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Midsize SUVs are among the most versatile vehicles on the market. With some models offering opulent luxury, others offering class leading performance or safety features, and others capable of traversing rugged off-road terrain, there is a midsize SUV to fit every driver. However, choosing the best midsize SUV for your needs will depend on how you use your vehicle.

When shopping for your next SUV, it is essential to understand the pros and cons of each vehicle model. Discover some of the best midsize SUVs that stand out from the competition.

Best Starting Price: 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan

The midsize SUV class is notable for its range of budget-friendly options, but no midsize SUV has a lower starting price than the 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan. Starting at $26,950, the Tiguan edges out other top budget-conscious options like the 2023 Subaru Outback (starting at $28,395) and the 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe (starting at $28,200).

While the Tiguan finds a place on this list due to its starting price, it also offers an extensive list of attractive features. In particular, the Tiguan’s fuel economy rating of 23 miles per gallon in the city and 30 miles per gallon on the highway are on the higher end of its class. These gas savings make the Tiguan the ideal choice for budget-minded drivers.

The Tiguan also features a standard turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 under the hood, offering a solid level of performance at its price point. It doesn’t cut corners on comfort features, either. The newly-redesigned Tiguan features one of the most comfortable and spacious cabins in its class and a third row of seating, which expands its capacity to seven. 

Volkswagen’s Digital Cockpit suite offers high-resolution navigation and other customizable features. 

Overall, the Tiguan is among the top choices for drivers looking to get the best bang for their buck.

Best Safety Features: 2023 Subaru Ascent

While many midsize SUVs offer a wide range of safety features, the 2023 Subaru Ascent stands out from the rest. In 2022, the Ascent was one of four Subaru models to receive Top Safety Pick+ honors from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), and the 2023 model looks to pick up where last year’s model left off. 

Starting at $33,895, the Ascent is a mid-priced SUV; however, its features (particularly its standard safety features) are among the best in its class. 

The Subaru EyeSight suite of driver assistance technology is one of the strongest safety offerings on the market. Using an array of sensors and cameras, the EyeSight suite can detect obstacles and avoid them automatically using the vehicle’s automatic emergency steering and automatic emergency braking. The Ascent also offers other active safety features, such as adaptive cruise control. This extensive list of safety features makes the Ascent one of the best family SUVs on the market. 

While the Subaru Ascent is a winner in the safety department, many other midsize SUVs are worth mentioning for their safety: the 2023 Toyota Highlander, the 2023 Nissan Pathfinder, and the 2023 Kia Telluride.

Best Fuel Economy: 2023 Kia Sorento and 2023 Toyota Highlander

Determining which vehicle has the best fuel economy has become trickier in the age of electric and hybrid-electric vehicles. When it comes to plug-in hybrids (typically offering the best fuel economy of any drivetrain), the 2022 Kia Sorento comes out on top, offering 79 MPGe and 34 combined MPG

The gas-only Kia Sorento model also leads gasoline-powered midsize SUVs with a combined fuel economy rating of 35 miles per gallon.

However, when excluding electric vehicles, the hybrid Toyota Highlander offers exceptional fuel economy for a non-plug-in hybrid. While most top-rated midsize SUVs only achieve average MPGs in the low 20s, the hybrid Highlander achieves a combined 36 MPG.

Best Standard Features: 2023 Kia Telluride and 2023 Hyundai Palisade

While many midsize SUVs offer a range of attractive features, many models’ top features are locked behind a more expensive optional trim level. With this in mind, standard features are essential since they are included in all trim levels. 

In the midsize SUV market, two vehicles stand out for their long list of standard features: the 2023 Kia Telluride and the 2023 Hyundai Palisade. 

The 2023 Kia Telluride, starting at $35,690, offers the following features on all trim levels:

  • Seating for eight passengers
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • LED projector headlights
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Rear privacy glass
  • One-touch foldable second-row seating
  • 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment center with navigation, SiriusXM satellite radio, and Kia Connect
  • Dynamic parking guidance and a rear-view monitor
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Push-button and remote start
  • Compartmentalized climate controls
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capabilities
  • Five USB charging ports
  • Auto emergency braking
  • Pedestrian, cyclist, and junction turning detection
  • Blind spot monitor
  • Cross-traffic avoidance assist
  • Lane keep and traffic follow assist
  • Safe exit assist
  • Rear occupant alert with ultrasonic sensors
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Driver attention warning
  • Highway driving assist

The 2023 Hyundai Palisade, with a starting price of $35,250, features the following standard items on all trim levels:

  • Seating for eight passengers
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • LED headlights and accent lights
  • Automatic high beam assist
  • Heated exterior mirrors
  • Proximity key entry with push start
  • Six-way adjustable driver’s seat
  • Fold-flat rear seating
  • 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment center
  • HD Radio
  • SiriusXM satellite radio
  • Navigation and traffic
  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
  • Rear seat quiet mode
  • Dual-device connection capability
  • Dynamic voice recognition
  • Intelligent speed limit assist
  • Solar front glass
  • Privacy rear glass
  • Underfloor storage compartment
  • Five USB charge ports
  • Blue Link connected car system
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Second-row climate controls
  • Rear window defroster
  • Haptic feedback steering wheel
  • 12-volt power outlet
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear cross-traffic monitoring
  • Forward collision avoidance assist
  • Lane keeping and follow assist
  • Driver attention warning
  • Safe exit assist
  • Highway driving assist
  • Smart cruise control with stop-and-go capabilities
  • Integrated anti-theft system

Best Off-Roading Ability: Jeep Grand Cherokee

When it comes to off-roading, the 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee is the top midsize SUV option on the market. This is perhaps unsurprising to off-road enthusiasts, considering Jeep’s roots as a manufacturer of military-grade transport vehicles.

Starting at $40,595, the 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee offers numerous features to facilitate off-road operation. With five drive modes – auto, sport, rock, snow, and mud/sand – the Grand Cherokee is designed to handle the rigors of offroading, regardless of the terrain. 

The Quadra-Lift suspension automatically lowers on the highway to improve aerodynamics and raises when off-roading to improve ground clearance. The Grand Cherokee can tow up to 7,200 pounds and offers a versatile and rugged driving experience and best-in-class off-road driving dynamics.

Best Cargo Capacity: Chevrolet Suburban

For some drivers, space for passengers and cargo is an important consideration. With midsize SUVs, cargo capacity and storage space are often at a premium since the vehicle class is defined by its modest size specifications. However, some vehicles in the class still offer more than enough cargo room, such as the 2022 Chevrolet Suburban

The 2022 Suburban, starting at $54,700, offers a generous 144.7 cubic feet of storage space. This is more than enough for even the largest families to store their items. Other midsize SUVs with solid cargo capacity include the 2022 Honda Pilot, the 2023 Toyota 4Runner, the 2023 Ford Explorer, and the 2023 Chevrolet Traverse.

Find Your Dream SUV at SUViews

Many popular manufacturers are continuing to expand their midsize SUV line. As a result, more high-quality midsize SUVs are on the market. This can make choosing your next vehicle challenging.

SUViews insider reviews are tailored to help you find what you’re looking for in your next SUV. Be sure to check out our reviews and recommendations before you make your next vehicle purchase.