2019 hasn’t ended yet, but all the new cars and models for it have been launched, reviewed and weighed in. Some of them have been quite the stars, outperforming and outranking their competitors with ease. Others have messed up this year, even if earlier year models of the same car had been rather successful.
The biggest way in which a vehicle can go right, or wrong, is how much the buyer can rely on it. Will it pull through in tough situations, or give the owner more grief than joy? With the world still leaning more towards SUVs over and above sedans, here go the five best and the five worst SUVs of 2019 – for you to make an informed choice.
10 2019 Hit: Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
Usually, hybrid SUVs are considered a tad lackluster in performance, and many have the opinion that a hybrid powertrain is not half as fun to drive as a conventional one. That’s completely unfounded when it comes to the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, because it has a strong and quick acceleration – meaning it delivers when you want it, and how you want it.
The interior is quality and comfortable and the tech is user-friendly. There is enough cargo space for a family to fill in for the long haul and even the rear seat passengers will have enough space. Plenty of safety features and easy-to-use infotainment, alone with great reliability scores, make it a great SUV choice for 2019.
9 2019 Dud: Dodge Durango
The high point of the Dodge Durango is an impressive array of powerful engine options as well as its high towing capability. A 5-7 seater depending on interior configuration, the Durango unfortunately scores low on reliability.
With a rather sluggish steering and response time, it also gets low performance ratings – and this has become a consistent problem with many Dodge variants. The fuel economy is pretty low, especially when compared to the competitors, and it also has rather cramped cargo space and cheap interiors. With low safety ratings, this is not the ideal family vehicle, though it does not scrimp on power.
8 2019 Hit: Ford Expedition
With strong engine options and a roomy, quality cabin – the Ford Expedition makes for a great family SUV for 2019. The cargo space is more than enough and no passenger will have a cause of complaint. Some have pointed out that the Ford Expedition does not come in a V8 option so it may feel underpowered.
But with a twin-turbocharged V6, the Expedition jets almost 400 horses. This is more than enough to ferry a whole load of passengers and cargo just about anywhere with ease. Be it short trips or long road trips, the Expedition feels secure while driving and comes with high safety ratings for peace of mind. Infotainment is easy to use, as are other family-friendly features.
7 2019 Dud: Jeep Wrangler
The unbeatable thing about the Wrangler, once, was its off-road capabilities. However, with the advent of SUVs like the Toyota 4Runner, this too is no longer a Jeep Wrangler USP.
Despite a complete redesign of the 2018 model, the Wrangler is still low on dependability scores. The fuel economy falls below standard levels, and the Wrangler is also priced a little too high for comfort. If you are solely buying a Wrangler to explore the outdoors, it is a good option, but for everyday pavement driving, there are better options available. The Wrangler does not drive as smooth on the pavement and falls behind in tech and infotainment options as well.
6 2019 Hit: Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class
There have been a few bricks thrown at the Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class SUV, but it is the best in the market among the luxury compact SUVs. The seats are so comfortable you may never want to leave them for home, and the interiors proclaim luxury in both material and feel.
This SUV makes for a smooth and quiet ride and also boasts excellent handling capabilities. The features are family-friendly, though the infotainment could have been made a little simpler. Being a compact SUV, cargo space is at a premium, but it makes up for that in passenger comfort and overall high safety ratings.
5 2019 Dud: Mitsubishi Outlander
The good thing about the Outlander is that it comes cheap and also offers an extensive warranty – the basic coverage is for five years/60,000miles and the powertrain is covered for 10 years/100,000 miles.
The problem is that the Mitsubishi dealership network is a bit sparse, so you may find it difficult to get repairs done if on a road trip, which sort of negates all that warranty. While it can seat seven, the back row is too cramped to get three adults in, plus the cargo space isn't one to boast about. The powertrain options are anemic and may make a fully-loaded car feel sluggish, plus reliability ratings are somewhere in the dumps.
4 2019 Hit: Honda CR-V
A great interior, comfortable insides and cool amount of cargo space make the Honda CR-V a great option for the compact SUV section. The rear seats are spacious, and yet they have managed good cargo space.
Add to this some good safety ratings and you have a good family SUV right there, that is small enough to maneuver well. The powertrain options are good enough and make for strong accelerations as well as responsive steering. The ride is smooth and with Honda, reliability is always a given. The Honda CR-V may not be the most powerful option, but it the perfect value for money.
3 2019 Dud: Buick Enclave
The Buick Enclave rates pretty low on reliability and dependability, the least of which is the small but many niggling problems in its interiors. Add to that many other mechanical and electrical woes, and this becomes more of a liability than a family SUV to enjoy your trips and drives in.
Buick is a luxury marquee of FCA (Fiat and Chrysler) and yet the Enclave does not feel particularly luxurious. What is considered standard features in many SUVs – like forward-collision warnings and automatic emergency braking – are available only in the Enclave’s top trims. And the Enclave can be overpriced for the kind of comfort, performance, and safety it offers.
2 2019 Hit: Chevrolet Tahoe
The Tahoe is a veritable people hauler and one of the best large SUVs for families for 2019. It has high-reliability scores and comes in both a rear-wheel-drive or a four-wheel-drive format with two rather potent V8 powertrain options. The standard engine is no weakling and makes 355 horses, while the upper trim boasts 420 ponies.
Chevy Tahoe wins hands down with its Teen Driver system that lets parents monitor their teens’ driving skills and set ranges as well. The interior options can be formulated to seat seven or nine, and there exist many trims for the Tahoe – making it a great choice for both cash-strapped and deep pockets.
1 2019 Dud: Volkswagen Atlas
With Emissionsgate still looming large over VW’s head, their cars seem to be slipping a few notches when it comes to performance and reliability. The Volkswagen Atlas seems to have continuing problems with its climate control system and doesn’t seem to come with too strong a body either.
It features in lists of least reliable cars for 2019, and clearly, there hasn’t been enough quality control put into the car. While cabin and cargo are roomy, the interiors are not up to the mark and feel cheap in place. Plus the acceleration is best described as moodily sluggish, responding at will, but not when demanded.