This is the best ‘more bang for the buck’ option

Mid-size SUV is the most practical option for families these days. They have sedan-like handling with a lot more space, they are tough, can haul more than enough luggage for those long trips, and can also be taken on unfamiliar terrain with little risk. The only problem with them is that they are priced high. So, what do you do? You buy a two or three-year-old used SUV for around half the price than what it retails at new. SUVs are built to last; so you don’t have to worry about the longevity, and we have stressed enough on the benefits of pre-owned cars in previous articles. Here is a list of seven best SUVs from 2016 that you can buy.

2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee High Resolution Exterior
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The Jeep Grand Cherokee has been around for over 25 years now, but has still not lost its charm. With the fourth generation, that includes the 2016 model, the Grand Cherokee came with an array of engine options to choose from.

While the engines are smooth and revv-friendly, the fuel economy is adversely affected because of its curb weight; delivering 15 mpg to 25 mpg, depending on the trim.

The top-spec V-8 engine delivers even lower economy ratings. The cabin is a nice place to be, and all creature comforts can be found to keep the family happy.

The SUV also comes well equipped with a two-speed on-demand transfer case, Selec-Terrain system, Hill-descent Control, and a skid plate to take care of your off-road aspirations. The four-wheel-drive model received a five-star rating from the NHTSA, which essentially means that the car is filled to the brim in terms of safety features. The Jeep Grand Cherokee can haul 1,350 pounds of payload and has a towing capacity of 7,200 pounds. This five-seater has a cargo capacity of 36 cubic-feet as standard and maximum capacity of 68.3 cubic-feet with the rear seats folded. All in all, the Grand Cherokee is a well-rounded car for a family, thanks to the spacious cabin and rich feature list, but it will not satisfy the driver in you because of its slow acceleration and gas-guzzling tendacies.

EPA Fuel Economy 15-25 mpg combined
Maximum Cargo Capacity 68.3 cu.ft.
Available Total Seating 5
Drivetrain Warranty 5 yr./ 100000 mi.
Available Drivetrains RWD, 4WD
Government Crash Rating 4 Stars

Read our full review on the 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee

2016 Ford Edge

2015 Ford Edge Exterior
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The Edge is a strong competitor if you’re in the market for a used midsize SUV. It May not be as butch looking as its rivals, but the Edge is still an SUV that will age gracefully and is definitely a keeper. This SUV comes with a variety of engine options, including the fast and efficient 2.7-liter EcoBoost unit. In terms of features, it offers heated seats, park assist, rain-sensing wipers, etc., and two seven-inch LCD screen option as part of the headrest package for the rear occupants. The interior is quite spacious and lively to keep you comfortable even on long journeys.

The Edge does, however, come with stuff suspension and harsh ride quality, so there may be slight discomfort when driving for long periods of time

On the other hand, the Edge is exactly what the Grand Cherokee isn’t – an SUV with good driving dynamics and peppy engines. But with that said, the all-wheel-drive Edge is a thirsty car and sucks up as enough gas to offer economy ratings of 17 miles to the gallon in the city. You don’t have to be concerned about the safety as it has scored five stars in the NHTSA ratings, though, so it has that going for it. Cargo hauling is not an issue as the Edge offers 39 cubic-feet of cargo capcity that increases to 73.4 cubic-feet with all seats folded down. With the trailer package, you can tow up to 3,500 pounds. In the end, this five-seater SUV is a mixed bag with not-so-great off-roading capabilities, but it is a comfortable midsize family SUV.

EPA Fuel Economy 20-24 mpg combined
Maximum Cargo Capacity 73.4 cu.ft.
Available Total Seating 5
Drivetrain Warranty 5 yr./ 60000 mi.
Available Drivetrains FWD, AWD
Government Crash Rating 5 Stars

Read our full review on the 2016 Ford Edge

2016 Kia Sorento

2016 Kia Sorento High Resolution Exterior
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The 2016 Kia Sorento is bigger and styled a lot different than the previous-gen model that it replaced. The top-trim comes with Infinity sound system, eight-inch touchscreen, navigation, 19-inch alloy wheels, smart power liftgate, and a panoramic sunroof, to name a few. The interior is ergonomically sound, and you’ll be happy in this feel-good cabin. NVH levels are also well-controlled, so even longer rides are somewhat peaceful. Being a seven-seater, the Sorento is spacious, but will feel a little tight with all seats occupied. The Kia Sorento is rather efficient if you choose the lower trim levels as you can attain as much as 21 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway.

But with a bigger engine and more features, the top-trims deliver a mere economy of 17 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway.

Despite being a long vehicle, the Sorento is surprisingly well-planted, with great ride quality. It is a comfortable cruiser on highways and will not feel bumpy even if you’re going with a full load of people. With that said, even the V-6 engine on offer is not a sprinter and will let you down if you like spirited driving. As for the cargo space, the Sorento offers you 11 cubic-feet with all the three rows in place. Flip the third-row down, and you’ll have 38 cubic-feet of space. Continue laying down the second row, and you’ll get 73.5 cubic-feet. The top-spec model can tow up to 5,000 pounds. Although it’s not very good-looking, it is a great option if you’re hunting for a seven-seat SUV.

EPA Fuel Economy 19-24 mpg combined
Maximum Cargo Capacity 73.5 cu.ft.
Available Total Seating 7
Drivetrain Warranty 10 yr./ 100000 mi.
Available Drivetrains FWD, AWD
Government Crash Rating 5 Stars

Read our full review on the 2016 Kia Sorento

2016 Honda Pilot

Best Used Midsize SUV from 2016 Exterior
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The Honda Pilot has been selling like hotcakes ever since its inception. This Japanese SUV comes with eight seats; making it a practical option for a big family. The 2016 model is the third-generation of the Pilot, and it comes with a large 3.5-liter engine, but this is one lousy unit. Honda has paired it with a nine-speed auto, which itself is a slow performer. Not to mention the fact that the V-6 engine is loud. So, expect the car to show its frustration on the highway when you load it to its full capacity. In terms of safety, the car has scored 5 stars in the NHTSA ratings.

On the interior front, the cabin is pretty spacious and can accommodate literally anything. The Pilot is well-equipped with lots of features but the cabin looks quite cluttered with buttons all-around, and it needs a mention because it has been a major turn-off. Being more of a minivan than an SUV, it has a maximum cargo capacity of 83.9 cubic-feet, and it can achieve 21 miles to the gallon in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. On the all-wheel-drive models, the Pilot can tow up to 5,000 pounds. Despite being a cacophony of pros and cons, it is a hit among the crowd.

EPA Fuel Economy 21-23 mpg combined
Maximum Cargo Capacity 83.9 cu.ft.
Available Total Seating 8
Drivetrain Warranty 5 yr./ 60000 mi.
Available Drivetrains FWD, AWD
Government Crash Rating 5 Stars

Read our full review on the 2016 Honda Pilot

2016 Toyota Highlander

Best Used Midsize SUV from 2016 High Resolution Exterior
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The Toyota Highlander is a good-looking car, although it is a little bland when compared to the competition. The Lexus-esque grill could have polarizing opinions. The Highlanders comes with a wide range of powertrains, but none of the engines are as sprightly as say, the Ford Edge. The cabin is ergonomically sorted and has most of the creature comforts present, like an 8-inch touchscreen, cooled seats, etc. While the steering wheel is perfectly sized and a joy to hold, it doesn’t give good feedback while driving. These dead steering wheels can’t be confidence inspiring, especially when you’re carrying seven people and driving at 100 mph. The cabin is mighty spacious, and the presence of the third row doesn’t devoid it of cargo space; which generally is the norm with three-row cars.

With third row in place, there’s 13.8 cubic-feet of space, 42.3 cubic-feet behind the second row, and 83.2 cubic-feet with last two rows down.

Unlike the Pilot, where you can hear the engine scream at high-revs, the Highlander seems more calm and composed; thanks to a great insulation and acoustic glass. While the bigger V-6 engine has a rated towing capacity of up to 5,000 pounds, the four-pot Highlanders can tow just 1,500 pounds. Like the others on the list, the Highlander too has scored five stars in safety ratings. As far as fuel economy is concerned, the SUV delivers 20 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway, which is not class-leading by any means. But at the end of the day, you get the ‘T’ badge’s reliability and good customer service.

EPA Fuel Economy 20-22 mpg combined
Maximum Cargo Capacity 83.2 cu.ft.
Available Total Seating 8
Drivetrain Warranty 5 yr./ 60000 mi.
Available Drivetrains FWD, AWD
Government Crash Rating 5 Stars

Read our full review on the 2016 Toyota Highlander

2016 Ford Explorer Sport

2016 Ford Explorer High Resolution Exterior
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Check out the rged new look of the 2016 Explorer, and don’t forget about the new Platinum trim level.

The seven-seater 2016 Explorer came with a revised exterior, and it looks much fresher than the previous iterations. A 2.0-liter engine made way for the peppier 2.3-liter EcoBoost unit with ample power available. The all-wheel-drive system also made its way here. As a driver you may grin from ear-to-ear when you hit the roads, but with the interior, perhaps not. The cabin quality and feel is not what you expect at this price point. The feature list is not disappointing, as you get massaging seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, Sync infotainment system, etc., but passenger space is not even par with the competition. Ingress and egress is not an easy task either, especially for the third-row occupants.

Coming to the towing capacity, the Explorer, with the V-6 engine can tow up to 5,000 pounds, whereas the four-banger can haul 3,000 pounds.

Even the standard cargo loading capacity is rated at a healthy 21 cubic-feet, and flipping the second and third-row down increases this to 81.7 cubic-feet. If good fuel efficiency is a must for you, look elsewhere, though. Like they say, to gain something, you have to lose something. With the six-banger engine, you can achieve just 18 mpg combined. On the safety front, the Explorer is built like a tank and has scored full five-stars in government crash ratings. If you can compromise on the interior space and fuel economy, the Explorer is arguably the best SUV in this list.

EPA Fuel Economy 18 mpg combined
Maximum Cargo Capacity 81.7 cu.ft.
Available Total Seating 7
Drivetrain Warranty 5 yr./ 60000 mi.
Available Drivetrains FWD, AWD
Government Crash Rating 5 Stars

Read our full review on the 2016 Ford Explorer Sport

2016 Ford Flex

2014 Ford Flex Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Slapped with a long, slim bar on the grille, the Flex is an attention-seeker whether you hate it or love it. To describe the design philosophy in simple terms, this is Blue Oval’s G-Class. That doesn’t mean that you can’t ‘flex’ its muscles on an open road, though. Despite its huge footprint, it can sprint from standstill to 62 mph in under seven seconds; thanks to the powerful six-cylinder engine. Coming to the interior, the Flex is so spacious that you can probably fit more than seven people comfortably. Surprisingly, the third-row can swallow six-footers as well, but they’ll find headroom to be a little scanty.

Cargo space is aplenty, with a minimum of 20 cubic-feet and as much 83 cubic-feet with seats folded.

In terms of features, all the trims get the Sync 3 infotainment system, but it’s no child’s play to operate it. It can feel a little too complicated for the knob-people. Towing capacity is rated as 4,500 pounds, and Safety-wise, the Flex looks to be a tank on wheels. However, NHTSA never tested this SUV, so we have no ratings. In 2009, the previous iteration got a near-perfect score, but things have changed drastically since then; be it the way cars are built, or even the NHTSA’s testing methodology. The only grouch is the mediocre fuel economy - The combined economy is around 18 miles to the gallon. If you’re someone who likes the boxy, retro, curve-less feel, the Flex would fit your bill.

EPA Fuel Economy 18-20 mpg combined
Maximum Cargo Capacit 83.2 cu.ft.
Available Total Seating 7
Drivetrain Warranty 5 yr./ 60000 mi.
Available Drivetrain FWD, AWD
Government Crash Rating Not Rated

Read our full review on the 2016 Ford Flex.

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