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10 Most Popular Midsize SUVs and Crossovers

By: Jeff Youngs, 6/6/2014
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Families flock to midsize SUVs for their seating capacity, cargo capability, and available all-wheel-drive systems. This guide provides essential information about the 10 most popular,* non-luxury midsize SUVs and crossovers in America. In addition to the best-selling models below, this vehicle segment also includes the Ford Edge, Ford Flex, Honda Crosstour, Mazda CX-9, Nissan Murano, Nissan Pathfinder, Subaru Tribeca, Toyota 4Runner, Toyota FJ Cruiser, Toyota Venza, and Volkswagen Touareg.

* Popularity based on April 2014 new-vehicle sales


2014 Ford Explorer
The Ford Explorer, a crossover model equipped with 7-passenger seating, is the most popular midsize SUV in America. A V-6 engine is standard, with a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine or a twin-turbocharged V-6 available as options. The Explorer is front-wheel drive (FWD), and vehicles with a V-6 engine can be upgraded to all-wheel drive (AWD). Base, XLT, Limited, and Sport trim levels are available.

Base Price--$30,910
Initial Quality Rating--About Average
Predicted Reliability Rating--About Average
Overall Vehicle Appeal Rating--About Average
Fuel Economy Range (city/highway mpg)--16/28
NHTSA Crash Test Rating--5 stars
IIHS Crash Test Rating--Not a "Top Safety Pick"
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat--43.8 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded--80.7 cu. ft.


2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee
A 5-passenger, traditional SUV with genuine off-roading capability, the 2014 Grand Cherokee is the second most popular midsize SUV in the United States. Offered with rear-wheel drive (RWD) or 4-wheel drive (4WD), the Grand Cherokee has a V-6, diesel 6-cylinder, V-8, or a high-performance V-8 engine under the hood. Trim levels include Laredo, Altitude, Limited, Overland, Summit, and SRT, the latter a track-tuned performance variant.

Base Price--$30,390
Initial Quality Rating--About Average
Predicted Reliability Rating--About Average
Overall Vehicle Appeal Rating--About Average
Fuel Economy Range (city/highway mpg)--13/30
NHTSA Crash Test Rating--4 stars (2WD); 5 stars (4WD)
IIHS Crash Test Rating--Not a "Top Safety Pick"
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat--36.3 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded--68.3 cu. ft.


2014 Jeep Wrangler
The third most popular midsize SUV in the U.S. market is the Jeep Wrangler, which also enjoys the distinction of being the only 4-door convertible (Wrangler Unlimited) sold in America. Available in 2-door Wrangler and long-wheelbase Wrangler Unlimited model series, this Jeep carries 4 or 5 people and is a traditional SUV built for travel far off paved roads. It comes only with a V-6 engine and 4WD, offers a manual or automatic transmission, and can be optioned with several different 4WD systems. Trim levels include Sport, Sport S, Sahara, and Rubicon. For 2014, special-edition models include Willys Wheeler, Freedom Edition, Altitude, Polar Edition, Dragon Edition, and Rubicon X.

Base Price--$23,390
Initial Quality Rating--About Average
Predicted Reliability Rating--The Rest
Overall Vehicle Appeal Rating--The Rest
Fuel Economy Range (city/highway mpg)--16/21
NHTSA Crash Test Rating--Not rated
IIHS Crash Test Rating--Not a "Top Safety Pick"
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat--12.8 cu. ft. (Wrangler); 31.5 cu. ft. (Wrangler Unlimited)
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded--55.0 cu. ft. (Wrangler); 70.6 cu. ft. (Wrangler Unlimited)


2014 Jeep Cherokee
A new, 5-passenger crossover SUV wearing an old, legendary name, the 2014 Cherokee is the fourth most popular midsize SUV in America. Equipped with FWD or a choice between 4WD systems, the Cherokee features a standard 4-cylinder engine and an optional V-6 engine, each bolted to a 9-speed automatic transmission. Sport, Latitude, Altitude, Limited, and off-road-ready Trailhawk versions are available.

Base Price--$23,990
Initial Quality Rating--Not rated
Predicted Reliability Rating--Not rated
Overall Vehicle Appeal Rating--Not rated
Fuel Economy Range (city/highway mpg)--18/31
NHTSA Crash Test Rating--4 stars
IIHS Crash Test Rating--Not a "Top Safety Pick"
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat--29.7 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded--54.9 cu. ft.


2014 Toyota Highlander
Redesigned for 2014, the Highlander is a crossover SUV designed to carry 8 passengers. This is the fifth most popular midsize SUV in the United States, and is equipped with FWD or AWD. A 4-cylinder or V-6 engine is standard, depending on the trim level, while the Highlander Hybrid is equipped with a gas-electric hybrid powertrain putting out 280 horsepower. Trim levels include LE, LE Plus, XLE, Limited, and Hybrid Limited.

Base Price--$30,075
Initial Quality Rating--Not rated
Predicted Reliability Rating--Better than Most
Overall Vehicle Appeal Rating--Not rated
Fuel Economy Range (city/highway mpg)--18/28
NHTSA Crash Test Rating--5 stars
IIHS Crash Test Rating--"Top Safety Pick"
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat--42.3 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded--83.2 cu. ft.


2014 Subaru Outback
The sixth most popular midsize SUV in America is the Subaru Outback. With 5-passenger seating and standard AWD, the Outback 2.5i has a 4-cylinder engine with a manual gearbox or a continuously variable transmission (CVT), while the Outback 3.6R gets a 6-cylinder engine and an automatic transmission. All Outbacks boast 8.7 in. of minimum ground clearance, and depending on the model series can be fitted with standard, Premium, or Limited trim.

Base Price--$24,320
Initial Quality Rating--About Average
Predicted Reliability Rating--Better than Most
Overall Vehicle Appeal Rating--The Rest
Fuel Economy Range (city/highway mpg)--17/30
NHTSA Crash Test Rating--5 stars
IIHS Crash Test Rating--"Top Safety Pick"
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat--34.3 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded--71.3 cu. ft.


2014 Hyundai Santa Fe
There are two versions of the 2014 Santa Fe to consider, and together they make this Hyundai the seventh best-selling midsize SUV in the United States. The 5-passenger version is the Santa Fe Sport, featuring a 4-cylinder or a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. The 7-passenger version is the Santa Fe, equipped with a standard V-6 engine and available in GLS or Limited trim levels. All Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport models have FWD, with AWD optional.

Base Price--$25,825
Initial Quality Rating--Better than Most
Predicted Reliability Rating--About Average
Overall Vehicle Appeal Rating--Better than Most
Fuel Economy Range (city/highway mpg)--18/27
NHTSA Crash Test Rating--5 stars (Sport); Santa Fe not tested
IIHS Crash Test Rating--Not a "Top Safety Pick"
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat--35.4 cu. ft. (Sport); 40.9 cu. ft (Santa Fe)
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded--71.5 cu. ft. (Sport); 80.0 cu. ft. (Santa Fe)


2014 Honda Pilot
An 8-passenger crossover SUV with a V-6 engine, automatic transmission, and FWD or AWD, the 2014 Pilot is the eighth most popular midsize non-premium SUV in America. Buyers choose between LX, EX, EX-L, and Touring trim levels.

Base Price--$30,500
Initial Quality Rating--About Average
Predicted Reliability Rating--About Average
Overall Vehicle Appeal Rating--About Average
Fuel Economy Range (city/highway mpg)--17/25
NHTSA Crash Test Rating--4 stars
IIHS Crash Test Rating--Not a "Top Safety Pick"
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat--47.7 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded--87.0 cu. ft.


2014 Kia Sorento
The ninth best-selling midsize SUV is the Kia Sorento, a crossover offering 5-passenger or 7-passenger seating in LX, EX, SX, and SX Limited levels of specification. A 4-cylinder engine is standard for the LX, while other Sorentos get a V-6. An automatic transmission is standard, with AWD optional.

Base Price--$24,995
Initial Quality Rating--About Average
Predicted Reliability Rating--About Average
Overall Vehicle Appeal Rating--About Average
Fuel Economy Range (city/highway mpg)--18/26
NHTSA Crash Test Rating--5 stars
IIHS Crash Test Rating--Not a "Top Safety Pick"
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat--36.9 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded--72.5 cu. ft.


2014 Dodge Journey
Offering up to 7-passenger capacity in 3 rows of seats, the 2014 Journey is the 10th most popular midsize SUV in the United States. Vehicles with a 4-cylinder engine come only with FWD. If AWD is desired, a V-6 engine is required. Trim levels include American Value Package (AVP), SE, SXT, SXT Plus, Crossroad, Limited, and R/T.

Base Price--$20,990
Initial Quality Rating--About Average
Predicted Reliability Rating--The Rest
Overall Vehicle Appeal Rating--The Rest
Fuel Economy Range (city/highway mpg)--16/26
NHTSA Crash Test Rating--4 stars
IIHS Crash Test Rating--Not a "Top Safety Pick"
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat--37.0 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded--67.6 cu. ft.

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