Versatility is best served with options.

Best Midsize SUVs for 2018 | CarMax

Midsize SUVs walk the line between their compact cousins and their bigger land-yacht counterparts, making them ideal for those looking for the best of both worlds. Many midsize SUVs are packed with the latest technology and can fit up to eight passengers. These vehicles are truly road warriors worthy of your transportation consideration.

To help you on your search, check out this list of the 15 best midsize SUVs for 2020 shoppers, based on CarMax sales data from May 1, 2019, through October 31, 2019.

  1. Dodge Durango
  2. Toyota 4Runner
  3. Honda Pilot
  4. Nissan Murano
  5. Infiniti QX60
  6. Lexus RX 350
  7. GMC Acadia
  8. Toyota Highlander
  9. Ford Edge
  10. Nissan Pathfinder
  11. Dodge Journey
  12. Kia Sorento
  13. Ford Explorer
  14. Jeep Grand Cherokee
  15. Chevrolet Equinox


Dodge Durango

Best Midsize SUVs: Dodge Durango | CarMax

Kicking off the list of 15 best midsize SUVs for 2020 shoppers is the Dodge Durango, a handsome SUV with an available third row and a knack for providing a quiet comfortable ride for its passengers. All-wheel drive is available as an option across the board on the Durango (standard on the SRT model) while the trusty 3.6L Pentastar™ V6 comes standard, providing 293 horsepower (2011 to present). If excitement is what you're after, you'll love 2017–2019 R/T and SRT models, which come with powerful V8 engines. The R/T with the 5.7L Hemi® produces 360 horsepower while the SRT gets the 6.4L version that cranks out 475 horsepower.

The base 2019 SXT Durango includes the following standard features:

  • 18-inch painted aluminum wheels
  • Three-zone climate control
  • Seven-inch touchscreen display


Toyota 4Runner

Best Midsize SUVs: Toyota 4Runner | CarMax

Kicking off our list is the Toyota 4Runner—a rugged off-roader that will quench your thirst for the great outdoors. With its generous ground clearance and available all-wheel drive on all trims across 2017 to 2019 models, you can seek out adventures in this SUV. You'll also have easy access to your gear with the optional sliding rear cargo deck for extra versatility with two-row 2017 to 2019 models.

The base 2017 4Runner SR5 features the following as standard:

  • 17-inch six-spoke alloy wheels
  • Cloth upholstery
  • Rearview monitor
  • Front fog lights and LED taillights
  • Air conditioning with second-row vents

The 4Runner includes seating for five, but an optional third-row expands that number to seven. However, if cargo room trumps passenger space, the SUV maxes out at 89.7 cubic feet of storage by folding the rear seats in 2019 models.


Honda Pilot

Best Midsize SUVs: Honda Pilot | CarMax

Next on the list is the Honda Pilot. Redesigned in 2016, the Pilot has remained steady through 2019 without much change. The 2016–2019 three-row Honda Pilot provides comfortable seating for up to eight passengers and comes standard with Honda's trusty 3.5L V6 that produces a healthy 280 horsepower. The Pilot also sports front-wheel drive as standard but is available with all-wheel drive as an option, and has improved cargo capacity behind the third-row seat at 16.5 cubic feet (2016–2019 models). Folding down the third row will give you 46.8 cubic feet of space while folding down the second row will grant you access to a cavernous 83.9 cubic feet.

The mid-range Honda Pilot EX-L comes standard with the following for 2016 to 2019:

  • Power moonroof
  • Power tailgate
  • Leather-trimmed seats
  • Heated front seats
  • One-touch folding second-row seats


Nissan Murano

Best Midsize SUVs: Nissan Murano | CarMax

The first-generation Nissan Murano was so different in its styling among the rest of the SUVs in the field that it was referred to as a work of automotive art. The current-generation (2015 to present) Murano is still good looking with a lot of the original Murano's styling cues. Now in its third iteration, released in 2015, the Nissan Murano received a mid-year update in 2017 that added some new standard tech such as Apple CarPlay® and the addition of a new trim level: the SR Premium Plus.

The 2017 SR Premium Plus includes these standard features:

  • Heated front seats
  • Heated exterior mirrors
  • Panoramic moonroof
  • Bose® audio system


Infiniti QX60

Best Midsize SUVs: Infiniti QX60 | CarMax

The Infiniti QX60 is a good choice for those that prefer a more luxurious SUV that comes standard with greater comfort and premium materials. The QX60 pushes the limits for a midsize SUV and feels bigger than many of the other options in the category—this is thanks to its tall roofline that creates a spacious feeling in the interior. The QX60 has remained largely the same since 2013 with only minor changes, all the while providing three rows of seating and generous power from its long-running 3.5L V6—which benefited from the addition of direct injection starting in 2017. Base model QX60s come standard with rear-wheel drive but all-wheel drive is available as an option (2013 to present).

Standard features on the 2018 Infiniti QX60 include:

  • 18-inch wheels
  • Heated outside mirrors
  • Leather upholstery
  • Power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel

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Lexus RX 350

Best Midsize SUVs: Lexus RX 350 | CarMax

The Lexus RX 350 is a two-row luxury SUV with seating for five that features aggressive exterior styling, beginning with Lexus's signature angular grille. On all RX 350 models, front-wheel drive comes standard whereas all-wheel drive is available as an option. Likewise, all RX 350s (2017 and up) come standard with a 295-horsepower V6. The 2017-to-present RX 350 also benefits from standard features that are often only offered as upgrades on other midsize SUVs, such as a motion-activated power liftgate. Those that prefer a more sporty SUV with a luxurious flare should check out the RX F Sport.

The 2019 Lexus RX F Sport comes standard with:

  • 20-inch wheels
  • Leather interior
  • Heated and ventilated front seats
  • Paddle shifters
  • Adaptive suspension


GMC Acadia

Best Midsize SUVs: GMC Acadia | CarMax

Next up is the GMC Acadia, which has a bit more of an upscale approach to the midsize SUV category. The Acadia was refreshed for 2017 and is actually slightly smaller and quite a bit lighter than the previous model. From 2017 onward, 2.5L four-cylinder models have an EPA-estimated of 26 mpg highway while the V6 boasts a respectable 25 mpg highway.1 All-wheel drive is also available as an option for both engine choices.

The 2018 GMC Acadia SL comes standard with the following:

  • Keyless entry and automatic start
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto™
  • Rearview camera
  • Seven-inch touchscreen display


Toyota Highlander

Best Midsize SUVs: Toyota Highlander | CarMax

Toyota's Highlander has been a popular choice for many years. Its styling is attractive without being loud and it stands out thanks to its available hybrid engine (2005 models onward). The Highlander was updated in 2017 and is available with three powertrain options, a 2.7L four-cylinder engine comes standard while the 3.5L direct-injected V6 is available as an option. That same V6 is used in hybrid models but benefits from the addition of three electric motors. The Highlander also comes standard with three rows of seating and can be configured for up to eight passengers.

Other standard features on the base 2018 Toyota Highlander LE include:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • 50/40-split-folding second and third-row seats
  • Five USB ports
  • Keyless entry


Ford Edge

Best Midsize SUVs: Ford Edge | CarMax

The Ford Edge first debuted in 2007 and is currently in its second generation (2015 to present). The Edge is a two-row SUV with seating for five and unique styling that leans towards the sporty side. The Ford Edge Sport takes that sportiness a step further with more aggressive styling and a sport-tuned suspension. In 2017, the Edge gained Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as a standard feature and both are integrated into Ford's Sync™ entertainment system. The Edge is available in four trims: SE, SEL, Titanium, and Sport.

The 2018 Ford Edge SE comes standard with the following features:

  • 18-inch wheels
  • Automatic headlights
  • Sync infotainment system
  • Push-button ignition


Nissan Pathfinder

Best Midsize SUVs: Nissan Pathfinder | CarMax

The current-generation Nissan Pathfinder has been in production since 2013, receiving a number of key updates throughout the model years leading up to 2019. A significant refresh took place in 2017, adding direct injection to the standard 3.5L V6 that bumped the output up to 284 horsepower. The Pathfinder comes standard with three rows and provides 16 cubic feet of space behind the third row. Also, 2018 models gain automatic emergency braking as standard.

The 2018 Nissan Pathfinder S comes standard with the following features:

  • Eight-inch touchscreen
  • Rearview camera
  • Tri-zone climate control
  • Keyless entry and start
  • Bluetooth connectivity

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Dodge Journey

Best Midsize SUVs: Dodge Journey | CarMax

The Dodge Journey slots just below the Dodge Durango in size but is still available with three rows of seating and room for up to seven passengers. The third row is optional on the 2017 Journey but became standard beginning in 2018. Under the hood, a 2.7L four-cylinder engine with 174 horsepower comes standard while a 3.6L 283-horsepower V6 is optional. The 2018 Journey is available in four trims: the base SE, SXT, Crossroad, and GT, which comes standard with the V6 engine. All-wheel drive is also an option on the V6-equipped Journey (all models from 2010).

The 2018 Dodge Journey SXT comes standard with the following features:

  • 4.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system
  • Fog lights
  • Six-speaker audio system
  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Keyless entry and start


Kia Sorento

Best Midsize SUVs: Kia Sorento | CarMax

The Kia Sorento is available in both two- or three-row configurations with seating for up to seven passengers. The Sorento received a few updates in 2017, including the addition of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Three engines are available as well: the 2.4L GDI four-cylinder engine, a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine, and the top-spec 3.3L GDI V6. In 2018, the base-model L received a rearview camera as standard and available all-wheel drive as an option.

The 2018 Kia Sorento L comes standard with the following options:

  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Rearview camera
  • 40/20/40-split-folding second-row seats


Ford Explorer

Best Midsize SUVs: Ford Explorer | CarMax

The Ford Explorer has been around since the early 1990s and has been the midsize SUV of choice for many families ever since. The recent redesign of the Explorer in 2016 is still in production but the 2019 model year saw a host of new updates. There are five trims available for 2017–2019 Explorers: the base trim, XLT, Limited, Sport, and Platinum. Three rows of seating are standard on the Explorer and all-wheel drive is optional. For those that like big power, a twin-turbo 3.5L V6 is also available on the Ford Explorer from 2016 onward.

The 2019 Ford Explorer Sport comes standard with the following features:

  • Sport-tuned suspension
  • Quad exhaust tips
  • Hands-free power liftgate
  • Power-folding third-row seat


Jeep Grand Cherokee

Best Midsize SUVs: Jeep Grand Cherokee | CarMax

Next on the list is the beloved Jeep Grand Cherokee. The Grand Cherokee is another midsize SUV that has been on the playing field for quite some time and in that time it has developed multiple personalities. The traditional Jeep Grand Cherokee with its available four-wheel drive and generous ground clearance is a favorite among outdoor enthusiasts and those who have an active lifestyle. The SRT model of the Jeep Grand Cherokee (2014 onward) is a muscle car in an SUV wrapper with a 6.4L Hemi V8 and full-time four-wheel drive. There are even more luxurious Grand Cherokees as well, such as the 2014-to-present Grand Cherokee Summit, which comes standard with leather-trimmed seating and a Harman Kardon® audio system.

The 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit comes standard with the following options:

  • 20-inch polished wheels
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Blind-spot monitoring with rear-cross traffic alert
  • Self-parking system
  • Forward collision warning with automatic braking


Chevrolet Equinox

Best Midsize SUVs: Chevrolet Equinox | CarMax

Topping the list of the 15 best midsize SUVs for 2020 shoppers is the Chevrolet Equinox. The Equinox is a two-row SUV with seating for five passengers and was completely refreshed for 2018, both inside and out. Three engines are available for the 2018 Equinox, a 1.5L turbocharged four-cylinder with 170 horsepower, a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder with 252 horsepower, and a 1.6L turbodiesel four-cylinder with 137 horsepower. Front-wheel drive is standard but all-wheel drive is available as an option with all three engine choices.

The 2018 Chevrolet Equinox L comes standard with the following features:

  • Back-up camera
  • Keyless start
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Six-speed automatic transmission
  • Heated mirrors

There's a wide range of options out there if you're searching for a midsize SUV. Seating for up to eight passengers, available all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, off-road prowess or sport-tuned suspension, the options are almost endless.

Looking to learn more? Check out these related articles:

1Fuel 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.
Unless otherwise noted, information related 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.

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