Sport-utility vehicles, like the various Nissan Rogue models, are exceptionally popular because of their near-consummate all-rounder qualities. They can be sporty and focused, purely luxurious, or even a mix of both, but whatever the case, every SUV carries a certain level of everyday livability and practicality.
Because of these traits, just about every automaker has a selection of SUVs. Below we briefly review the best of five brands including the Rogue, Kia’s Sorento, the Toyota RAV4, the famed Escalade from Cadillac, and the electric Tesla Model Y.
With Nissan introducing several new and redesigned vehicles into its range to mark its transition into a premium yet still affordable appeal, the Nissan Rogue offers shoppers a modern, well-rounded, and nicely outfitted package at a relatively low price.
On the outside, it carries a sporty yet rugged aesthetic that aptly suits its SUV classification. Its naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine produces enough oomph for comfortably getting about on a daily basis and remains decently frugal, too.
The most the Rogue will be able to tow, however, is just 1,350 lbs. The cabin looks quite modern and is packed with driver-aids, safety, and convenience features.
- Modern, spacious, and high-quality cabin
- Refined ride quality and easy maneuverability
- Excellent driver-assist and safety features
- Not quiet or that enjoyable to drive.
- Just one engine and gearbox option.
- Uninspiring four-cylinder engine.
When it comes to getting the most bang for your buck, the Kia Sorento is sure to deliver. It’s a midsize SUV offering room for up to seven passengers thanks to a standard-fit third row. While the front and second-row seats are adequately comfy and spacious, the third row is suitable only for small children.
There are three engine choices and a front or all-wheel-drive system to choose from – plenty of choice for the average consumer. In terms of driving, the SUV definitely feels a little sprightly, even sporty to a degree, but still prioritizes ride comfort above all else.
- Sporty, attractive design
- Powerful engine option
- Spacious and featureful cabin
- Underpowered base engine
- Confined third-row seats
- Limited trunk cargo space
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In the highly competitive segment of compact SUVs, the Toyota RAV4 stands out as an exceptional all-rounder and remains one of the best-selling vehicles in the USA. Both the regular and hybrid versions deliver admirable and balanced performance – their engines providing ample power yet remaining impressively frugal.
And despite an almost car-like footprint, the compact SUV still offers plenty of cabin room and cargo capacity. It comes with oodles of creature comforts and conveniences and is rated exceptionally for driver and passenger safety and overall reliability.
It’s a great choice for a family of no more than five, though one of the higher-tier models is recommended – the entry-level trim is quite barebones.
- Well-built and commodious interior
- Consummate safety and reliability
- Plenty driver-assist and safety specs
- Mundane drive characteristics
- The engine often sounds strained
- The base model is very rather devoid of features
If you’re looking for a family-oriented SUV with enough room for seven or even eight passengers and all their luggage, it doesn’t get any better than the super-size Cadillac Escalade.
With a massive V8 engine under the hood, the Escalade is never short on power, even with a hefty payload in tow. Available in either rear or all-wheel drive, the former will easily tow up to a maximum of 8,300 pounds.
A double-edged sword, the Escalade’s massive size makes it a commodious and very accommodating vehicle for passengers, however, on the other hand, it can be really difficult to maneuver in tight streets or parking lots because of its size.
- Ultra-luxurious and high-tech interior
- An abundance of cabin and cargo room
- Exceptionally refined ride quality
- Large size makes it difficult to maneuver
- Terrible fuel economy returns
- Quite expensive
Tesla Model Y
With a concerted effort in producing just electric vehicles, Tesla has quickly become one of, if not the most, famous manufacturer of electric vehicles in the world.
The Model Y is one of Tesla’s most affordable offerings despite being a premium class car, the base car coming in at just under $40,000 MSRP. It’s a compact luxury SUV that offers prime EV performance – up to 303 miles on a single charge in the Performance edition, and 326 miles in the Long Range edition.
On top of that, the former variant returns mpg-equivalent ratings of 115/106/111 MPGe and the latter figures of 131/117/125 MPGe.
- Exceptional value for the money
- Phenomenal off-the-line acceleration
- Impressive all-electric range
- Polarising exterior design
- Questionable build quality
- Hindered rearward visibility
There are many more automakers and a whole lot more SUVs out there with their own stand-out traits, advantages, and disadvantages, some purposed for pure driving pleasure on or off of the road and others designed purely for regular runabouts with the family.