The Best American Crossovers and SUVs for FamiliesWith the massive popularity of crossovers and SUVs, there's more choice than ever for families that want some room to stretch out. That means that competition has made the current crop better than ever. These are our recommendations for crossovers and SUVs made by American brands suited for families of all types and sizes.
Ford ExpeditionFord's new Expedition finally makes it a real player against the other large, three-row traditional SUV juggernaut, the Chevrolet Suburban. With sharp looks, lots of presence, a choice of two wheelbases (big and bigger), and lots of utility, it's the choice for families that need everything – towing capacity, seating for up to eight, and plenty of room for stuff. The turbocharged EcoBoost V6 is smooth, powerful, and efficient, so buyer's won't pine for a V8 (which is not available).
Ford Expedition Information
The Expedition's cousin, the Lincoln Navigator, is a bold SUV that builds on Lincoln's newly-refound mojo. Frankly, older Lincolns couldn't shed the "Ford with a fancier badge" baggage.
Well, just like the Expedition is a breakout winner in the regular three-row traditional SUV segment, the Navigator ups the ante in the luxury three-row space. Lincoln is apparently selling as many of these as they can build, and sitting in one reveals why: it's not only comfortable and spacious, it also feels special.
Lincoln Navigator Information
Dodge JourneyReal talk for a second: the Journey is a bit of a pragmatic choice for families. It's popular because it's inexpensive, attractive, and offers a great combination of space and utility. It's low, long look is very successful. And they're easy to drive. On the other hand, it's overdue for a total refresh to give it the sort of refinement that would make it a class leader. But for car buyers on a budget, there are few smaller crossovers that offer this bang for the buck.
Dodge Journey Information
Tesla Model X
The Model X offers so many things that no other American-made SUV from an American company offers, it's basically unique. Falcon doors. A fully-electric powertrain. Massive real-world range. The Supercharger fast-charging network across the country. It can seat 5, 6, or 7 people, depending on configuration.
It's not all roses, though ... quality and reliability issues still plague all of Tesla's products. And it's frighteningly expensive, although its unique capabilities do justify some of the premium. It's not for everybody, but it might be right for your family.
Tesla Model X Information
Chevrolet Equinox Diesel
While all of the newer Equinoxes are competent, compact, and handsome, we want to call out the turbodiesel for its unique combination of incredible fuel efficiency and practicality.
The real question is, should a buyer fork over the $1,345 more for a noisy diesel with a minimal tow rating? If there's a lot of freeway in your future, or if you relish the idea of using the least fuel possible to travel an absurd distance between refueling, that's a yes.
The Equinox's turbodiesel consistently exceeds its EPA expectations, something that no turbo gas engine is able to do. And – we mean this as a compliment – it's otherwise a normal Equinox. That's impressive.
Chevrolet Equinox Information
Cadillac EscaladeSince the latest Escalade was introduced a few years back, the competition's gotten fierce in the luxury end of the large SUV spectrum. The Navigator is a real shot across the bow. But the Escalade is the original big luxury SUV, and has stood the test of time. Nor is it a pretty box that isn't fun to drive: the current Escalade pairs a 6.2-liter, 420-horsepower V8 to some sharp, bold sheetmetal. The inside is still fresh, a pleasing mix of shapes, textures, and colors. And while it's can be perfectly utilitarian, it's also an SUV you want to be seen in.
Cadillac Escalade Information
Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
The new Wrangler can take your family just about anywhere. It's one of the most capable SUVs out there, period. The four-door is more family friendly, trading a bit of absolute overland capability for a lot more utility and practicality, but much like the Model X it has no real peers.
That doesn't mean Jeep has gotten complacent about the Wrangler. The latest version incorporates more comfort, tech, and capability than ever before. It's just as rugged but a lot more refined. Plus, a new 2.0-liter turbo engine and a diesel option will round out the mix. The plug-in hybrid won't go on sale until 2020, sadly.