Top ten suvs 2018

Top ten suvs 2018 DEFAULT

America helped to win a world war with the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL’s grandfather, the honorable Willys-Overland, so we think that gives the iconic SUV the right to expose its naked body in public. Even when stripped nearly to a bare cage, doors and roof removed, the Wrangler is instantly recognizable. Its seven-slot grille, bricklike profile, externally mounted spare tire, and largely bodywork-free front end have barely changed over Jeep’s 77 years (a brief, ill-advised switch to square headlights notwithstanding). Like the Porsche 911, the Wrangler improves upon each generation without losing its timeless style and singular purpose, both of which lend it an instant likability. The JL model’s interior is attractive now, too, available with all the conveniences required for modern life. Forgive its still poor on-road driving dynamics and disregard the uneven panel gaps. The Wrangler looks like a child’s toy, and that makes it all the more fun.—Clifford Atiyeh
Review, Pricing, and Specs


SUV and crossover sales are climbing – or more accurately, skyrocketing. In the past few years, we’ve seen sedans and wagons booted from entire lineups (i.e. Ford) in place of SUVs. And thus far in 2018, we’ve driven a lot of them.

Almost 50 SUVs and crossovers have crossed our path since January 1st. Most of them do respectable jobs carrying passengers and cargo, as well as returning reasonable gas mileage and being decent to drive. Ten of them, however, made more of an impact with us based on their rating.

Every vehicle we drive undergoes the same testing process and gets ranked. They are scored in seven different categories, which are weighted based on each segment. Towing, for instance, is weighted more for crossovers and SUVs than for sedans, where it doesn't factor at all. The full list of categories we score are as follows:

  • Pricing
  • Design & Exterior
  • Interior & Comfort
  • Technology & Connectivity
  • Performance & Handling
  • Safety Features
  • Running Costs & Fuel Economy

Lastly, we don't break down our vehicle segments into separate categories based on size or price. This means that all crossovers and SUVs are judged against all other crossovers and SUVs, no matter their size and price. Somewhere in there is the ideal vehicle, which we think the following 10 come pretty close to achieving. 

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Over the past year, trucks and SUVs have found themselves in even more households, with SUVs climbing farther up the list of top sellers than ever before, displacing compact cars and mid-size sedans in the process. Rushing to capitalize on the popularity of these vehicles and the higher prices they command, automakers continue to pepper the market with new entries. For 2018, in addition to a number of major redesigns to segment stalwarts—among them the Chevrolet Equinox and Traverse, Audi Q5, BMW X3, and Ford Expedition—a number of completely new nameplates joined the party, including the Toyota C-HR, Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Range Rover Velar, and Volkswagen Atlas.

Unlike the free-for-all format of 10Best Cars, where all 10 spots are open to any excellent entry, here we organize the vast market of trucks and SUVs into 10 categories: seven for SUVs, two for pickups, and one for vans. The SUV segments are broken down into subcompact, compact, and mid-size, each with a luxury and non-luxury sector, plus a combined large category, as the prices of rigs such as the Chevy Suburban and the Ford Expedition are fully luxury. We invite any all-new or substantially redesigned models with a base price less than $80,000—plus any that were eligible last year but weren’t available for evaluation—to prove themselves against last year’s winners in a weeklong face-off that involves close scrutiny, lots of data collection, and plenty of behind-the-wheel time by our entire editorial team.

To successfully ascend to the winner’s circle, vehicles need to impress in three ways. The first is by offering a strong value proposition—not to be confused with a low price, as we’re strong believers that vehicular excellence is worth paying for. It must also inspire in how well it fulfills its mission and that of the segment in which it competes. And, finally, it has to be engaging to drive. Not because the pickup truck or minivan that exhibits the least amount of body roll should win—after all, that type of dynamic behavior would likely be at odds with its job—but there’s no reason those with large families, large hobbies, or other reasons for driving a large vehicle should have an experience that’s less than confidence inspiring.

With thousands of miles driven, second- and third-row seats evaluated for space and comfort, cargo holds and interior storage pockets measured, and new features assessed, these vehicles are the 10 that comprehensively stood out from among their peers as the best currently on offer in their respective categories.

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The Ground Rules

To determine our 2018 10Best Trucks and SUVs, we followed our usual 10Best procedure of inviting the previous year’s winners plus vehicles that are all new or significantly updated within each segment. Competing vehicles must have a base price of less than $80,000 and be on sale by January 31, 2018. Each competing vehicle is driven and fully evaluated by our entire editorial staff during our weeklong test, and winners have been determined via editors’ votes for which entrants best deliver across three key areas: value, driving enjoyment, and overall mission fulfillment.

Kia Soul: Best Subcompact SUV


It’s hard out there for a driver on a budget. New-car prices keep going up, wages remain stagnant, and, based on a cursory Google search of the values of various human body parts, a person needs to sell bone marrow and perhaps a wig’s worth of hair to come up with the cash to cover the cost of a basic new car. For buyers who crave the social and warranty benefits of a vehicle fresh off the lot, the market can look bleak. Enter the Kia Soul.

Pleasantly funky-looking with a usable rear seat and a healthy array of available high-rent features, the Soul redefines expectations for a subcompact SUV. The Kia’s cuboid form, blacked-out A-pillars, and unusual floating panel on its liftgate announce it as something special and strange; optional ambient interior lighting that can pulse in sync with whatever’s coming through the speakers reinforces that message. It is unabashedly odd in a class where entrants—mostly unsuccessfully—seek to emulate the gravitas of larger crossovers, and the Soul is made more charming by its willingness to lean into weirdness.


The fun doesn’t stop with the Soul’s design. While the 130-hp entry-level engine isn’t particularly robust, the available 201-hp turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-four with its seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is downright lively; accelerating the Soul from zero to 60 mph in as little as 6.3 seconds in our testing, it leaves every competitor in the dust. Even better, according to the EPA that engine is actually more efficient than both the naturally aspirated 1.6-liter and the midlevel, 161-hp 2.0-liter, and it returned 30 mpg during our real-world highway fuel-economy test. The turbo four comes standard in top-level Exclaim models (also denoted as “!”), but every Soul benefits from a compliant ride and a suspension that can handle curvy roads and tight corners with composure.

The absence of an all-wheel-drive variant is the Soul’s main deficiency, but it makes up for this shortcoming with a genuinely comfortable and useful interior. With an upright cabin, 39.1 inches of rear-seat legroom, and an available panoramic sunroof to make things airy, four adults can be comfortable in the Soul for hours at a stretch. The tall greenhouse and raised seating position mean that drivers have a wide-open view of the road ahead, and despite its objectively small footprint, the Soul’s vibe from the driver’s seat is more like that of a utility vehicle than a car.

In a segment in which too many entries feel like penalty boxes where dynamics were given little to no priority, the Soul is entirely its own animal. Fully realized, fun to drive, and replete with the kind of infotainment tech and other features that are typically reserved for pricier cars, it’s everything we thought we would never find in a subcompact crossover. And with even the fully loaded version ringing in at less than $28,000, you won’t need to sell part of your liver to afford one. —Annie White


front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback
DOHC 16-valve 1.6-liter inline-4, 130 hp, 118 lb-ft; DOHC 16-valve 2.0-liter inline-4, 160 or 161 hp, 149 or 150 lb-ft; turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve 1.6-liter inline-4, 201 hp, 195 lb-ft
6-speed manual, 7-speed dual-clutch automatic with manual shifting mode, 6-speed automatic with manual shifting mode
2900–3250 lb
Zero to 60 mph: 6.4–9.1 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 15.0–16.9 sec
Top speed: 115–130 mph
Combined/city/highway: 27–28/24–26/30–31 mpg

BMW X1: Best Subcompact Luxury SUV


In the same way that Coca-Cola’s secret formula combines sugar, phosphoric acid, carbonated water, and other “natural flavors” into one of the world’s predominant beverages, BMW crafted its special and elusive Ultimate Driving Machine syrup from manual transmissions, inline-six engines, and rear-wheel-drive chassis. But lately, many of BMW’s concoctions aren’t tasting so sweet, and our 2018 10Best Cars list is the first without a BMW since 1991.

So it may be a bit of a surprise that a BMW adhering to none of those old-school virtues, the X1, was such a clear choice for its class trophy for a second year in a row. But BMW has imbued this functional little device with some of the same delicious flavor that first addicted us to the brand’s offerings. This despite using a nearly identical recipe as its closest competitors, down to the 2.0-liter displacement of its turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

Brilliant packaging acumen gives the X1 a positively airy cabin, with plentiful head- and legroom for front- and rear-seat passengers. The upright body makes for good visibility through large windows. Cargo space with the 40/20/40 split-folding rear seats folded flat is more generous than any direct rival and, in our testing, the X1 even accommodated more carry-on suitcases than some one-size-up SUVs, including the Audi Q5. Elevating the experience further are genuinely upscale interior materials that shame the cheap-looking and -feeling plastics in rival Mercedes-Benz’s GLA-class.

But BMW was not satisfied simply to engineer a spacious and practical conveyance and call it a day. The X1 offers genuine driving pleasure thanks to a firm and controlled ride, an eagerness to change direction that’s rare among others of its ilk, and precise steering that is more communicative and satisfying than that found among the competition. In addition, BMW has almost always delivered on the “motor” portion of its name, and the 2.0-liter inline-four in the X1 is no exception, with its nearly lag-free, linear power delivery. A sharp eight-speed automatic transmission shifts responsively and is almost invariably in the correct gear.

While sometimes only the full-figured, sugary indulgence of red-label Coca-Cola will truly satisfy a craving, more practical beverages often will do the trick—witness Coke Zero. This segment is more akin to the latter, and no other carmaker has yet been able to craft a subcompact luxury SUV quite as tasty as the $34,895 X1. —Joseph Capparella



front-engine, front- or all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback




turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve 2.0-liter inline-4, 228 hp, 258 lb-ft


8-speed automatic with manual shifting mode


3550–3700 lb


Zero to 60 mph: 6.4–6.6 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 14.9–15.0 sec
Top speed: 130 mph


Combined/city/highway: 25–26/22–23/31–32 mpg

Mazda CX-5: Best Compact SUV


For all their popularity, compact crossovers are some of the dullest-driving vehicles in the national motor pool. Their tall bodies hinder handling; they’re typically equipped with all-wheel drive, which adds weight; and many try to get by with small four-cylinder engines and droning continuously variable automatic transmissions (CVTs) in an effort to eke out decent fuel economy. We’ll concede that their practical shape provides a good amount of space for people and stuff in a reasonably sized package and that all-wheel drive is a boon in bad weather, while their elevated seating position scratches a psychological itch. In picking the best of the bunch for 2018, our choice was clear: Do we honor an entry that delivers a well-balanced plate of vehicular steamed veggies, or do we honor one that stands out for making this recipe something not just palatable but tasty? We chose the latter, the Mazda CX-5.

From the first turn of the wheel, it’s evident that the Mazda is something different. The CX-5 follows steering commands with an eagerness that belies its category. Its chassis provides a master class in body control—firm enough to make for engaging handling yet supple enough to shrug off pavement imperfections. Further improving its athleticism are subtle changes that came as part of the model’s 2017 makeover, including a wider track and a lower center of gravity.

The CX-5, though, isn’t a numbers car. Its sole powerplant, a 2.5-liter inline-four, makes 187 horsepower and 186 lb-ft of torque; that’s not bad, but some competitors have optional engines that offer more. While the CX-5’s EPA ratings are not at the top of the segment, either, in our 75-mph, real-world highway fuel-economy test, the Mazda was one of the only models in its segment to beat its EPA highway rating, doing so in both front-wheel-drive (33 mpg versus a 31-mpg rating) and all-wheel-drive (32 versus 29) guises. The 2018 model adds cylinder deactivation, too, and sees its EPA rating improve incrementally.

The CX-5’s engine is naturally aspirated, with the precise and linear throttle response that’s often lacking in turbocharged engines. And whereas droning CVT automatics are common in this field, Mazda uses a six-speed conventional automatic. Even better, the transmission is responsive and eager to downshift. The engine delivers its oomph higher in the rev range than do most turbos, but revving this four is no longer a noisy affair, as Mazda has dramatically upped the little SUV’s sound-insulation game, part of an overall push to take the brand further upscale.

Those same upscale aspirations are evident in the interior. Although the CX-5 doesn’t offer the roomiest rear seat or the most capacious cargo hold in the segment—it’s right behind the class leaders in both metrics—the cabin is more about quality than quantity. The materials are rich, and the design is handsome. We also appreciate the excellent seating position, with a comfortable dead pedal and great sightlines. Even the base version is decently equipped, including features such as blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and a 7.0-inch display screen. Yet despite the CX-5’s class-above dynamics and interior, pricing is right in line with its competitors. A compact crossover is a practical purchase, but it doesn’t have to be a dull one. —Joe Lorio



front-engine, front- or all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback




DOHC 16-valve Atkinson-capable 2.5-liter inline-4, 187 hp, 186 lb-ft


6-speed automatic with manual shifting mode


3550–3700 lb


Zero to 60 mph: 8.1–8.2 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 16.3–16.4 sec
Top speed: 130 mph


Combined/city/highway: 26–28/24–25/30–31 mpg

Porsche Macan: Best Compact Luxury SUV


The magicians/comedians Penn & Teller star in a TV show called Fool Us, where they invite the world’s top magicians to perform their best tricks in an attempt to confound the dynamic duo of prestidigitation. Only a handful of their invited conjurers manage the feat.

The Porsche Macan is the automotive equivalent of those visiting practitioners of legerdemain who get to hoist the kitschy Fool Us trophy, complete with its prominent F and U. How the Macan does what it does has to be some sort of sleight of hand: It transforms itself from an SUV into a car right before your eyes—and not just any car, of course. The Macan drives like a Porsche.

That magic, quite simply, is why we’ve anointed it a 10Best winner in the compact-luxury SUV category for the second year in a row. The honor is bestowed on all variants save for the base 252-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter model simply because we have yet to drive that one and thus can’t confirm that it can run with the rest of the Macan family. We have no such reservations about the remainder of the lineup—the S, GTS, and Turbo—which is powered by twin-turbocharged V-6s displacing either 3.0 (S and GTS) or 3.6 (Turbo) liters and ranges from 340 to 440 horsepower.

Even slow Macans are quick. A 340-hp Macan S can charge to 60 mph in less than five seconds. But that’s nothing compared with the 440-hp Macan Turbo with the Performance package. It’s the Usain Bolt of the lineup, doing the 60-mph dash in just 3.7 seconds—0.2 second quicker than a Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport with a seven-speed manual.

But if it were speed alone that won 10Best awards, you’d be reading about John Force’s Funny Car here. It’s the Macan’s special alchemy—its all-around dynamic brilliance—that had us asking, “How’d they do that?” Within the first couple of miles a Macan seems to melt to the size of a small sedan. Your senses stop registering that you’re seated several inches higher off the ground than in a conventional passenger car. The steering is precise, progressive, and brimming with the kind of feel you expect in, well, a Porsche. The suspension is planted and connected while also being deliciously supple. The Macan drives not so much like a downsized Cayenne as it does a baby Panamera.

No amount of hocus-pocus, however, can hide that the Macan is much better at sport than utility. It’s small. Its rear seat is tighter around the knees and its cargo capacity considerably less than rivals like the Audi SQ5 and the Mercedes-AMG GLC43. Its plebeian interior materials are no match for those two rivals, either, unless you spend the big bucks. Speaking of price, it’s not difficult to option a Macan Turbo beyond $100,000—and that’s without the available $10,500 Performance package and $8160 carbon-ceramic brakes.

Which is why our favorite Macan is the S, which starts at $56,450. The S on hand for 10Best evaluation, equipped with a short list of performance options including 20-inch wheels, the Sport Chrono package, Torque Vectoring Plus, and Porsche Active Suspension Management, drove so beautifully that we were entranced. (A GTS model is pictured.) Its shortcomings disappeared into thin air—and it even seemed a bargain at its $66,010 as-tested price. Macan, you put a spell on us. Even Penn and Teller couldn’t pull off a trick any better. —Rich Ceppos



front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback




twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve 3.0-liter V-6, 340 or 360 hp, 339 or 369 lb-ft; twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve 3.6-liter V-6, 400 or 440 hp, 406 or 442 lb-ft


7-speed dual-clutch automatic with manual shifting mode


4350–4450 lb


Zero to 60 mph: 3.7–5.0 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 12.4–13.5 sec
Top speed: 156–169 mph


Combined/city/highway: 19/17/23 mpg

Mazda CX-9: Best Mid-Size SUV


Practicality may be king for vehicles tasked with the demands of suburban responsibility, yet our chores need not be devoid of enjoyment. Mazda gets that, and the CX-9 crossover is its flagship example of bringing driving satisfaction to the daily grind, a sophisticated standout that sets the benchmark for how a three-row SUV should satisfy its driver.

The CX-9 rides to a repeat appearance here as our best mid-sizer on the back of a comparison-test win against four similar vehicles. It was the Mazda’s vigor on the road that helped carry it to victory in that highly competitive matchup, the fluidity of the controls and the chassis response perfectly balanced with comfort and composure. This is an SUV that makes you want to properly secure your Costco haul before heading home.

While the Mazda is on the small side for a seven-seater—its rearmost row of seats is best left to kids, and only for shorter stretches—its proportions bring good visibility, especially to the rear, and a carlike seating position. Weighing somewhere in between 4200 and 4400 pounds, the CX-9 is among the lightest in its class, and it has one of the lowest centers of gravity, enhancing its sense of agility and strong roadholding and braking abilities. For 2018, Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control software further sharpens the CX-9’s initial bite in corners.

Less mass to move also makes the CX-9 one of the most efficient three-row utes in our testing, sipping less fuel than its comparison-test peers and achieving a solid 26 mpg on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy loop. Despite the modest 250 horsepower from its turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-four, the Mazda’s stout midrange grunt, 310 lb-ft of torque, and sweetly tuned six-speed automatic provide plenty of real-world gusto. At the test track, the AWD CX-9’s 6.8-second zero-to-60-mph run keeps pace with all but the speediest three-row crossovers.

Beyond the driver, anyone can appreciate the athletic tension in its shapely exterior design, and other occupants will enjoy the sophisticated presentation of one of the quietest cabins in the segment. With tasteful metallic accents, available rosewood trim, and intuitive ergonomics and infotainment, the CX-9 is a welcoming retreat from the outside world. That even the fanciest, all-wheel-drive Signature version costs thousands less than many similarly equipped rivals is a bonus. —Mike Sutton



front-engine, front- or all-wheel-drive, 7-passenger, 4-door hatchback




turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve 2.5-liter inline-4, 250 hp, 310 lb-ft


6-speed automatic with manual shifting mode


4200–4400 lb


Zero to 60 mph: 6.8–7.1 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 15.4–15.5 sec
Top speed: 132 mph


Combined/city/highway: 23–24/20–22/26–28 mpg

Audi Q7: Best Mid-Size Luxury SUV


Few vehicles are as well rounded, well executed, and vice free as Audi’s Q7. In the mid-size luxury class, nothing comes close. Some challengers have an acute focus on practicality; others go all in on performance. Common among them is the sacrifice of one competency for another.

The Audi forgoes nothing sliding into our graces, ferrying people and things as well as it drives. A 252-hp turbocharged inline-four engine is standard and punches above its weight by moving the Q7 with surprising alacrity. The available 333-hp supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 effortlessly punts the Audi to 60 mph in about six seconds flat—near the top of the class—and comes with an increased towing capacity of 7700 pounds, up from 4400 with the 2.0T. Every Q7 includes Quattro all-wheel drive.

On curvy roads where other crossovers disappoint, the Q7 distinguishes itself with spry athleticism. Sitting on its baseline steel springs or the optional air springs, the Q7 tightly controls body motions and roll. Accurate steering with just-right quickness parks happily on-center for locomotive-steady tracking on freeways. The chassis returns the most satisfying handling and best cornering grip this side of two-row, performance-minded SUVs such as BMW’s X5 M, Mercedes-AMG’s GLE63, and Porsche’s Cayenne, all of which cost more and sit beyond the mainstream. Yet the Audi rides exceptionally well, its wheels traversing bumps with a luxurious fluidity.

Wrapped around this excellent hardware is a stout body stamped into a well-tailored, modern shape. Volvo’s squarer-bodied XC90 holds slightly more cargo—second- and third-row seats folded, the Volvo can accommodate 27 carry-on-size suitcases against the Audi’s 25—but otherwise the Q7’s versatility sits at the front of the mid-size pack. Second-row accommodations are top-notch, and those seats fold and flip forward to open relatively wide pathways to the third row. While the Audi’s tight third row is a bit of a demerit, such seats are typically occasional-use bonuses in this class, not the norm. Those planning to frequently haul seven or more people should consider either a full-size SUV or a minivan.

Few vehicles match the Audi’s exquisite interior. Caliper- and force-meter-wielding fans of measuring panel-gap consistency and soft plastics’ deflection coefficients will love it. You needn’t wander from the base Premium model to bask in the Q7’s inherent luxuriousness, either, while extra-cost trimmings and features only enhance what is an extremely nice space to spend time. The reconfigurable Virtual Cockpit display that replaces the analog gauge cluster and can show a full-width navigation map is an essential and visually impressive bauble.

Luxurious, dynamic, and of extremely high quality, the Q7 is precisely what a mid-size luxury SUV should be. —Alexander Stoklosa



front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 7-passenger, 4-door hatchback




turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve 2.0-liter inline-4, 252 hp, 273 lb-ft; supercharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve 3.0-liter V-6, 333 hp, 325 lb-ft


8-speed automatic with manual shifting mode


4800–5100 lb


Zero to 60 mph: 6.0–7.0 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 14.5–15.4 sec
Top speed: 130 mph


Combined/city/highway: 21/19/25 mpg

Mercedes-Benz GLS450: Best Large SUV


Whereas we divide other SUVs into regular and luxury classes for 10Best consideration, we throw all the big ones into the same pool. The reason is simple: All vehicles this big are expensive. Case in point is this year’s competition. Looking at as-tested prices, the Mercedes-Benz GLS450—a returning winner from last year’s awards—was pitted against a $78,420 Chevrolet Tahoe (an RST model, eligible due to its new 10-speed automatic and performance upgrades), an $81,765 Ford Expedition (all new for 2018), and a $78,390 GMC Yukon (also a recipient of the new 10-speed transmission). In this group, the $84,160 GLS450 is the only one that doesn’t feel like it’s priced by the pound. (Prices for the GLS450 start at $70,545, which puts it comfortably under our $80,000 cap; the same cannot be said for the V-8–powered GLS550 and GLS63 models, which is why they do not share in this award.)

The Ford and General Motors trucks look as if they’d be as capacious as a hot-air balloon—the actual balloon, not the basket—but they don’t offer appreciably more passenger space than a minivan. In contrast, the Benz boasts more space than it looks like it should. Critically, the GLS’s third-row seat offers 41 percent more legroom than a Chevy Tahoe’s. Long rear doors and second-row seats that can tuck tight up against the front seatbacks (which automatically power out of the way) make that rearmost row easy to access. We also love the GLS’s one-touch power-folding third row, which remains rare among peers that require you to hold the button down if they offer the feature at all.

The GLS is due to be replaced in the near future, but the GLS450’s interior and overall fit and finish are still of a quality unsurpassed among anything in its price range. The Benz also drives with a luxuriousness and fluidity that belie its size. In fact, the ride from the standard air-spring suspension is so much plusher than the rest of the competition’s that you might doubt the GLS’s work-truck credentials, but its 7500-pound maximum tow rating is competitive for the class. Sure, there’s a bit of old-money floatiness to its demeanor, but that’s not at all out of place given its size and sybaritic intent, and it’s easy to control, as the GLS steers with more accuracy than anything in its class. Plus, with a 362-hp twin-turbocharged V-6, the Mercedes is as quick as any of its class rivals, boding well for its ability to get out of its own way when hitched to a load. It has capability and space to match all comers, but in a field of premium prices, only the GLS provides a premium experience. —Jared Gall



front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 7-passenger, 4-door hatchback




twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve 3.0-liter V-6, 362 hp, 369 lb-ft


9-speed automatic with manual shifting mode


5400 lb


Zero to 60 mph: 5.7 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 14.2 sec
Top speed: 130 mph


Combined/city/highway: 19/17/22 mpg

Honda Ridgeline: Best Mid-Size Pickup


We heard plenty of disagreement about our naming the Honda Ridgeline to our 10Best Trucks and SUVs list last year, with most grousing centered around claims that it isn’t a “real” truck. We hate to play the dictionary card here, but, like it or not, the Ridgeline is by definition a pickup truck. And we’ve driven and tested the entirety of the mid-size-truck segment, filled each one with our volume-measuring ping-pong balls and carry-on cases, evaluated the trucks’ real-world fuel economy, towed with them, and even taken them tailgating. The Honda Ridgeline is simply the best of them all.

A mid-size pickup doesn’t need to tow or haul as much as a full-size brute. We reason that the vast majority of buyers in this segment view their truck as more of a multitool, offering levels of convenience, wieldiness, and daily comfort absent from larger pickups while still having reasonable towing and hauling capabilities. Those who actually need full-size capability have a full set of options just one rung up—including the also excellent and also 10Best award–winning Ford F-150.

The Ridgeline’s 5000-pound maximum towing capacity and 1580-pound payload rating are good enough for an expensive trip to a home-supply store or for lugging a decent-size boat to the lake, and the Honda has the best balance of practicality and everyday usability even if it doesn’t out-tow the diesel-powered GMC Canyon or conquer off-road trails as well as the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro or the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2. The Ridgeline’s smooth and gutsy 3.5-liter V-6 makes quick work of highway passing, plus it sips fuel at a surprisingly low rate, returning an impressive 28 mpg on our 75-mph real-world highway fuel-economy test—matching that of the GMC’s diesel engine but while burning cheaper and less energy-dense fuel.

Want to talk about cargo? The Ridgeline held 18 carry-on cases inside its rear cabin and 511 ping-pong balls throughout its various front-seat cubbies, both tops by large margins over any of its competition. And then there’s that huge, lockable, and watertight storage compartment underneath the 5.3-foot bed, a well that also features a drain plug, making it a perfect, albeit uninsulated, cooler for beverages and food when tailgating. Count us as huge fans of the dual-hinged tailgate, too, which just might be the Ridgeline’s most convenient feature.

These conveniences alone don’t earn the Honda its 10Best award. Against the competition, it also has the most spacious rear seat, the quietest cabin, superior outward visibility, a far more comfortable ride, and more agile handling. The Ridgeline is a capable family vehicle that also happens to have an open bed out back; in our offices, we’re all in agreement that it’s the best mid-size truck on the market. —Drew Dorian



front-engine, front- or all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door pickup




SOHC 24-valve 3.5-liter V-6, 280 hp, 262 lb-ft


6-speed automatic


4250–4500 lb


Zero to 60 mph: 6.6–6.8 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 15.2–15.3 sec
Top speed: 112 mph


Combined/city/highway: 21–22/18–19/25–26 mpg

Ford F-150 / F-150 Raptor: Best Full-Size Pickup


As good as it was a year ago when we named it the best full-size pickup, the Ford F-150 secured its position for a second go-round this year with drivetrain improvements for 2018 even as its primary rivals—the Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra and the Ram 1500—mostly stood pat. The improvements simply emphasize the engineering sophistication and over-the-road refinement that put Dearborn’s truck atop what remains the one market segment dominated by the Detroit Three.

Pickups adhere to a pretty basic formula, with predominantly body-on-frame construction and live-axle rear suspensions that hark to the earliest days of motorized transport, but Ford, especially, seems committed to bringing the form into the 21st century. Dearborn is maintaining a process of continuous improvement, reinvesting the considerable profits from peddling America’s perennial best-selling vehicle into advanced engineering and features customers embrace. Witness not only the F-150’s aluminum body but also its drivetrain lineup in which the V-8—once the domestic industry’s staple and still dominant in General Motors and Ram showrooms—has been relegated to a supporting role.

For 2018, the entry-level Ford’s V-6 now displaces 3.3 liters rather than the old 3.5, but the reduced cylinder bore was offset by a higher compression ratio (12.0:1 versus 10.8:1) and the addition of port- and direct-injection technologies to increase output. Using both injection types allows finer tuning of the combustion process, and Ford applied the same dual-injection trick to the F-150’s 5.0-liter V-8 and its turbocharged 2.7-liter V-6. Ford first used the same injection strategy in the F-150 a year ago on its EcoBoost-branded twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6, the only engine that didn’t change for 2018, in both its standard 375-hp configuration and in the wild child of the range, the desert-racing-inspired Raptor that boasts 450 horses. A new turbo-diesel 3.0-liter V-6 joins the lineup for 2018, but we’ve yet to sample that engine.

Ford also expanded availability of the 10-speed automatic transmission, formerly offered only with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost but now included with the 2.7-liter EcoBoost and the 5.0-liter V-8 as well. The older six-speed is now used solely with the naturally aspirated 3.3-liter, a drivetrain relegated to the two lowest trim levels, the XL and the XLT. All the updated powertrains see not only moderate power gains but also fuel-economy improvements in the EPA’s regulatory test cycle.

On the road, all of this delivers with smoothly responsive, relatively quiet trucks that are easily maneuvered while offering the cargo-hauling and towing capabilities that full-size-pickup buyers seek. Ride quality doesn’t quite match the smoothness of the Ram 1500, especially when unladen, but the Ford isn’t nearly as harsh as we’d come to expect of pickups a generation or two older.

In other respects, the 2018 F-150 sees some mild styling updates that include a more horizontal appearance to the grille and some metal trim slathered about on the upscale trim levels. There’s new 4G LTE Wi-Fi capability, and optional full adaptive cruise control and a forward-collision-warning system with pedestrian detection and automated braking keep the truck range up to date with industry trends. The combination of modern engines and convenience features, capability, and satisfying handling—plus a full-on performance model in the Raptor that no competitor has yet matched for its off-road ability—makes the Ford F-150 our top choice in this hotly contested segment. —Kevin A. Wilson



front-engine; rear-, rear-/4-, or rear-/all-wheel-drive; 2-, 3-, 5-, or 6-passenger, 2- or 4-door pickup




DOHC 24-valve 3.3-liter V-6, 290 hp, 265 lb-ft; twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve 2.7-liter V-6, 325 hp, 400 lb-ft; twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve 3.5-liter V-6, 375 or 450 hp, 470 or 510 lb-ft; DOHC 32-valve 5.0-liter V-8, 395 hp, 400 lb-ft


6-speed automatic with manual shifting mode, 10-speed automatic with manual shifting mode


4100–5900 lb


Zero to 60 mph: 5.0–6.5 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 13.7–14.8 sec
Top speed: 108 mph


Combined/city/highway: 16–22/15–20/18–26 mpg

Chrysler Pacifica: Best Van


After securing its spot as top van on our 2017 10Best list, the Chrysler Pacifica was tasked with defending its title against the latest Honda Odyssey, which is all new for 2018. Two vans entered, but only one van was victorious in a bitter battle where each displayed many virtues and few faults. Ultimately the Pacifica reigned supreme, its superior ergonomics and feature set carrying the day. (Note that the Pacifica’s gasoline-electric plug-in-hybrid model does not share this honor. The Atkinson-cycle V-6 engine and two-motor CVT powertrain proved too coarse and unpredictable in its power delivery to include that version.)

The Chrysler’s victory shouldn’t come as a total surprise considering it beat both the latest Odyssey and a Toyota Sienna in a recent comparison test. Driving the Pacifica around our 10Best loop once again allowed us to enjoy its capable chassis, powerful 287-hp 3.6-liter V-6 engine, and smooth nine-speed automatic transmission. In keeping with its mission, the Pacifica moves with aplomb, not overstarched vigor; its suspension is tuned for passenger comfort, while light and faithful steering makes navigating tight parking lots as effortless as knocking back a glass of Yoo-hoo. Even so, the Pacifica proves willing enough to dance down a twisty two-lane road.

With the exception of the base model, the nonhybrid also offers incredibly handy Stow ’n Go second-row seats, which allow that row’s captain’s chairs to fold into the floor. (An optional seat can be added between the two captain’s chairs and affords room for eight.) While we’re no fans of the seats’ thin padding and lesser comfort—Chrysler would do well to at least offer the option of the hybrid’s more comfortable, removable chairs across the lineup—their versatility and ease of use give the Pacifica a leg up in a category where practicality and flexibility are of the utmost importance. The Pacifica, too, meets almost every other need with cubbies and stowage space almost everywhere you look, a plethora of USB ports and power points, and available touchscreen rear-seat entertainment with built-in apps, HDMI connectivity, and more.

To all that, the Pacifica adds an attractive exterior design, ergonomically friendly interior controls, and an infotainment system that’s perhaps the most intuitive and easy to use in all of autodom. It also returned 31 mpg on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy test, a boon for long family road trips. The Chrysler Pacifica is a refined tool that is now a two-time 10Best winner. —Greg Fink



front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 7- or 8-passenger, 4-door van




DOHC 24-valve 3.6-liter V-6, 287 hp, 262 lb-ft


9-speed automatic


4350–4450 lb


Zero to 60 mph: 7.3 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 15.6 sec
Top speed: 112 mph


Combined/city/highway: 22/18–19/28 mpg

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Ranking The 10 Best SUVs Of 2018 (And The 10 Worst)

By Jen Ong


Take a look at the 10 best SUVs we've found for 2018, along with 10 models you should avoid.

In today's automotive market, there is no doubt that SUVs (or Sport Utility Vehicles) remain in high demand. In fact, according to a report from Reuters, sales for SUVs in the U.S. enjoyed a particularly sharp increase just last August. Meanwhile, a recent study by LMC Automotive also revealed that SUVs may well own 50 percent of the car market by 2020.

Because of a consistently strong demand for this type of vehicle, car makers from around the world have been aggressive about developing more and more SUVs. In fact, today, we see various types of SUVs available.

For starters, there are the crossover SUVs that are smaller than the SUVs that were produced years ago. The whole idea is to give consumers a product that almost drives like a sedan but with an added height advantage and cargo space. Meanwhile, there are also midsize SUVs. These are the ones that are not too big or too small. They can definitely accommodate more than five people. What's more, they have more than enough cargo space in the back. On the other hand, if you are driving around with your child's entire soccer team, then perhaps a full-size SUV would suit you better. This way, everyone is also happier and way more comfortable.

Of course, just like other types of vehicle, there are good and bad SUVs. And if you are currently in the market for one, going over the wide range of SUVs can be quite overwhelming. Fortunately, we've already done some of the work for you. Just look at the 10 best SUVs we've found for 2018, along with 10 models you should avoid.

20 Best: Kia Niro

The Kia Niro is one of the most popular crossover SUVs available today. It’s a plug-in hybrid and hybrid SUV that comes with a relatively affordable starting price of $23,340 for its 2018 model. Under the hood of the 2018 Niro is a 1.6-liter engine and full parallel hybrid system. Combined, it can generate as much as 139 horsepower at 5,700 rpm and 195 pound-feet of a torque at 4,000 rpm. And as you can expect, the Niro enjoys impressive fuel efficiency. According to Kia U.S.A., it has an estimated rating of 52 miles per gallon in the city and 49 miles per gallon on the highway, giving it a combined rating of 50 miles per gallon.

19 Best: Subaru Forester

Over the years, the Subaru Forester has always proven to be a reliable SUV. According to the website, its 2018 model has a reasonable price range of $22,795 to $36,090. For the 2018 Forester, you get two engine options.

The first one is a 2.5-liter Subaru Boxer engine that can produce 170 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque.

Meanwhile, there is also a 2.0-liter Turbocharged Subaru Boxer engine that can readily deliver 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Based on consumer reviews of the car, this SUV offers particularly good visibility. Moreover, there is also a great appreciation for the safety features onboard.

18 Best: Toyota RAV4

The Toyota RAV4 is another SUV that has been around for ages. And although it suffered from particularly bad problems several years ago, recent RAV4 models have proven to be much more reliable. Under the hood of the 2018 RAV4 is a standard 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine with VVT-i that can deliver 176 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 172 pound-feet of torque at 4,100 rpm. Meanwhile, this SUV comes with various safety and driver assistance features, including a blind spot monitor, lane departure alert with steering assist, dynamic radar cruise control, pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, automatic high beams and more. According to Toyota, the 2018 RAV4 comes with a starting price of $24,660.

17 Best: Chevrolet Traverse

The Chevrolet Traverse is a midsize SUV that makes for a practical choice if you have a slightly large family. This SUV has a passenger capacity of eight people. Even better, it has a relatively low starting price of $29,930. Standard to the 2018 Traverse is a 3.6-liter SIDI VVT engine that can readily deliver 310 horsepower at 6,800 rpm and 266 pound-feet of torque at 2,800 rpm. In addition, the Traverse comes with several convenience features such as smart slide seating, hidden storage, and a hands-free liftgate. Meanwhile, it also has a wide range of safety features, including front pedestrian braking, low speed forward automatic braking, forward collision alert, and lane keep assist with lane departure warning.

16 Best: GMC Terrain

The GMC Terrain is another good choice if you are looking for an SUV that’s quite reliable. Moreover, its 2018 model has a pretty reasonable starting price of $27,900. For the 2018 Terrain, you have three engine options, depending on the variant that you choose.

The first one is a 1.5-liter turbo engine that can produce as much as 170 horsepower and 203 pound-feet of torque.

On the other hand, there is a 1.6-liter turbocharged diesel engine that can churn out 137 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque. Finally, there is also an option for a 2.0-liter turbo engine that can deliver as much as 252 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque.

15 Best: Buick Encore

The Buick Encore is a compact SUV that is perfect if you have a small family or if you usually just drive on your own. Even better, it has a relatively low starting price of $22,990. Under the hood of the 2018 Encore is a 1.4-liter turbo engine that can readily produce up to 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. And according to several consumer reviews on the 2018 Encore, it delivers pretty impressive fuel efficiency. Moreover, many have also noted that the 2018 Encore offers significant space for everyone. In fact, one reviewer remarked on, “Great car, interior is larger than expected but back seat headroom could be higher!”

14 Best: Volkswagen Tiguan

If you are looking for an SUV that is impressively safe, one of the models to consider is definitely the Volkswagen Tiguan. In fact, the 2018 Tiguan has earned the Top Safety Pick title from the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety (IIHS). It passed the crashworthiness test for the driver side, passenger side, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, head restraints, and seats. Under the hood of the 2018 Tiguan is a 2.0-liter TSI turbocharged engine that can deliver as much as 184 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. Some of the safety features available in this SUV include the tire pressure monitoring system, rollover sensor system, rearview camera system, blind spot monitor, rear traffic alert and many others.

13 Best: Lexus RX

The Lexus RX series has received pretty high ratings from automotive experts. Unlike other similar SUVs, the 2018 RX also offers more space since it extends all the way to a third row. For the 2018 RX, there are two options available, depending on the model and variant that you choose.

For starters, there is a 3.5-liter V6 engine that can deliver 290 and 295 horsepower.

This engine is available in the RX 350, RX350 F Sport, RX 350L, RX 350 AWD, RX 350L AWD, and RX 350 F Sport AWD. Meanwhile, there is also the 3.5-liter Atkinson-Cycle V6 engine that can churn out as much as 308 horsepower. This one is available in the RX 450h, RX 450hL, and RX 450h F Sport.

12 Best: Mercedes-Benz GLA

If you are looking for a highly-recommended luxury SUV, then you absolutely can’t wrong with the Mercedes-Benz GLA. Under the hood of the 2018 GLA is a 2.0-liter, turbocharged, inline-four engine that can readily churn out 208 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 258 pound-feet of torque from 1,250 to 4,000 rpm.

Depending on the model, this car can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 7.1 to 7.2 seconds.

If you are looking for something more powerful, you can also opt for the AMG GLA variant. This one utilizes a handcrafted, 2.0-liter AMG engine. It can deliver 375 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 350 pound-feet of torque at 2,500 to 5,000 rpm. Moreover, it can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just 4.3 seconds.

11 Best: BMW X3

The BMW X3 is the perfect car for you if you are looking for a luxury SUV that’s got a bit of a sporty edge. For the 2018 X3, you have two engine choices depending on the variant that you choose. First up is the 2.0-liter, TwinPower turbo engine that can churn out 240 horsepower from 5,000 to 6,000 rpm and 260 pound-feet of torque from 1,450 to 4,800 rpm.

With this engine, the car can readily go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in six seconds.

On the other hand, there is also the more powerful 3.0-liter, turbocharged, M Performance TwinPower engine that can readily deliver 355 horsepower from 5,800 to 6,000 rpm and 343 pound-feet of torque from 1,350 to 5,250 rpm. When using this engine, the X3 can readily go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 4.7 seconds.

10 Worst: Mazda CX-9

Typically, Mazda gets high marks when it comes to reliability. Unfortunately, however, it has recently been encountering trouble with its CX-9. As far as space goes, the CX-9 is the roomiest of all the available Mazda SUVs. In fact, this one comes with three rows and there’s enough room for as many as seven passengers. However, according to a report from the website B, the third row is quite tight, so adults may want to avoid sitting here, especially during long trips. The 2018 CX-9 is powered by a 2.5-liter engine. It can deliver 250 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque, but only if you use premium fuel. And if you use regular unleaded, expect just 227 horsepower.

9 Worst: Nissan Armada

The Nissan Armada is another SUV that has scored pretty low ratings in recent years. The 2018 Armada is powered by a 5.6-liter V8 Endurance engine. This one can readily deliver as much as 390 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 394 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm. Meanwhile, it comes with several available safety features, including lane departure warning, blind spot warning, intelligent forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking and more. Unfortunately, these don’t make up for the many issues that the Armada has been experiencing recently. According to reviews, the 2018 Armada suffers from poor handling and steering. Moreover, it is also not fuel efficient. And to make things even worse, the space in the third row is pretty cramped and the onboard infotainment system is rather outdated.

8 Worst: Mitsubishi Outlander

The Mitsubishi Outlander is another SUV that has been dealing with several issues recently. With an estimated MSRP of $23,945, according to a report from Motor Trend, the 2018 Outlander is a crossover SUV that comes with two engine options.

The first one is the standard 2.4-liter,inline-fourengine that can produce 166 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque.

Meanwhile, there is also the 3.0-liter V6 engine that can deliver as much as 224 horsepower and 215 pound-feet of torque. According to several reviews, the Outlander has suffered from both engine and electrical problems. In fact, one Outlander owner wrote on, “While driving if key is hit, the car will shut off.”

7 Worst: Jeep Renegade

Unlike other Jeep models, the Renegade has not been receiving favorable ratings and reviews recently. In fact, many have even said that the most recent model of this compact SUV has been plagued by some major problems. The Jeep Renegade is a small SUV that is expected to dominate the off-road trail despite its size.

For the 2018 Renegade, there are two engine options.

First up is the 1.4-liter, turbocharged, MultiAir engine that can deliver 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. On the other hand, there is also a 2.4-liter Tigershark MultiAir 2 engine that can produce 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. As you can see, this SUV may feel slightly underpowered. Meanwhile, there are also reported problems regarding steering, engine, drivetrain, electrical, and more for the 2018 Renegade.

6 Worst: Jaguar F-Pace

The Jaguar F-Pace may have only been launched relatively recently. Nonetheless, it’s already managed to gain attention, although not in a good way. This SUV is powered by a 2.0-liter turbo engine that can generate as much as 247 horsepower at 5,500 rpm. Meanwhile, it’s got an estimated fuel efficiency rating of 22 miles per gallon in the city and 27 miles per gallon on the highway. Despite the specs, however, the F-Pace can still leave you disappointed. One consumer at reported that the 2018 F-Pace “engine stops at stops and then starts up.” Meanwhile, the 2018 F-Pace has also been subject to three recalls. Two of these involve problems with the electrical system while one pertains to the fuel system.

5 Worst: Tesla Model X

Initially, there was great excitement for the Tesla Model X. After all, it stands out for many reasons. First, there are the falcon doors that open upwards, which is supposed to make life easier for parents who are traveling with their small children. At the same time, the Model X is also reportedly “the safest SUV” around. Tesla further explained, “Built from the ground up as an electric vehicle, the body, chassis, restraints and battery technology provide a very low probability of occupant injury.” Unfortunately, that didn’t mean that the Model X was free from issues. For starters, many complained that the falcon doors “don’t work.” Meanwhile, according to a report from Wired, some owners have also reported experiencing double vision while behind the wheel of the SUV at night.

4 Worst: Land Rover Range Rover

Another SUV that has not been experiencing a lot of issues recently is the Land Rover Range Rover. Because of this, the Range Rover has received low reliability ratings. Among the engines available for the 2018 Range Rover is a 3.0-liter, supercharged V6 engine. This one is capable of achieving as much as 340 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 332 pound-feet of torque at 3,500 rpm.

Meanwhile, it has an estimated fuel efficiency rating of 23 miles per gallon the highway and 17 miles per gallon in the city.

As reasonably good as this may sound, however, several problems have already been reported regarding the 2018 model, particularly with regards to performance. One verified review on Consumer Affairs stated, “I purchased a NEW 2018 Range Rover Sport in October 2018. Right out of the gate I noticed the throttle response was delayed. When I press the gas there is a 1-2 second delay before the truck moves. When you have the wheel turned it's an even longer delay and then the truck bucks and goes.”

3 Worst: Ford Explorer

Yes, the Ford Explorer looks like a very handsome large SUV. And as powerful as it can be, we cannot forget that the 2018 Explorer failed miserably during a recent crash test. That means it is not one of the safest SUVs to drive around with. According to crash test results from the IIHS’ Highway Loss Data Institute (IIHS HLDI), the 2018 Explorer had received a Poor rating for passenger-side crashworthiness. Meanwhile, it received a Marginal rating for driver side crashworthiness. At the same time, the tests also revealed problems with visibility when it comes to the SUV’s headlights. According to the IIHS HLDI, “The low beam created excessive glare.”

2 Worst: GMC Acadia

Another SUV that is not having a good year is the GMC Acadia. Initially, this midsize SUV looked promising. For starters, it comes with two engine options. There’s the 2.5-liter SIDI engine with a modest output of 193 horsepower and 188 pound-feet of torque.

And then, there’s the available 3.6-liter SIDI V6 engine that can produce as much as 310 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque.

At the same time, it’s got a pretty reasonable estimated fuel economy of 21 miles per gallon in the city and 26 miles per gallon on the highway. The problem, however, is that this SUV has run into some serious issues. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the 2018 Acadia has already suffered from two recalls. Moreover, there are also eight filed complaints against this vehicle.

1 Worst: Infiniti QX60

In recent years, Infiniti has been rather aggressive in their bid to improve the QX60. In fact, according to a report from Car and Driver, the SUV had already gone some changes in the interior and chassis dynamics. At the same time, the engine was also improved for the 2017 model. We believe these upgrades were necessary as the QX60 has suffered from reliability issues historically speaking. For 2018, a rear door alert feature had been added. At the same time, the QX60’s 3.5-liter V6 engine can deliver a decent 295 horsepower which is satisfying enough especially if you are not looking to race with anyone. Unfortunately, however, complaints still persist. Based on reviews posted on Edmunds by consumers, there are reports regarding a vibration noise or a “humming sound” while driving. One owner also noted that their unit has already had multiple repairs after running a mere 12,000 miles.

Source: Reuters, Edmunds, Car Complaints, and Wired.


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Jen Ong (219 Articles Published)More From Jen Ong

2018 top ten suvs

As a guide for new car purchases, you can’t do much better than the annual Consumer Reports reliability survey. After putting hundreds of vehicles through a battery of tests and collecting feedback from owners of previous editions, the nonprofit agency hands out verdicts on the best and worst for each model year.

Practicality is the name of the game here. You might get a better idea of the thrills of driving a new Mustang from some other source, but when you’re talking about starting the car every morning and it staying in one piece, Consumer Reports’ annual report is your best bet. Here are the only nine SUVs to land the coveted top reliability ranking for 2018.

9. Toyota Sequoia

2018 Toyota Sequoia

If you’re looking for a large SUV for 2018, the list with the top reliability rankings is short. In fact, the new Toyota Sequoia was the only model to score well above the average. Other top sellers like Chevrolet Suburban and GMC Yukon XL ended up on the list of least reliable SUVs in the latest survey. Sequoia, for its part, turned in a near-perfect score for the third straight year.

8. Buick Encore

2018 Buick Encore

While a glut of new “entry-level luxury” crossovers hit the market in 2017, only two nabbed the top reliability rating. Buick Encore made that elite list by maintaining its excellent score from the previous two years. It may be one of the least-American cars to wear a Detroit badge, but buyers can expect it to start every morning. That should count for something.

7. Toyota 4Runner

2018 Toyota 4Runner

You can count on Toyota or Lexus to nab the title of most reliable brand every year, and they once again placed first and second, respectively, for 2018. In the case of the 4Runner midsize SUV, there was hardly any suspense for a model that landed its 13th consecutive top score from Consumer Reports. You may have some other problem with this vehicle, but you can be sure of it running for the foreseeable future.

6. Toyota Highlander

2018 Toyota Highlander

Highlander might not have the flawless record of 4Runner in the reliability rankings, but it holds its own with four straight years nabbing the top rating. In a segment where Dodge Journey, Jeep Wrangler, and Mazda CX-9 (the worst in its class) landed in the basement, Toyota two midsize SUVs set the standard for 2018. These results should not surprise many shoppers.

5. Subaru Forester

2018 Subaru Forester

In one of America’s hottest segments, Subaru Forester broke through to end up among the most reliable SUVs overall. Since this model’s redesign for 2014, Forester has received top scores from Consumer Reports every year. Besides the reliability ratings, Subaru’s compact SUV had a perfect owner satisfaction score and an 85 out of 100 in the road test. You can hardly recommend a vehicle more.

4. Honda CR-V

2018 Honda CR-V

For the second straight year, the top-selling Honda CR-V landed the top reliability rating as well. Remarkably, each of the last three redesigns — in ’12, ’15, and ’17 — somehow got through without scoring below average. That’s especially hard to do because automakers always have some type of problem spring up with all-new models. Just look at Tesla’s record on that front. 

3. Toyota RAV4

2018 Toyota Rav4 Limited

The 2018 Toyota RAV4 not only topped the compact SUV segment for reliability; it also made one of Consumer Reports’ 10 best overall for the year. Overall, RAV4 got the top reliability score for its 10 consecutive year. In other words, if you look at new models and decide you can’t afford one, buy a used RAV4 with confidence. With some care, it should keep running.

2. Audi Q3

2018 Audi Q3

You don’t see the Mercedes GLA or BMW subcompacts on this list, but Audi Q3 managed to make No. 2 for reliability in 2018. That rating marked the third time in four years when Q3 got a full-throated endorsement from Consumer Reports. A fussy in-car electronics system might be the only area that gives owners trouble in this German crossover.

1. Kia Niro

2018 Kia Niro

It may be barely a year old, but Consumer Reports named Kia Niro is the most reliable vehicle overall for the 2018 model year. Niro’s claim to fame starts with fuel economy, and its tests in that department yielded 43 mpg overall with 52 mpg on the highway. Think of it as the Prius crossover, only manufactured by Kia rather than Toyota. Though the concept may be obvious, Niro is basically alone on the market as a fuel-sipping utility model under $30,000.

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Top 10 Luxury SUVs on Sale in 2018 (Car Exterior and Interior Review)

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