Sep 26, 2016

Top 15 SUVs of 2016

10. Ford Expedition – Full-size

  • Seats 8
  • Base Price: $45,435
  • Fully Loaded: $66,025
  • Mileage: 16/22
  • Safety Rating: 5 stars
  • Options: Leather seats, premium car stereo package, power liftgate.
  • Top Features: Roomy interior, extra cargo space, towing capability, top safety ratings

The Ford Expedition has automatic transmission and is powered by the equivalent of a turbocharged V-6 engine. It’s a four-wheel drive vehicle with all-wheel drive available. The Expedition has a lot of exciting features like expansive seating, cargo room and up to 9,200 pounds of towing ability. It also has precise steering and a smooth ride, although acceleration can lag, and it doesn’t rank highly on fuel economy.

The third-row seat is quite roomy in the Expedition and the EL model has the most cargo space of any SUV in its class. The Expedition isn’t a luxury SUV unless you spring for some upgrades, but it has the best price of the full-size models we looked at. The standard model doesn’t come with a touch screen and parts of the interior are made of molded plastic. However, satellite radio and a comprehensive suite of safety features is standard.

  • Final Verdict: The Ford Expedition is a roomy and economical option for a family, with lots of seating and cargo space.

11. Chevy Tahoe – Full-Size/Luxury

  • Seats 8
  • Base Price: $48,195
  • Fully Loaded: $64,740
  • Mileage: 16/22
  • Safety Rating: 5 stars
  • Options: Adaptive cruise control, collision warning, updated suspension, head-up display, power liftgate and more.
  • Best Features: Seating capacity, engine power, top safety ratings

The automatic transmission and wide frame give the Chevy Tahoe a smooth ride. This rear-wheel drive SUV has a powerfulV-8 engine and comes with power steering. Other features include reinforced brake rotors and a rearview camera. An 8-inch touch screen, five USB ports and HD/satellite radio are also standard.

The Tahoe is rated the top 2016 model in luxury SUVs by U.S. News and World Report in the full-size category. This is in large part because of the powerful engine combined with the upscale interior. It also received high marks for safety. Although the Tahoe seats eight, the third-row seats aren’t as spacious as the others. The cabin is insulated against road and wind noise for a quiet ride.

  • Final Verdict: Combining a large seating capacity and plenty of cargo space with a powerful engine, the Chevy Tahoe is another family-friendly SUV.

12. Cadillac Escalade – Full-size/Luxury

  • Seats 8
  • Base Price: $72,970
  • Fully Loaded: $94,950
  • Mileage: 15/21
  • Safety Rating: 5 stars
  • Options: Blu-Ray disc player, second rear 9-inch screen (descends from ceiling), adaptive cruise control, advanced security package.
  • Best Features: Fast acceleration, easy handling, high-end luxury interior, extra cargo capacity

As one reviewer writes, the Cadillac Escalade is “no small thing.” This extra-large family SUV has a V-8 engine, and it comes equipped with automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. One of the largest SUV’s around, the Escalade is also heavy on comfort and extra features. Considering the size of the engine and the vehicle itself, it gets the best gas mileage out of the full-size luxury SUVs.

Heated and cooled leather seats and a 12.3-inch voice-activated touch screen grace the interior. Short-range radar alerts the driver of objects that are approaching quickly. The Escalade also has an impressive towing power of about 8,000 pounds. The front strut and rear axle suspension are modeled after GM full-size pickups and the Escalade seats eight.

  • Final Verdict: An SUV that’s powerful and luxurious and not afraid to show it, the Escalade is the ultimate soccer-mom vehicle or impressive office-on-wheels.
Ed Aldridge /

Ed Aldridge /

13. Toyota Land Cruiser – Full-size/Luxury

  • Seats up to 8
  • Base Price: $83,825
  • Fully Loaded: $83,825
  • Mileage: 13/18
  • Safety Rating: Not available
  • Options: The base model has all luxury upgrades.
  • Top Features: Luxury upgrades are standard, off-road capability

Like the Escalade, the Land Cruiser has a V-8 engine and automatic transmission. It’s a four-wheel drive vehicle with an improved transmission for 2016. It seats seven in comfort, although it’s a little cramped with eight passengers. Unfortunately, fuel economy is not a feature of this luxury SUV. Safety is, though, with a total of 10 airbags in the vehicle. The Land Cruiser is also primed for off-roading with several different terrain modes.

The standard features of the Land Cruiser read like the luxury upgrades of other models. It comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, keyless ignition, a rear-view camera, touchscreen navigation and wireless charging. There’s a DVD entertainment system in the rear, a JBL premium stereo system, and a four-zone climate control system.

  • Final Verdict: For a quiet, luxury ride in a large SUV that can handle just about any kind of terrain, the Toyota Land Cruiser will deliver.

14. Lexus LX570 – Full-size/Luxury

  • Seats 7
  • Base Price: $88,880
  • Fully Loaded: $88,880+
  • Mileage: 13/18
  • Safety Rating: Not available
  • Options: Luxury features are part of the standard package. However, there are options to upgrade further.
  • Best Features: Luxury interior, top safety rating, off-road capability

The LX570 has been called the luxury version of the Toyota Land Cruiser, which is a pretty tricked-out vehicle in the first place. The Lexus LX570 is another 8-passenger SUV with a V-8 engine and lots of power. It has an automatic transmission and comes with standard four-wheel drive. There’s definitely some pampering for the driver and passengers, like the huge 12.3-inch information screen up front and two 11.6-inch infotainment screens in the back.

The Lexus LX570 has a sportier, updated dash compared to the Toyota Land Cruiser and it has off-road capability as well. A nine-speaker sound system and Siri Eyes Free are both standard features. The adaptive suspension ensures a comfortable ride. Best of all, the safety suite is also standard, and it includes a pre-collision system, lane change alerts, pedestrian detection and adaptive cruise control.

  • Final Verdict: If you want the off-roading power and versatility of a V-8 engine without giving up space and luxury, the Lexus LX570 is perfect.

15. Land Rover Range Rover – Full-size/Luxury

  • Seats 5
  • Base Price: $84,950
  • Fully Loaded: $199,495
  • Mileage: 17/23
  • Safety Rating: Not available
  • Options: Sun roof, Wi-Fi hotspot, extra climate control zone, two-screen rear entertainment system, adaptive cruise control, parallel park assist and more.
  • Best Features: Superior off-roading capability, best fuel economy for class, nearly unlimited upgrades

While starting in the same price range as the Toyota Land Cruiser and Lexus LX570, the Range Rover has nearly infinite room for upgrades. It’s the ultimate luxury off-roader, ranking second in off-road SUVs in U.S. News and World Report. The Range Rover has some of the luxury options you would expect, like HD/satellite radio, rearview camera and smart-phone integration. It also has adjustable driving modes, including for snow, mud and sand.

This four-wheel drive SUV has automatic transmission. Opting for the turbodiesel V-6 ups the mpg to 22 mpg city/29 mpg highway and it costs an extra $1,500. Some of the options are standard features on other models, though, like adaptive cruise control and a rear entertainment system. The gas mileage is significantly better than competitors because of the V-6 engine and the lack of a third seating row.

  • Final Verdict: The Range Rover has the power and design to overcome difficult road conditions, and it’s also the most highly upgradable off-road SUV.
Vytautas Kielaitis /

Vytautas Kielaitis /

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