For many, the SUV market can seem fairly overwhelming. To help, here’s a list of some of the top vehicles in this class.
The 2017 Audi Q7
The Audi Q7 brings performance and agility to ample room and comfort you’d expect from a crossover SUV. And, unlike most similarly-sized vehicles, it does not compromise the driver’s enjoyment thanks to the weight-saving VW Group’s latest MLB II architecture.
The 2017 Audi Q7 features a more luxurious interior, more impressive technology, and bolder styling than in past generations. It is the flagship crossover SUV from Audi and comes in seven-passenger and five-passenger configurations.
Several powertrains are available for the Q7 to swap out for its already potent standard engine: a supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 powerhouse delivering 333 horses and 325 lb-ft of torque. Complementing the engine, and sending power to all wheels, is a Tiptronic eight-speed automatic with an integrated Quattro all-wheel-drive system.
In addition to its all-new chiseled looks, the 2017 Q7 is bundled with a plethora of high-tech features including LED headlights, a high-resolution 12-inch LCD instrument cluster, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, MMI navigation with handwriting and voice recognition.
The 2017 Q7 is lighter and quicker than its predecessors and provides wagon-like agility. Additionally, it offers strong performance and uncompromising safety standards. You will also fall in love with its beautiful high-tech cabin.
The 2017 Porsche Cayenne
The Porsche Cayenne is what you would expect from a Porsche SUV: it is a spicy mix of comfort, luxury, off-road ability, and technology. It combines German engineering with French styling and the result is a family friendly SUV with the roar of a sports car.
The new Cayenne is sleek and very easy to the eyes, probably because it borrows a few curves from the 911. Its styling is not what you would call assertive, let alone rugged, but you would be mistaken to assume that it lacks off-pavement deftness. It only gets better inside with high-quality materials and smooth curved surfaces. Of course, a leather-lined cabin and an infotainment system with integrated navigation make it a great choice for a road tripper.
Furthermore, like with all Porsches, you get to choose from an extensive list of engine flavors: from a naturally aspirated base model to the incredibly powerful Cayenne Turbo. The Cayenne provides much of the beloved driving personality of its two-seat siblings.
The base model receives a 300 hp V6; the S and the GTS offer 420 hp and 440 hp respectively, both from a turbocharged 3.6 liter V6. You can also opt for the environmentally responsible SE-Hybrid for improved efficiency.
Among its pros are strong acceleration, lots of room for personalization, capable handling, and a drive-worthy hybrid option. Though the base model engine can be underwhelming, and the interior space is comparably limited.
The 2017 Ford Edge
The Ford Edge fills a niche within the crossover SUV category. It’s both larger than its stablemates and features better handling than the longer, three-row family haulers. It is characterized by daring styling, a sizable cargo bay, and excellent ride quality.
The Edge stands somewhere between premium utility vehicle and mainstream crossovers. The exterior is handsome with its bold lines, defining creases, and numerous smooth metal panels.
Defying convention, the new Edge offers some of the newest technologies and varying trims in its class. It is outfitted with an array of tech features including Sync 3 touchscreen infotainment, adaptive cruise control, a self-parking feature, lane-keep assist, Bluetooth connectivity, and much more. The list only gets better if you can afford the optional tech packages that add Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, GPS navigation, remote start, and a rearview camera.
You get a choice of three powertrains: a 245 hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder; a 280 hp 3.5-liter V6; and a 315 hp twin-turbocharged EcoBoost 2.7-liter V6. Four-wheel drive is standard on the first two engines while AWD is standard on the third trim listed, but is still available to the rest. A six-speed auto is the only gearbox offered.
You’ll find it hard not to enjoy the Edge’s precise steering, upgraded EcoBoost engine lineup, robust twin-turbo V6, array of tech features, and lovely cabin. Still, the Sports model rides a bit rough, there is no third-row seat option, and the center console might be unintuitive to some.
The 2017 Jeep Compass
The Jeep Compass blends the looks of the Grand Cherokee, a myriad of impressive standard features, and a budget-friendly price. It was taken back to the drawing board and returned completely redesigned for 2017, inside and out. Nevertheless, the Jeep is selling the older version Compass alongside the redesigned one; though, the former will not see the 2018 model year.
The new Compass carries a new engine, AWD systems, transmissions, and new infotainment and safety technology. Featured alongside all of these improvements is the 2.4-liter Tigershark engine, boasting 180 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque.
Sport and Latitude models get a 6-speed manual, a rarity in this segment, as standard transmission and offer an automatic as an alternative. Trailhawk Limited models are both automatics. FWD models employ a new 6-speed automatic, but you can opt for the six-speed stick shift if you prefer. The Trailhawk model is a commendable off-roader, although you should not expect the Wrangler’s rock-crawling capabilities.
To its advantage, the updated Compass is more stylishly designed, more powerful and efficient, and offers improved handling, making it a very comfortable ride. Technophiles will also enjoy the new infotainment system. Some potential downsides would be the distinct absence of a more powerful engine, as well as poor visibility.
The 2017 Mazda CX-5
Mazda seems intent on integrating sports car styling in all their new lineups, and the CX-5 is no exception. But there is more to the CX-5 than meets the eye. For example, enthusiasts have lauded it for its poised chassis and sharp steering, among its other strengths.
A six-speed manual takes power from a 155hp 2.0-liter four to the front wheel standard. Optionally, a 184 hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder can be swapped in, bringing a six-speed automatic transmission to all wheels.
And now, Mazda has completely revamped it for 2017 and added a comprehensive list of much-needed tech, aesthetic, and performance features. The 2017 CX-5 receives an easy-to-use MazdaConnect infotainment system, an eight-inch touchscreen, adaptive cruise, and automated emergency braking. The new CX-5 gets more standard tech equipment, a more refined suspension, and a classier, more practical interior.