Because sedans are a thing of the past

Crossovers have taken the market by storm. In fact, the impact is so hard that sedans may soon have to be declared as extinct machines. This year, we saw a lot of crossovers and SUVs, some with facelifts, some with new generations, and some brand new names. Out of all of them, we’ve chosen a mix of 12 SUVs and Crossovers that you need to consider if you’re in the market for one.

Best Two-Row 2018 SUVs and Crossovers

2018 Nissan Murano

  • Well laid-out interior with good headroom
  • A feature-rich cabin with touchscreen and navigation available even in the base trim
  • Rear is very cramped. Fifth occupant is not welcome.
  • Exterior styling will not please everyone
  • Not available with a hybrid powertrain.
2015 - 2016 Nissan Murano High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The Murano has always found polarising opinions for its exterior looks. Its interior has seemingly managed to please all, though, and the 2018 Murano came with a lot more creature comforts. All models come standard with an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with NissanConnect navigation system, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay.

The Murano is powered by a 3.5-liter six-cylinder engine that produces 260 horses, which is enough to cruise comfortably on the highway and achieve a decent fuel economy as well.

In terms of cabin space, the Murano will leave you wanting for more. Thigh support is inadequate as well, thus leaving you tired after a long journey. The large floor hump will make matters worse for the fifth occupant.

Starting price (including destination fee): $31,525
Fuel economy: 24 mpg combined
Maximum cargo capacity: 67 cubic feet
Maximum towing capacity: 1,500 pounds
NHTSA rating 5 stars

Read our full review on the 2018 Nissan Murano

2018 Subaru Outback

  • A Rough-and-tough midsize crossover with great utility
  • Fantastic passenger space with comfortable seating
  • Handling and ride quality is nimble
  • The smaller engine is refined, but not peppy, and the larger unit is not fuel-efficient
  • Rivals offer much better high-end trims.
  • Looks very similar to earlier iterations
2015 - 2017 Subaru Outback High Resolution Exterior
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The Outback is Subaru’s best-selling vehicle in the U.S. and is known for its fuss-free long-term ownership; thus making it a perfect vehicle for families who want a car they can rely on.

The 2018 model offers stuff like 8-inch infotainment system, dual-zone automatic climate control, and heated front seats right from the base trim. The overall dashboard design will find no haters, either - it just looks good. As for the powertrain, the Outback is offered with a 2.5-liter, four cylinder engine, that produces 175 horses or a 3.6-liter six-cylinder that develops 356 ponies. While the 2.5-liter unit is refined and smooth, the latter is a gas-guzzler. If scored only in terms of cabin space, the Outback would be declared as the best 2018 midsize SUV. There is oodles of space all around, and seats have great bolstering for comfortable long journeys.

Starting price (including destination fee): $26,810
Fuel economy: 22-28 mpg combined
Maximum cargo capacity: 73.3 cubic feet
Maximum towing capacity: 2,700 pounds
NHTSA rating 5 stars

Read our full review on the 2018 Subaru Outback

2018 Ford Edge

  • Ride and handling is sweet; the steering wheel is a joy to use
  • NVH levels are well controlled
  • Long list of engine options to choose from
  • Uncomfortable seats
  • Outside of the base trim, fuel efficiency could be better
  • Piano black interior is a fingerprint magnet. Will drive you crazy if you have OCD for clean surroundings
Top Midsize Crossovers and SUVs of 2018
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The Ford Edge is a perfect blend of the Escape and the Explorer. If you’re looking for a crossover with a mix of everything, the Edge is your safest bet. The Edge has nothing that will disappoint you, but there’s nothing that will make your eyes open wide. For the base trim, Ford has smartly plonked a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder, turbocharged engine that produces 245 ponies. This way, you get a good combination of fuel economy and performance. The top-trim can be availed with a 2.7-liter, six-cylinder engine that produces 315 horses. Step inside the cabin and you’ll realise that the cabin is spacious and the dashboard and center console is impressive as well. But the very next second, the seats will disappoint you. They are hard, barely bolstered, and flat. While the front seats are still tolerable, things get worse at the back. The panoramic sunroof eats up headroom for the rear occupants. Your suitcases, on the other hand, will sit pretty as cargo space is decent. So, if you are not a people-hauler, the Edge will make you happy.

Starting price (including destination fee): $30,215
Fuel economy: 19-24 mpg combined
Maximum cargo capacity: 73.4 cubic feet
Maximum towing capacity: 3,500 pounds
NHTSA rating 5 stars

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Edge

Best Two- or Three-Row 2018 SUV and Crossovers

2018 Toyota 4 Runner

  • A solid off-roader with rugged styling and good towing capacity
  • Tightly-screwed interior that can handle abuse for years and years
  • You don’t just drive the SUV; you drive a legacy
  • It’s not a family car
  • 17 miles per gallon city economy, in one word, sucks
  • There are no engine options to choose from
Top Midsize Crossovers and SUVs of 2018 High Resolution Exterior
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Let me start off by saying this – If you’re considering this from a family point-of-view, look elsewhere.

If not, continue reading. The 4Runner has been around for ages, but Toyota has managed to keep it fresh. The 4Runner comes with just one engine option – a 4.0-liter, six-cylinder engine that produces 270 horses. Power is sent to either rear wheels, or all the wheels via a five-speed automatic transmission. The engine-gearbox transmission is a clear giveaway that this is an off-roader; and a pretty strong one too. So, when compared to other vehicles on this list, the 4Runner is neither a smooth daily driver, nor a highway cruiser. When I said the car looks fresh, it’s because of the theme; not the body. The body is a little long in the tooth and it shows. Want to tow something, though? Then this is the best 2018 midsize SUV to do that thanks to a 5,000-pound towing capacity. Surprisingly, the Toyota 4Runner has a comfortable and spacious cabin, and everything seems well-screwed together. Cargo space and passenger space in both the rows is aplenty. The 4Runner gets a decent infotainment system with navigation, heated front seats, and moonroof, to name a few. Coming to the fuel economy, well, let’s not even talk about it.

Starting price (including destination fee): $35,405
Fuel economy: 18 mpg combined
Maximum cargo capacity: 89.7 cubic feet
Maximum towing capacity: 5,000 pounds
NHTSA rating 5 stars

Read our full review on the 2018 Toyota 4 Runner

2018 Volvo XC90

  • Volvo is synonymous with safety, and this SUV justifies it
  • Fuel efficiency figure can make Toyotas and the Fords feel jealous
  • One of the classiest interiors out there
  • A puny 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine for an SUV this big and expensive?!
  • Top-trim exceeds the six-digit mark; more than double the cost of the base trim
  • The not-so-good seats spoil the whole opulent experience
2016 Volvo XC90 High Resolution Exterior
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The Volvo XC90 may not enjoy the brand value of the German trio, but it is arguably the best 2018 midsize SUV in this list.

All the variants of the XC90 are available with the same 2.0-liter engine, in three different configurations, producing 250, 316, or 400 horses. The top-trim gets a hybrid drivetrain with a 10.4 kWh-battery pack. The ride and handling are top notch and can be adjusted as per the terrain you’re driving on. Coming to the interior, you can literally feel the opulence here. The mixture of old-school elegance like real wood trim with modern technology makes this cabin a happy place. The huge 9-inch touchscreen is available right from the base trim and supports navigation and Apple CarPlay. Even the climate control is supposed to be operated from here. Even though it feels nice and classy, I feel such basic controls need to have knobs for them. The cabin space is just about sufficient, but the seats are not as good as the rest of the cabin. The third-row is best suited for kids or for adults whom you don’t particularly like. Cargo capacity is large enough to swallow all of your luggage for that weekend trip.

Starting price (including destination fee): $47,895
Fuel economy: 23-27 mpg combined
Maximum cargo capacity: 85.7 cubic feet
Maximum towing capacity: 5,000 pounds
NHTSA rating 5 stars

Read our full review on the 2018 Volvo XC90

2018 BMW X5

  • So many powertrain options to choose from; right from a cruiser, to a screamer
  • Cockpit is absolutely fantastic
  • Although not a great off-roader, has a good towing capacity
  • Third-row? What’s that?
  • It’s a white elephant to maintain. Purchase and service costs are premium
  • Doesn’t have an imposing or intimidating face when compared to the competition or its own siblings.
2014 BMW X5 High Resolution Exterior
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Perhaps the biggest (and the costliest!) name on the list, the X5 seems a little bland, but will surely age gracefully. The Bavarian company has given a lot of engine options in the X5. The base trim itself starts with a 3.0-liter, six-cylinder engine that develops 300 ponies. On the other end of the line is the X5 M that produces 567 horses. In between, there are a couple more options, and there’ also a hybrid unit. Phew, that’s a lot! Even with these extreme configurations, the X5 is best suited on tarmac, or for mild off-roading. This pampered child cannot take muddy terrain nonchalantly like the Rand Rovers or the Jeeps. Although the steering wheel and gear shifter are a delight to play with, the dashboard and center console don’t exactly exude style; say, like the XC90’s dash. The first two rows of seats are spacious and comfortable, and thanks to the low window beltline, the cabin doesn’t feel claustrophobic, especially with darker shade interior. Step into the third row and... well, you can’t even step in. The third row is almost non-existent and is really only there to call it a three-row SUV. The X5 is best suited for five people on-board. A worthy competitor of the ‘best 2018 midsize SUV’ tag.

Starting price (including destination fee): $57,945
Fuel economy: 17-25 mpg combined
Maximum cargo capacity: 76.7 cubic feet
Maximum towing capacity: 5,952 pounds
NHTSA rating 5 stars

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW X5.

Best Three-Row 2018 SUVs and Crossovers

2018 Mazda CX-9

  • Improved safety features over the previous iteration
  • Fuel economy is not extraordinary, but it’s not a deal-breaker either
  • Exterior styling has appealed to the majority of the masses
  • A name-sake third row; hard seats everywhere
  • Where’s the touchscreen? Is this 2008?
  • Only one engine option with a single power output configuration.
2017 Mazda CX-9 High Resolution Exterior
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The new CX-9 is one smart-looking SUV. Not as blingy as the Murano, but not as plain as the X5. The CX-9 is powered by a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged engine that produces 250 horses when driven with premium fuel, and 227 ponies when refilled with regular fuel. The turbo lags slightly, but it’s not a buzzkill. So, for the spirited enthusiast in you, the CX-9 will be a boring SUV. However, the feedback from the steering is something different altogether; it’s that good — almost enough to make up for the turbo lag, honestly.

The seven-seater CX-9 is spacious – as a five-seater. The third row can accommodate kids only.

Rather, flip the seats and use it to keep luggage. Legroom, headroom, and shoulder room are more than sufficient, but the seats are firm. Expect tired bodies to step out of the CX-9 after a long drive. On the interior front, the car is not loaded, but you get all the basic creature comforts. Other than the base trim, which has a 7-inch infotainment screen, all other trims have an 8-inch infotainment system. No, it doesn’t have a touchscreen system! The cargo space and towing capacity is on par with the segment standards.

Starting price (including destination fee): $33,105
Fuel economy: 23-24 mpg combined
Maximum cargo capacity: 71.2 cubic feet
Maximum towing capacity: 3,500 pounds
NHTSA rating 5 stars

Read our full review on the 2018 Mazda CX-9

2018 Volkswagen Atlas

  • An actual, usable third-row
  • Tried-and-tested engines make way under the hood
  • Great towing and cargo capacity
  • Fuel efficiency is strictly average; no diesel available either
  • Feels like a culmination of cars. What’s original about this SUV?
  • A latecomer. Other brands have already established their SUVs and Crossovers
2018 Volkswagen Atlas High Resolution Exterior
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Need a three-row SUV with the Volkswagen stamp? The Atlas is your answer, as long as you can put up with minimalistic styling.

Volkswagen has a plethora of cars under it, and the Atlas is a mixture of all of them; mostly the good things.

On the outside, the Atlas offers LED DRLs as standard even on the base trim. The base trim is powered by a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 238 horses. Sounds familiar? It’s the one seen in many VW cars including the Golf GTI. The other option is a 3.6-liter, six-cylinder engine that churns out 280 horses. Both engines are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The interior is very spacious, and seats are comfortable too. For the middle-row, customers can opt for a straight bench or two captain-seats instead. There’s nothing to complain about the dashboard design and the center console, which seems to be a direct lift from the Passat. The base trim comes with a 6.5-inch touchscreen system, whereas the higher trims come with an 8-inch touchscreen. Both support Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. All-in-all, the Volkswagen Atlas is a neutral SUV with nothing to grouch about.

Starting price (including destination fee): $31,745
Fuel economy: 19 mpg combined
Maximum cargo capacity: 96.8 cubic feet
Maximum towing capacity: 5,000 pounds
NHTSA rating 5 stars

Read our full review on the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas

2018 Honda Pilot

  • Cargo space is generous
  • Interior is well laid out and has a lot of storage space
  • Usable third row
  • Only one engine on offer
  • The nine-speed gearbox is a slouch
  • Fuel economy is strictly average
2016 - 2019 Honda Pilot High Resolution Exterior
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The Honda Pilot came in all-new avatar in 2015, looking less-boxy and more stylish. It looks modern, but doesn’t stand out in the crowd. Just like the Atlas, the Pilot will also remind you of its genes. It shares a lot of design cues with the Accord and the CR-V. It comes with a 3.5-liter, V-6 engine that churns out 280 horses. In the top-trim, the Pilot comes a nine-speed automatic transmission, and there is no gear lever; instead, there are buttons on the center console.

Although it’s a great family hauler, with enough peppiness even with a full load, the Pilot isn’t a driver’s car.

The handling and road manners are not as crisp as the rivals. However, the car is brilliant in terms of passenger space. All three rows are very much usable, and the seats are also on the comfortable side. The base trim has a 5-inch audio display, whereas the higher trims have an 8-inch touchscreen display with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The Pilot is not an exceptional SUV in any aspect, for that matter, but doesn’t leave you wanting for more.

Starting price (including destination fee): $31,875
Fuel economy: 21-23 mpg combined
Maximum cargo capacity: 83.9 cubic feet
Maximum towing capacity: 5,000 pounds
NHTSA rating 5 stars

Read our full review on the 2018 Honda Pilot

2018 Toyota Highlander

  • The six-pot unit is powerful and peppy
  • Cabin is a good space to be in even for a large family
  • Good fuel economy despite being an eight-seater SUV
  • A person walking could overtake the four-banger Highlander
  • Looks like a Lexus’ cheap doppelganger
  • No Android Auto or Apple CarPlay
Top Midsize Crossovers and SUVs of 2018
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The Lexus-inspired designing on the Highlander is either a hit or a miss; but that’s not the case with the interior. The Highlander offers a wide dash and a neatly laid-out center console. There are USB ports for charging all around, and Toyota has even given small cuts for the wires to pass through. Neat! The Highlander is not exactly loaded in base trim; it comes with a 6.1-inch infotainment system, cloth upholstery, etc. The higher trims come with an 8-inch infotainment system and a navigation app. There is no Android Auto or Apple CarPlay! The top-trim offers a moonroof. In terms of passenger comfort, even the eight-seater Highlander has acres of space inside. Seats are comfortable in all the rows, although squeezing in three adults in the last row will be a pain. Coming to the engine, the base-trim is powered by a 2.7-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 185 horses.

On paper it may seem satisfactory, but this is one of the weakest engines in this list. The SUV clearly struggles with this unit under the hood.

The higher trims come with a 3.5-liter, six-cylinder engine that churns out 295 horses. There is also a hybrid unit that develops a combined output of 306 horses and is slightly more efficient in terms of fuel economy, not performance.

Starting price (including destination fee): $32,025
Fuel economy: 22-23 mpg combined (non-hybrid models)
Maximum cargo capacity: 83.7 cubic feet
Maximum towing capacity: 5,000 pounds
NHTSA rating 5 stars

Read our full review on the 2018 Toyota Highlander

2018 Dodge Durango

  • Muscular, killer looks
  • Interior is comparable to the XC90 and X5
  • Ample power on any trim
  • How can a car of this caliber not be safe enough?
  • Third row is not useable
  • The V-8 in the top-spec is a gas guzzler.
Top Midsize Crossovers and SUVs of 2018
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The Dodge Durango prioritises fun over practicality. For enthusiasts like us, performance takes precedence over utility. And, that makes it a very strong contender for the ‘best 2018 midsize SUV’ title. Under the hood, the Durango features two engines - a 3.6-liter, six-cylinder unit that produces 293 horses, and a 3.6-liter, eight-cylinder unit that produces 360 ponies. Both engines are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The base trim offers a 7-inch infotainment system, and the top-trim offers 8.4-inch touchscreen. As far as material goes, Dodge has used high quality material, and the first and second row offer decent space. The seats are comfortable and offer good support even for long drives. The third row barely has any legroom and is best suited for kids or occasional use.

Despite being built like a tank, the Durango is the only entry on this list that has not scored 5/5 in the NHTSA rating.

For a fast-running brobdingnagian monstrosity like the Durango, this can get a little concerning.

Starting price (including destination fee): $31,090
Fuel economy: 15-21 mpg combined
Maximum cargo capacity: 84.5 cubic feet
Maximum towing capacity: 8,700 pounds
NHTSA rating 4 stars

Read our full review on the 2018 Dodge Durango

Conclusion

Top Midsize Crossovers and SUVs of 2018
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Every SUV and crossover on this list has its own set of pros and cons. It all boils down to each one’s requirements. But if we had to pick one out of the lot as the best SUV of 2018, it’s got to be the Volvo XC90 for its all-around nature. Although it was a tough pick, the Volvo XC90 has got a lot of points going in favour of it, like the premium interior, the Scandinavian design, and safety features to name a few. The only major downer is the lack of a six, or eight-cylinder engine. Perhaps, the high price tag is the reason for the XC90’s poor sales figures. The price tag is almost 20-percent less than the BMW X5, which sells pretty well, but that’s because BMW enjoys a strong reputation and fan-following in the market, unlike Volvo, which is still finding its footing. Which SUV or crossover would you pick? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

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