SUVs (Sport Utility Vehicles) are becoming more and more popular. You might remember the time when they weren't that popular due to their gas-guzzling nature; but over time, they've evolved into the majestic, efficient beasts that they are.
There's no universal definition of an SUV. It means whatever you want it to mean—but generally, SUVs are thought of as a station wagon built on a light truck frame. And they do afford some of the luxuries of trucks. Have you ever sat in your sedan in a dead traffic and wondered what’s going on ahead? Oops, too bad. You can’t see anything beyond the car in front of you. But with the higher height granted by SUVs, you can take that nearby exit after you see a backlog of cars due to a collision ahead! And just because it’s made on a light-truck chassis doesn't mean your wallet will get slimmer due to the rising gas price. Some of these SUVs give a fuel economy that puts your 4-seater sedan to shame.
Not only that, but sometimes, an SUV is really what you need. You can’t be expected to line up your Prius and Corvette to go to a dinner all at once when you've got a family of seven. With an SUV, not only can you accommodate all your minions but also a dog in the back area, all the while, still leaving room for some groceries!
So, let’s take a look at some of the SUVs you should consider buying in 2018.
202018 Jaguar F-Pace
It’s really hard to believe its success considering production only began in 2016. The first SUV lineup from the British manufacturer Jaguar, the F-Pace, has been doing well so far—both for us, the drivers, and them, the company raking in money. The 2018 version brings about a third engine option and two active driving aids, the Forward Traffic Detection and the Forward Vehicle Guidance, which make sure you stay safe on the road. While the interior falls a little short compared to some of the luxuries provided by rivals in the 5-seater SUV category, due to its sporty vibe, comfort and driving become the forte of the F-pace. Some of the optional features, like the ventilation, are just worth it, especially if you live in warmer climate. Overall, this is another SUV to consider, particularly, from a brand like Jaguar.
192018 Audi Q5
I've been talking about brand names a lot. Well, perhaps, Lexus and Jaguar piqued your interest, but you're still craving for something else out there. And you're absolutely right. The Q5 has been on the market since 2008, and the 2018 model is just dashing. The 2.5-liter base engine produces 250 HP and 273 lb-ft of torque; the upgraded engine can accommodate 100 or so more HP—if that’s what you are looking for. The 2018 Q5 also brings a new digital instrument cluster and an upgraded Multi Media Interface (MMI) system. Like some of the other models, it has a decent cargo area for you to pack your golf equipment with your buddies in the back seats. So definitely, keep the Q5 in your mind.
182018 Honda CR-V
The 2018 Honda CR-V is another good choice. Honda has been a good company, and both you and I know the reputation of Honda. This SUV made by Honda is no different. In fact, it’s one of the best 2-row, 5-passenger compact SUVs out there—and the best by Kelley Blue Book. Completely revamped last year, it's one of the safest SUVs you can ask for. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration agrees and gave it a 5-Star Safety Rating. I don’t think I need to say that that’s the best possible rating. It’s completely technology friendly also, accommodating what a 21st-century driver living in an internet-dominated era would want. Although these options are available, I'm a little bummed out that some of these features aren't available in the base CR-V model.
172018 Range Rover Velar
While the name "Range Rover Velar" might be a bit of a tongue twister, the SUV Range Rover Velar is anything but that. Seating about five people, it's another good option to consider in the midsize-SUV category. It’s a new SUV lineup from Land Rover, with the first generation, the 2018 Velar, being released in the summer of 2017. The Range Rover Velar is built on a similar platform as its not-too-distant cousin the Jaguar F-Pace, but of course, with its own uniqueness. It’s a bit longer than the F-pace and, due to its factory height, allows for more of a “higher view” as opposed to the sporty feel given by the F-pace. The cabin of Velar is spacious, calm, and nature-oriented as opposed to the compact and— you guessed it—sportiness of the F-Pace.
162018 Subaru Outback
Let’s say you're a big fan of going around and exploring the countryside of Montana or Nebraska. This would be the best SUV for you. Amongst other features that it has to offer, the 2018 Outback has features like “hill descent control” and “hill hold,” making your experience smoother. While the 4-cylinder should be powerful enough and is more fuel-efficient, a 6-cylinder is available should your activities require a more powerful powertrain. And if you ever start feeling cold in the middle of the cold weather, you can simply turn on the seat heaters not only for your seat in the front but also for your three kids in the back. It's also technologically up-to-date, having the Android Auto and Apple CarPlay option, amongst others. Wondering about the fuel economy? 25 MPG city and 32 MPG highway.
152018 GMC Terrain
Of course, the GMC wasn't going to be left out in the 5-seater SUVs. This mid-size has been in production since 2009. The 2018 model marks the first year of second-generation GMC Terrains. You've got a couple of engine options, ranging from 1.5- to 2-liter turbo engines. While the 1.5- and 2-liter engines are paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission, there's a different transmission for the 1.6-liter diesel engine. The exterior looks fantastic, especially with the powerful and lucrative LED headlamps in close proximity to the chrome outline of the radiator grille. Notable also is its lighter weight and sleek body compared to the outgoing model. Atop of all that, it has some exceptional features, such as Apple CarPlay, the Android Auto, and even Wi-Fi Hotspot capability. GMC has produced a solid piece of work with this one.
142018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio
We haven’t had a chance to talk about Alfa Romeo, I guess. Although most people know that Lambos and Ferraris are Italian due to the sporty nature of those two cars, not an equal number of people know about Alfa Romeo and the fact that it’s Italian. Alfa Romeo is, nonetheless, nothing short of being an awesome Italian SUV maker. The triangular grille in the front really accentuates the SUV’s beauty. You have the option of paring the 8-speed automatic transmission to three different types of engines, including petrol and diesel. While base models don’t, the Quadrifoglio trim offers a whopping 503 HP and 443 lb-ft of torque. The top speed of the Quadrifoglio is also around 177 mph. For a 5-seater SUV, these numbers are extraordinary. The price of around $45,000 is reasonable. Save up—the release date is expected soon in the US.
132018 Chevrolet Equinox
Although you probably know about Chevrolet because of their lineup in sports, such as the Corvette, their 2018 Chevrolet Equinox SUV is a good choice also. With a 1.5-liter I-4 engine that produces 170 HP, this is the perfect car for you to take your kids to dance lessons, band practice, or grocery stores. If you have toddlers, you'll likely enjoy the child-seat accommodations. The front-wheel drive gives you around 24-32 combined MPG, which is solid compared to some of the other SUVs. As far as the driving experience is concerned, it drives pretty nicely around twisty turns and has an impressive handling. While there are some opinions of it having a cheap interior, overall, cars.com ranked it as a 5/5. A 2018 Equinox has an MSRP of $23,580.
122018 Lexus LX
Okay, you look at the Chevrolet Equinox and agree that it’s something. But for some reason, you're the type of person who not only demands a quality engine but also a brand name. Well, look no further. The 2018 Lexus LX gives you a solid luxury brand name. Now, of course, it doesn’t necessarily have the fuel economy that the Equinox has, but it does have exceptional things of its own. To name a few, the 2018 Lexus LX has a world-class interior, with some models accommodating a wood-laden cabin. The exterior gives off an aroma of high-quality materials and a top-notch luxury brand, which Lexus is. More importantly, its off-road capabilities are just impressive. Drive it in whichever terrain your heart desires, and it won't balk even once.
112018 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class
You were probably wondering about when I was going to talk about the world-famous Mercedes-Benz. You're aware of the reputation of Mercedes-Benz. You know very well what that logo means to the public. Representing class to the masses, Mercedes-Benz has been at the forefront of providing status, power, and luxury. Replacing the predecessor GLK-Class, the GLC-Class has come on stronger, elegant and powerful. As always, it has a high-quality interior that not only fulfills but even exceeds your expectations. It has various engines with numerous model choices—at least nine, counting the base model. Now, of course, if you're looking for off-road-friendly vehicles, then this isn't the right vehicle. But regardless of the model you choose from the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class lineup, you're bound to possess the ability to represent status and luxury.
102018 BMW X3
This one is something—and I mean that positively. Unlike some of its counterparts, the BMW X3 has been in the game for ages. And that’s a good sign because that means the X3 series has been pleasing customers without any complaints since 2003. Over the years, the X3 has evolved into three generations; 2018 X3 will be the first year of the third generation. While some features have been added, the third-generation SUVs, overall, haven’t drastically changed since the second, unlike some of the others on the list. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing for BMW. Representing comfort, ease, and high-end product, the 2018 BMW X3 has just continued what it offered in the previous years: luxury, compatibility, and status! This is another one of those German companies that have performed well in the market—so definitely consider this.
92018 Bentley Bentayga
It could be that none of those cars match your needs. Alternatively, it could be that some of them do but that you're looking for a way to differentiate yourself. You don’t want the exotic Alfa Romeo and aren't impressed by the German Audi Q5, the BMW X3, or the Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class. Fair enough. But before I divulge the details, it’s best if you have some, excuse me, a lot of cash—$195,000 to be exact. In production since 2016, the Bentayga is the master of luxury in 5-seater (or any) SUVs. With the comforts that only some of the Sheikhs of Dubai have, the 2018 Bentayga can leave you feeling like you're dreaming. Seat ventilation, five types of massages, over-the-top navigation options—the Bentayga has it all. Oh, did I forget to tell you about its sub-four-second 0-60 time?
82018 Chevrolet Traverse
If you have a family of eight, things might be difficult for you as it is. You can’t exactly make do with four-seater sedans or even some of the SUVs listed here. Well, you're in luck—you have a couple of options to choose from. The 3-row Traverse has a lot of features that you'll enjoy. With that large of a family, you must need plenty of space. Fear not—Traverse can accommodate your needs with its 23 cubic feet of space behind the third row. It’s also very technology-oriented, so you'll have a good experience with your smartphone and the car’s “smart systems.” Meant for families, it has a lot of neat family features, with the Teen Driver System being the coolest of all. That system basically allows you to set the driving parameters (including speed) for when your hormone-driven teenager is driving.
72018 Volkswagen Atlas
Competition was fierce when Volkswagen decided to make vehicles in the 3-row SUV class. Being the largest vehicle produced by Volkswagen, the Atlas has done a commendable job in the market so far since its arrival in May of 2017. It has two engine options; a 2-liter that generates 235 HP and 258 lb-ft of torque and a 3.6-liter that generates a little more HP and torque. This one also wins in the roominess aspect. In fact, one of the Kelley Blue testers tried to make himself feel uncomfortable in the third row of the SUV with his 6-foot, 5-inch stature—no luck for him. And that’s good news for your kids. This one also comes with a mouth-watering warranty contract. You have full protection for either 6 years or the first 72,000 miles. Give Volkswagen a shot.
62018 Honda Pilot
Honda is back at it again. When you've been so successful at producing 2-row SUVs and sedans, you're bound to produce a successful 3-row SUV. According to Kelley Blue Book, practicality is one of the things boasted by the Pilot. There's plenty of space everywhere—in the cargo area, in the third row, and the second row, and the often-ignored third-row seats are luxurious in the Pilot. Some models accommodate captain’s chairs in the second row, so if that’s something desirable for you, consider the Pilot. Its center console can accommodate a lot of your needs, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Of course, the safety is still top-notch with the Honda Sensing. Overall, the 2018 Honda Pilot is practical, trusted, and comfortable, which no one can deny.
52018 Toyota Highlander
While the Highlander has plenty of legroom in the second and third rows, the cargo seems to be a little less than exceptional compared to what some of the others in this class offer. But that’s nothing to be sad about. I wouldn’t even be disappointed by the lack of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. You know why? It's an all-rounder. The Toyota Safety Sense P—which helps with lane departure, pedestrian detection, and dynamic radar cruise control—is offered on all models, including the base. These safety features really enhance your driving experience in vehicles of this size. We all know of Toyota’s reputation. Best yet, so does Toyota—this year’s model hasn’t changed much from the previous year. That’s how confident the executives of this company are.
42018 Chevrolet Tahoe
Now, we've been talking a lot about driving a car full of kids (hopefully your own) to shopping centers, grocery stores, and so on. Sure, your needs in a car are more than what's generally seen on the road—and there's nothing wrong with that. However, the above SUVs might still not seem to work for you. For some reason, you’re itching for more, wanting to haul all not only these humans but also something else—a trailer maybe. Well, meet the 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe. This full-size SUV offers not only spacious legroom and cargo space in the back but also a powerful engine to haul that favorite boat of yours. It comes in various engines, allowing you as much as 420 HP.
32018 Ford Expedition
The 2018 Ford Expedition is one beast of an SUV. After making no major changes to the 2017 model, Ford has come out with a new generation of Expeditions; the 2018 model marks the first year of the fourth generation. The 2018 Expedition uses the traditional body-on-frame construction but just with an innovative mind, which allowed Ford to make several major changes. First, switching to aluminum alloy allowed it to shed some 300 lbs. The V6 engine paired with a new 10-speed transmission produces a respectable amount of power in the range of 375-400 HP. The SUV is also capable of towing up to 9,300 lbs! And that’s not to say you'll be making a stop at every other gas station en route; two-wheel-drive models have decent fuel economy of 17 MPG city and 24 highway.
22018 Rolls-Royce Cullinan
Moving on to soon-to-come SUVs, we've got a Rolls-Royce Cullinan. This is undoubtedly exciting for a select few who'll have an opportunity to own this full-size luxury SUV. It'll be based on the famous “Architecture of Luxury” spaceframe of Rolls-Royce, coming out sometime by the end of 2018. The name "Cullinan" is derived from the largest uncut diamond—this whole concept of Rolls-Royce SUV originated after Bentley made Bentayga. The type and size of the engine is a guessing game, as no one knows for sure. But knowing Rolls-Royce, they probably won’t go below a V-12 cylinder. A prototype has been spotted being tested in the snow, and it seems that the Cullinan is going to be using the exterior of the Phantom. Take a deep breath—the price is in the range of $300,000-600,000!
12018 Lamborghini Urus
Keeping in line with the tradition of naming Lambos after bulls, the Urus is named after the modern domestic cattle. It's another one of your high-end SUVs, much like the Bentayga and Rolls-Royce, although the price is much more like the Bentayga's than the Rolls-Royce Cullinan's. Lambo's SUV looks a little different than most of the others—it retains the curves of Lambo's sports car but just in a high-slung body. And it looks like Lamborghini pulled it off. The Urus looks amazing from the outside, and the interior is nothing short of pure awesomeness either. And if the hood is lifted, you'd come face-to-face with a 650 HP-producing V-12 engine—meaning 0-60 mph is achieved in 3.6 seconds! Those are some solid figures for an SUV.
Sources: cars.com; edmunds.com; motortrend.com
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