Top Recommended SUVs

At one point virtually all SUVs were sport (i.e., offroad) vehicles offering uncommon – relative to their sedan and coupe counterparts – utility. Today that burgeoning popularity is enjoyed by their car-based crossover counterparts. And while crossovers might replace a family’s minivan, the true, purpose-built SUVs are often taking the place of an offroad-oriented pickup. In most parts of the country the category is dominated by Chevy’s Tahoe and Suburban or Jeep’s Grand Cherokee. Toyota’s 4-Runner continues to build its offroad bonafides with body-on-frame construction, while Nissan channels its global Patrol platform – and reputation – with an all-new Armada and Infiniti’s QX80. With all of that, refinements are being added to improve comfort, while governmental mandates will ultimately improve efficiency.

2016 Range Rover

2016 Land Rover Range Rover

The 2016 Range Rover lineup broadens with a luxurious new SVAutobiography model and a new Range Rover Td6 powered by a new turbodiesel V6 engine.

The 2016 Range Rover is in the fourth year of its generation, with another 40 years before that, enough time to get it right.Not to mention evolve into an SUV costing more than $100,000.We've driven the current Range Rover in Moroccan gale, over the Spanish steppes, and in wretched Atlanta traffic, and it has never failed us.

One beauty of the Range Rover is it hasn't lost its shape.It will hopefully be a box forever.This latest-generation Range …

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$84,950 - $244,500
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Engine Engine 3.0LV-6
MPG MPG 17 City / 23 Hwy
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2016 4Runner

2016 Toyota 4Runner

The Toyota 4Runner is known for being true to its roots.It's one of the last remaining old-school SUVs, which is to say it's still a truck.It has not crossed over to being a tall car.Its body is bolted to its rugged chassis, like they used to do, back when SUVs were tough and before they were gentrified.If you want one of those, buy a Toyota Highlander.If you intend to go off road, get the 4Runner.(The FJ Cruiser is gone.)

But don't get the wrong idea, the 4Runner has been updated and refined over the years, and doesn't feel rough on …

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$34,010 - $44,360
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Engine Engine 4.0LV-6
MPG MPG 17 City / 22 Hwy
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2016 Pilot

2016 Honda Pilot

For all it had going for it, the second-generation Honda Pilot was stung by one undeniable fact: it looked like a big, boxy SUV at a time when consumer favor was shifting towards car-based crossovers. For 2016, though, Honda is offering a third-generation Pilot that not only does away with the old model's brutalist looks, but also adopts bleeding-edge safety technology and fuel-efficient powertrains. The Pilot's new styling still doesn't really work, to our eyes. That's not because of the CR-V-inspired headlights or Accord-derived grille. It's not even because of the horizontally oriented, reshaped taillights. The biggest problem with the …

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$30,345 - $46,770
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Engine Engine 3.5LV-6
MPG MPG 18 City / 26 Hwy
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2016 CX-5

2016 Mazda CX-5

It's difficult for me to get excited about crossovers. I try hard not to be the stereotypical car guy: ignoring the fact that the rest of the world loves these tall hatchbacks, while yelling, "station wagons make more sense!" until I've voided my lungs of air. Deep down I am that guy, but I work around it. Historically the Mazda CX-5 is one crossover that has been quasi-immune to my knee-jerking. It doesn't weigh two tons, offers a manual transmission (in poverty spec, but still...), and looks faster than its competitors. Most importantly, the CX-5 can round a corner without …

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$21,795 - $29,870
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Engine Engine 2.0LI-4
MPG MPG 26 City / 35 Hwy
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2016 Cherokee

2016 Jeep Cherokee

The original Jeep Cherokee in 1984 established the standard for sport-utility vehicles (SUV) that could be used as family transport.Today's market favors more carlike utility vehicles.Introduced as a 2014 model, today's Cherokee is a midsize crossover SUV.

Even though Jeep has built plenty of off-road ability and ruggedness into the revived Cherokee, it's intended mainly for families and daily tasks.Far removed from the truck-like Liberty that it replaced, the current Cherokee has a look all its own: the kind that could be called either daring or radical.Most glaring is the front end, both Jeeplike and strikingly different.

Looks aside, the Cherokee fits …

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$23,495 - $38,395
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Engine Engine 2.4LI-4
MPG MPG 22 City / 31 Hwy
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2016 Highlander

2016 Toyota Highlander

The Toyota Highlander is a midsize crossover SUV that delivers versatility, comfort and practicality, including three-row seating.All-wheel drive is available for wintry weather.

Highlander is among the best in its class in terms of comfort and frugality.In addition to flexible second-row seating, it offers relatively free access to the third row.In terms of being stylish, rewarding to drive, or offering rugged off-road capability, well, not so much.

Last redesigned for 2014, there are no significant changes for the 2016 Highlander.

It might look a bit more rugged than its predecessors, but the Highlander is technically closer to Toyota passenger cars than to any …

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$30,490 - $44,990
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Engine Engine 2.7LI-4
MPG MPG 20 City / 25 Hwy
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