The modern sports utility vehicle changed the way that we view recreational activities. It allowed larger groups of people to travel in style and comfort while experiencing everything that nature has to offer, no matter what the elements might be.
Although the full-size SUV has been the sales king for decades, from the Jeep Grand Wagoneer to the Chevrolet Tahoe - there has long been a market for affordable and compact SUV models which were both easier to drive and more affordable for those who didn’t quite want to pay for a house when they were purchasing an SUV! What started out with the original Jeep Cherokee model has transcended into a marketplace that is full of midsize SUV models, and depending on your tastes and needs, there is probably a specific model that is suitable for you.
Whether you want the all-wheel-drive functionality of the proven Isuzu Trooper or the more refined driving characteristics of the Dodge Nitro, there is bound to be an SUV which will suit your taste and budget. The midsize SUV has evolved a lot in recent years, and thus the market has become saturated with many different models that appeal to a wide range of different buyer tastes.
We are going to be taking a look at some of the best models which offer buyers the most in terms of power, refinement and the price factor. The midsize SUV can be a great investment, and there are plenty of great options on this list.
25 GMC Jimmy
Going a bit more upmarket than the Blazer, the Jimmy is a one of a kind combination of style and versatility that marked the first midsize GMC SUV as a winner. The Jimmy although basically the same car as the Blazer, offered a variety of improvements, including the diamond model which offered a custom interior and exterior.
The Jimmy was long thought to be the staple of the GMC lineup during the SUV boom. The model stands true as a durable midsize SUV that you can drive and enjoy for many years to come.
24 Toyota 4Runner
Perhaps the most well known midsize SUV rides on the market, the Toyota 4Runner is known for having a responsive V6 engine and a good deal of interior space. The Toyota 4Runner is one of the most capable off-road SUV types in the world, and this comes from the dedicated suspension and design that Toyota has put into the 4Runner, one that mirrors the Land Cruiser which is world famous for its off-road awareness.
The Toyota 4Runner is a little more expensive than the other midsize SUVs on the market, but you get the legendary Toyota reliability which makes for a long-term vehicle.
23 Jeep Cherokee
The original midsize SUV that sparked a sales revolution, the Jeep Cherokee was an excellent vehicle in many aspects. From the roomy interior to the high ground clearance which gave the vehicle a good amount of off-road capability, this is what gave the original Jeep a one of a kind cult following that made the model popular to this day.
The final model years 2000 and 2001 were known for having quite a few modern upgrades. Overall, the Jeep Cherokee is a one of a kind midsize SUV.
22 Volkswagen Touareg
The original Volkswagen SUV has gone on to become one of the most popular models in the world, and with good reason. You can’t go wrong with the one of a kind VW driving characteristics that made the SUV a winner.
The Touareg has long been revered for its driving ability and roomy interior which is far ahead of its class. This is what made the VW SUV such a winner for so long in the eyes of many consumers - this midsize SUV is on the same quality level as a Porsche Cayenne, arguably.
21 Lincoln Aviator
The Lincoln Aviator was a limited production midsize SUV that was based on the Ford Explorer and offered consumers a smaller version of the popular Lincoln Navigator. The Aviator featured a luxurious interior, which gave it a much higher level of comfort over the more utilitarian Ford Explorer. This created one of the more comfortable midsize SUV models that you can buy.
The Aviator has been dropping in price on the used car market as well, which means that you can get a great deal on this one of a kind SUV.
20 Jeep Grand Cherokee
During the SUV boom of the nineties, there was one SUV which really helped popularize the market and that is the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Featuring luxury options that hadn’t been seen on a mainstream SUV up to this point and gaining a loyal following to this day.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee originally sold as the Grand Wagoneer, but Jeep later decided to add the Grand Cherokee name to the new vehicles instead. For a capable and affordable midsize SUV, you cannot go wrong with the one of a kind Jeep Grand Cherokee.
19 Isuzu Ascender
Although the Isuzu brand didn’t make it over the dawn of the decade, their final few SUV models were both value priced and quite notable for their effort. The Isuzu Ascender was a fine SUV that came in a five and seven-passenger configuration depending on your need, and when equipped with the 5.3L Vortec V8, this midsize SUV is a smooth operating powerhouse that combines comfort and features to make for an exceptional bargain.
Finding the Ascender on the used market is easy, and many of these models were well taken care of thanks to the exceptional warranty.
18 Isuzu Rodeo
Another notable entrant on the midsize SUV list has been a figure in the market since the early nineties, and just about everyone has either seen or ridden in a Rodeo at some point in their life.
The Isuzu Rodeo is roomy, capable, and in the final years of production, the model offered a good range of features and power that made the SUV more than livable - it also offered a good amount of standard goodies for any driver. The Isuzu Rodeo also has electronic 4WD which makes visiting the snow or going out of town for the weekend real easy.
17 Isuzu Trooper
When it comes to one of the most well known off-road vehicles around, the Isuzu Trooper was a capable off-road SUV that offered a wide range of options as well as luxury features that had not been seen on a midsize SUV.
The Isuzu Trooper always offered a good combination of comfort and power, which made the Trooper a notable choice for families who wanted to be able to see the visuals and sounds of the outdoors, in a capable and affordable SUV option.
16 Suzuki XL-7
The Suzuki brand was quite well known in the last decade for offering a quality product that most people could afford, and the XL-7 was the most affordable seven-passenger SUV on the market.
The XL-7 spanned across two distinct generations, with the latter becoming more refined and offering a lot of standard features which made the SUV quite competitive and Suzuki offered one of the best warranty packages in the business. The Suzuki XL-7 is still one of the best midsize SUV models that you can get, even as a used car.
15 Saturn Outlook
Right on the verge of the Saturn brand becoming defunct, the Outlook was a final attempt at gaining some market share with a one of a kind crossover SUV. The Outlook is the corporate twin of the GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave so naturally, you are going to get all of the positive features that these two crossovers have to offer -with the added benefit of savings because the Saturn brand is now defunct.
The Outlook remains one of the best values on the used car market, complete seven-passenger seating and enough versatility for anyone's needs.
14 Dodge Nitro
One of the more unique Dodge models to roll off of an assembly line in the last few years, the Dodge Nitro is known for being one of the smallest Dodge SUV models to hit the production line. The Nitro was based on the Jeep Patriot which is another well known midsize SUV model, and this is where the Nitro is a strong choice.
The Dodge Nitro also came in an R/T model which is known for its aggressive stance and more performance oriented engine. This is what makes the Nitro more unique than other models on the market.
13 Jeep Patriot
Released during the economic downturn, the Jeep Patriot was a midsize SUV that replaced the previous slot held by the original Jeep Cherokee. The Jeep Patriot offered a decent V6 engine which was notable for its decent performance, and the Patriot also had a 4X4 package that made the little UTE quite versatile.
It's also interesting to note that the Jeep Patriot is known for having quite a loyal following. This is what made the Patriot a popular choice since its inception until it was released by the Jeep Cherokee.
12 Chevrolet Trailblazer
The replacement for the Chevrolet Blazer was a much larger seven-passenger SUV that featured a seven-passenger seating arrangement and the same 5.3L V8 that is found in the Silverado and the Tahoe models.
The Chevrolet Trailblazer came in a variety of different options including the SS package which featured a supercharged engine. This was one of the most popular packages offered on a midsize SUV and the Trailblazer was also one of the best selling Chevy models to be sold.
11 Mercury Mountaineer
Released as the corporate cousin of the Ford Explorer, the Mercury Mountaineer was about as unique as you could get being the first SUV with a Mercury badge on it. The Mountaineer has always offered a higher level of comfort than the Ford Explorer, which caters to a higher class of customer.
Thus, if you are looking for an SUV that will wrap you in luxury and still be affordable, the Mountaineer is a stellar choice. The Mountaineer also came with a V6 or V8 engine choice depending on the type of hauling that you intend to do.
10 Ford Explorer
There hasn't been a better selling SUV than the Ford Explorer, and because there are so many of them on the road, the prices for a used one are generally very affordable. The Ford Explorer has always been a stellar choice for anyone who wanted a family SUV that would seat enough people and still offer the off-road capability that made the Ford SUV brand legendary.
The Ford Explorer is also notable for offering a series of different trim levels including the Sports Trac, which was a truck hybrid.
9 Chevrolet Blazer
The solid little Chevy Blazer has a sacred spot in our hearts, and that is because the Blazer is one of the longest-running nameplates in GM history - the brand was recently revived as a crossover.
The Blazer is an excellent midsize SUV that you can find used and still get a great deal of driving out of thanks to the durable Vortec V6 engine. Let us not forget the legendary off-road capability which has made the Blazer one of the most notable midsize SUVs on the market.
8 GMC Envoy
The GMC Envoy was the next generation of the GMC Jimmy and it improved on the outgoing model in many aspects, including offering a much bigger interior and optional seating for seven which made the SUV more competitive with the Dodge Durango.
The GMC Envoy was a winning product in many aspects, with a smooth and upscale exterior coupled with the stable GM Vortec V8, which is known for its reliability as well as performance. The GMC Envoy makes an excellent midsize SUV that will definitely not disappoint when it comes to reliability and performance.
7 GMC Acadia
The GMC Acadia is the first crossover to be sold under the GMC marquee, and for the last couple of years, it has been a popular model that many owners are pleased with. Although the model doesn’t offer a V8 engine, the V6 is comparable with a stellar amount of gas mileage and the ability to tow if needed.
The GMC Acadia also seats seven people fairly easily which makes the Crossover a stellar choice for a long trip. The interior has an option rear entertainment center for passengers.
6 Dodge Journey
The Dodge Journey never gets the credit that it deserves, being one of the most affordable Dodge models on the market right now and offering an immense amount of interior room.
The Journey is a compact crossover SUV that will give drivers the comfort of a much larger vehicle while still maintaining the responsive driving characteristics of a crossover SUV. The Dodge Journey also comes in an SRT version which is the performance variant, and this is the model that many of the first time Dodge Journey buyers will want to check out.
5 Honda Passport
Perhaps one of the most well known Honda models on the market, the Passport was the long-running midsize SUV that was sold by Honda long before the Pilot came onto the scene.
Honda has recently come out with a next generation Passport and that is good because the SUV was capable and very durable off-road. The Passport is also one of the more affordable used Honda models on the market. This makes a great choice for a mid-size SUV that has a good deal of style and comfort without breaking the bank.
4 Honda Pilot
Where do we start with the Honda Pilot, this one of a kind model offers a great deal of comfort and versatility at a reasonable price. The Honda Pilot offers a great selection of different options and the model is still capable off-road which has made for many repeat customers take to the brand.
The Honda Pilot still remains a popular midsize SUV to this day. The SUV has a higher resale value then many of the other models - this is because of the durable Honda name and the one of a kind quality.
3 Oldsmobile Bravada
There was a time when the Oldsmobile brand was one of the most well known on the market and the Bravada was a winning combination of comfort and convenience that made the brand a pioneer in the original luxury SUV market.
Not to mention the fact that the Bravada is powered by the durable GM Vortec V8 which offers enough power to tow just about anything and at the same time, offer you a comfortable SUV that goes very smooth. The Bravada was one of the better products to come out of GM, and with resale prices dropping, now is the time to act!
2 Saab 9-7x
In a last-ditch effort by GM to save the Saab brand, the Saab 9-7x was a reformed Oldsmobile Bravada that offered the usual Saab touches which made the SUV a lot more unique to look at than you would think.
The Saab 9-7x was a winning combination of speed and performance, with with a one of a kind exterior design there were very few models that were as beautiful as this one was. Finding a Saab 9-7X is not an easy task, and the Aero model is even more difficult but this SUV is well worth driving.
1 Lexus RX300
The first Lexus crossover SUV was the RX300, and the model proved to be one of the most popular Lexus models to date. Featuring a one of a kind V6 engine and a nice roomy modern interior, the RX300 was a step above what most vehicles were offering at the time.
If you want one of the most reliable midsize SUVs that has ever graced the market, you cannot go wrong with the original RX300. There are many of these models that can be purchased for a very affordable price and the value on these cars will continue to rise.
Sources: Motor Trend