The 2017 Best Large SUVs for the Money
Our Best Large SUVs for the Money award provides the best combination of quality and value while featuring low, long-term ownership costs. This category boasts vehicles with some of the best-equipped cabins and dynamic handling on the market.
U.S. News & World Report evaluates dozens of data points, including third-party reviews and safety and reliability information, to determine which vehicles top their class. Each one is rated on its performance, interior, and critic’s rating.
Read ahead to view the top-scoring 2017 vehicles in this category of our Best Cars for the Money awards.
No. 5: Chevrolet Suburban
MSRP: $49,915 (Details Below)
The Chevrolet Suburban is a large, comfortable SUV with a generous cargo hold.
The Suburban’s standard powertrain is a 5.3-liter V8 engine paired with a responsive six-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. It delivers 355 horsepower and a cushioned ride. Four-wheel drive is available.
The base model achieves 16 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway.
The Suburban features three trims: LS, LT, and Premier. Bluetooth, a Wi-Fi hot spot, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, satellite radio, and five USB ports are standard.
The base model includes a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, and a teen driver system that places limits on the driver’s speed and audio volume remotely. Upgrade to the $695 Enhanced Driver Alert package for the usual list of advanced safety features, including forward collision warning, lane keep assist, and automatic emergency braking.
No. 4: GMC Yukon
MSRP: $48,530 (Details Below)
The Yukon’s 355-horsepower V8 engine can handle hills and carry extra weight easily. Note that the SUV handles well despite its size and wide steering radius, but the standard six-speed automatic transmission can feel sluggish and slow to downshift.
The SUV is the only vehicle in its class that comes with an option for a larger, more powerful engine: a 420-horsepower V8 mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard, though four-wheel drive is available.
The Yukon returns 16 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway.
Built on the same platform as the Chevrolet Tahoe, the three-row GMC Yukon offers plenty of head- and legroom in its first two rows but features an underwhelming cargo hold of 15.3 cubic feet.
The Yukon’s cabin is more luxurious than the Tahoe’s, using premium wood-grain trim and soft-touch materials to create an upscale feel. It comes standard with GMC’s IntelliLink infotainment system, an 8-inch touch-screen display, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A wireless charging pad for smartphones is available.
Standard safety features include a rearview camera and front and rear parking sensors. The mid-grade SLE trim adds low-speed automatic braking to its forward collision warning system for 2017.
No. 3: Toyota Sequoia
MSRP: $45,560 (Details Below)
If you’re looking for an SUV that offers the unique combination of value, reliability, and off-road prowess, consider the Toyota Sequoia.
The Sequoia is powered by a 5.7-liter V8 engine that delivers an impressive 381 horsepower and accelerates quickly. A six-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive are standard. Four-wheel drive and a Flex Fuel V8 are optional.
The SUV is available in three trims – SR5, Limited, and Platinum – and boasts one of the lowest starting prices in its class.
The Sequoia seats eight passengers when equipped with the standard second-row bench seat. Optional captain’s chairs reduce capacity to seven. No matter the configuration, the Sequoia’s cabin features plenty of head- and legroom, even for adults sitting in the third row.
Bluetooth, satellite radio, a 6.1-inch touch-screen infotainment system, Siri Eyes Free, and a USB port come standard.
No. 2: Chevrolet Tahoe
MSRP: $47,215 (Details Below)
The Chevrolet Tahoe, one of the top performers in our rankings, offers a quiet, comfortable ride and is equipped with lots of standard technology and a user-friendly infotainment system. Its three trims – LS, LT, and Premier – seat between seven and nine passengers, depending on whether buyers opt for bucket seats or a bench row.
The Tahoe is equipped with a 355-horsepower 5.3-liter V8 engine paired with a six-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. It can handle highway speeds and off-road terrain capably and tow up to 8,600 pounds.
The SUV’s fuel economy is average for its class: 16 mpg around town and 23 on the highway.
The Tahoe provides a notable list of standard features, including five USB ports – with up to 13 charging locations throughout the cabin – and a built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot.
The Chevy MyLink infotainment system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, and an 8-inch touch-screen display are standard. The 2017 model includes two new standard features: a teen driver system that controls speed and volume for new drivers, and a customizable rear-seat reminder to ensure distracted parents don’t leave a child or animal in the back seat.
At 15.3 cubic feet, the Tahoe’s cargo area is smaller than its competitors’, and its high cargo floor makes loading items into the SUV more challenging.
No. 1: Ford Expedition
MSRP: $47,125 (Details Below)
The three-row Ford Expedition provides a smooth ride capable of transporting a sports team.
Powered by a 3.5-liter V6 paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, the Expedition returns a robust 365 horsepower. Like many large SUVs, the Expedition can be difficult to maneuver in parking garages and tight turns, but its steering feels more responsive than many of its rivals’. The optional Continuously Controlled Damping System allows drivers to choose among Normal, Comfort, and Sport modes to adjust the SUV’s suspension and increase comfort.
The Expedition features low long-term ownership costs and the highest base tow rating in its class. However, the SUV is less fuel-efficient than many of its V8-powered competitors, eking out just 15 mpg in the city and 21 on the highway.
With seating for eight, the Ford Expedition shines when it comes to interior space and head- and legroom. An extended wheelbase version, the Expedition EL, offers additional room for passengers and cargo. Optional second-row bucket seats bring seating to seven.
The Expedition comes in four trims: XLT, Limited, King Ranch, and Platinum. The base trim includes Bluetooth and Ford’s SYNC infotainment system, but lacks several technology features found in its competitors – you won’t get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity or a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot in the Expedition.
The Limited trim comes with Ford’s SYNC 3 infotainment system, an 8-inch touch screen, dual-zone automatic climate control, front parking sensors, and a power liftgate. The King Ranch adds navigation, blind spot monitoring, and upgraded leather upholstery, while the Platinum trim includes a moonroof and an automatically adjustable suspension.
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To see all the winners of our 2017 Best Cars for the Money awards, check out the Best Cars for the Money slideshow. To learn more about these vehicles, explore their reviews and standings in our new car rankings. And when it comes time to buy, use our Best Price Program to get the best deal on your new car purchase.