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Best Used Midsize SUVs for 2023


Michelle Bogle
Michelle Bogle | Senior Contributor
July 13, 2023
Partner holding shopping bags opens front passenger door of red Toyota 4Runner as woman steps out in inner city car park

Midsize SUVs to boost your daily drive.

Elevate your driving experience by blending utility, performance, and style in a midsize SUV. Whether you're seeking a dependable family vehicle, an adventure companion, or a versatile all-rounder, these SUVs easily cater to diverse lifestyles, activities, and busy schedules. Embrace the freedom of adaptable seating configurations and cargo-carrying options to make space for your passengers, their belongings, and even your furry companions.

Not just limited to urban streets, many of these midsize SUVs offer all-wheel-drive capabilities and include helpful driver assistance features, empowering you to embark on all types of travels with unwavering confidence.

We compiled a list of the 10 most popular used midsize SUVs with CarMax customers. Learn more about how our lists work.

Best Used Midsize SUVs for 2023

  1. Ford Explorer

  2. Toyota Highlander

  3. Honda Pilot

  4. Toyota 4Runner

  5. Chevrolet Traverse

  6. Ford Edge

  7. Nissan Pathfinder

  8. Hyundai Santa Fe

  9. GMC Acadia

  10. Acura MDX

1. Ford Explorer

2020 Ford Explorer ST

The 2018-2023 Ford Explorer stands out as one of the best midsize SUVs, starting with its spacious interior that comfortably accommodates up to seven passengers, making it an ideal choice for families and those who frequently travel with a group. Additionally, the 18.2 cu-ft of cargo area (with all rows in place) provides ample storage space for luggage and gear for weekend trips (2020-2023 models).

Sixth-generation Explorers (2020 -present) offer a range of powerful engine options, including a base turbocharged 2.3L four-cylinder with 300 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque or a turbocharged 3.0L V6 with 400 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque on ST and higher models. Both engines pair with a 10-speed automatic transmission and provide quick acceleration when merging or passing on the highway.

Furthermore, the Ford Explorer boasts a refined and comfortable ride, making long journeys enjoyable for drivers and passengers. Sixth-generation models (2020-present) also have standard advanced driver aids, such as automated emergency braking, lane-keeping assistance, cross-traffic and blind-spot monitoring, and automatic high beams, for peace of mind on the road.

Research the Ford Explorer.

2. Toyota Highlander

2021 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited

The Toyota Highlander earns top marks as a midsize SUV for its versatile interior that's quiet, comfortable, and nicely equipped. With its three-row seating configuration, 2018-2023 Highlander models accommodate eight passengers, offering adult-friendly seating in the first and second rows while the third row is best for kids. For daily commuting and road trips, you'll appreciate the many standard advanced driver aids, including adaptive cruise control, lane departure intervention, and forward collision mitigation with automatic emergency braking on all 2018-2023 models. This midsize SUV also features a plush ride and a compliant suspension that irons out road imperfections with ease. Most used models come equipped with a 295-hp 3.5L V6 (2018-2022), but 2023 and newer Highlanders all come standard with a 265-hp turbocharged 2.4L four-cylinder engine.

Research the Toyota Highlander.

3. Honda Pilot

2022 Honda Pilot Touring

Whether you need a midsize SUV for family adventures, outdoor recreation, or daily travel, the eight-seater Honda Pilot is a solid option, offering versatility and comfort. This three-row SUV offers a smooth ride that glides over bumps and juts, and the available all-wheel drive system performs well on slippery surfaces. For commuting and carpooling, the 2018-2022 Pilot's standard 3.5 V6 provides pleasing fuel economy with an EPA-estimated 23 mpg combined with front-wheel drive.

The Pilot is also very useful when hauling cargo with 16.5 cu-ft behind the third row and a maximum volume of 83.8 cu-ft with all rows folded (2018-2022). Your crew will also appreciate the many storage compartments throughout the cabin to store and organize personal belongings and how the adult-friendly second row spoils taller passengers with ample leg room.

Research the Honda Pilot.

4. Toyota 4Runner

2019 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off Road Premium

The Toyota 4Runner is a standout midsize SUV, distinguished by its exceptional off-road capability, 89.7 cu-ft of maximum cargo space for gear (2018-2023 models), and the fact that it is the only model on this list with a body-on-frame. With this design, the SUV's body and frame are built separately, with the frame providing extra strength and toughness for off-roading and heavy loads. Matched with a 4.0L V6 with 270 hp and 278 lb.-ft. of torque and an advanced four-wheel drive system (standard on TRD models), the 2018-2023 4Runner is well-equipped to travel when the pavement ends.

Inside the roomy cabin, the 2018-2023 4Runner boasts standard seating for five or the optional third row brings the SUV's capacity to seven passengers. If your family enjoys the outdoors, the 2018-2023 4Runner offers an optional sliding rear cargo deck, making it easier to load and access camping gear and other equipment. The 4.0L V6 can also tow an estimated 5,000 lbs, when properly equipped, allowing you to bring your small camper or boat along (2018-2023 models).

Research the Toyota 4Runner.

5. Chevrolet Traverse

2020 Chevrolet Traverse High Country

You can travel in absolute comfort in the second-generation Chevrolet Traverse, which was introduced in 2018. This three-row midsize SUV provides a roomy interior with seating for up to eight passengers, making it an excellent choice if you have a big family or carpool often. The 2018-2023 model's generous cargo capacity further adds to the Traverse's versatility with 23 cu-ft of volume with all rows in place or a maximum capacity of 98.2 cu-ft with the second and third rows folded. The user-friendly infotainment system further supports long-distance travel with a standard seven-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto capabilities (2018-2023 models). All second-generation Traverse trims also offer an available Wi-Fi® hotspot, allowing your passengers to stream, message, and game during road trips while you enjoy peace and quiet.

Research the Chevrolet Traverse.

6. Ford Edge

2021 Ford Edge SEL

If you're looking for a midsize SUV that balances performance and practicality, the second-generation (2015-present) Ford Edge is worth considering. With its engine options — including a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder with an EPA-estimated 23 mpg combined on models with all-wheel drive (2018-2023) or a robust twin-turbocharged V6 — the Edge's powertrain options fit your needs, whether that's fuel economy or quick acceleration for merging and passing.

The cabin of the 2018-2023 model is equally spacious with seating for five passengers and 39.2 cu-ft of cargo capacity behind the second row to hold all of your luggage, camping gear, or sporting equipment. Need more? The 60/40-split rear seats expand capacity to 73.4 cu-ft when carrying large items from the home improvement store (2018-2023 models). It's also worth noting the Ford Edge's quiet ride makes long trips more enjoyable.

Research the Ford Edge.

7. Nissan Pathfinder

2022 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum

The 2018-2023 Nissan Pathfinder's 3.5L V6 engine delivers robust hauling power with an estimated towing capacity of 6,000 lbs when properly equipped.

Not only will you be able to bring your boat or camper along, but you'll have room for family and friends with seven-passenger seating inside fourth-generation models (2018-2020) or eight occupants in fifth-generation versions (2022-present). Matching the Pathfinder's hauling abilities and roomy cabin is a composed and smooth ride that feels stable at high speeds and on bumpy roads. Standard tri-zone automatic climate control keeps everyone comfortable (2018-2023 models), and fifth-generation Pathfinder trims include an 8-inch touchscreen display with standard Apple CarPlay®️ and Android Auto™️ capabilities for added convenience.

Research the Nissan Pathfinder.

8. Hyundai Santa Fe

2022 Hyundai Santa Fe Plug-In Hybrid SEL

If you want a midsize SUV where you don't have to climb trim levels to get the latest standard features, the fourth-generation Hyundai Santa Fe, introduced in 2019, will surpass your expectations. 2019-2023 Santa Fe base versions cover your infotainment needs with standard Apple CarPlay®️ and Android Auto™️ smartphone integration and four USB ports for convenient device charging. The SUV's controls are also within close reach and feature hard buttons or knobs for ease of use. Additionally, all 2018-2013 models come with generous driver assistance features, such as forward collision mitigation, lane-keep assist, driver attention warning, and adaptive cruise control, which is especially useful in heavy traffic. For daily commuting and road trips, the 2021-2023 Sante Fe's base 2.5L four-cylinder engine achieves an EPA-estimated 25 mpg city and 28 mpg highway for impressive gas mileage.

Research the Hyundai Santa Fe.

9. GMC Acadia

2021 GMC Acadia SLE

The second-generation GMC Acadia (2017-present) offers a comfortable interior, featuring three rows of seating that can accommodate up to seven passengers, depending on your chosen configuration. In terms of performance, second-generation Acadias offer a range of powerful engine options, but the most popular are the turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder (standard on base 2020 and newer models) and the 3.6L V6 that comes standard on 2020 and newer AT4 and Denali versions. The Acadia's smooth and composed ride, along with its responsive handling, makes it a pleasure to drive in the city and on the highway.

Furthermore, the Acadia boasts a user-friendly infotainment system with an intuitive touchscreen interface and standard Apple CarPlay®️ and Android Auto™️ capabilities. 2021 and newer models also come standard with a blind-spot monitoring system to alert you of vehicles in your blind spot and rear cross-traffic alert for more confident reverse maneuvers.

Research the GMC Acadia.

10. Acura MDX

2023 Acura MDX with A-Spec Package

Last but not least is the Acura MDX – a luxury-focused midsize SUV with impressive family-hauling abilities. 2018-2023 models feature three rows of seating for seven passengers in the quiet and comfortable cabin with 38.5 inches of generous second-row legroom for adults. With all rows in place, fourth generation MDXs (2022-present) provide 18.1 cu-ft of cargo capacity for luggage and shopping bags, while folding the second and third rows expands capacity to 95 cu-ft. Under the hood, 2018-2023 MDXs feature a 290-hp 3.5L V6 with strong accelerating abilities. Alternatively, you can find fourth generation MDX Type S trims (2022-present) with a 355-hp turbocharged 3.0L V6 with 354 lb-ft of torque and a sport-tuned adaptive air suspension for a livelier character. Match that with the 2018-2023 MDX's standard sunroof, heated front seats, and tri-zone climate control, and this midsize SUV is a fine way to travel.

Research the Acura MDX.

From the spacious and powerful Ford Explorer to the versatile Toyota Highlander and luxurious Acura MDX, these vehicles have demonstrated their exceptional features and capabilities, making them highly sought-after options. Whether you desire a family-friendly SUV, a rugged off-road companion, or a classy ride, an ideal match awaits you.

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Who We Are

At CarMax, we've been buying and selling cars since 1993, and we've made it our business to pay close attention to which cars customers like—and buy—the most. As the largest used car auto retailer in the United States, our overall sample size is large and reflective of the variety of years, makes, and models that we sell.

How We Rank Our Lists

To create our "Best Of" lists, our analysts look at CarMax vehicle and sales data over a recent 6-month period, from December 2022 through May 2023. Looking back over a 6-month period allows for the highest sample size possible while also providing up-to-date pricing information. Some articles may include data points with lower sample sizes.

Michelle Bogle
Michelle Bogle | Senior Contributor

Michelle Bogle started her career in the car industry nearly two decades ago as a writer for an American multinational automobile manufacturer. Since then, she has expanded her expertise as an automotive journalist, covering vehicle reviews, news, and buying advice to help consumers feel informed and excited about the car-buying process.

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