It's never too early to look to the future. Even as the latest 2017 models are coming out, 2018's are being unveiled at auto shows and being spied on as they go for tarp-covered test drives down city streets. Here are some of the most exciting SUVs of the far-flung future of 2018, based on what we've seen so far.
The new Ford Expedition looks like it’s probably going to follow the F-150 in moving to an aluminum body on a steel frame, which will likely shed hundreds of pounds and make it friendlier from a mileage perspective. Spy photos make it look like the new Expedition is going to diverge from the F-150 in terms of styling, which is a shift from what Ford has been doing. The insides will likely be similar, though, including the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 and (possibly) a 2.7-liter option.
Alfa Romeo Stelvio
Alfa Romeo is taking a step into the world of SUVs, with what’s being branded as “an SUV only Italy could create.” The Stelvio claims to offer sports car performance and excitement in a body that just so happens to have room for your family. A 2.9L twin turbo V6 gives you 505hp, and Alfa’s engineering feats like double wishbone front suspension and a patented link axle design in the rear purport to offer the same control and power that you’d expect from the supercar manufacturer.
The 2018 Equinox debuted on the autumnal equinox, because of course it did. Chevrolet’s line-wide redesign has gotten around to the compact SUV, which now features chrome trim on all models, an aerodynamic shape borne from testing their SUV in a wind tunnel, and a back seat that folds level with the back of the car so that loading is easier. A full suite of radar- and camera-assisted safety features like surround vision, forward collision alert, a following distance indicator, low-speed automatic braking, lane keep assist, blind zone alert, and more keep your family secure. And three turbocharged engines – including the first turbo-diesel in an American compact SUV – offer plenty of variety in your get-up-and-go.
The Q5 has been at the cutting edge of compact SUV design for ages, and the 2018 model looks to stay in that position. The outward appearance is similar - perhaps a little too similar - to last year’s. Then again, if Porsche and BMW took their design cues from us, we probably wouldn’t change much, either. Appearances aside, it’s definitely a stronger car. The new Q5 sheds 198 pounds despite being a half-inch wider and 1.3 inches longer. A new, smoother all-wheel drive system runs in front-wheel drive until the situation requires traction to the rear wheels, giving you the performance of an AWD vehicle without quite so much gas-guzzling. All of that’s powered by a 354-hp 3.0L turbocharged V6.
Like the Q5, the Rio is a smidge wider and longer than its forebear. Unlike the Q5, it’s also gotten a facelift. Debuted at the Paris Auto Show back in September, the Rio incorporates the signature grille and lighting that Kia’s implementing across the brand. It also has a more driver-friendly experience, with the dashboard and center stack controls angled toward the driver. A touchscreen for infotainment means that a lot of buttons and knobs have been cleared away from the dashboard for a much cleaner look. We don’t know much about the powertrain or safety features yet, but if Kia puts as much thought into the car’s guts as they did on the exterior, it’s going to be a pretty sharp little SUV.
Land Rover Discovery
Conversely, we know a lot about the all-new Discovery. It’s due out in mid-2017. It has a base MSRP of $49,990. If that seems like a premium, well, it’s Land Rover. They’re calling the three-row seven-seater “the best family SUV in the world,” and they’re certainly taking time to make it comfortable. The car boasts semi-autonomous driving tech, nine USB ports, and a 3G WiFi hotspot for up to eight devices, and you can adjust the seven seats from your phone. They’ve gone all in on the exterior, too. This SUV’s come a long way from where it started, visually. But don’t let the sleekness fool you. This is still a Land Rover. The new Discovery has a lightweight aluminum construction that the company claims saves 1,000 pounds on the car’s weight. There’s an air suspension system that lets you adjust the vehicle’s height for clearance. It can ford water up to 36 inches deep. It can tow over 7,700 pounds. And it comes with either a supercharged 340-hp V6 or a 254-hp diesel.
(Photo via Instagram)