Recreation/Autos

Best Trucks for Towing: Top-Rated Trucks for 2020 | Edmunds


Top Towing Features for Trucks

No matter the size class, modern pickup trucks offer many features that help make towing easier. Tailgate-mounted rearview cameras are standard, providing a clear view behind the truck while backing up. Many pickups offer a multi-angle trailer camera that gives a top-down view of the hitch to aid connection. While all rearview cameras display guidelines that span the width of the truck, some have a center line to help guide the hitch to a receiver. There are also available lights in the hitch area to help operators make a connection at night. Some manufacturers also offer a trailer camera connection. And as long as a trailer rearview camera is present and the trailer is connected properly, the trailer camera image can display in the cabin.

Some towing features are manufacturer-specific. Ram pickups can be equipped with a load-leveling air suspension, while Chevrolet and corporate cousin GMC offer sideview cameras that help monitor the trailer’s position, as well as apps that aid the trailer-connection process.

Next Steps

No matter what you’re looking to tow, there’s likely a midsize, large or heavy-duty pickup that meets your needs. Be sure to read Edmunds’ expert reviews, which provide an unbiased look at each truck and help you navigate through the seemingly endless number of possible truck combinations. After you make your decision, use Edmunds’ unparalleled pricing and shopping tools to find a piece of inventory that matches the truck of your dreams.

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Best Off-Road Trucks: Top-Rated Trucks for 2020 | Edmunds


Comfortable, capable and brutish, the 2019 Nissan Titan XD Pro-4X is a truck that straddles the line between full-size and heavy-duty pickup trucks. While it’s technically classified as a heavy-duty truck based on its size, its tow rating is closer to full-size territory at around 11,000 pounds. That doesn’t mean it lacks capability, but you shouldn’t expect the kind of planet-pulling power you typically get in 2500 and 3500 pickups. Towing chops aside, the Titan XD has a powerful standard gasoline V8 (we’re less enamored with the optional turbodiesel V8) and lots of interior space, along with excellent seats that should keep you comfortable regardless of how long your off-road journey is. For off-roading equipment, this big 4×4 gets all-terrain tires, off-road-tuned Bilstein shocks, a lockable rear differential, hill descent control and skid plates. See the Nissan Titan XD on our Truck Rankings

Off-road truck trim: 2019 Nissan Titan XD Pro-4X
Starting price (including destination fee): $48,505
Engine: 5.6-liter gasoline V8 (Edmunds recommended)
Fuel economy: Not available
Horsepower: 390 hp @ 5,800 rpm
Torque: 394 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm

2019 Nissan Titan XD Review and Pricing

Top Truck Features for Off-Roading

It’s fair to say that hardcore off-roading vehicles are equipped with four-wheel drive that includes low-range gearing, as opposed to all-wheel-drive without the 4-Lo option. The differences mean a lot when you’re deep into off-road territory, and having four-wheel drive can significantly decrease your likelihood of getting stuck. For all the details on the differences between four-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive, check out our exhaustive AWD vs. 4WD breakdown.

Along with four-wheel drive, tire choice is very important when you explore the great outdoors, with knobby all-terrain tires allowing for more grip in rocky, muddy and just generally slippery situations. These off-road-focused tires will decrease fuel economy a bit, but they’ll provide much more capability when you need it the most. Every truck on our list comes with four-wheel drive and off-road-oriented tires, which helps cement their status as dedicated off-road vehicles. Most trucks on our list also come with a numerically higher axle ratio, which allows for more of the engine’s available torque to flow to the wheels. Combine off-road-ready features with the smooth delivery of low-end torque and you’re off to a great start.

Abundant ground clearance is also top of mind when it comes to off-road priorities. The higher up off the ground you are, the less likely you are to get caught on a rock, a stump or an obstacle of any kind. You’re also less likely to flood the engine or the cabin at water crossings. High ground clearance is often paired with improved approach and departure angles, as well as breakover angle. The approach angle is calculated at the front of the vehicle, while the departure angle is calculated at the back. One easy way to think of these angles is in terms of their relationship to the bumpers and tires of a vehicle: The closer the tires are to the front and rear of the car, the higher the approach and departure angles are, and the more capable a vehicle will be off-road. High approach and departure angles mean you’re less likely to scrape a bumper, or get one stuck and stop your progress entirely. A high breakover angle means you’re less likely to get hung up and damage something between the tires.

Next Steps

Whether you’re looking for an agile midsize truck with formidable off-road abilities, a full-size truck with some extra towing power and passenger space, or a heavy-duty rig with an abundance of torque, there’s an off-road truck for everyone. To pick the pickup that’s right for you, use the Edmunds comparison tool, build and price your vehicle, and check out the dealership prices in your area. You’ll be wreaking havoc on the Rubicon Trail in no time.

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Best Pickup Trucks: Top-Rated Trucks for 2020 | Edmunds


Diesel Trucks vs. Gasoline Trucks

In a nutshell, diesel-powered trucks can tow more while consuming less fuel than comparable gasoline-powered pickups. The primary trade-off is cost since a diesel engine adds thousands of dollars to a truck’s MSRP. In some cases, the price difference can breach the five-figure mark. Also, a given diesel engine will likely not be available with every bed/cab/trim configuration. The question of which engine is right for you typically boils down to what your towing needs are and how much importance you place on fuel economy.

Best Trucks for Towing

When choosing a truck for towing, know that a higher tow limit generally correlates with a higher cost. Most midsize trucks max out above 3 tons, though acceleration can be anemic when you’re approaching the limit. Full-size trucks will cost a bit more but tend to top out above 10,000 pounds. Heavy-duty pickups aim for stratospheric towing capability, and their torque-rich diesel engines should make towing up mountain passes a breeze. Go up one more grade to 3500 series trucks for a dual rear-wheel option that provides a more stable towing experience. Properly equipped, these trucks can tow more than 20,000 pounds, even reaching 30,000 pounds in some cases. View our full list of the Best Trucks for Towing.

Top Features for Trucks

As of 2019, every new pickup comes standard with a rearview camera display, a previously optional feature that takes a lot of the guesswork out of navigating tight spots. Surround-view monitors are even better, giving a 360-degree view of the area immediately around the truck. Tall hoods can make it difficult to surmise exactly where the front of the pickup is, so front parking sensors are another nifty feature. Additionally, trucks are pretty wide, so it’s nice to have a lane departure warning system that alerts you before the truck drifts too far.

Outside of advanced driver aids, there are a few truck-specific features to look out for. Tie-down cleats help you secure everything in the bed, while cargo bed lights can help you find your gear in the dark. Tow mirrors are wide and have multiple pieces of mirrored glass so you can keep track of your trailer. As long as you’re not looking for the best off-road truck, ground-clearance-reducing side steps are a handy way to make sure everyone can easily enter and exit the cab.

Choosing the Best Pickup Truck for You

If you just like the look and feel of a truck, a midsize pickup is an inexpensive way to break into the market. It’s also bound to be easier to park and drive. A full-size truck is ideal for those who need more room in the cab, want a larger bed, occasionally tow large items, or simply prefer the added features available on full-size trucks. Heavy-duty trucks make the most sense for those who frequently tow heavy equipment.

Each class offers something unique for those looking for the best off-road truck, from the midsize Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 to the full-size Ford F-150 Raptor and the heavy-duty Ram Power Wagon.

Next Steps

While the number of different pickup models is fairly small, there’s a great deal of differentiation within each model range. The nearly limitless customization options can make it difficult to sift through dealer inventory to find the perfect vehicle. Visit our Truck Rankings to understand each model’s strengths and weaknesses. Our in-depth vehicle reviews provide a detailed analysis and trim breakdown of every new truck on the market. Once a model catches your eye, find a specific truck in your area by clicking on its inventory page. No matter where you are in the research and buying process, Edmunds has tools to help you find your perfect pickup.

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Best Electric Cars: Top-Rated EVs for 2020 | Edmunds


Best Electric-Car Range

Right now, Tesla is winning the range game. Depending on how they’re equipped, Tesla models can cart around a stunning amount of electricity. With new battery technology on the horizon, though, and more automakers joining the EV fray, Tesla may not be able to hold onto the crown forever. The models listed below are the specific versions with the best electric range.

Tesla Model S Long Range — 373 miles

Equipped with a massive 100-kWh battery pack and lacking the extra weight of the Model X, the Tesla Model S Long Range boasts the best range of any electric car currently on the market.

Tesla Model X Long Range — 328 miles

The Model X is a heavy vehicle, so even though it uses the same enormous 100-kWh battery pack as the Model S, it can’t go quite as far. Still, all that battery means the Model X easily outpaces its nearest non-Tesla competitor.

Tesla Model 3 Long Range — 322 miles

The Tesla Model 3 Long Range comes with a 75-kWh battery pack and is lighter and more efficient than its siblings, which means this Tesla can go a longer distance with a smaller battery pack.

Chevrolet Bolt — 259 miles

For 2020, Chevrolet rejiggered the Bolt’s battery chemistry, eking out extra range to beat out all of its mainstream competition (even if only by a single mile).

Electric Cars vs. Gas Cars

Gas-powered cars are comforting in their familiarity. With gas stations easily accessible across the country, they provide unparalleled freedom and, in some cases, a dramatic exhaust note to boot. Sadly, they also produce a lot of air pollution. EVs are an environmentally friendlier alternative and a great match for many drivers’ day-to-day needs.

Electric cars drive differently but not necessarily in a bad way. They provide instant torque, making them feel zippy around town. And with regenerative braking, drivers can practice “one-pedal driving,” in which simply lifting off the throttle pedal results in significant deceleration. Electric-car ownership means adopting new habits as a driver and owner. Luckily, one of those habits is never having to visit a gas station. If you can install a charging station at home or have access to one where you work, there’s a strong chance an electric vehicle would make a good commuter for you.

Electric Cars vs. Hybrids

Hybrids use an electric motor to assist a gasoline engine, improving fuel efficiency while maintaining the freedom of a gas-powered car. They’re more mechanically complex, but owning (and driving) a hybrid really isn’t much different from owning a traditional gas-powered car, which is definitely part of the appeal.

Plug-in hybrids can be charged up like an all-electric car and driven for a short distance on full electric power before switching over to normal hybrid operation. Most plug-in hybrids won’t go more than 20 miles or so on electricity, though. (The outgoing Chevrolet Volt is a shining exception with its electric range of 50-plus miles.) An electric car with a range extender, such as the BMW i3, is different from a hybrid in that its gas engine is only used to generate electricity and can’t drive the wheels.

Electric Vehicle Benefits

If you can access a charging station at your home or office, you can likely rely on an electric car to replace your gas car for everything but road trips. All you have to do is plug it in at either location, and it’ll charge up while you’re doing other things. Electricity is also cheaper than gas, meaning you’ll save money on energy over the life of the car. For more details, check out our “The True Cost of Powering an Electric Car.

Cars that are all-electric also have fewer moving parts that can break. Most maintenance will likely involve wear items such as tires, brakes and windshield wipers. You’ll never have to pay for a belt job with an electric car. And there are big tax incentives available, which can help cushion the upfront cost of an electric car. If you lease, you’ll see those incentives taken out of your payments right away, saving you some paperwork.

Choosing the Right Electric Car for You

For many households, an electric car makes a lot of sense as a second vehicle. Electric cars provide a clean commuting alternative, requiring less maintenance and zero trips to the gas station. The trick will be figuring out where and when you can charge and how many miles you need to be able to drive between charges.

Make sure to check out our “9 Steps to Easier Plug-In Car Shopping” to help you take the first steps on your electric-car journey. You may be surprised to find out that an electric car could fit your lifestyle.

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Best AWD Sedans: Top-Rated All-Wheel-Drive Sedans for 2019 | Edmunds


AWD Sedans With the Best Fuel Economy

Driving all four wheels of a car means that the engine has to do some extra work, and historically that’s been associated with a hefty fuel economy penalty. But all-wheel-drive sedans have made a lot of advancements in recent years. Not only has fuel economy improved across the board for all vehicles, but some companies have also drastically reduced the AWD gas-mileage deficit.

The Subaru Impreza, for example, is rated an impressive 38 mpg on the highway, and that’s with standard AWD. The all-wheel-drive Mercedes-Benz E-Class, equipped with the four-cylinder engine, drops just a smidge from 25 mpg combined to 24 mpg. Thanks to a light hybrid system, the A6’s six-cylinder engine has also improved by 2 mpg for 2019 and matches the E-Class’ four-cylinder. It’s clear that many AWD sedans have turned the corner in this regard, and that’s good news for both the environment and your wallet.

AWD Sedan Benefits

All-wheel-drive sedans offer improved traction on all kinds of surfaces and in all kinds of conditions when compared to their front-wheel- or rear-wheel-drive counterparts. Since AWD cars can transfer power “from the wheels that slip to the wheels that grip,” as Subaru’s classic tagline had it, they can better take advantage of available traction when the going gets iffy.

All-wheel drive can also enhance on-road performance in normal conditions. During spirited driving, an AWD sedan may send power to the outside wheels in a turn to improve cornering, as well as shuffle power front to back to help correct a wayward course. Cars with very powerful engines also accelerate more quickly when they’re able to distribute that power to all four wheels.

There are trade-offs in terms of cost, weight and efficiency. Driving enthusiasts may also debate the difference in performance and feel between two-wheel- and all-wheel-drive cars. Buyers should think about factors such as the road and weather conditions where they live, how they plan to use their cars, and what type of handling they enjoy when deciding whether to opt for all-wheel drive.

If you’d like more help deciding, be sure to read “Do You Need an All-Wheel-Drive or Four-Wheel-Drive Car?”

AWD vs. 4WD

AWD and 4WD have become more and more similar over the years. There was a time when AWD vehicles weren’t considered off-road capable, but advances in traction control systems have largely leveled the playing field. There are part-time and full-time AWD and 4WD systems and also selectable AWD and 4WD systems that can be turned on and off by the driver.

The clearest difference is that if you see a vehicle labeled 4WD, it will almost certainly have low-range gearing that allows it to crawl. This feature does make a 4WD vehicle more capable in extreme conditions in which you need to apply a lot of torque to the wheels at very low speeds.

To learn more about the differences between drivetrain types, check out our in-depth article “All About Front-, Rear-, Four-Wheel and All-Wheel Drive.”

AWD vs. RWD

As much as AWD systems may improve vehicle dynamics, rear-wheel drive is still the gold standard for balanced, responsive handling. That’s why the sporty luxury sedans on our list from BMW and Mercedes-Benz are built on rear-wheel-drive platforms. You get better straight-line acceleration with RWD than with FWD, along with a livelier handling experience that’s generally more rewarding.

AWD cars can put down power more efficiently in high-performance settings, making for quicker acceleration numbers, and they claw tenaciously for grip through the turns. On the other hand, they’re frequently described as feeling less exciting by experienced drivers. AWD systems also add weight, which tends to slow the car down relative to a rear-wheel-drive setup.

AWD vs. FWD

Front-wheel drive is all about efficiency, and not just fuel efficiency. Many small cars are FWD-only because it allows them to pack all the powertrain components at the front of the car to open up more space in the back. The Honda Fit, for example, owes much of its impressive cargo storage capabilities to the fact that it doesn’t need to make room for a driveshaft connecting the engine and the rear wheels.

Front-wheel-drive cars also tend to be less sporty and much more prone to understeer (that is, the tendency to “push” wide of the intended line in spirited cornering). That said, some FWD cars have picked up tricks from AWD systems. The Volkswagen GTI, for example, can be equipped with an active front differential that shifts power to the outside wheel in turns to improve cornering and tame understeer.

Choosing the Right AWD Sedan for You

If you’re in the market for a sedan and you like the idea of a more sure-footed vehicle in adverse conditions or a more confident vehicle on twisting back roads, it’s worth considering all-wheel drive. If you’re interested in learning about more all-wheel-drive sedans, you can use our Car Finder tool to locate an all-wheel-drive sedan.

It’s important to consider your needs and budget. How much space do you need? How much luxury can you afford? Is performance an important consideration? We’ve outlined the strengths of each vehicle in our summaries here, but read our full ratings and reviews to make sure the car you choose is the best car for you. After finding the right car, click through to the inventory page to see the best prices in your area.

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Best Gas Mileage SUVs: Most Fuel-Efficient SUVs for 2020 | Edmunds


Hybrid vs. Gas Vehicles

Hybrids are more expensive than their gasoline-only counterparts due to their added complexity and advanced batteries. From a purely economical point of view, the hybrid advantage is strongly affected by gas prices and your individual driving habits. In some cases, you’ll be able to recoup the added cost in only a couple of years; in others, it might take you eight years or more.

Plug-in hybrids are more sensitive to the distances you typically drive and the availability of charging stations. Under ideal conditions, you can go for long periods without ever having to add gasoline since you’ll be using electric-only propulsion most of the time. Unlike true EVs, these plug-in hybrids will leave you with far less range anxiety, although their EV range is relatively limited due to their dual-purpose nature.

Next Steps

The vehicles listed here only take fuel economy into account and aren’t necessarily the best overall options in their segments. If fuel economy is a priority for you, the SUVs above are a good starting point. We also recommend considering how you’ll be using your new vehicle and how much cargo and passenger space you need. A thorough series of test drives will be helpful in finding your perfect fit.

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Best Luxury SUVs: Top-Rated Luxury SUVs for 2020 | Edmunds


Best 3-Row Luxury SUVs

Although there are midsize SUVs that offer three rows of seating, third-row headroom and legroom measurements are typically modest at best. If you plan on transporting bigger kids or adults in the third row, full-size SUVs tend to be the best family luxury SUVs. Some even offer an extended-length option that increases the size of the cargo area, which is invaluable for families on road trips. Having said that, midsize three-row SUVs can be the best family luxury SUVs if you have little kids who don’t yet need a lot of passenger space.

2019 Audi Q7

Most midsize SUVs now offer three rows, and the Audi Q7 is one of the best. It doesn’t have an abundance of room in the back, but cargo room is decent and the seats fold completely flat if you need extra storage. A third row is standard on the Audi Q7; it’s optional on many other midsize SUVs.

2020 Lincoln Aviator

The Aviator may share its platform with the Ford Explorer, but there’s nothing mundane about this luxury SUV’s style. Convincingly upscale inside and out, the Aviator just might be the most impressive American luxury SUV on the market. Whether you go with the plug-in hybrid variant or the standard spec, you’ll enjoy big-time acceleration and exemplary refinement. Just don’t expect a roomy third row — the kids will fit back there, but adults won’t be happy.

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class

There’s a big jump in third-row room — and price — between midsize and full-size SUVs. The Mercedes GLS-Class is considerably more expensive than a comparable Audi Q7, but seven adults will have no problem fitting into the big Benz. There’s also plenty of room behind the third row, and cargo space increases from “sizable” to “gargantuan” as you fold down those seats.

2020 Lincoln Navigator

As a full-size SUV, the Navigator is a seven-seater with a more commodious back seat than midsize crossovers. The third-row seat bottom is raised higher than in some other SUVs, so adults will enjoy a more natural seating position. Although the cargo area is already quite roomy for the class, Lincoln also offers a longer Navigator L with more cargo room than the standard version.

Most Affordable Luxury SUVs

The smallest SUVs are also the most affordable, but that doesn’t mean they offer the best value. While subcompacts have relatively low price tags, overall refinement may fall below the standard set by their lofty nameplates. With this in mind, we’ve chosen three smaller crossovers that offer good value in a compact wrapper.

2020 BMW X1

At $36,195 to start, the X1 is one of the most affordable small luxury crossovers, but it’s also among the most desirable. Passenger and cargo room are best-in-class among subcompacts, and the X1 is pretty fun to drive, too. Standard features include a power tailgate, power front seats and driver-seat memory settings. The Convenience package is reasonably priced and adds a panoramic sunroof, keyless entry, satellite radio and more. Add in metallic paint, and you can get a very well-equipped little crossover for less than $40,000. A great car at a great price, no matter how you slice it.

2020 Volvo XC40

The XC40 is Volvo’s first attempt at an SUV in the subcompact class. With a low starting price and tons of features, it’s safe to say Volvo nailed the value proposition. The XC40, which starts at $34,695, counts LED headlights, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality, and genuine leather upholstery among its standard features. (Most cars in this class come with simulated leather.) Being a Volvo, the XC40 also comes standard with lane departure warning and forward collision warning. If you want to buy a car without getting swept up in expensive option packages, the XC40 might be the small luxury crossover for you.

2020 Lexus NX 300

The compact 2020 Lexus NX 300’s base price of $37,745 is quite reasonable given its excellent list of standard features. LED headlights, keyless entry and start, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and forward collision warning come standard on every model. Perhaps more importantly, the NX 300’s high-quality interior materials stand in sharp contrast to its budget price. It’s not the least expensive Lexus in the lineup — that title belongs to the new UX 200 — but the NX is far superior.

Luxury SUV Features

While many luxury SUVs are well-equipped to begin with, they all offer myriad options and features for a somewhat custom feel. Look for frills such as leather upholstery, keyless entry and a sunroof for a true luxury experience. Heated and ventilated seats are must-haves for many shoppers but aren’t always available on smaller luxury SUVs. Modern safety features, including 360-degree parking cameras and blind-spot monitoring, are essential for easily placing large SUVs on the road.

Choosing the Right Luxury SUV for You

There are dozens of luxury SUVs spread over four size classes, so it can be difficult to figure out where to start. Subcompact and compact crossovers offer a strong value statement to city dwellers, empty nesters, and those who simply want something that stands out from a typical SUV. Small families who need a bit more passenger and cargo space will likely find an appropriate vehicle in the midsize class. Full-size SUVs are perfect for growing families or, again, individuals who just want to make a statement. No matter which class appeals to you the most, Edmunds has the tools to point you in the right direction in your search for the perfect luxury SUV.

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Best Family SUVs – Top Rated Family SUVs for 2019 | Edmunds


Finding the Best Family SUV for You

Before you start shopping, we recommend identifying must-have features for your family so you can dispense with any SUVs that don’t deliver. Size is a good starting point. How big is your family and how willing are your loved ones to share their space? Most compact and midsize SUVs seat five in two rows, but many also offer the option of a third row.

Cargo room is important, too, since all those passengers are bound to have plenty of stuff to carry with them. The smallest SUVs and crossovers have enough room for five and not much else, while the biggest family SUVs can accommodate up to nine passengers and whatever they might bring with them.

Don’t forget that size is inversely correlated with gas mileage, generally speaking. So if you need maximum mpg, go with the smallest SUV that still meets your needs. Also, keep in mind that all-wheel drive generally hurts fuel economy by 1 or 2 combined mpg.

Family SUV Safety and Technology

When your family is involved, safety is a top priority. All of the best family SUVs will keep you safe, but you should consider available features that go beyond basic crash protection, including the all-season traction of all-wheel drive. Advanced safety systems such as automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection are now widely offered, and they can drastically reduce the severity of an accident. Then there are options such as adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist that can minimize driver fatigue on longer trips.

Furthermore, the best SUVs for families offer an impressive range of consumer technology, so be sure to look for features such as second- and third-row USB ports, rear-seat entertainment systems and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.

Child Car Seats

The LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) protocol was introduced in 2002 to simplify the installation of child car seats. If you’re shopping for a family SUV that’s good for car seats, one thing to check is whether your child safety seat mounts easily to the vehicle’s LATCH anchor points. Another question is whether there’s still enough room for adult passengers up front with a safety seat installed in the second row. We recommend bringing your child car seat to the dealership to see how it fits.

Top Family-Friendly Features in SUVs

When you’re in the market for a new family SUV, the array of available features can be dizzying. Here are four features that we consider to be especially important for the family-minded SUV shopper.

Hands-Free Power Liftgate
When your hands are full and you’re approaching the car with kids in tow, the last thing you want to do is wrestle with the liftgate. The solution is a hands-free power liftgate that opens by itself, typically when you wave your foot under the rear bumper with the key fob in your pocket. It’s an increasingly common feature across the SUV landscape.
Rear-Seat Entertainment System
Nothing’s better for keeping the kids occupied on a long trip than a rear-seat entertainment system with display screens and headphones. Some systems feature screens that are mounted to the front headrests, just like on a plane, while others have screens that flip down from the ceiling.
USB Ports
Families have a lot of devices that need to be charged, so the more USB ports a vehicle provides, the better. Many SUVs have enough USB ports for both front and rear passengers to stay juiced up.
Rear Window Sunshades
Typically a higher-end feature, retractable rear sunshades help protect your little ones from the heat and rays of direct sunlight. Why buy those goofy aftermarket suction-cup sunshades if you don’t have to?

Time to Test-Drive!

Now you know what our experts think, and you’ve got our shopping advice. But at the end of the day, there’s no substitute for firsthand experience with all of the family SUVs you’re considering. Get out there and start test-driving — find out for yourself what the best family SUVs are today. See our full list of the Best Family Cars.

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Best Hybrid SUVs: Top-Rated Hybrid SUVs for 2019 | Edmunds


Pros and Cons of Hybrid SUVs

Given consumers’ preference for crossovers and SUVs today, it makes sense that there would be similar interest in hybrid versions of these versatile vehicles. Conventional hybrid SUVs return excellent fuel economy, especially in city driving, while offering plenty of room for other passengers and cargo.

Plug-in hybrid SUVs go a step further by allowing drivers to top up the battery whenever they’re near a charger, making it possible for those with short commutes to travel almost entirely without gas. Depending on where you live, there may also be tax incentives for buying a hybrid or plug-in hybrid SUV, reducing the cost to you. With fewer tailpipe emissions, you also help keep your community’s air cleaner.

On the other hand, hybrid battery packs eventually need replacing, which can be a big expense. Hybrid SUVs are also generally at their least efficient when cruising at high speeds, so if you spend a lot of time driving on open roads where the speed limit is 65 mph or higher, you won’t see maximal mileage benefits. Furthermore, hybrid SUVs tend to come with a price premium over their non-hybrid competitors, which could very well offset your savings on gas.

Hybrid vs. Plug-In Hybrid

Conventional hybrids are primarily powered by a gasoline engine and aided by an electric motor in certain driving conditions, such as low-speed city driving (which, depending on speed, can be done solely on electric power) or to help boost a surge of acceleration. Nearly all hybrids can self-charge the electric battery through engine power (similar to a generator) or during braking when the kinetic energy generated can be converted to energy stored in the battery pack.

Plug-in hybrids take this a step further by offering a connection that allows the battery pack to be charged from an electrical outlet, either from a standard household-style outlet or from the faster Level 2 and DC fast-charging connections. Recharging the battery this way typically allows the car to travel a short distance on electricity alone, often between 10 and 20 miles, before the gasoline engine kicks in.

Choosing the Right Hybrid SUV for You

Shopping for the hybrid SUV that best suits your needs is a bit like hunting for unicorns. Even the best choices come with certain compromises. There’s also the cost-value equation. Put simply, many hybrid SUVs don’t deliver significant fuel savings compared to their gas-only counterparts.

But a hybrid SUV can make sense if your driving is limited to short commutes punctuated by stop-and-go traffic, especially if you opt for a plug-in hybrid that offers a cache of electric-only miles. Manage it correctly and you can do much of your driving without ever dipping into the gasoline engine. While hybrid SUVs come with some challenges, they can also be a great fit for many drivers.

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Best Midsize SUVs: The Top-Rated Midsize SUVs for 2019 | Edmunds


You can also see Edmunds’ latest expert rankings of all current 2-Row Midsize SUVs at our SUV Rankings page.

Choosing the Best Midsize SUV for You

Midsize SUVs cover a broad spectrum of today’s most popular vehicles. Some aren’t much larger than what we’d call compact SUVs, while others hang around the fringes of the full-size SUV class. Furthermore, there’s a midsize SUV for practically any budget, with prices ranging from the high $20,000s up to $100,000 and beyond.

Pricing is perhaps the most important consideration when buying a midsize SUV. From there, you can narrow your choices based on fuel economy, available seating rows, maximum cargo space and, if it matters to you, towing capacity. Maneuverability is another concern since some SUVs move like smaller cars while others feel like boats. Visibility is something to be mindful of when you’re test-driving the vehicle, although backup cameras and parking sensors help mitigate low-speed anxiety in driveways and parking lots.

Next Steps for Buying a Midsize SUV

Midsize SUVs are among today’s most popular cars for good reason. With seating for five to eight passengers, power liftgates and large cargo spaces, plus essential tech offerings (Bluetooth, USB connectivity, even Wi-Fi hotspots), midsize SUVs often strike the best balance for growing families on the go. By blending sedan comfort with the utility of a covered truck, midsize SUVs offer multidimensional benefits. When it’s time to find your midsize SUV, let Edmunds guide you with detailed expert insights and easy one-stop pricing.

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