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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.

Interested in the #1 ranked Ford Escape? See it inside and out with our new 360 interior photos.

Here’s a list of our 10 best SUVs based on CarMax sales data from February 2018:

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


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 for 2018: Toyota RAV4 | CarMax

Since its introduction in 2013, the Toyota RAV4 has seen very few changes and 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. Where the RAV4 really shines is in its interior comfort, with a surprising amount of head and leg room for such a compact SUV.

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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.


Kia Sorento

Best SUVS for 2018: Kia Sorento | CarMax

Like many other vehicles on our list of best SUVs, the Kia Sorento is available in both five- and seven-passenger configurations to meet your specific needs. The 2017 Sorento specifically is available in five trim levels, with a turbocharged engine available in select trim options. The interior of the Sorento really shines, featuring quality and soft-touch materials. And with up to 73.5 cubic feet of total cargo space, this is a great option for hauling groceries, sports equipment, suitcases, and more.


Dodge Journey

Best SUVS for 2018: Dodge Journey | CarMax

The Dodge Journey is yet another 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 3.6L V6 engine that comes standard on the 2017 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, and a 4.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system.


Jeep Grand Cherokee

Best SUVS for 2018: 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. Drivers will also enjoy the 2017 Grand Cherokee’s standard 3.6L V6 engine that packs quite a punch behind the wheel, with the option to upgrade to a 5.7L V8 (this is recommended if you want to maximize your towing capacity).


Nissan Rogue

Best SUVS for 2018: 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. One of the best features of the 2017 Rogue is its standard, ample cargo space. Even with all seats in use, you'll enjoy up to 32 cubic feet of storage space. And that number more than doubles to 70 cubic feet when seats are folded down!

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Honda CR-V

Best SUVS for 2018: 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.


Jeep Cherokee

Best SUVS for 2018: Jeep Cherokee | CarMax

If you want the ruggedness of the Grand Cherokee in a smaller package, the Jeep Cherokee is another great option. This crossover SUV offers five different trim levels in its 2017 model, along with your choice of a standard four-cylinder or upgraded V6 engine. Drivers and passengers love how quiet this vehicle is and how well it performs on the road.


Ford Explorer

Best SUVS for 2018: 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 include a rearview camera, Ford Sync, and a 3.5L V6 engine.


Chevrolet Equinox

Best SUVS for 2018: 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, buyers love the ample amount of standard features, such as its seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system, 17-inch wheels, and even an available in-car 4G Wi-Fi hotspot! 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 for 2018: Ford Escape | CarMax

Topping our list for another year is the Ford Escape, a crossover SUV that offers seemingly endless options for customization, including features like the MyFordTouch® infotainment system, as well as impressive handling and tech. 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, such as rearview camera and smartphone integration, are also very generous.

Ford Escape Interior

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Looking for more? Check out our 2017 list of the 20 Best SUVs with 3 rows and other related articles below:

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