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Best SUVS for 2018 | CarMax

Looking for the best SUVs for daily commuting and weekend adventures? Whether you're looking for a smaller SUV with solid fuel economy, or you’re in need of a three-row SUV with seating for up to seven passengers, there are plenty of options to suit your needs.

Here’s a list of our 10 best SUVs for 2019, based on CarMax vehicle sales data from November 1, 2018 through April 30, 2019.

  1. Dodge Journey
  2. Jeep Cherokee
  3. Jeep Wrangler
  4. Toyota RAV4
  5. Honda CR-V
  6. Jeep Grand Cherokee
  7. Ford Explorer
  8. Ford Escape
  9. Chevrolet Equinox
  10. Nissan Rogue


Cadillac SRX

Best SUVS for 2017: Cadillac SRX | CarMax

If you're seeking a luxury crossover take on the SUV, you may love the Cadillac SRX. Original versions came with rear-wheel drive, although Cadillac switched to front-wheel drive (and a V6 engine delivering 308 hp) from 2012 on. The engine's power is tamped somewhat by the vehicle’s weight; the 2017 Cadillac SRX weighs more than most other crossovers, so it can be slower to accelerate.

The third-row seat is small and lacks legroom, so it works best for families with more kids than adults. The main cabin is plenty roomy for adults, and the SRX delivers a comfortable, quiet ride.


Lexus RX 350

Best SUVS for 2017: Lexus RX350 | CarMax

For a smaller SUV, the Lexus RX 350 delivers many of the features car shoppers want in an elegant, luxury package. The RX excels at comfort and technology, with high-tech features in baseline trim and a very comfortable ride.

The 2017 Lexus RX comes with a 295-horsepower V6 engine and front- or all-wheel drive, depending on the trim you select. Base models come with 18-inch alloy wheels, faux leather interior, smartphone integration, keyless ignition, forward-collision warning, and a rearview camera. The premium F Sport version boasts bigger wheels, adaptive suspension, and heated leather seats.

The RX seats five comfortably for a quiet, smooth ride.


Nissan Pathfinder

Best SUVS for 2017: Nissan Pathfinder | CarMax

The Nissan Pathfinder was one of the earliest offerings in the SUV market, and it's still a favorite. The 2017 Pathfinder comes with four trim levels and offers a better base-level package than earlier models. Standard equipment includes Bluetooth®, keyless ignition, and a rearview camera, for instance.

The 2017 Nissan Pathfinder comes with a powerful 3.5L, V6 engine that gives you 284 hp. If you're interested in hauling a boat or trailer, you'll be impressed with the Pathfinder's estimated 6,000-pound towing capacity.

There are three rows of comfortable seating in the Pathfinder; the third row is roomy enough for adult passengers, although legroom can be tight. Still, the Pathfinder does most things very well.


GMC Terrain

Best SUVS for 2017: GMC Terrain | CarMax

The GMC Terrain is mechanically considered a twin to the Chevrolet Equinox. As we shared in our GMC Terrain and Chevrolet Equinox comparison, this SUV delivers a sleek ride, stylish exterior, and a roomy interior. Three rows of seats offer plenty of passenger comfort; since the third row slides back, you can configure the cabin to fit your family just right. One downside of the spacious passenger cabin is cargo space, which is limited compared to some other crossover SUV offerings.

In the 2017 model, you can choose between two engines. A 2.4L, four-cylinder engine that gives you 182 hp or a 3.6L and a V6 engine that delivers 301 hp. While front-wheel drive is standard, you can select all-wheel drive as an option.

The 2017 GMC Terrain is available in five trim levels. GMC delivers generous trim options even in the baseline level, including rearview camera, Bluetooth® phone connectivity, and a touchscreen interface.


Toyota RAV4

Best SUVs: Toyota RAV4 | CarMax

Since its introduction in 2013, the Toyota RAV4 has remained one of our best-selling SUVs. This five-passenger compact SUV is a great choice for those wanting the ruggedness and versatility of an SUV without compromising handling or maneuverability in the process. Specifically, the 2017 RAV4 is available in five trim offerings, with your choice of front- or all-wheel drive on each trim. The RAV4 was redesigned in 2019 and offers the following features as standard:

  • 69.8 cubic feet of cargo space
  • Eight-speed automatic transmission
  • Smartphone integration
  • Seven-inch touchscreen

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Jeep Patriot

Best SUVS for 2017: Jeep Patriot | CarMax

If you love the Jeep brand, the Patriot may be the SUV for you. It's got that classic, early-Jeep, boxy styling and a range of modern features such as roof rails, tailgate speakers, and heated seats.

The 2017 Jeep Patriot comes in two trim levels. Manual transmission is standard on these latest models, although you can upgrade to an automatic transmission. This SUV is a solid choice if your travels take you off paved roads; it's got good ground clearance, skid plate and four-wheel drive offerings.

Where the Patriot might fall short for large families is cargo space. There's relatively little of it, even when you fold down the rear seats. If you're interested in an SUV that's got room for the whole gang, you may find better value with another vehicle on this list.


Jeep Wrangler

Best SUVs: Jeep Wrangler | CarMax

When it comes to off-roading, the Jeep Wrangler is ready for adventure. The Wrangler offers wash-out interior for journeys through the mud. The Jeep Wrangler now offers more options to suit your needs than ever before. In the 2019 Sport trim standard features include:

  • Eight-speaker sound system
  • Removable doors and a fold-down windshield
  • 17-inch steel wheels and a full-size spare tire
  • UConnect touchscreen display
  • Bluetooth® technology


Dodge Journey

Best SUVs: Dodge Journey | CarMax

The Dodge Journey is an SUV available with up to three rows of seating, depending on the trim level you select. Those looking for an SUV with a little more power behind the wheel will also appreciate the impressive the 2017 model’s 3.6L V6 engine that comes standard on the top-tier GT trim. Standard features across all five trim levels in the 2017 Journey include:

  • Convenient roof rails
  • Keyless ignition/entry
  • Comfortable reclining seats in the second row
  • 4.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system.


Jeep Grand Cherokee

Best SUVs: Jeep Grand Cherokee | CarMax

The Jeep Grand Cherokee has a longstanding reputation for being both stylish and rugged enough to handle just about any terrain. This is a great SUV choice for those who enjoy taking back roads from time to time. In the 2018 model, the Jeep Grand Cherokee offers the following standard features:

  • Cruise control
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Rearview camera
  • Heated steering wheel


Nissan Rogue

Best SUVs: Nissan Rogue | CarMax

For those who may need a little more space for additional passengers, the Nissan Rogue is still classified as a compact SUV, but two of its trim levels in the 2017 release (the S and SV) offer the option of a third row that afford seating for up to seven passengers. Some standard features of the 2018-2019 Nissan Rogue include:

  • Stability control
  • Six-speaker sound system
  • Satellite Radio
  • USB port
  • Rear parking sensors

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Honda CR-V

Best SUVs: Honda CR-V | CarMax

With an optional turbocharged engine for those with a need for speed, as well as a sleek and sporty design, the 2017 Honda CR-V is available in four trim levels. With a fair offering of standard features (including Bluetooth® connectivity and smartphone integration), the CR-V offers an excellent balance of interior comfort, excellent handling, and generous amounts of storage space. If you go up a year, standard features on the 2018 model include:

  • Six-speaker sound system
  • Keyless ignition
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Rearview camera
  • Four-way manual passenger seat adjustment


Jeep Cherokee

Best SUVs: Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk | CarMax

The Jeep Cherokee has a longstanding reputation for being both stylish and rugged enough to handle just about any terrain. This is a great SUV choice for those who enjoy taking back roads from time to time. In the 2018 Jeep Cherokee Latitude, drivers will enjoy:

  • ABS and driveline traction control
  • LCD monitor
  • Remote keyless entry
  • 2.4L I-4 engine
  • Premium cloth seats


Ford Explorer

Best SUVs: Ford Explorer | CarMax

If you're looking for an SUV that strikes a great balance between comfort, style, and value, the Ford Explorer is a great choice. Depending on the configuration and trim you select, the 2017 Explorer offers ample space for six or seven passengers. There are also three different engine offerings available to suit your needs. Some excellent standard features in the 2017 model include:

  • Ford Sync®
  • 3.5L V6 engine
  • Rearview camera
  • LED headlamp
  • USB connection


Chevrolet Equinox

Best SUVs: Chevrolet Equinox | CarMax

Looking for an SUV that caters to everyone in the family? The Chevrolet Equinox is definitely worth checking out. In the 2017 model, drivers love the ample amount of standard features, including:

  • Bluetooth® technology
  • Rearview camera
  • Alloy wheels
  • Stability control

Rear-seat passengers will also appreciate the easy-reclining second row that offers plenty of leg and head room even for adults.


Ford Escape

Best SUVs: Ford Escape | CarMax

Topping our list for another year is the Ford Escape, a crossover SUV that offers seemingly endless options for customization, as well as impressive handling and tech. Features like the MyFordTouch® infotainment system. The 2017 Escape is one of the most versatile SUVs on our list. It’s an excellent choice for everything from running daily errands to embarking on adventurous road trips. Standard features in this model include:

  • Smartphone integration
  • Rearview camera
  • Keyless entry
  • Cruise control
  • MP3 player
Ford Escape Interior

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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.