Things to Consider When Choosing an SUV

Cars.com Best Bets

To rank models as first, second and third best, and so on, is to suggest that all people want the same thing in a vehicle, and that's just not the case. That's why these Best Bet recommendations include one or more models that are "best overall," but all other citations center on a particular aspect in which the model excels. Read more
Vehicle NameClassList Price
Acura MDX  Midsize$36,700
Chevrolet Equinox  Midsize$21,320 - $24,660
Ford Explorer  Midsize$26,845 - $37,605
See the full list of Cars.com Best Bets


Hot SUVs for 2005 and 2006

Despite a recent slowdown in sales of supersize sport utility vehicles, there continues to be a good amount of activity in the SUV segment. Ten brand-new SUVs are either on sale as the 2005 model year begins or will be available in the coming months. Three are hybrid-powered offshoots of existing models, and one — the Hummer H2 SUT — swaps a pickup bed in place of a regular H2's cargo area. Read more
Vehicle NameClassList Price
Ford Escape Hybrid  Compact$26,830 - $28,455
Hyundai Tucson  Compact$17,499 - $22,799
Land Rover LR3  Midsize$44,330 - $49,330
See the full list of Hot SUVs for 2005 and 2006


Fuel-Efficient SUVs

Between fluctuating gas prices and environmental concerns, fuel economy is always a hot-button issue. And when gas mileage is the topic, it's a safe bet that sport utility vehicles will top the list for discussion — and criticism. Read more
Vehicle NameMPG (City/Highway)List Price
Ford Escape Hybrid  36/31$26,830 - $28,455
Toyota RAV4  24/30$18,750 - $20,150
Mazda Tribute  24/29$19,765 - $24,600
See the full list of Fuel-Efficient SUVs


Best Resale Values

If you're like most people, the price of a new sport utility vehicle is more than you have in the bank. And if the old beater has bit the dust, you'll need to finance or lease your new wheels. Read more
Vehicle NameResidual ValueList Price
Honda Pilot  63%$27,350 - $32,120
Toyota Sequoia  62%$32,470 - $44,960
Volvo XC90  62%$34,840 - $45,395
See the full list of Best Resale Values


Top Crash-Test Performers

Many American drivers have purchased sport utility vehicles to feel safe. But are they really safe, or do drivers simply believe so because they feel encased in a large, heavy vehicle? Just a few years ago, people were probably far less safe than they thought. Read more
Vehicle NameIIHS Frontal RatingList Price
Toyota 4Runner  Good$27,495 - $37,495
Toyota RAV4  Good$18,550 - $19,950
Volvo XC90  Good$34,840 - $45,395
See the full list of Top Crash-Test Performers


SUVs With Highest Seating Capacity

Many people choose to buy sport utility vehicles, at least in part, because of the vehicles' ability to carry passengers and cargo. With nearly 80 SUVs on the market in the 2005 model year, the choices seem bewildering, but size and interior capacity are helpful starting points in the decision-making process. Read more
Vehicle NameMaximum SeatingList Price
Chevrolet Suburban 1500  9$38,025 - $40,825
Chevrolet Tahoe  9$35,175 - $37,975
Ford Excursion  9$37,165 - $50,420
See the full list of SUVs With Highest Seating Capacity


Consumer Resources

Learn more about the organizations mentioned in this Buying Guide. Get contact information, website links and more. Read more