CARS.COM — Families still love their SUVs and three-row SUVs are among the most popular rides for shoppers in these days of inexpensive gasoline. They offer lots of cool features, tons of usable space and cargo room, and come with plenty of ways to pamper the kids. These SUVs seat from six to eight occupants and come with the latest in tech features for entertainment, driving and safety.
Our criteria for this test: Each SUV had to cost less than $45,000, including its destination fee, and had to have an EPA combined rating of 19 mpg. Contenders included the 2017 Dodge Durango, 2017 Ford Explorer, 2017 GMC Acadia, 2016 Honda Pilot, 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe, 2017 Kia Sorento, 2016 Mazda CX-9 and 2017 Nissan Pathfinder. Shoppers in this category like to get a lot of value for their money, and these vehicles came nicely equipped.
Our judges for this Challenge were:
- Mike Hanley, a Cars.com senior editor
- Fred Meier, Cars.com Washington, D.C. bureau chief
- Jennifer Newman, Cars.com managing editor
- Brian Robinson, a producer from the PBS show “MotorWeek”
- Anna and Jeff Givens; Anna, 45, is a homemaker, and Jeff, 50, is an engineer. They have two boys, ages 6 and 8. Jeff drives a 2006 Mini Cooper S that he maintains, while Anna drives a 2011 Toyota Sienna.
You can learn how we conducted testing below the results. Here’s how these SUVs finished:
8 2017 Nissan Pathfinder, 655 points