Gone are the days when SUVs were these utilitarian vehicles meant for going places other cars could not. Now, they are comfortable, luxurious, and spacious vehicles in which you can take your family on a road trip. Then there are crossovers - a cross-breed of SUVs and sedans that do not even have high ground clearance or 4WD.
These modern SUVs have really changed the concept of family travel. From lots of space to upright driving position and features like microphones and speakers (so that everyone can hear each other in these apartments on wheels), SUVs make family travel fun. Today, let's count down the best 40 of them.
Not saying that it is on the level of Cullinan or Bentayga, but for $37,500, the Telluride offers the best possible luxury and comfort experience possible. From loads of standard features to a smooth ride and from a powerful engine to reasonable durability and reliability, there is really nothing this Korean SUV leaves to be desired.
All three rows of seats in the Telluride are comfortable and spacious enough for grown adults, there is a generous trunk for everyone's luggage, and the sound damping and insulation make the ride quite a nice one. And it still costs less than a fully loaded Accord!
The Traverse is America's very own homegrown three-row family SUV that offers loads of interior space, adequate motivation thanks to the V6, and athletic driving manners. With five trim levels being offered to aspiring families, there can be a Traverse for virtually any family.
While the exterior looks modern, classy, and sporty, the inside of the Traverse is also a welcoming place. You can easily seat up to eight people, as it has a usable third row of seats. Even with all seats occupied, there is room for six carry-on suitcases behind the last row. Go with the top-tier High Country trim, and you will get a selection of the finest materials on the inside.
The Ford Explorer has been transporting families and their gear to and from escapes since it came out in 1991. The large roomy vehicle is equipped with an equally impressive engine, and for just $2,000, you can add the 4WD option so that your family vacations are no longer bound to paved roads.
On the inside, the spacious cabin is not very tech-filled or has a radical design language, but it is comfortable, well-connected, and functional. You also get a 12-speaker sound system, plenty of charging ports to keep all the devices juiced up, and a fairly large trunk (even with all the rows of seats occupied).
In the segment of Mid-Size Crossover SUVs, the Murano is up against a dozen other competitors, and, frankly, most of them are better in many areas. Where the Murano does shine, though, is its appearance. The Murano is more of a city-worthy pavement princess than a rugged off-roader, more accurately depicting the use case it is intended for.
On the inside, Nissan has followed its tried and tested theme of rugged minimalism and utility. You will find only two rows of seats but with lots of head, leg, and hip room. There is plenty of connectivity for charging across all seats to keep those iPads and laptops topped up.
Jeep Grand Wagoneer
The Grand Wagoneer is the biggest, most luxurious, and most loaded vehicle to ever come from Jeep. It gives you the best of both worlds in terms of modern looks, interior comfort, and off-road abilities. Obviously, you would want to have the best of all the possible worlds when you pay more than $100,000 for a Jeep.
Inside this car, you will find yourself surrounded by nice materials ranging from wood veneers to aluminum accents and leather to piano black plastic. Motivating this mansion-on-wheels is either a 510hp turbo inline-6 dubbed the Hurricane or a 6.4L big ol' V8 that produces a slightly low 471 horsepower but sounds sick while it's at it.
Lincoln might not have the same appeal today that it had back when the brand started, but it is still known for making gargantuan luxury vehicles. Inside the latest Navigator, you will find a living room's worth of space that is tastefully designed and decorated. The huge size of this car, combined with the light colors of the interior, makes it feel even more roomy on the inside.
Other than being luxurious and opulent on the inside, the Aviator is also stupid fast and powerful when you put the pedal to the metal. There's just one powertrain, coupling a 440hp V8 to a 10-speed automatic transmission, enough to accelerate this aircraft-carrier-sized SUV to 60mph in just over 5 seconds.
This Caddy is so huge it needs to have a Zip Code of its own. In classic American full-size luxury SUV style, there is no shortage of space inside. You can easily fit all your family and their stuff inside this moving house and easily have room to spare. All that, and it is still quick as a sports sedan, thanks to the good old concept of overkill power.
The engine options available on this SUV range in power from 287hp to 682hp, with the latter delivering acceleration figures of 4.3 seconds to 60mph.
The Suburban has been the favorite of Soccer Moms and the Feds for a very long time. Over the last 87 years of being one of the biggest SUVs in the US market, the Suburban has grown in size, luxury, and features, becoming a real family transporter.
On the inside, you will find all the welcome options like ventilated and heated seats, loads of cargo and passenger space, wireless charging, USB power outlets, a 12.3-inch gauge cluster, and a heads-up display for the driver. You can choose to power this whole enterprise with an option of a couple of gas V8s or a turbodiesel inline-6.
This classy big Japanese SUV is powered by a V8 that's good for 400 horsepower and enables the vehicle to not only negotiate any terrain but also tow up to 8,500 lbs. It might not have the same notoriety as the Suburban, Tahoe, or Wagoneer, but the combination of timeless looks and a powerful drivetrain make it a good option.
The handsome exterior of the Armada is complemented by an equally thoughtful and spacious interior that is a combination of modern and classic. There is a 12.3-inch infotainment screen, but the volume and tuning knobs are good old rotational dials.
Based on the same platform as the Tundra, the Sequoia is the largest SUV made by Toyota. It might not be as famous as the Land Cruiser, but if family transport is your goal, Toyota has nothing better than this to offer. The thing that makes it even better is the iForce MAX Hybrid powertrain.
On the inside, Toyota has used the space efficiently and in a classy manner to make sure that the occupants feel at home and are comfortable for even the longest of journeys. From wood accents to leather and aluminum, there are plenty of welcoming materials inside this SUV.
GMC might be better known for work trucks and commercial vehicles, but they also make some of the best passenger SUVs, and the top of that list is the Yukon. From 22-inch wheels to a power liftgate and from an 18-speaker Bose Sound System to open-pore wood and premium leather, this SUV has everything that will make your travel luxurious.
This behemoth of an SUV is powered by either a 335hp or a 420hp V8 and has enough grunt to tow anything you can come up with as an average user. If you want to travel in luxury and style, there can really not be a better option in the American market.
Another of the huge full-size SUVs that is a great option for family travel is the Expedition. It comes in two sizes, the absolutely gigantic standard and the even bigger Max. If you are looking for an SUV where you can make a whole playground for the kids in the rear, this is the one.
Unlike its counterparts from GM and Stellantis, the Expedition does not have a naturally aspirated V8 as an engine option. That is replaced by a twin-turbo V6 from Ford called the EcoBoost, which is good for 45 horsepower in the most powerful state of tune.
Being big is not something we need to discuss the Tahoe; it is, obviously, a big SUV in every way imaginable, but the thing that separates it from the others is the road manners. This SUV handles and behaves on the road more at par with sedans than a full-size SUV, making it the favorite of people who want the best of both worlds.
One of the best things inside the Tahoe is the forward and backward sliding middle seats that make it possible to get adequate knee room for people sitting in the very last row.
Ford Mustang Mach-E
While traditionally, the Mustang was a sports car with a V8 under the hood; the Mach-E just has the name of the Mustang, nothing else. It is now a crossover that does not sip dinosaur juice but runs on bolts of lightning running through its copper veins.
The 312-mile single-charge driving range of the Mach-E might not be the best in the market, but if you plan properly, you can easily take it for a long trip with the family. The interior is welcoming and refined with the usual touch of tech that is the identifier of EVs.
An up-scale cabin, three spacious rows of seats, an all-electric powertrain, and stupid fast speed are just some of the updates of the R1S, the second vehicle to come from this EV startup. The R1S can be equipped with a dual-motor 635hp or a quad-motor 840hp setup... and both are as quick as it gets with an SUV this size.
All variants of the R1S are AWD, so whether you are looking to cruise on the highway or negotiate the most challenging trail with the kids, this SUV is up for that. The added benefit is a clear environmental conscience.
Tesla Model X
The Model X is the best option if you need the peak of performance, features, and EV quirks in a family SUV. In classic Tesla style, the Model X has a dual-motor setup and 670 horsepower, plenty of power to put any sports car to shame.
But power and speed are not the highlights here. You get tons of space inside, a trunk in the front and back, and up to 348 miles of range on a single charge, all combining to make the Model X a pretty compelling case for anyone looking for a car to travel with the family in.
This Jag can be a worthy contender if your family likes traveling in style and showing off the riches you have been blessed with. Other than a perfectly sculpted outer shell, you get a luxurious interior, a 395-hp hybrid powertrain, and a number of safety and convenience features inside this car.
Space inside the F-Pace is not as lucrative as it is in the likes of Tahoe and Expedition, but it is not congested or cramped on the inside by any account. The F-Pace, thanks to its premium materials and thoughtful features, is a good traveling companion that will make any travel memorable.
Large size, unique style, best-in-class safety options, and touches of luxury make the XC90 one of the most attractive offerings in the mid-size SUV segment. It might fall into the mid-size category, but the size and interior space of this one are more at par with full-size SUVs.
The interior can be described as the epitome of mediocre, in a good way. It is not too luxurious or filled with too nice materials, but it is as good as it can get without getting into the realm of true luxury. The only complaint is the limited knee-room in the last row of seats making those only really useful for kids.
Land Rover Discovery
This British icon is considered the overlanding vehicle of choice for wealthy families. If you are looking for a truly lux-filled off-roading experience with the kids, the Discovery is THE SUV you want to take on that trip.
It's true that there are SUVs that might offer more in terms of nice materials and sound deadening, and there are ones that are insanely more capable off the tarmac, BUT there is none that can offer such a balanced combination of comfort and capability. You will be bathed in nice materials and yet be able to feel the terrain; that is what true overlanding should look like.
The family SUV that looks like it just came back from a drag race, the Durango, has a lot of difference between how it looks on the outside and how it looks and feels when you sit inside. The mean demeanor of the Durango is beautifully complemented by excellent handling and lots of power.
However, the inside is one of the best-executed cabins of any SUV ever, with the right mixture of high-end materials, thoughtful design, and the latest technological advancements. Still, the mean tone of the exterior is reflected in the interior color scheme.
Infiniti entered the game as a luxury sedan manufacturer but is now one of the leading Japanese luxury SUV makers. The QX60 might not be at the very top of the SUV pyramid by any means, but it still makes for a convincing option, all things considered.
This mid-size SUV is powered by a 295hp V6, and the interior is filled with some of the nicest materials found in cars, less Rolls and Bentley, of course. You can even equip captain's seats in the mid row, decreasing the total capacity to 6 people but making the car much more comfortable.
Lexus has made a name for being the best high-end automaker from the land of the rising sun and for all the right reasons. The RX might have gotten even more aggressive in looks for the 2023 model, but it still maintains the same soft and comfortable driving etiquette.
Lexus offers plenty of drivetrain options that range from a humble 246hp to a blisteringly quick 367hp one. The different powertrains are coupled with different interior options, all that to say that you can mix and match to get the exact engine and interior options that suit your use case.
The Germans, obviously, want a piece of the SUV pie, and their greatest effort to do that is the Q7 - an SUV built around comfortable and reliable travel for the passengers and a fulfilling experience for the person behind the wheel. In short, the flagship of Audi's fleet is one of the best SUVs out there.
The Q7's interior is a tasteful mix of contemporary minimalist design, latest technologies, premium materials, and excellent build quality. The only thing you can really complain about in this car is the fact that due to three rows of seats, the cargo space is not as generous as it is in BIG American ones.
Even though the features and specifications of the GLE are closely matched by others that are in the same class, you cannot deny that the GLE Class carries a distinct charisma that is not available in any of the others. If that is something you care about, the GLE simply cannot be matched.
Talking more objectively, you get either a lone turbo-4 or one matched with a 48V hybrid infrastructure. On the inside, you will find the usual mix of premium materials, tech features, and classy styling that is the hallmark of German cars.
The M5 does not have the agility of a Porsche Cayenne or the smooth ride of a Genesis GV80, but it does combine some of the features from both those cars to make an attractive package, one that is adequately fun to drive while being sufficiently comfortable for the passengers.
The light color scheme of the interior is matched with a minimalist design and useful tech features to make an overall interior package that is functional, convenient, welcoming, and timeless (at least for the next ten years). If you can live with that obnoxious kidney grille, there is nothing to complain about here.
Taking design hints from the American SUVs and drivetrain technologies from the legendary NSX, the MDX is a car that looks great and performs even better. The MDX even has the same engine block as the NSX, even though not in the same state of tune. It only produces 335 horses in this car.
The interior of the MDX is kept simple to the point that it feels a little dated. That is not to say that there is any lack of tech, comfort, or convenience features in the MDX. You also get a host of standard safety, and driver assistance features, like adaptive cruise and emergency braking, which are optional in many other cars.
If you want to get into the Caddy circle, the XT6 is a good option; not as big as the Escalade and not too small like the XT4 and XT5. It can be thought of as a good middle ground between the two. You still get three rows of seats, and thanks to the unibody format, the driving manners are much more refined.
The interior can be configured with either 6 or 7 seats, with plenty of leg and head room in both configurations. And since it is a Caddy, you get lots of nice materials (and things) that will make you feel at home when on the road.
Suppose you are attracted by the luxury take of Lincoln on SUVs, but the Navigator is a bit too large for your taste. In that case, the Aviator offers pretty much the same accommodations in a relatively compact and more navigable package. You are still getting the same level of comfort and three rows of seats.
In typical Lincoln style, the interior of the Aviator has every last luxury feature you could ask for. From 30-way adjustable massaging seats to adaptive dampers which use cameras to scan the road ahead and adjust the stiffness accordingly, this 4-wheeled living room is a treat to travel in.
The Enclave is Buick's debut in the extremely competitive market segment of mid-size luxury SUVs. It can be explained as something that is above the top-end models of the Toyota Grand Highlander and KIA Telluride but still not at the same level as the GLE class or BMW X5.
Where the Enclave excels is its spacious, functional, and comfortable interior. It is tastefully designed and offers a variety of comfort, safety, and convenience features, but the material quality is not really at par with the more established luxury brands. What is impressive about the Enclave, though, is the class-leading cargo capacity.
If you can compromise on interior space for driving thrill, or your family still consists of little kids, the CX-9 is an attractive vehicle. The iconic driving verve and refined road manners, which are the hallmark of Mazda, are baked into the CX-9, and the turbo-4 does an impressive job of keeping the driver excited.
However, to make all that possible, Mazda had to make the SUV smaller, which is reflected on the inside too. It feels upscale and welcoming on the inside, and the choice of materials is also very fine. The last row of seats is, however, only usable by children or people with unusually small legs.
The Atlas provides a good means to transport families, especially ones with lots of luggage and/or members. VW has executed this SUV in such a way as to keep it useful without making it into a dorky minivan. Thanks to the efficient use of space inside, all three rows of the Atlas have enough space to comfortably seat full-grown adults.
The cabin of the Atlas has nothing particularly remarkable about it, but nothing you can complain about either. The materials might not be at par with other German brands known for luxury, but they are not cheap by any stretch of the word.
With seating capacity for up to eight people, a large cabin, and an optional AWD system, the Pathfinder is up for any family travel assignment, whether on or off the road. If you want to literally take your home with you, this SUV can also tow up to 6000 lbs, which would be enough for any trailer.
The interior aesthetic of the Pathfinder has the theme of a modern truck with abundant storage cubbies all over the place. You can swap the middle 3-seater bench for a pair of captain's chairs which reduces the total capacity to seven people but makes for a more comfortable traveling experience.
Jeep Grand Cherokee
The Grand Cherokee can be considered America's take on the Land Rover Discovery. It is upscale, luxurious, and feature-packed, sure, but it's also got what it takes to tackle any trail. The Grand Cherokee might look big, but it only has two rows of seats, which is done to make sure that everyone has loads of personal space.
Whether you go with the hybrid 4Xe drivetrain or the V6, this Jeep has the ability to cruise comfortably on any road, as well as to negotiate rough routes if need be. The interior is spacious, but if you need the real luxury features, shell out some extra money for the higher trims.
The Acadia is a nice SUV for taking your family places, no matter what the state of the roads going there. However, the plain and simple Acadia won't impress anyone in or outside it along the way; that is to say, it won't disappoint anyone either.
It does not have any special tricks up its sleeve, just an SUV designed to transport families from Point A to Point B... and do just that day in and day out without fail. However, if you want a touch of luxury, you can go with the Denali model.
The Traverse is a paradoxical vehicle. From the outside, it looks big, and on the inside, it feels even bigger. For the driver, it shows the athleticism of a much smaller car, thanks to the clever drivetrain and suspension design.
The Traverse is offered in five trim levels that come with interior features and materials ranging from economy car level to borderline luxury, but the upper trims will cost you quite a bit of money, and many think that might not be justified. Still, it is a good option for transporting 7 or 8 people.
If you can get past the dorky looks of the Ascent, the rest of this SUV is a worthy competitor for the likes of the Ford Explorer, Mazda CX-9, and Toyota Highlander. The 5,000lb towing capacity makes it easy to carry your snowmobiles or even tow a medium-sized camper with you.
The inside of the Ascent is pretty straightforward but fairly rugged and extremely functional. However, if you are looking for features like heated and ventilated or power-adjustable seats, you will have to spend money on one of the two highest trim levels.
There are more SUVs in the mid-size market segment than you can count, but Sorento has made a name for itself in this crowded segment. This Korean crossover has a considerable fan following thanks to the modern styling, a powerful engine, and three rows of adult-usable seats.
Even though AWD is available as an option in the Sorento, don't expect to win the Baja 1000 in this one; that's just for added traction in slippery situations, not actual off-roading. As long as you stay on paved roads, you have a pretty comfortable car.
The Pilot has been completely redesigned, at least aesthetically, for the 2023 model year and is now boxier and has a more rugged look. You can get this SUV in a seven or 8-seat configuration, and FWD or AWD drivetrains are both available. If you want to enjoy the finest materials and features, the top-of-the-line Elite trim offers all of that.
Under the hood is Honda's 3.5L V6 engine, which is good for 282 horsepower, enabling the SUV to cruise effortlessly on the highway or take on mild off-roading. One of the distinctive features of the Pilot is Honda Sensing, a comprehensive suite of safety and driver assistance features that make driving safer and easier.
The Highlander falls in the middle of the overcrowded mid-size SUV market. It has a good design, excellent build quality, a nice interior, and impeccable reliability, but it could use a bit more power on the wheels. While AWD is available in the Highlander, it is more of a pavement princess than an off-road beast like the Land Cruiser.
Interior space in the Highlander is more than what you would find in the CX-9 but not as generous as the Traverse or other American mid-sizers. If you want a car mainly for highway trips but would like to have the option to go off-road, this is a good option.
The cousin of the Telluride, the Palisade follows the same general principle; it gives you the features reserved for high-end models at a more affordable price. Hyundai has executed the concept in a very good way, making this the prime option for anyone looking to buy a good SUV for relatively less money.
Inside the Palisade, you will find upscale materials and equally good standards of build quality. Features like heated and ventilated seats, active noise cancellation, lots of sound deadening, and multiple USB ports throughout the cabin make the Palisade a comfortable and functional vehicle to travel in.