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Best SUVs for 2017


Roomy rides to suit your active lifestyle.

Best SUVs | CarMax


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.


Buick Encore

Best SUVs: Buick Encore | CarMax

If you're looking for a five-passenger SUV with a maneuverable size and quiet ride, the Buick Encore is a skilled daily driver. All 2019 Encore models come standard with a turbocharged 1.4L four-cylinder that puts out 138 hp and 148 lb.-ft. of torque. Or you can choose a more powerful version of the 1.4L with 153 hp and 177 lb.-ft. of torque, which is optional on 2019 Sport Touring and Essence trims. The 2019 Encore also features Buick's Signature Quiet Tuning and Active Noise Cancellation technologies for a serene cabin experience, whether commuting in busy cities or enjoying the open road. Available in four trims, the 2019 Encore includes these standard features on the trim-topping Essence:

  • LED headlamps

  • Dual-zone automatic climate control

  • Heated front seats and steering wheel

  • Front and rear parking assistance

With 18.8 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat or 48.4 cubic feet with the 60/40 rear seats folded, the 2019 Encore offers sensible storage capacity. The front passenger seat also folds flat to fit items up to eight feet long.


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

Redesigned in 2019, the fifth-generation Toyota RAV4 offers an abundance of space that's ideal for all lifestyles, whether you are an empty nester, small family, or anyone in between. Anchoring all 2019 RAV4s is a 2.5L four-cylinder engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission that returns an EPA-estimated 30 mpg combined with standard FWD or available AWD.2 If you like to embrace the off-beaten path, the RAV4 Adventure will quench your thirst for excitement. This trim includes the following standard features on the 2019 model:

  • 19-inch split five-spoke alloy wheels with matte-black accents

  • Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive (TV-AWD)

  • Multi-Terrain Select and Rear Driveline Disconnect

  • Unique Adventure-grade roof rails

When properly equipped, the 2019 RAV4 Adventure's 2.5L four-cylinder engine can tow an estimated 3,500 lbs.3


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.


Acura RDX

Best SUVs: Acura RDX | CarMax

If you're looking for an SUV that packs a serious punch, the 2017-2018 Acura RDX's 3.5L V6 gives you the authority to rule the road. With 279 hp and 252 lb.-ft. of torque, the engine also features Variable Cylinder Management, which is designed to monitor throttle input, vehicle speed, engine speed, and gear selection to maximize power when you need it or transition down to three active cylinders when you don't. With the 3.5L V6 and six-speed automatic transmission, this 2017-2018 SUV returns an EPA-estimated 28 mpg highway when equipped with FWD.1 Standard features on the base 2018 RDX include the following:

  • Power moonroof

  • Sport seats with leatherette-trimmed interior

  • Heated front seats

  • Multi-view rear camera with guidelines

With room for five passengers, the RDX is great for families or a small group of friends. Cargo capacity behind the second row is 26.1 cubic feet of volume; folding the rear seat opens up 61.3 cubic feet (2018 model).


Hyundai Tucson

Best SUVs: Hyundai Tucson | CarMax

If you're after the latest tech, the Hyundai Tucson has you covered. With standard features that include Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ capability, as well as driver aids like forward-collision warning and lane-keeping assistance on all trims of the 2019 Tucson, you'll feel connected and confident each time you get behind the wheel. Stepping up to the 2019 Tucson Value trim unlocks additional high-tech features, like blind-spot collision warning and rear cross-traffic collision warning, as well as these comfort features:

  • Eight-way power driver seat

  • Power lumbar adjustments for the driver seat

  • Heated front seats

  • Proximity key entry with push-button start

Combine this with two engine options on the 2019 Tucson—a 164-hp, 2.0L four-cylinder on the SE and Value or a 181-hp, 2.4L four-cylinder on SEL and higher trims—and this Hyundai SUV is well-equipped for your lifestyle.


Mazda CX-5

Best SUVs: Mazda CX-5 | CarMax

Topping our list of the 10 best used SUVs for 2020 shoppers is the Mazda CX-5. This five-passenger crossover SUV is a practical choice, with lively handling and a quiet ride that can seamlessly transition from carpooling duties to date nights. 2017-2018 models are available in three trims—Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring—and use a 187-hp, 2.5L four-cylinder with 186 lb.-ft. of torque. If you need extra traction during the rainy season, all-wheel drive is available on all 2017-2018 CX-5 models. Standard features on the base-level Sport include the following:

  • 17-inch alloy wheels

  • Seven-inch touchscreen display

  • Rearview camera

  • Bluetooth® hands-free phone and audio streaming

With 59.6 cubic feet of maximum cargo volume, the 2017-2018 CX-5 is a versatile helper when transporting larger items.


Nissan Rogue

Best SUVs: Nissan Rogue | CarMax

Shopping for an SUV that prioritizes comfort? The Nissan Rogue will leave you smiling with its supportive front seats and smooth ride. All 2017-2019 Rogues use a 170-hp, 2.5L four-cylinder engine that delivers power well-suited for commuting or longer trips with the family. Its easygoing personality is also noticeable over road bumps and imperfections, which can be smoothed over by the Rogue's standard independent strut front and multi-link rear suspensions (2017-2019 models). Available in three trims—S, SV, and SL—the Rogue S includes the following base features on 2017-2019 models:

  • 17-inch steel wheels with wheel covers

  • Power outside mirrors

  • Rearview monitor

  • Cloth upholstery

Staying organized is simple in the Nissan Rogue. All 2017-2019 models come standard with a Divide-N-Hide® Cargo System, which uses adjustable shelves and dividers for easier access to your belongings.


Honda CR-V

Best SUVs: Honda CR-V | CarMax

With a turbocharged 1.5L four-cylinder on 2017-2019 models (EX and higher trims), the Honda CR-V offers an incredible combination of gas mileage and power. With this small-displacement powerplant, you'll have 190 hp and 179 lb.-ft. of torque at your disposal to scoot through city streets and accelerate on entrance ramps. In return, you'll enjoy an EPA-estimated 34 mpg on the highway with the 2017-2019 CR-V's 1.5L engine and FWD.2 This SUV also comes with many driver aids to enhance your time behind the wheel, including the following on the EX (2017-2019 models):

  • Forward-collision warning system

  • Lane-departure warning system

  • Collision-mitigation braking system

  • Blind-spot monitoring system with cross-traffic alert

You'll also have plenty of space inside the 2017-2019 CR-V with its spacious five-passenger cabin and 75.8 cubic feet of maximum cargo volume.


Jeep Cherokee

Looking for a comfortable, sleek SUV that shines both off and on the road? The Jeep Cherokee is in its second generation, which kicked off in 2014, and continues to evolve. This compact SUV is available in five trims: the base Latitude, Latitude Plus, Limited, off-road Trailhawk, and the top-of-the-line Overland.

Standard on the 2017-2019 Jeep Cherokee is a 2.4L four-cylinder engine, but you can also get an optional 3.2L V6 or 2.0L turbo (2019 models). A nine-speed automatic transmission is standard with all engines.

The 2017-2019 Jeep Cherokee Latitude includes standard:

  • Five-inch infotainment system (seven-inch screen for 2019)

  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay (2019 only)

  • Rear parking sensors

  • 60/40-split-folding rear seat


Honda HR-V

Best SUVs: Honda HR-V | CarMax

Revamped in 2019 to include more trim levels and fresher styling, the Honda HR-V is a subcompact SUV with a versatile cabin and smart storage capabilities. All 2019 trims feature a standard 60/40 split-folding second-row Magic Seat that lets you carry big, long, and tall items by flipping up or folding the seats. With room for five passengers, the 2019 HR-V can also hold up to 24.3 cubic feet of cargo behind the rear row or a maximum of 55.9 cubic feet with it folded. Standard features on the 2019 Touring trim include:

  • 17-inch machine-finished alloy wheels with gloss shark-gray inserts

  • LED headlights and fog lights

  • Eight-way power driver seat

  • Navigation system with voice recognition

The 2019 HR-V's 102.8-inch wheelbase also provides generous legroom, with 39.3 inches in the back row to accommodate taller passengers.


Chevrolet Equinox

For 2019 models, Chevrolet includes standard rear-seat reminder and Teen Driver technology in every trim of the Equinox. This two-row SUV offers a whopping 39.7 inches of rear-seat legroom, giving your passengers plenty of space to stretch out. Across the four available trims for 2019, you'll have the choice between three sporty powertrains: 1.5L turbo (all trims), 2.0L turbo (available on LT and Premier trims only), or 1.6L TurboDiesel (LT and Premier trims).

At the base level, the 2017-2019 Chevrolet Equinox comes standard with:

  • Tire-pressure monitoring system with tire-fill alert

  • Active noise cancellation

  • Six-speaker audio system

  • Two USB ports and an auxiliary jack in the front storage bin


Ford Escape

Best SUVs: Ford Escape | CarMax

Offering a blend of performance and utility, the Ford Escape is a great choice whether you are a young professional, couple, or small family. Sporty handling and sedan-like drivability make the Escape a pleasure to pilot, while the spacious cabin delivers SUV versatility with room for five passengers and 68 cubic feet of maximum cargo volume (2018-2019 models). If you're looking for premium features without climbing trim levels, the 2018-2019 Escape SEL is a great place to look. It comes standard with:

  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob

  • Power liftgate

  • Heated sideview mirrors

  • Reverse sensing system

The 2018-2019 Escape SEL also comes standard with a turbocharged 1.5L four-cylinder engine and FWD, which returns an EPA-estimated 23 mpg city and 30 mpg highway.2

Ford Escape Interior

No matter what your schedule holds, an SUV is a comfortable and practical way to travel. From carpooling and commuting to running errands and seeking out fun, there is something on this list for you.

Looking to do more research as you shop? Check out these related articles:

1RepairPal Reliability Ratings are provided by RepairPal and CarMax is not responsible for their accuracy. RepairPal Reliability Ratings are based on the actual cost, frequency, and severity of unscheduled repairs and maintenance on make/model data for select 2010–2019 vehicles. The reliability of a specific vehicle may vary depending on its maintenance and driving history, model year, trim, and features. Learn more at
2Fuel economy figures are based on EPA estimates for when vehicle 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
3Various 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.
* Price excludes taxes, title, registration, and fees. Applicable transfer fees are due in advance of vehicle delivery and are separate from sales transactions.

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.