Utility vehicles are still the hottest segment in the U.S. automotive market, and competition breeds a buyer’s market. It seems that manufacturers have anticipated just about every need and desire and packaged options and trim levels accordingly.
All-Weather-Capable, Three-Row CUV on a budget.
Check out the Mitsubishi Outlander and invest a little of the initial savings to get the top-trim GT for about $32K. It delivers the more powerful V6 engine that increases the tow rating, a multi-view camera system, heated steering wheel and the option of adding the Touring package.
A Compact but Roomy CUV
“Sport” models of Hyundai’s Santa Fe indicate that the vehicle is a two-row, (the regular Santa Fe being the bigger brother with three rows of seating). That makes the Sport feel generously spacious inside for a compact. Lots of features are available to add including the 2.0T turbocharged engine. If you opt for the 2.0T Ultimate package, you’ll also get a Tech package, 19-inch allow wheels and xenon headlights. While the base Santa Fe Sport can be had for about $26K, you’ll likely add another $10K to get the engine and options you’ll want.
A Refined and Comfortable Compact CUV with safety features standard.
The 2018 Lexus NX 300 comes standard with Safety System+ package, which includes front collision mitigation, lane departure alert, high-beam assist and adaptive cruise control. Pricing starts around $36K; spend about $3,000 more and to get the F Sport, with the same 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, but adding adjustable suspension and tighter seat bolstering.
A Big Bad SUV That Can Go Anywhere.
The 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser is an eight-passenger luxury SUV powered by a 5.7-liter V-8 with 381 hp and 401 lb-ft of torque that's paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission with full-time four-wheel drive and the capability to tow up to 8,100 pounds. Interestingly, Toyota only offers one trim level-- fully loaded and including off-roading components. It’s going to set you back about $80K.
Tired of the CUV –SUV Idea?
There’s something to be said for the convenience of sliding side doors, easy entry to all three rows and massive passenger and cargo space. Many families would agree that you can’t beat the utility factor of a minivan. Plus there’s the fact that the Toyota Safety Sense package is now included on all trim levels in the Toyota Sienna. At the top trim level with just about every possible option, our test model as around $50K, but MSRP starts at $30,750.