These three SUVs offer great looks and comfort.
What do you want from an SUV for your family? Do you want an SUV with space and power? Perhaps you are more concerned with fuel economy or styling. Maybe you want a late model SUV that has the tech you've been itching to get your hands on.
To choose these three best SUVs, we polled CarMax veteran sales consultants from five of our largest stores around the country. These sales consultants reviewed a list of dozens of family-friendly SUVs. This list was developed based on sales volume, price, and cargo space data. If you’re interested in specific, safety-related information about these vehicles, please refer to third-party sites including the NHTSA website, IIHS, and manufacturers’ websites. Certain vehicles may have unrepaired safety recalls. Click here to look up a specific vehicle.
One of our best-selling SUVs of 2017 was the Ford Escape. Ford Escapes have been produced since 2001 and gained immediate popularity. Since 2013, Ford Escapes have been in their third generation, continuing to meet the needs of families looking for versatile space, technology, power options, and contemporary, aggressive styling. We think the Escape has increased in popularity because it tends to keep things simple with straightforward options.
For 2017, the Ford Escape is available in three distinct trims: the S, SE, and Titanium.
While the 2017 Ford Escape S is considered the base model Escape, it comes with features families will appreciate, including a rearview camera, Bluetooth® capabilities, and a six-speaker sound system. As far as power is concerned, the Escape S comes standard with a four-cylinder, 168-horsepower engine.
More power options and amenities are available on the SE. The 2017 Escape SE adds the choice of a more powerful turbocharged 1.5L, four-cylinder engine that produces 179 hp. Along with Bluetooth® capabilities and a rearview camera, the SE also offers an automatic liftgate system that is operated from the key fob.
The top tier Escape Titanium offers an optional turbocharged 2.0L, four-cylinder engine that generates an impressive 245 hp. Titanium upgrades include parking sensors, leather seats, Intelligent Four-Wheel Drive, and more.
The 2017 Ford Escape has some of the most desired features in a family SUV, such as the automatic liftgate systems and parking assist features (available in select trims).
The 2017 Ford Escape with a 2.5L, 4-cylinder engine with an automatic transmission will deliver an estimated 21 mpg city and 29 mpg hwy.1
Used Pricing at CarMaxAt CarMax, the average price in December 2017 for a 2017 Ford Escape was less than $20,000.2
Those with an affinity for technology and comfort features will enjoy the CR-V.
The 2016 Honda CR-V is available in five trim options, which is up from the number available for 2014 and 2015 Honda CR-V models. The LX is the base model, but it boasts plenty of premium touches including a rearview multi-angle camera, Bluetooth HandsFreeLink system, and an SMS text function.
The SE is the Special Edition model and it is new with the 2016 Honda CR-V. It adds more features that includes 17-inch alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, and a security system that will shut the car off in the event it is being driven without the proper set of keys.
Want even more tech features? Step up to the 2016 Honda CR-V EX. The multi-angle rearview camera has dynamic guidelines and there's a seven-inch infotainment touchscreen included.
If you want your family's SUV to have some luxury features, look into the 2016 EX-L. This model includes leather seats, a dual-zone automatic climate control system, automatic dimming rearview mirror, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and more.
The 2016 Touring Edition provides top-of-the-line technology and amenities including The Honda Sensing Suite. This includes adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, and the Honda satellite-linked navigation system. A power tailgate is a handy convenience especially when busy families are shopping.
Rear seats in all trims of the 2016 CR-V fold down in a 60/40 split. This is a handy feature when hauling sports equipment and during shopping trips with the family. All of the 2016 trims also offer a generous 37.2 square feet of cargo space that increases to 70.9 square feet when the seating area is included.
Used Pricing at CarMax
At CarMax, the average price in December 2017 for a 2014-2017 Honda CR-V was less than $22,000. 2
For rugged functionality, off-road capabilities, and luxury trim options, it's hard to ignore the Jeep Grand Cherokee.
The 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee comes in five trims: Laredo, Limited, Overland, Summit, and Grand Cherokee SRT.
The base model 2015 Laredo comes with nice standard features including fog lights, 17-inch wheels, keyless entry and ignition, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, six speakers, a five-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth capabilities, an auxiliary audio jack, and a USB port.
The Grand Cherokee Limited for 2015 gives you what’s included on the Laredo package plus adds the Security and Convenience Group, auto-dimming rearview mirror, sporty 18-inch wheels, leather upholstery, heated rear seats, a rearview camera, and rear parking sensors.
The gauges are upgraded with the 2015 Overland and the steering wheel includes wood trim. You also get the navigation and towing package, power-folding mirrors, and attention-grabbing 20” wheels.
The 2015 Jeep Summit is quite luxurious with illuminated door sills, front parking sensors, active noise canceling, noise-reducing acoustic glass, 20” wheels, 19 speakers, a Harman Kardon® sound system, real wood trim, and the Advanced Technology Group.
Finally, there's the Grand Cherokee SRT. While the Summit is all about luxury, the SRT is all about power and performance. The 2015 Grand Cherokee SRT comes with 475 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque with its standard V8 power plant. To keep your ride enjoyable, the SRT has Noise Active Cancellation, which when added to the acoustic laminated windshield and side window glass, provides a quieter driving experience.
The Jeep Cherokee offers a real SUV experience with exceptional ground clearance and power options that are hard to beat. Built to be rugged, the Cherokee is a surprisingly smooth and quiet ride, especially with some of the acoustic, noise-canceling features available.
The 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee with a standard 3.6-liter, six-cylinder with the automatic, eight-speed transmission will get an estimated combined 20 mpg.1
Used Pricing at CarMax
At CarMax, the average price in December 2017 for a 2014 to 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee was less than $30,000. The average price in December 2017 for a 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee was less than $36,000.2
Looking to learn more? Check out these related articles:
- Best family cars
- Best midsize SUVs
- Best hybrid SUVs
- 2017 list of the 20 best SUVs with 3 rows
- Best crossover SUVs
1 Fuel economy figures are based on EPA estimates when vehicles sold as new. Fuel economy may vary for reasons like driving conditions and vehicle history. Unless specified, figures are for vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission. See fueleconomy.gov for details.
2 Based on prices on carmax.com in December 2017. Actual prices may vary based on your selected model year, features and trim packages. Prices do not include taxes, tags, title, and any applicable fees.
Unless otherwise noted, information relating to these featured vehicles comes from third-party sources, including manufacturer information. Product and company names may be trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of third-party entities. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by these entities.