cabin and lots of standard features round out this popular compact SUV. Honda also introduced a hybrid CR-V during the 2020 model year.
Although not as upscale as the Honda CR-V, the fun-to-drive Toyota RAV4 boasts great cargo space, loads of standard features, user-friendly infotainment system and a comfortable ride.
Great gas mileage is another plus, getting 27 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway, with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 203 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. Want to take the roads less traveled? All-wheel drive is available with most trim levels, and the Adventure, Limited and TRD Off-Road trims a feature a different all-wheel-drive system, torque-vectoring control and hill descent control.
Another family-friendly compact SUV, the Nissan Rogue offers a composed ride and handling, excellent fuel economy estimates, a large cargo hold and “handsome” cabin, according to U.S. News and World Report.
The Rogue is equipped a long list of standard driver-assist features, including blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, intelligent lane intervention (lane keep assist) rearview camera and pedestrian detection and more standard features are included than with its Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V rivals.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee has better on-pavement manners than its Wrangler cousin, a great reliability score from J.D. Power, an intuitive best-in-class infotainment system and a posh cabin, especially at higher trim levels.
Still, the Grand Cherokee has some off-road chops of its own. You can upgrade to the Grand Cherokee’s V8 options, which have 360 and 475 horsepower…and then at the top of the line is the supercharged V8 in the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk model that packs a whopping 707 horsepower - the same engine in the muscular Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger Hellcat models.
The Toyota Highlander with its 3-row seating ranks in the top 10 of bestselling cars in the country and is a popular choice for families.
Roomy seating in the first two rows, a nicely appointed cabin, lots of standard safety tech, plus strong acceleration and stellar safety scores are highlights. The third-row seating is cramped, and may be best as a kids-only zone.
In 2020, the Highlander was fully redesigned, which added a V6 engine, 8-inch touchscreen, larger cargo hold and more standard safety features.
The Tesla Model Y is a great SUV pick due to its quick acceleration, lively handling and excellent driving range and powertrain efficiency, according to U.S. News and World Report.
Launched in 2020, the Model Y was more efficient than all other electric-only SUVs from the 2020 model year. This Tesla has a maximum driving range of about 315 miles and great EPA estimates. Potent 0-60 acceleration, sporty handling, gentle ride quality, ample cargo space, a wealth of technology and comfortable seating for five are highlights.
Perhaps the most fun SUV on our list, the Jeep Wrangler was made for adventure. Hit the unpaved, rocky or muddy trails - the Wrangler is a true off-road champion. Climb the highest peak, then go back down safely with features like hill descent control.
With the 4-door Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, everyone can go along for the ride. This version seats five comfortably in a spacious cabin. Pack up your adventure gear in the large cargo hold. There is a trim level and customizations sure to handle whatever your outdoor hobby.
The Explorer is a well-rounded midsize SUV, offering powerful engines, a smooth ride and composed handling. It’s available in a number of different trims aimed at performance, off-roading and luxury, so take your pick - there’s the perfect Ford Explorer for your lifestyle.
In cargo area, the Explorer definitely shines, with 18.2 cubic feet of space behind the third row, 47.9 cubic feet behind the second row, and 87.8 cubic feet behind the front seats. This model has rear-wheel drive with optional all-wheel drive, lots of electronic safety features and a range of turbo-charged engines to choose from.
With so many options out there, you may find it difficult to narrow down your choices when it comes to shopping for SUVs. Visit one of our stores today or browse online – our Experience Guides are ready to help you bring home the perfect used SUV for you.