Thinking of buying a luxury SUV? Something plush and upscale, yet ready for anything you might need to carry during any kind of weather? There are plenty of them available, and this buyer’s guide details the 10 most popular* luxury SUVs in America.
Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class (46,010)
The GLE is the midsize SUV from Mercedes-Benz. It seats up to five people and comes in standard and coupe body styles. You’ll choose from multiple powertrains, and thanks to the early launch of the redesigned 2020 GLE, dealerships will have a mix of older 2019 models and brand-new 2020s from which to select weathertech car covers.
Infiniti QX60 (47,370)
A 3-row, 7-passenger crossover, the Infiniti QX60 is equipped with a 295-horsepower V6 engine, front-wheel or all-wheel drive, and comes in Pure or Luxe trim levels. Numerous option packages are available, installing lots of extra luxuries.
Acura MDX (51,512)
Acura’s 3-row, 7-passenger crossover SUV comes with a choice between a 290-hp V6 or a hybrid powertrain rated to deliver 289 hp. Acura’s torque-vectoring Super Handling All-Wheel Drive is optional with the V6 (standard with Sport Hybrid), and the MDX is available with several option packages that up the luxury ante.
Cadillac XT5 (60,565)
A 5-passenger crossover SUV, the Cadillac XT5 features a 310-hp V6 engine and comes in standard, Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Platinum trim levels. All-wheel drive is an option. If you want 3-row seating, you’ll need to wait for the 2020 Cadillac XT6.
The BMW X3 is a compact 5-passenger vehicle, blending the company’s penchant for performance with SUV utility. Available with a turbocharged 4-cylinder (30i) or turbocharged 6-cylinder engine (M40i), the BMW X3 features rear-wheel drive (sDrive) unless you select all-wheel-drive (xDrive).
Lexus NX (62,079)
Offered with a turbocharged 4-cylinder (NX 300) or a gas-electric hybrid drivetrain (NX 300h), the Lexus NX is a compact 5-passenger crossover SUV. Looking like a smaller version of the popular RX, the NX is especially appealing in F Sport trim. All-wheel drive is optional with the NX 300, and standard on NX 300h versions.
Acura RDX (63,580)
Acura redesigned the RDX for 2019, bringing the compact 5-passenger crossover SUV back to its sport-tuned roots. Highlights include a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, available SH-AWD, and a new approach to the company’s infotainment system. Standard, Technology, A-Spec, and Advance packages are available.
Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class (69,729)
Like the larger GLE-Class, the GLC-Class is offered in standard and coupe configurations, and in several AMG-tuned performance derivatives. A compact 5-passenger model, rear-wheel drive is standard with the company’s 4Matic all-wheel drive an option.
Audi Q5 (69,978)
There are two versions of the Audi Q5 from which to choose. The standard version has a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, while the sporty SQ5 comes with a turbocharged V6. Both are compact crossovers with seating for up to five passengers, and Audi offers them in Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige trim.
Lexus RX (111,636)
The most popular luxury vehicle in America, the Lexus RX is a midsize crossover SUV with seating for up to seven people. A 3.5-litre V6 engine is standard, with a gas-electric hybrid drivetrain offered as an upgrade. All-wheel drive is standard with the RX 350 and optional with the RX 450h hybrid.
2020 MAZDA CX-30 PREVIEW
Sized for urban maneuverability, and shaped for maximum owner satisfaction, the new CX-30 was “developed in pursuit of automotive styling as a work of art,” according to Mazda. An evolution of the company’s Kodo design theme, the CX-30 demonstrates the same minimalism, elegance, and reflective flanks seen on the latest Mazda 3. The company says it has the rugged look of an SUV, the rakish roofline of a coupe, and the wide stance of a sports car. This isn’t a Mazda 3 hatch raised up and equipped with black lower body cladding, though. It gets its own design, including a far slimmer rear roof pillar design complete with quarter glass for improved visibility. New pulsing LED turn signal indicators accompany front and rear LED lighting. Mazda says the CX-30 will be offered in nine colors, including Soul Red Crystal, Machine Gray, and Polymetal Gray.
Because the new CX-30 sits higher off the ground, Mazda promises easy entry and exit. This, combined with seats designed for optimum support and roomy rear accommodations, makes the CX-30 comfortable for both “tall” and “heavily built” people. Once you’ve slipped behind the telescopic steering wheel, you’ll face the symmetrical cockpit layout from the Mazda 3 and windshield pillars shaped specifically for maximum outward visibility. Mazda also installs wipers that sweep a greater percentage of the windshield surface area than is typical, and they include integrated washer jets. The driver’s seat cushion adjusts to provide thigh support, and a wide center console with a padded armrest separates the CX-30’s front seats. The infotainment controls reside on the center console, and the CX-30 is equipped with a standard shift lever rather than buttons or switches. Especially in higher trim levels, quality materials and steps taken to quell noise, vibration, and harshness contribute to the CX-30’s upscale interior ambience. Lower trim levels features cloth or leatherette seating in Greige (grayish beige) or Black with Dark Blue contrast elements. Top trim features Black or Pure White leather upholstery with Dark Brown contrast elements. Luggage space behind the available power liftgate measures an estimated 15.2 cu. ft., including the bin underneath the cargo floor. Mazda says this is enough to accommodate a standard stroller and a carry-on piece of luggage.
Under the Hood
Mazda announced three engine choices for the new CX-30. The most common is likely to be the gasoline-fueled Skyactiv-G 2.0-liter 4-cylinder with cylinder deactivation and M Hybrid (mild hybrid) light electrification technologies. Mazda says M Hybrid enhances acceleration while also improving fuel economy. Buyers can upgrade to the Skyactiv-X 4-cylinder engine with Mazda’s new Spark Controlled Compression Ignition system. This is a gasoline engine with the torque of a diesel and the linear, smooth revving, high-rpm traits of a traditional gas engine.
Mazda also says that a diesel-powered Skyactiv-D 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine will be available, though it might not be offered in the U.S. market. Another potential no-show for Americans would be the CX-30’s 6-speed manual gearbox. Instead, a 6-speed automatic is likely to come standard, powering all four of the SUV’s wheels through an i-Activ all-wheel-drive system with rear-axle disconnect. Approximately 30% of the CX-30’s Skyactiv Vehicle Architecture is comprised of high-strength steel, helping to improve the ride and handling, according to Mazda. The automaker’s G-Vectoring Control Plus technology is also standard, known for supplying smoother and more responsive handling. A set of 16-in. wheels will be standard, with 18-in. rims available as an option. The CX-30 sits on a MacPherson strut front and torsion beam rear suspension, just like the new Mazda 3. In the Mazda 3, the automaker promises that the simpler rear suspension design won’t compromise driving dynamics, so that assertion should extend to the CX-30. Should you elect to go off-road, know that ground clearance measures an estimated 6.9 ins.
In addition to adding a standard knee airbag to the CX-30, Mazda has updated its suite of i-ActivSense technologies. Available upgrades include a new driver-monitoring system, front cross-traffic alert system, and an adaptive cruise control system with Cruising & Traffic Support.
After the Mazda 3, the CX-30 is the next model in the automaker’s lineup to receive the latest MazdaConnect infotainment system with a larger 8.8-in.-wide display screen and revised menu selection for easier use. Mazda also claims that it conducted a study to determine how audio components should be arranged to maximize clarity of sound, and the CX-30’s standard 8-speaker setup reflects the company’s learning. A 12-speaker Bose premium sound system is available. Mazda will also make its Active Driving Display head-up display technology available to CX-30 buyers.
MOST RELIABLE CROSSOVERS AND SUVS IN 2017
By surveying thousands of new- and used-vehicle owners each year, J.D. Power gathers data regarding what has gone right and what has gone wrong with the cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans that people own. From this data measuring vehicle quality and dependability, the company creates Power Circle Ratings that provide visual representation of how reliable a vehicle is predicted to be over time. In cases where a model nameplate is new to the market, J.D. Power considers the historical performance of all models offered by the brand in order to establish its likelihood of providing trouble-free motoring in the future. On the pages that follow, listed in alphabetical order, and according to J.D. Power, are the mass-market crossovers and SUVs that are expected to provide the best reliability over time. Remember, however, that each rating must be compared to other models within a specific vehicle segment, and are not intended for comparison across segments.
View All Automotive Study Ratings
2017 Buick Encore
A surprise hit for Buick, the tidy little Encore crossover SUV receives a freshening for the 2017 model year, bringing greater sophistication to its appearance, inside and out. Equipped with a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, available all-wheel drive, and a surprisingly roomy interior, the Encore delivers style, practicality, and upscale amenities at an affordable price.
2017 Buick Envision
Introduced late in the 2016 model year, the Buick Envision lineup expands for 2017 with a new standard 4-cylinder engine, more trim levels, and a lower price. Built in China, the Envision is a global compact crossover with upscale intentions. Its reliability rating is largely based on the performance of all Buick models in recent years.
2017 Chevrolet Equinox
Chevrolet makes no changes to the 2017 Equinox, the compact crossover SUV’s final one before a complete redesign for 2018. Offered with a 4-cylinder or a V-6 engine, and featuring a sliding rear seat that adjusts to make more room for passengers or cargo, the Equinox is not the most technologically sophisticated vehicle, but it sure is reliable.
2017 GMC Terrain
Under its boxy skin, the GMC Terrain is the same vehicle as the Chevrolet Equinox. The main difference is the exterior styling and the fact that it comes in an upscale Denali trim level. A 4-cylinder engine is standard, with a powerful V-6 engine optional. All-wheel drive is also available.
2017 Hyundai Tucson
Redesigned in 2016, the Hyundai Tucson is an impressive little crossover SUV. People are happy with its reliability, too. Buyers choose from a variety of trim levels and between a standard 4-cylinder and an available turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with front-wheel or all-wheel drive. Highlights for 2017, depending on the trim level, include stain-resistant fabric, rear air conditioning vents, smartphone projection, and a premium sound system. Though small for its segment, the Kia Sorento is a 3-row crossover SUV that packs a big punch in terms of value. You can choose from a wide range of trim levels and drivetrains, from basic to luxurious. Based on the Toyota Tundra full-size pickup truck, the Sequoia is an 8-passenger SUV built for towing lots of weight and hauling lots of people or cargo. The design is aging, a decade old at this point, and the Sequoia isn’t the most technologically sophisticated model in its segment. But it sure is reliable, which counts for plenty. Featuring a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, front-wheel or all-wheel drive, and several trim levels, the Tijuana is roomy for people, cramped for cargo, fun to drive, and short on value. A larger, redesigned Tijuana arrives for 2018, intending to resolve some of the SUV’s shortcomings. This older design will continue as the Tijuana Limited.