Car and Driver
SUVs have evolved. A class that started out as truck-like body-on-frame brutes has morphed into car-like vehicles with unibody construction. Though off-road enthusiasts may snub these car-based SUVs (also known as crossovers), consumers have embraced them in huge numbers thanks to their combination of a commanding seating position and pleasant, car-like driving dynamics. A number of these crossover SUVs are even capable of holding their own off the beaten path, while a few drive like tall sports sedans.
Whether you’re looking to save money on a mainstream brand’s SUV or enjoy the grandiose style of a luxury model, our editors have put just about every SUV sold today through our renowned testing regimen. From performance testing to cargo area measurements and a real-world fuel economy challenge, we do it all. This has allowed us to whittle down a list of the best SUVs available, all of which currently hold a spot on our coveted 10Best list or nabbed one of our Editors’ Choice awards for 2022, as well.
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Looking like a taller, more rugged Mazda 3 hatchback, the 2022 CX-30 snuggles up next to the CX-5 on the small end of the brand’s SUV lineup. Its curvaceous exterior design and near-premium cabin give the CX-30 an upscale appearance that almost puts it in contention with subcompact luxury crossovers such as the Audi Q3 and the BMW X1, but its pricing is more aligned with mainstream subcompact SUVs such as the Hyundai Kona and the Volkswagen Taos. The entry-level engine is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder, which delivers tepid acceleration; hot-shoe drivers will find the optional turbocharged 2.5-liter far more desirable. Handling is agile and the CX-30’s on-road demeanor is reminiscent of Mazda’s sportier offerings, which we greatly appreciate; so much so, that we gave it an Editors’ Choice award. A generous helping of infotainment and driver-assistance features is standard and, starting this year, so is all-wheel drive.
When an SUV delivers as crisp a driving experience as the 2022 Hyundai Kona, it’s hard to get hung up on the usual anti-crossover sentiment—so we won’t. The subcompact Kona is, simply put, a great package that blends carlike on-road behavior with bold styling, a dose of practicality, and an elevated driving position; we like it so much we gave it an Editors’ Choice award. Two four-cylinder engines are offered: a 2.0-liter four, which is admittedly pretty poky, and a more desirable turbocharged 1.6-liter four that delivers a lot more punch. Sticking to Hyundai’s value-forward approach, the Kona comes with a long list of standard features which only grows as you move through the more expensive trims—the top few of which get downright posh. The Kona is one of the smaller offerings in the subcompact SUV segment, so it gives up cargo and passenger space to some of its larger rivals, but we think the trade-off for the Hyundai’s compact package and fun-to-drive nature more than makes up for those shortcomings.
Subcompact EV: Hyundai Kona Electric
Turns out that the subcompact Hyundai Kona SUV is a fine basis for an electric vehicle, as the 2022 Kona Electric retains everything we like about its gas-powered counterpart. Instead of a four-cylinder engine, the Kona Electric is powered by a 201-hp electric motor, and its large battery pack is good for up to 258 miles per charge. That’s key because an EV’s range number is the most important factor in the revved-up electric vehicle marketplace. Chevrolet’s new Bolt EUV carries a claimed 250-mile range while the Tesla Model Y is good for up to 326 miles per charge. On top of its competitive estimated driving range, the Kona Electric delivers perky acceleration, spry handling, and an unbeatable standard warranty and complimentary maintenance package, making it worthy of an Editors’ Choice award.
When it comes to toaster-shaped vehicles, the Kia Soul reigns supreme, having outlasted the Honda Element, the Nissan Cube, and the Scion xB. Today it competes with more traditionally styled subcompact crossovers, including the Chevrolet Trailblazer, the Jeep Renegade, and the Kia Seltos, but it hasn’t given in to those proportions. It remains a quirky cube and we like it so much that we gave it an Editors’ Choice award. A 147-hp four-cylinder engine comes standard, but Kia offers a powerful 201-hp turbocharged four, which makes the Soul extra perky. The boxy shape provides plenty of room for four adults to cruise in comfort and a suitably large cargo area to hold their gear. If you need all-wheel drive, you’ll have to look elsewhere, as the Soul doesn’t offer it. Nor does it provide standard driver-assistance features.
Subcompact: Volkswagen Taos
Shoppers are clamoring for affordable crossovers and SUVs, and the new 2022 Volkswagen Taos is yet another entry to choose from. While it’s smaller than the compact VW Tiguan, the subcompact Taos has a surprisingly roomy back seat and a sizable cargo hold; its practicality even earned it an Editors’ Choice award. Taking design cues from both the Tiguan and the mid-size VW Atlas, it’s not as stylish or rugged as rivals such as the Mazda CX-30 and Chevy Trailblazer, but the smallest and least expensive VW SUV is still handsome. The Taos also boasts a new turbocharged four-cylinder engine and can be equipped with all-wheel drive. Add its assortment of available driver assists and desirable features and the 2022 Taos is a satisfying option in a popular segment.
Subcompact Luxury: Volvo XC40
Among the already fashionable lineup of Volvo SUVs, the even more chic 2022 XC40 is a hip and youthful one. The entry-level model is powered by a 184-hp turbocharged four-cylinder that wears the T4 badge, but the spunkiest version is the T5, which offers 248 horsepower and standard all-wheel drive. The XC40 brings with it plenty of tech, too, including available driver assists that are borrowed from higher-end Volvo models, including the Pilot Assist semi-autonomous driving mode. Still, the XC40 isn’t all flash. Its cabin is thoughtfully designed with clever storage opportunities, and its cargo area is generously sized, earning it a spot on our Editors’ Choice list. Plus, when compared to German rivals such as the BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA-class, the Volvo’s higher seating position will appeal to SUV enthusiasts. If you’re looking for an electrified SUV with similar traits, Volvo also offers the XC40 Recharge, which we review separately.
Subcompact Luxury: BMW X1
Don’t get hung up on the 2022 BMW X1’s bread-box shape. It’s actually a small, playful SUV that just happens to be practical and easy to live with. All models come with the same 228-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, and it’s perky enough to haul the little X1 around town with alacrity. At the same time, it’s fairly efficient and delivered 29 mpg highway in our testing. Handling is crisp and the ride is refined, exactly what we expect from the BMW brand. Not only does the X1 deliver on-road enjoyment, but its large cargo area also provides plenty of room for cargo and the rear seats are easy to fold flat to make room for bulkier items. Its well-rounded nature has earned it a place on our 2022 Editors’ Choice list. BMW also sells the more stylish X2, which is admittedly even sportier to drive, but we think the X1 offers a better blend of driving fun and practicality.
Subcompact Luxury: BMW X2
While it shares its underpinnings with the more sedately styled X1 SUV, the 2022 BMW X2 distinguishes itself with a fastback roofline and a hot-rod variant that really hustles. With spry handling, the X2 is easy to drive quickly on twisty roads—in fact, some may argue it’s more of a hot hatch than an SUV. Base models come with the same 228-hp turbocharged four-cylinder that sits under the X1’s hood, but we favor the M35i’s more powerful 302-hp engine. That sloping roofline cuts into passenger and cargo space, but we’re not bothered; in fact, we even gave the X2 an Editors’ Choice award. Because of its driving attitude, the X2 ranks among our favorite small SUVs on sale today.
More than any other mainstream compact crossover, the 2022 Mazda CX-5 makes its driver feel special. With a price tag that’s much closer to a Honda CR-V’s than a Porsche Macan’s, the Mazda is accessible to the same demographic group as the former, but it’s also able to impress those who fall into the latter’s tax bracket. The CX-5’s base four-cylinder engine doesn’t highlight its dynamic driving personality as well as the optional turbocharged four, but all models have a ride-and-handling balance that’s unrivaled in this segment. There are more practical alternatives, especially when it concerns cargo space, but no competitors can match the Mazda’s elegantly styled and richly appointed interior. The 2022 CX-5’s transcendent traits simply outpace all of its classmates, so we put it on our 2022 Editors’ Choice list.
Compact: Volkswagen Tiguan
Volkswagen’s Tiguan is a European take on an American classic—the SUV. It offers more athletic handling than many of its rivals, and its cabin has a restrained vibe with plenty of trendy technology features, earning it a spot on our Editors’ Choice list. While the Tiguan hasn’t proved to be particularly quick at our test track, the turbocharged four-cylinder engine performs dutifully, sounds refined, and will pass muster with most buyers. Although the Tiguan is sold in global markets, U.S. dealerships only peddle the long-wheelbase model, which means a third row of seats is available for those who need it. That kind of cabin flexibility is something that rivals such as the Honda CR-V, the Mazda CX-5, and the Toyota RAV4 don’t offer.
Previewed by the Vision T concept at the 2019 LA auto show, the 2022 Hyundai Tucson sports a daring new design that seems destined to shake up the compact-SUV marketplace. The entry-level Tucson is powered by a more conventional 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine shared with the Sonata family sedan but a both hybrid and a plug-in hybrid are offered; those two use a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder augmented by an electric motor. All models are fairly well equipped and the Tucson is among the most stylish options in the segment. It goes head-to-head with several strong rivals such as the Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5, Toyota RAV4, and the Volkswagen Tiguan, but the new Tucson has brought its A-game and earned an Editors’ Choice award for 2022.
The 2022 Honda CR-V won’t accelerate anyone’s heart rate, but its capacious interior and fuel-efficient powertrains make it a compelling compact crossover. In fact, it’s one of our favorites, earning a spot on our 2022 Editors’ Choice list. The Honda isn’t necessarily fun to drive, and neither its standard turbocharged gas engine nor the hybrid model qualifies as quick, but it steers and stops without any fuss. Its ride is also relaxing on long hauls, just go easy on the gas to avoid the base engine’s noisy drone. Family road trips will also require fewer fill-ups than many other SUVs thanks to the CR-V’s noteworthy fuel economy. A host of standard active safety features and popular tech options help it compete with newer rivals. While the 2022 CR-V isn’t the flashiest or classiest in this hotly contested segment, it’s still one of the most satisfying and talented entrants.
Compact: Ford Bronco Sport
The 2022 Ford Bronco Sport is one of the better compact crossovers for mixing urban living and outdoorsy weekend adventures, earning it a spot on our Editors’ Choice list. Styled like a baby version of the full-size Ford Bronco—itself is a retro rendition of classic Broncos—the smaller Sport attracts attention. Its truck-like shape pays dividends inside where headroom and cargo space are generous. While the cabin is marred by some unattractive materials, and its back seat isn’t very big, the incorporation of useful features such as hidden storage compartments and a slide-out workbench are unique touches. All-wheel drive is standard, but the potent turbo-four engine is reserved for the top-of-the-line Badlands trim—a legit off-road rival to the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk. The standard three-cylinder engine is pokier but it’s way more fuel-efficient, too. The big-brother Bronco has greater capabilities, but the 2022 Bronco Sport is more than just a superficial spin-off.
While the 2022 Toyota RAV4 isn’t the most entertaining compact SUV from a driver’s standpoint, its practicality and efficiency bolster its value and make it worthy of an Editor’s Choice award. The entry-level model is affordable but very basic, but mid-range trims offer plenty of features that buyers in this segment will appreciate. A 2.5-liter four-cylinder is standard as is an eight-speed automatic and front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is available, but you won’t see even the most rugged model in the RAV4 lineup sidling up to a 4Runner or a Tacoma at the trailhead. Toyota bundles a host of standard driver-assistance features into the RAV4, including adaptive cruise control. Upscale trims come with luxury features such as faux-leather upholstery, heated seats, and a JBL stereo system. Those who want even more efficiency can go with a RAV4 Hybrid.
Compact: Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
Toyota hybrids have come a long way since the original Prius, and that growth is most apparent in the 2022 RAV4 Hybrid and RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid compact SUVs. These electrified utes deliver the same practicality and roominess of a standard RAV4 but add one of two available fuel-sipping powertrains. Both are quicker than the nonhybrid RAV4—especially the Prime, which even beat the four-cylinder variant of Toyota’s Supra sports car in our 5-to-60-mph rolling start acceleration test. The RAV4’s uninvolving handling is outdone by rivals such as hybrid versions of the Honda CR-V and the Hyundai Tucson, and its high starting price of around $30,000 doesn’t include much more than basic features. Still, the RAV4 Hybrid is a well-rounded package with plenty of value, so we put it on our 2022 Editors’ Choice list.
Compact Luxury: Porsche Macan
The 2022 Porsche Macan can dice it up with sports sedans on a racetrack and carry a reasonable cartful of groceries home from Costco. Offering a trio of turbocharged engines, the lineup culminates in the performance-oriented GTS model with a 434-hp twin-turbo V-6. But no matter which engine you choose, the Macan’s chassis is an athletic partner that goads you to hit apex after apex. All models come with all-wheel drive as standard, and those who want to enhance the crossover’s handling can do so via several options, including summer tires, an adaptive suspension, a torque-vectoring differential, and tungsten-carbide-coated rotors. Yes, it’s an SUV, but it’s also very much a Porsche. It fulfills its mission beautifully and earned an Editors’ Choice award for 2022.
Compact Luxury: Mercedes-AMG GLC-Class
It may share a platform with the Benz-branded model, but the 2022 Mercedes-AMG GLC-class is a beast in its own right, with a trio of powerful engine choices. The entry-level GLC43 comes with a 385-hp twin-turbo V-6, but those who want even more power can opt for the GLC63 or GLC63 S, both of which are powered by a twin-turbo V-8 with either 469 or 503 horsepower. To match its blistering acceleration performance, the GLC-class delivers sharp handling, but the compromise is a ride that’s nowhere near as smooth as the regular GLC300 offers. But the cabin is just as refined, and a host of modern infotainment and comfort features will make luxury buyers feel right at home. The GLC-class has impressed us so much that we gave it an Editors’ Choice award for 2022.
Compact Luxury: Genesis GV70
Based on the excellent G70 sports sedan, the 2022 Genesis GV70 compact-luxury SUV provides similar driving enjoyment with a higher seating position and extra cargo room. Engine choices will include a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder or a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6; all-wheel drive is standard and all GV70 models come with an eight-speed automatic transmission. It employs the usual Genesis model of pumping even base models full of luxury features, making the GV70 a value player in the crowded compact-luxury SUV market and earning it an Editors’ Choice award. Save for a few ergonomic critiques, we found the GV70’s cabin to be comfortable and well-made, although rear-seat passengers may wish you’d sprung for the larger and more spacious GV80 SUV.
While delivering luxury and practicality, the 2022 BMW X3 SUV also channels sports sedans from BMW’s past to blend driving fun into the equation. Its balanced chassis and well-tuned steering make it a surprisingly willing partner on a twisty road, and both of its available turbocharged powertrains—either a four- or six-cylinder—provide plenty of power. The X3’s cabin is comfortable and upscale if conservative in its design. It’s a nice place to spend time, even if some rivals, including the Mercedes-Benz GLC-class and the Volvo XC60, have it beat on style. BMW has incorporated plenty of tech into the X3, including two digital dashboard displays as well as a host of driver-assistance features. Overall, the X3 is well-rounded, but it’s the agile handling and gutsy turbo engines that make it one of our favorite BMWs and an Editors’ Choice winner for 2022.
Compact Luxury: Volvo XC60
Volvo’s unique Swedish perspective is evident in every one of the brand’s products, including its top seller, the stylish and thoughtfully-designed 2022 XC60 SUV. Clean lines and tasteful embellishments help the XC60 strike a stylish pose in traffic while the cabin serves as an upscale oasis from the perils of the modern commute, earning it an Editors’ Choice award. Three different powertrains are offered here, including a plug-in-hybrid variant with strong performance. Cargo space isn’t as generous as in rivals such as the Audi Q5, the BMW X3, or Mercedes-Benz GLC-class, but we think most buyers will find it practical enough. Technology is integrated throughout, including a 9.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, a 12.3-inch digital gauge display, and a host of driver-assistance features to help keep the XC60’s shiny side up.
Compact Luxury: Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio
Most SUVs aren’t machines that pull at our heartstrings, but the 2022 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio isn’t most SUVs. It’s a high-riding, Italian-bred heartthrob with a 505-hp twin-turbo V-6 and a soundtrack that stirs the soul like a power ballad. Engage its sportiest drive-mode setting, grip its delicate steering wheel, and prepare to be thoroughly entertained. Whether it’s charging in a straight line, knifing through a corner, or screeching to a halt, the Stelvio QF feels more like a sports sedan than the compact luxury crossover it is; we like it so much we gave it an Editors’ Choice award. While its ride height and bulbous rear hatch can’t hide its true identity, Alfa Romeo makes it look beautiful. Despite a small back seat and the brand’s spotty reliability record—and the fact the Giulia Quadrifoglio sedan is lighter, lower, and at least as visceral—the 2022 Stelvio QF does what few SUVs can: deliver a truly dramatic driving experience.
Mid-Size EV: Ford Mustang Mach-E
The 2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E blends popular elements of the past and present in a highly desirable package that bodes well for the future of electric vehicles, which is why we gave it an Editors’ Choice award. While it seems sacrilegious that Ford would call a crossover EV a Mustang, pairing the iconic nameplate with an in-demand body style is smart marketing. Along with its attention-getting appearance, the Mach-E has a handsomely appointed interior that’s brimming with the latest tech. It also has nifty storage solutions, a spacious back seat, and lots of cargo space. Get behind the wheel and the electrified Mustang feels agile and quick. The sportiest version hits 60 mph in 3.7 seconds (quicker than a Mustang Mach 1) and the rangiest versions are estimated to travel more than 300 miles per charge. All that and more makes the 2022 Mustang Mach-E a transcendent EV.
Mid-Size EV: Hyundai Ioniq 5
The 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 is a new all-electric compact crossover with advanced technology, futuristic styling, and a versatile interior. Intended as a Hyundai subbrand, the Ioniq moniker also applies to a flood of upcoming EV models, but the 2022 5 has debuted first. It features impressive charging speeds (up to 350 kW) and has an estimated driving range of up to 303 miles. Available with rear- or all-wheel drive, the EV ute makes between 168 and 320 horsepower. Its eco-friendly interior boasts a tech-centric dashboard, reclining front seats with footrests, and generous passenger space, making the Ioniq 5 a well-rounded package worthy of an Editors’ Choice award.
Mid-Size EV: Volkswagen ID.4
Think of the 2022 Volkswagen ID.4 as the spiritual successor to the original Type 1 Beetle, but with an emissions-free twist. The base version of Volkswagen’s first electric car even has its single electric motor mounted in the rear; all-wheel drive is optional, though, and opting for that puts a second motor in the front. Driving range is decent at up to 260 miles per charge and with DC fast-charging, the battery can be replenished quickly via public charging stations. While it lacks the driving verve that we appreciate in other VW models, the ID.4’s interior is quiet and relaxed when cruising. The ID.4’s almost entirely digital dashboard gives the interior a high-tech aesthetic, but it takes some getting used to, particularly the infotainment system that features quirks that may frustrate some users. Even so, the ID.4 represents a solid value and because of that we’ve made room for it on our annual Editors’ Choice list.
The 2022 Kia Telluride separates itself from the herd of three-row, mid-size crossovers with its handsome looks, unexpected luxuriousness, and unrivaled value. Of course, the largest Kia also flawlessly executes its core mission, which is to comfortably ferry families and their cargo. With a rugged exterior and a rich-looking interior, the Telluride wouldn’t appear out of place in a Land Rover showroom. Along with an array of standard active safety features, every model has a robust infotainment system, and the top trim offers luxuries such as ventilated rear seats for an incredibly affordable price. While the palatial ute isn’t exactly exciting to drive, and its 291-hp V-6 isn’t particularly fuel-efficient, its ride is refined and body roll is restrained. It’ll also effortlessly tug a 5000-pound trailer and all-wheel-drive models will tackle uneven terrain with ease. The 2022 Telluride is simply the gold standard of its segment and makes our 2022 10Best list.
The 2022 Ford Bronco rocks a nostalgia-inducing design along with both civil on-road driving manners and big-time trail-tackling ability. The sheer bandwidth of its capabilities is what makes Ford’s off-roader such a hit. While the Jeep Wrangler has ruled the off-road world as the de facto SUV for people seeking a vehicle with bona fide trail-eating cred—even if they never plan to tackle a boulder-strewn two-track—the Bronco is similarly configurable with a convertible top, two- and four-door body styles, and removable doors. Inside, the durable materials and simple design recall the original, old-school Bronco, but the interior aesthetic looks cheap on upper trim levels. All Broncos have all-wheel drive and either a turbo-four or a twin-turbo V-6. Neither are very fuel-efficient or sound particularly pleasant, but they’re quick and responsive. The optional Sasquatch package—beefier tires and other enhancements—help make the 2022 Bronco the ultimate off-road SUV and earns it a spot on both our 10Best and Editors’ Choice lists.
Mid-Size: Hyundai Palisade
Hyundai’s Palisade SUV aims for a class-above experience and nearly nails it, especially on upper trims where its cabin could be confused for one of the Genesis brand’s luxury vehicles. It’s not a Genesis, despite the look and feel, and it instead shares its platform with the also-excellent Kia Telluride. A smooth-running 3.8-liter V-6 is standard and is mated to an eight-speed automatic; front-wheel drive is the base setup, but all-wheel drive is also available. A generous amount of equipment is standard, including a ton of high-tech driver assists and modern infotainment connectivity features. The cabin is as roomy as it is comfortable and offers seating for up to eight passengers within the standard three-row layout. Overall, the Palisade is a well-rounded SUV with a premium vibe, which is why we gave it an Editors’ Choice award.
Mid-Size: Jeep Grand Cherokee L
With legitimate off-road credentials and a three-row interior, the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L is an adventure mobile with room for the whole family, which earned it an Editors’ Choice award. While it will likely see more on-road duty than it will trail time, Jeep offers several capability-enhancing features including an adjustable air suspension, a limited-slip rear differential, and three different versions of the brand’s Quadra-Drive all-wheel-drive system. Even the most spartan models offer a comfortable and well-tailored cabin, but high-end versions bring a full luxury experience—as well as a luxury price tag. Tech plays a big role in the Grand Cherokee L, with a plethora of display screens dotting the interior and a host of driver-assistance features offered as standard. If you don’t need a third row of seats, the regular Grand Cherokee offers the same experience in a slightly smaller two-row package; we review that model separately.
Mid-Size: Jeep Grand Cherokee
When you close your eyes and think of a Jeep, it’s likely that the rough-and-tumble Wrangler comes to mind, but the Grand Cherokee is every bit as important to the success of the famed off-road brand in terms of sales. Its appeal is bolstered by the fact that it pairs impressive off-road capability with on-road refinement, offers lots of available luxury appointments and features, and has the rugged, outdoorsy look Jeep buyers love. We like it too, in fact, and gave it an Editors’ Choice award. A trio of powertrains are offered, including familiar V-6 and V-8 options and a new plug-in-hybrid variant that Jeep calls 4xe. While rear-wheel drive is standard on models with the V-6, there are no less than three different all-wheel-drive systems available to help tackle whatever your lifestyle requires, whether that’s simply commuting through snowy weather or crawling rocks in Moab.
Mid-Size: Ford Bronco Raptor
The 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor is built to accelerate quicker, climb easier over rocks, and fly higher than the regular Bronco. It’s basically the same blueprint Ford followed with the hugely entertaining and highly capable F-150 Raptor pickup. The ultimate Bronco boasts a 418-hp twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6, a special long-travel suspension, huge 37-inch tires, and lots of other off-road goodies. Thanks to distinctive styling cues, such as exaggerated fender flares and an exclusive grille design with amber lighting elements, the 2022 Bronco Raptor won’t be confused for anything else. Of course, its extensive catalog of custom accessories ensures owners can further tailor their rig their way. While the Raptor is considerably more expensive than the standard-issue Bronco, hardcore enthusiasts will crave its incredible performance.
With more powertrain options and a smaller footprint, the 2022 Kia Sorento is a compelling substitute for the larger Kia Telluride. Both Kia models are handsome and have three rows, but adults won’t want to spend much time in the Sorento’s far-back seats, and when those seats are upright they limit its cargo capacity. Keep the third row stowed, however, and its nicely appointed cabin becomes a comfortable place for a small family. Unlike the Telluride, the Sorento is available as a hybrid or plug-in hybrid, which helps maximize fuel efficiency. No matter what’s providing the motivation, the Kia has a smooth ride and satisfying handling characteristics. The entire package is cohesive and packed with popular standard and optional features, making the 2022 Sorento one of the better options in its class and an Editors’ Choice award winner.
Combining a handsome exterior, a near-luxury interior, and a surprisingly fun-to-drive nature, the 2022 Mazda CX-9 is the three-row crossover for buyers who’d rather be driving an MX-5 Miata but can’t live with a car that’s so space-challenged. The CX-9’s turbocharged four-cylinder engine provides adequate acceleration, but its chassis is what delivers its trademark driving verve. The CX-9’s crisp steering and sporty cornering attitude remind us more of a sports sedan than an SUV, which earns it an Editors’ Choice award. Inside, occupants are treated to a premium cabin but the third row is admittedly cramped, especially in comparison to roomier rivals such as the Hyundai Palisade, the Kia Telluride, and the Jeep Grand Cherokee L. Still, this trade-off seems worth it to us as driving enthusiasts, and we expect other likeminded folks will see it the same way.
With a generous amount of cargo space and passenger accommodations, the 2022 Honda Passport is supremely practical. Those who need more than two rows of seats might want to step up to the three-row Honda Pilot, the Passport’s first cousin, but otherwise, the Passport is pleasantly capable in many ways. All models have an array of driver-assistance tech, from adaptive cruise control to lane-keeping assist. The sole power source is a stout V-6 that’s not especially fuel-efficient, but it provides deliberate acceleration. While it’s never exciting to drive and its ride can occasionally be rough, the 2022 Passport is a largely satisfying and hassle-free way of shuttling families and all their gear, earning it a spot on our Editors’ Choice list this year.
Mid-Size: Hyundai Santa Fe
For those who don’t need a third row of seats but still like the idea of a mid-size crossover, the 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe offers a comfortable, spacious cabin and a premium appearance, earning it a spot on our Editors’ Choice list. Four different powertrains are offered, including hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants. The Santa Fe is fairly satisfying to drive, although none of the models could be called outright athletic. Hyundai has baked in a host of driver-assistance features as standard, and the Santa Fe’s infotainment technology is on par with other SUVs in this segment. Four adults should find ample space across the Santa Fe’s two rows and cargo space that’s generous enough to hold bulky items or a load of luggage.
Mid-Size Luxury EV: BMW iX
Based on the Vision iNext concept that BMW showed back in fall 2018, the production 2022 iX is the brand’s first all-electric SUV—and it’s mighty compelling. The iX offers an electric driving range of about 300 miles per charge, which is impressive enough to earn it an Editors’ Choice award. Two electric motors provide full-time all-wheel drive, and carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic body panels help save weight. The iX’s cabin is quite spacious with plenty of modern technology features on display, including a slick curved digital instrument panel screen. Upon its arrival at U.S. dealerships, it will find itself competing with rivals such as the Audi e-tron, the Tesla Model X, and the upcoming Rivian R1S.
Mid-Size Luxury: Genesis GV80
With a stately design and a serene, leather-lined cabin, the 2022 GV80 is a perfect flagship for the Genesis SUV lineup. From the moment you open the driver’s door, the GV80’s interior impresses with lap-of-luxury amenities and finishes, which earns it an Editors’ Choice award from us. Aggressive drivers will likely find performance-oriented rivals such as the Audi SQ8 and the Porsche Cayenne more enticing, but the GV80’s ride is composed and comfortable. A turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder is standard, but a more powerful twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 is available and helped the GV80 snap off a quick 5.3-second run to 60 mph at our test track. If you’re looking for a premium SUV that’s just as posh as a BMW X5 or a Mercedes-Benz GLE-class, the GV80 is worth a close look, especially because its unique approach to luxury sets it apart from its European rivals.
Mid-Size Luxury: Porsche Cayenne
The 2022 Porsche Cayenne has a particular set of skills—specifically those that have to do with driving enjoyment. Despite being a two-row luxury SUV with a heavy curb weight, it moves deliberately and gracefully. Every Cayenne has a cohesive powertrain, but their potency and fuel efficiency vary due to the sheer variety. There’s a stout 355-hp turbo V-6, a gutsier 434-hp twin-turbo V-6, and a 460-hp twin-turbo V-8 reserved for the performance-oriented GTS. There’s a 455-hp plug-in hybrid, too, that’s quick on the street and friendliest to the environment. Inside, every Cayenne is roomy and sturdily built, and Porsche allows extensive personalization thanks to countless individual options. Be careful, though, as they can quickly balloon the bottom line. While its cabin has limited cubby storage, and the ride can be too firm for sensitive types, the 2022 Cayenne cultivates the joy of driving far better than most of its peers, which earns it a place on our Editors’ Choice list.
The 2022 BMW X5 is a versatile player in the mid-size luxury-SUV segment, combining a well-appointed interior and a pleasurable driving experience in one handsome package. Even the entry-level models are richly outfitted with modern technology and convenience features, not to mention a silky-smooth inline-six-cylinder engine. Upgrading to the plug-in hybrid model gives the X5 the ability to drive solely on electric power for short trips while the optional twin-turbo V-8 engine delivers seriously punchy acceleration. It might not be as plush inside as the Genesis GV80, nor quite as athletic as the Porsche Cayenne, but when compared to SUVs such as the Audi Q7 and the Mercedes-Benz GLE-class the X5’s well-roundedness shines through, and for that, it wins an Editors’ Choice award.
Mid-Size Luxury: Volvo XC90
If driving verve isn’t a top priority when shopping for a mid-size luxury SUV, the 2022 Volvo XC90, which serves up a whole lot of style and safety tech, is a solid choice. As the only three-row in Volvo’s portfolio, it’s best suited for shuttling families, even if its far-back seats aren’t the most spacious. Still, it has one of the prettiest interiors in the class, which includes the BMW X5 and Porsche Cayenne. Both alternatives are better to drive, but they’re considerably more expensive, too. Along with two four-cylinder options, the XC90 is also offered with a plug-in hybrid powertrain which has 400 horsepower and perkier acceleration, but its pure-electric range and fuel efficiency are unremarkable. Regardless, the 2022 XC90 is one of the most satisfying upper-class, three-row utes so we put it on our Editors’ Choice list.
The 2022 Chevy Suburban has enough room to haul all eight members of the Brady Bunch in comfort. We didn’t catch the episode where Mike Brady pulls an 8300-pound trailer, but Chevy’s largest three-row ute—the Tahoe (reviewed separately) is the second largest—is up to the task. The Suburban’s trio of engines is another highlight, particularly the 420-hp V-8 and torque-rich diesel six-cylinder. Regardless of what’s under the hood, the huge SUV is remarkably nimble. We wouldn’t spend big bucks on the fanciest model because it’s not quite luxury-grade, but the middle of the lineup is the sweet spot with its combination of popular features and impressive capabilities. Despite some expensive options and the V-8 engines’ mediocre fuel economy, the sophisticated 2022 Suburban is one of the best large SUVs and earned a place on our Editors’ Choice list.
The 2022 Chevy Tahoe is about as versatile as large SUVs come, with minivan-like passenger accommodations and pickup-rivaling towing capabilities, which earned it an Editors’ Choice award. Chevy’s second largest three-row ute—the separately reviewed Suburban is the first—offers three engine options: a standard 355-hp V-8, a stouter 420-hp V-8, and a diesel six-cylinder with a stump-pulling 460 pound-feet of torque. The Tahoe’s diverse trim levels include the rugged Z71 for tackling rough terrain and the more glamorous High Country. Too bad the latter costs as much as premium alternatives, such as the Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator, but it’s not nearly as luxurious. The Tahoe’s polarizing mug might push some shoppers into the GMC Yukon, but the rest will respect its popular tech features and impressively quiet cabin.
Outside of a Savana passenger van, nothing in the GMC truck lineup simultaneously hauls people and cargo as well as the 2022 Yukon and long-wheelbase Yukon XL. Closely related to the Chevy Tahoe and Suburban SUVs, the Yukon lineup can be had with either a 5.3- or 6.2-liter gasoline-powered V-8 engine or a turbo-diesel 3.0-liter inline-six. No matter which engine is under the hood, the Yukon delivers stout towing capacity and a refined on-road demeanor, earning it an Editors’ Choice award. The cabin is spacious in all three rows and the Yukon can be ordered in a variety of trims that escalate in luxuriousness, culminating in the high-end Denali trim.
Not that long ago, the BMW most likely to double as a personal limo was the 7-series sedan, but the 2022 X7 SUV is stepping into the role of rolling palace for the rich. With more real estate to exhibit its expensiveness and six seats spread among three rows, the biggest Bimmer is well-suited for affluent families. While the cargo area and way-back seats aren’t as roomy as those in rivals such as the Jeep Grand Wagoneer and Mercedes-Benz GLS-class, the X7 drives better and boasts a selection of more desirable powertrains. Backed by a terrific automatic transmission and standard all-wheel drive, the engine hierarchy includes a 335-hp turbocharged inline-six and a 523-hp twin-turbo V-8. The 612-hp Alpina XB7 affords ridiculous levels of performance for a machine this massive. Regardless of what’s under its high hood, the 2022 BMW X7 has gobs of upscale content and high-tech features as well as an interior that’s as quiet as a library but both comfier and ritzier, making it an Editors’ Choice winner.
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