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Say hello to practicality and convenience!

Best Midsize SUVs for 2018 | CarMax

If you're shopping for a midsize SUV, our lots are packed with many great options. With room for five to eight passengers, you're sure to find a model with the cabin design to fit your lifestyle and the cargo space and features to go with it. Then there are endless engine configurations, including gas, diesel, and hybrid options.

To help you in your search, check out our list of the top 15 best midsize SUVs (based on CarMax sales data from November 1, 2018, through April 30, 2019) to narrow down your options.

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

15

Toyota 4Runner

Best Midsize SUV: 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.


14

Honda Pilot

Best Midsize SUV: Honda Pilot | CarMax

If your growing family needs a minivan, but an SUV is more your style, the Honda Pilot is a practical option with good passenger room, cargo space, and features. Available in five trims for 2017 to 2018 models (LX, EX, EX-L, Touring, and Elite) and a sixth EX-L Navi trim on 2019 models, all offer seating for eight, except the Elite, which has second-row captain's chairs that lower seating capacity to seven. If you want your recreational toys to come along too, the Pilot's 3.5L V6 (2017 to 2019 models) can tow an estimated 3,500 lbs. with front-wheel drive when properly equipped or an estimated 5,000 lbs. with all-wheel drive when properly equipped.1

The mid-trim 2018 Pilot EX-L comes standard with:

  • One-touch power moonroof with tilt feature
  • Power tailgate
  • Leather upholstery and a leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Heated front seats
  • One-touch sliding second-row seats

The 2018 Pilot's cargo room is impressive with 16.5 cubic feet of space behind the third-row (16.0 cubic feet in Elite trims), but that number expands to a maximum of 83.9 cubic feet (82.1 cubic feet in Elite trims) by folding the second and third rows.


13

Acura MDX

Best Midsize SUV: Acura MDX | CarMax

Prefer a more luxurious ride? Take a gander at the Acura MDX. At the base level (2017–2018 models), you'll enjoy standard comfort and convenience features, like a power liftgate, keyless entry and ignition, and plush leather upholstery, but that list grows as you climb the three package levels: Standard, Technology, and Advance. 2019 MDXs are also offered with an appearance package called A-Spec. Rumbling under the hood is a 290-hp 3.5L V6 with a nine-speed automatic transmission and available all-wheel drive across all trims, or you can opt for the Sport Hybrid, which uses a smaller 3.0L V6 with three electric motors to churn out 257 hp.

Standard features on the 2017 MDX Advance include:

  • Sport seats with premium leather upholstery
  • Heated and ventilated front seats
  • Heated second-row captain's chairs
  • Automatic engine stop-start
  • Surround-view camera system

With seating for seven, the MDX is a great family-friendly option. The second- and third-row seats also fold flat to create a level load floor, offering great utility to carry up to 68.4 cubic feet of cargo.


12

Toyota Highlander

Best Midsize SUV: Toyota Highlander | CarMax

Whether tackling your daily commute or loading up for a road trip, the Toyota Highlander is a willing companion. This SUV is well-suited for urban commutes with its agile maneuverability and standard rearview camera on 2017 to 2019 models, and it's very welcoming to a full load of passengers and luggage.

2017 to 2019 Highlander base LE trims all include standard features, such as:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Heated mirrors
  • Six-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth® capabilities
  • Cloth upholstery
  • Forward-collision mitigation with automatic emergency braking

With seating for eight (or seven if you opt for captain's chairs), the 2019 Highlander boasts 13.8 cubic feet of cargo room behind the third-row, but folding the rear-row opens up 42.3 cubic feet of storage.


11

Nissan Murano

Best Midsize SUV: Nissan Murano | CarMax

The Nissan Murano combines sedan-like responsiveness with SUV utility in one stunning package. With seating for five and a maximum cargo capacity of 67 cubic feet (in 2017 and newer models), you'll have access to the space you need. The steering system also feels lightweight at slower speeds, making it easy to weave through tight parking lots. The Murano doesn't skimp on standard connectivity features either with navigation, Apple CarPlay®, and Android Auto™ on 2018 to 2019 models. Bluetooth connectivity is included on 2017 and newer models.

The Nissan Murano is available in four trims—S, SL, SV, and Platinum. The 2018 Murano S includes the following standard features:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Keyless entry and ignition
  • 10-way power driver seat with two-way power lumbar support
  • Eight-inch touchscreen interface
  • Forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking

All Muranos run on a 3.5L V6 delivering 260 hp and 240 lb.-ft. of torque with optional all-wheel drive for enhanced traction.


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10

Infiniti QX60

Best Midsize SUV: Infiniti QX60 | CarMax

Inside Infiniti QX60's lavish cabin, this singular-trim SUV (2017 and 2018 models) is overflowing with high-end appointments, like leather upholstery, tri-zone automatic climate controls, and power-adjustable heated front seats. But you can also find QX60s with different package add-ons sporting even more luxurious features, such as the:

  • Premium: Roof rails, heated steering wheel, 13-speaker Bose® sound system, and more.
  • Premium Plus: 360-degree parking camera system, eight-inch touchscreen display, navigation system with voice controls, and more.
  • Driver Assistance: Adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning system with automatic braking, blind-spot monitoring system, and more.
  • Theater: Dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system and 120-volt power outlet.
  • Deluxe Technology: 15-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system, panoramic sunroof, ventilated front seats, and more.

For 2019, the QX60 refreshed its trim levels to include Pure and Luxe. The optional packages have also been renamed (Essential, Theater, ProAssist, Sensory, ProActive, 20-inch Wheel and Tire, and Limited) and are found on Luxe models only.


09

Lexus RX 350

Best Midsize SUV: Lexus RX 350 | CarMax

Next on our list is another well-rounded luxury SUV—the Lexus RX 350. This five-passenger vehicle has two trims—Base and F Sport—and runs on a 295-hp 3.5L V6 with an eight-speed automatic transmission and optional all-wheel drive. Even with the Base trim, you'll find many advanced standard features, like the following on 2017 models:

  • Power liftgate
  • Eight-inch color multimedia display
  • Smartphone-integrated navigation
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • 10-way power-adjustable front seats

Upgrading to the F Sport trim will get you a few extra accouterments, like 20-inch wheels, heated and ventilated sport seats, and adaptive suspension dampers.


08

Kia Sorento

Best Midsize SUV: Kia Sorento | CarMax

The Kia Sorento is a child-friendly option with its three-row design and room for seven—but this SUV really excels in catering to the comfort of your whole group. Kids napping in the car? LX and higher trims include acoustic windshield glass to help provide a truly quiet cabin.

Standard features on the 2018 Sorento L include:

  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Rearview monitor
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Cloth upholstery
  • Steering-wheel audio controls

Cargo space maxes out at 73.5 cubic feet for 2017 and 2018 Sorentos with all seats folded down or a maximum of 73 cubic feet in 2019 models.


07

GMC Acadia

Best Midsize SUV: GMC Acadia | CarMax

If you need an SUV customized to your lifestyle, the GMC Acadia offers a flexible interior with five-, six-, or even seven-passenger configurations—depending on the model you choose. This SUV can also be found with a standard 2.5L four-cylinder on SL, SLE, and SLT-1 trims, or you can upsize to the 310-hp 3.6L V6 on SLT-1, SLT-2, and Denali trims. With the V6, the 2017 to 2019 Acadia can tow an estimated 4,000 lbs. when properly equipped.1

2017 to 2019 Acadia SL trims come standard with:

  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Tri-zone automatic climate control
  • Seven-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • 4G LTE connectivity and WiFi hotspot
  • Rearview monitor

Both engines use a six-speed automatic transmission and offer all-wheel drive (except on SL trims).


06

Ford Edge

Best Midsize SUV: Ford Edge | CarMax

Available in SE, SEL, and Titanium, 2017 to 2018 models also include a Sport trim with a turbocharged 2.7L V6 that makes 315 hp and 350 lb.-ft. of torque. All-wheel drive is standard on the Edge Sport, along with a sport-tuned suspension. For 2019, the ST replaces the Sport but keeps the turbo 2.7L V6 and AWD. It delivers even more power and torque (335 hp, 380 lb.-ft.) to satisfy your cravings for performance.

2017 to 2019 Sport and ST trims come standard with other cool features, like:

  • Active noise control
  • Power liftgate
  • Power-adjustable steering wheel with memory
  • Dual trapezoidal and polished stainless-steel exhaust tips
  • Perforated leather and simulated-suede upholstery

All Edges seat five passengers and include a maximum cargo capacity of 73.4 cubic feet behind the front seats.


05

Nissan Pathfinder

Best Midsize SUV: Nissan Pathfinder | CarMax

The Nissan Pathfinder is a three-row, seven-passenger SUV available in four trims: S, SV, SL, and Platinum. All models include a 3.5L V6 with 284 hp and 259 lb.-ft. of torque mated to a continuously variable transmission with optional all-wheel drive (2013 and newer models). If you like to venture off the beaten path, AWD models feature hill-descent control and a special four-wheel-drive locking function for enhanced traction. The Pathfinder's V6 (2017 to 2019 models) also boasts an estimated 6,000-lb. towing capacity when properly equipped.1

Standard features on the 2017 Pathfinder S include:

  • Eight-inch color display
  • Tri-zone automatic temperature control
  • Bluetooth capabilities
  • Cloth upholstery
  • Rearview monitor

From a space standpoint, the Pathfinder is voluminous. With the second and third rows folded, cargo space maxes out at 79.8 cubic feet for 2017 and 2018 models or 79.5 cubic feet for 2019 models.


04

Dodge Journey

Best Midsize SUV: Dodge Journey | CarMax

Blurring the lines between minivan and SUV is the Dodge Journey—a favorite with families for its lower step-in height which accommodates pint-sized passengers. You can also find 2017 models with a five-passenger configuration, plus this SUV offers a range of trim levels that vary from one year to the next. Two specs you'll find across the board are the Journey's engine options and available all-wheel drive. A 2.4L four-cylinder with 173 hp and 166 lb.-ft. of torque is standard in the 2017 and newer models, or you can choose a powerful 3.6L V6 with 283 hp and 260 lb.-ft. of torque.

The 2018 Journey SXT includes the following standard features:

  • 17-inch aluminum wheels
  • Roof-rack side rails
  • 4.3-inch touchscreen
  • Second-row in-floor storage bins
  • Dual-zone manual temperature control

The Dodge Journey's interior is spacious and functional with second- and third-row seats that fold flat to create 67.6 cubic feet of cargo space.


03

Jeep Grand Cherokee

Best Midsize SUV: Jeep Grand Cherokee | CarMax

The Jeep Grand Cherokee's choice of three engine options set this SUV apart. You can find 2017 to 2019 models with a base 295-hp 3.6L V6 with 260 lb.-ft. of torque, a turbocharged 3.0L diesel V6 with 240 hp and 420 lb.-ft. of torque, or a 360-hp 5.7L V8 with 390 lb.-ft. of torque. If you pull a camper or ATV, the V8 AWD offers plenty of grunt with an estimated towing capacity of 7,200 lbs. when properly equipped.1

Standard features on the 2017 Grand Cherokee Laredo include:

  • 17-inch painted aluminum wheels
  • Fog lights
  • Rearview monitor with rear parking sensors
  • Five-inch display with six-speaker sound system
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control

With seating for five and a maximum cargo volume of 68.3 cubic feet, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is a great choice if you like to travel with family and friends.


02

Ford Explorer

Best Midsize SUV: Ford Explorer | CarMax

If you need an SUV with minivan functionality, the Ford Explorer will seat any group of seven comfortably. Limited, Sport, and Platinum trims in the 2017 to 2019 models also come standard with a PowerFold® third-row that opens up to 43.8 cubic feet of storage with the push of a button—plus the hands-free foot-activated liftgate makes loading your groceries effortless.

On 2017 to 2019 base models, you'll find the following standard features:

  • 18-inch painted aluminum wheels
  • Rearview monitor
  • 4.2-inch display and SYNC® infotainment system
  • Cloth upholstery
  • Eight-way power driver seat with manual lumbar support

Towing a boat? 2017 to 2019 models of this SUV feature an estimated 5,000-lb. towing capacity when properly equipped with the 290-hp 3.5L V6 or the turbocharged 3.5L V6 with 365 hp.1


01

Chevrolet Equinox

Best Midsize SUV: Chevrolet Equinox | CarMax

Topping our list of the 10 Best Midsize SUVs for 2019 is the smooth-riding Chevrolet Equinox. This five-passenger platform is comfort-focused, making it a great daily driver. 2018 and 2019 sport a trio of turbocharged engines, including a 170-hp 1.5L turbo four-cylinder with 203 lb.-ft. of torque, an available 2.0L turbo four-cylinder with 252 hp and 260 lb.-ft. of torque, or an optional 137-hp 1.6L turbo-diesel four-cylinder with 240 lb.-ft. of torque. Each one brings you the power you need to go about your travels while the Equinox's four trims—L, LS, LT, and Premier—have the advanced equipment you want.

The 2018 Equinox L includes the following standard features:

  • 17-inch painted-aluminum wheels
  • Cloth upholstery
  • Rearview monitor
  • 4G LTE connectivity and WiFi hotspot
  • Seven-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Craving V6 power? The 2017 Equinox offers an optional 301-hp 3.6L V6. Cargo capacity on all models maxes out at 63 cubic feet with the rear seats folded, which is plenty of room for trips to the home-improvement store.


Interested in doing additional research as you search for your next midsize SUV? Check out some of these related articles:

1Various factors may impact towing capacity, including weight of passengers, cargo, and options/accessories.
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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