If you have a large family, often carry a full load of cargo in addition to passengers, or often tow a boat or trailer, then a large SUV may be the right vehicle for you. While all large SUVs offer three rows of seating and generous cargo capacity, they aren’t all the same in terms of performance, comfort, cabin quality and usable space. This guide will highlight some of those differences and help you find the best affordable large SUV for your needs.
The redesigned 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe currently sits atop our affordable large SUV rankings, as car reviewers say it has plenty of power, a smooth ride, top-notch cabin materials and comfortable seats. Although the 2015 Tahoe trails several competitors in terms of cargo capacity, reviewers appreciate that, unlike the previous generation, the second- and third-row seats fold flat into the floor, which makes loading large items less cumbersome.
If you need a lot of space, the redesigned 2015 Chevrolet Suburban is a great choice. It has the most cargo room in the class and test drivers report it has stable handling and plenty of power. Inside, critics are impressed with the Suburban’s premium materials, and they say the third-row seats have plenty of space for kids to get comfortable. It’s also our 2015 Best Large SUV for Families.
The 2015 Buick Enclave also has a relatively spacious third-row seat, reviewers say, and its cabin materials are reminiscent of the materials used by luxury brands. While the Enclave ranks in the top half of the class in cargo volume, test drivers report that with a full load of people and luggage, its V6 engine can feel slightly underpowered. The Enclave does offer a comfortable and quiet ride with secure handling, according to critics.
If you’re looking for athletic handling in your next large SUV, check out the 2015 Mazda CX-9. Test drivers say its responsive steering and nimble dynamics make it one of the sportiest SUVs available. Its strong performance helped it win our 2015 Best Large SUV for the Money award. Reviewers also note that the CX-9’s V6 engine delivers strong acceleration around town and on the highway. Inside, critics say adults can sit comfortably in the third row, but the quality of the cabin materials is underwhelming and the touch-screen display could be easier to use.
Cabin quality is a strong suit of the redesigned 2015 GMC Yukon, as reviewers praise its first-rate materials, comfortable seats and intuitive infotainment system. They do note that seating in the third row is a little cramped, however. Critics appreciate the new fold-flat second- and third-row seats, but if cargo room is a priority, you’ll want to check out the long-wheelbase Yukon XL, which matches the Suburban’s luggage capacity. On the road, reviewers say the Yukon rides quietly and that its V8 engine produces swift acceleration.
The 2015 Dodge Durango’s powertrain also earns acclaim, as test drivers are impressed with the available V8 engine’s strong acceleration and the quick shifts from the eight-speed automatic transmission. The Durango is efficient too, as it earns a best-in-class 18/25 mpg city/highway, according to the EPA. Inside, reviewers like the Durango’s upscale materials, but some say the second- and third-row seats could be more accommodating. Cargo space is also limited for a large SUV.
The 2015 Toyota Sequoia’s cargo space rivals the Suburban for best-in-class honors, and test drivers report the Sequoia’s V8 engine delivers brisk acceleration. The biggest drawback of Toyota’s large SUV is fuel economy, as the Sequoia achieves a worst-in-class EPA rating of 13/17 mpg city/highway. Inside, the Sequoia’s comfortable and spacious seating draws praise, but some reviewers say the infotainment system could be more responsive.
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