These Are the Top Full-Size SUVs of 2017
While many SUV buyers have migrated to midsize or smaller crossover vehicles in recent years, the market for full-size SUVs remains robust. Last year, sales of the six affordable full-size SUVs in this slideshow rose nearly 22 percent. People bought them because they offer cavernous interiors with plenty of room for passengers and cargo. Their size and weight also make many drivers feel more comfortable on crowded highways, though their size can be a detriment in tight parking lots.
Trailer towing is also one of these vehicles’ many talents. When properly equipped, their tow ratings range from 7,400 to 9,200 pounds. This means owners can tow a wide variety of utility trailers, boats, and campers. Available four-wheel drive also makes these vehicles surprisingly capable when traveling on snowy or muddy roads.
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MSRP: $47,215 (Details Below)
The Chevrolet Tahoe is the most popular affordable full-size SUV currently available. It accounts for nearly a third of all sales in the category. The Chevrolet Tahoe is also one of the top-rated models in the U.S. News ranking of full-size SUVs. The combination of its 355-horsepower V8 engine and six-speed automatic transmission offers plenty of power, yet also delivers decent fuel economy. Add handling that manages to avoid any sign of truck-like clumsiness and you have a winning combination. The Tahoe can tow up to 8,600 pounds.
Towing Capacity: 8,600 pounds (Details Below)
Depending on the model and seating package, the Tahoe can carry seven to nine passengers in three rows of seating. First and second row occupants will find plenty of room. Third row passengers could feel cramped, and cargo room behind a raised third row is limited. Tech features are numerous, even in the base LS trim level, and the interior is inviting, thanks to the use of quality materials that are not found in many competitors, such as the Ford Expedition.
MSRP: $48,530 (Details Below)
The GMC Yukon and Yukon XL are closely related to the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban. They share platforms and, with the exception of the Yukon Denali, drivetrains. Their body dimensions are identical. Yet, the GMC Yukon manages to impart a different feel, thanks to the additional attention GMC pays to the interior.
For buyers who want the ultimate in luxury in a full-size SUV, the Yukon Denali offers an interior that rivals the Cadillac Escalade’s. Performance is also boosted in the Denali with its 420-horsepower 6.2-liter V8 (vs. 5.3-liters in lesser trim levels). The Yukon can tow up to 8,500 pounds.
Towing Capacity: 8,500 pounds (Details Below)
The Yukon can be outfitted to seat seven, eight, or nine passengers. While the nearly identical Chevrolet Tahoe does not offer a longer version (it reserves that longer and roomier body for the separate Chevrolet Suburban lineup), GMC offers Yukon buyers the Yukon XL. This version shares the Suburban’s body and dimensions, meaning it offers a roomier third row seat and boosts cargo space from 15.3 cubic feet with the third row in use to 39.3 cubic feet. The quality of the materials used throughout either Yukon’s cabin is very good.
MSRP: $47,125 (Details Below)
The Ford Expedition is offered in two versions, one with the standard length body and the other with an extended EL body that rides on a longer wheelbase and offers more interior room. All versions use a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 rated at 365 horsepower and a six-speed automatic transmission. Handling earns above average scores in this category while the ride is smooth, steady, and quiet. The Ford Expedition is the towing champ in this class, too. Properly equipped, Ford rates the Expedition for towing up to 9,200 pounds.
Towing Capacity: 9,200 pounds (Details Below)
The Ford Expedition seats eight passengers. Optional second row bucket seats drop this count to seven. There is good room in all three rows with the second row seats able to slide and recline. Cargo space is outstanding in EL models, which offer 42.6 cubic feet with the third row seats in use.
The interior looks good but, due to the use of some hard plastics as opposed to soft-touch materials, it does not feel particularly upscale. The Expedition starts at a lower price than some competitors, but its list of standard tech features is not as comprehensive.
MSRP: $45,560 (Details Below)
The Toyota Sequoia delivers a well-balanced overall performance. Its 5.7-liter V8 engine is powerful, the standard six-speed automatic transmission shifts nicely and the ride is comfortable, especially with the optional adaptive air suspension. Handling is highlighted by easy maneuverability for a vehicle of this size.
While the engine’s 381-horsepower rating is impressive, its fuel economy is not. EPA ratings of 13 mpg in the city and 17 mpg on the highway trail those of many competitors. Also trailing the competition is the Sequoia’s 7,400-pound tow rating.
Towing Capacity: 7,400 pounds (Details Below)
U.S. News has called the Sequoia’s cabin spacious but bland. Its design is also dated. Still, third row seating comfort and space shine and cargo space is quite good. With the third row seats up, there is 18.9 cubic feet for luggage. Fold both the second and third row seats and the Sequoia delivers 120.1 cubic feet of cargo room, a number that almost equals the space available in the Chevrolet Suburban and Ford Expedition EL.
MSRP: $49,915 (Details Below)
For buyers who value passenger room and cargo space, the Chevrolet Suburban makes a compelling case. A composed ride and steady handling may make a driver feel that the Suburban is smaller than it is on the open road. However, tight parking spots and heavy traffic quickly bring the driver back to reality. The Suburban is very big.
Despite its size and weight, its 5.3-liter 355-horsepower V8 and six-speed automatic transmission manage to deliver a satisfying performance. Properly equipped, the Suburban can tow up to 8,000 pounds.
Towing Capacity: 8,000 pounds (Details Below)
Three rows of seats can accommodate up to eight passengers in a Chevrolet Suburban, though seven-passenger seating with second row bucket seats is an option. Third row seating is best reserved for children, though adults will manage on shorter trips.
Standard high-tech features are impressive with even the base model offering a Wi-Fi hot spot, Bluetooth connectivity, and five USB ports. Cargo room also impresses with 39.3 cubic feet available behind the third row and 121.7 cubic feet on tap with first and second row seats folded.
MSRP: $44,900 (Details Below)
The Nissan Armada feels lighter than it turns out to be. Credit the 5.6-liter 390-horsepower V8 for delivering lively acceleration and very good throttle response. Aiding in this performance is the standard seven-speed automatic transmission. The ride is smooth and quiet while the handling is quite good. The Armada is responsive despite its size. It can tow a trailer weighing up to 8,500 pounds.
Towing Capacity: 8,500 pounds (Details Below)
The interior uses quality materials, but the front seats may not be comfortable for everyone. Taller drivers may also object to their limited range of fore-and-aft adjustment. The second row is roomy, quite comfortable, and reclines, although the third row is cramped for space. The infotainment system is potentially distracting to use and fails to provide the latest features, such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Cargo room behind the third row seat is 16.5 cubic feet. Fold all the seats and cargo room grows to 95.4 cubic feet.
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