21. 2019 Dodge Journey
Unfortunately, nearly everyone agrees that the Dodge Journey belongs at the bottom of the pack. It's affordable, sure, but that doesn't mean that it's a value. Its reliability ratings are poor, it has few standard safety features compared to others in the class, and the driving experience is subpar. Handling is all over the place, and the engine options are underpowered. That's particularly disappointing from the same people who make the Charger.
20. 2019 Toyota 4Runner
The Toyota 4Runner is going on 11 years without a full redesign. That's basically ancient in today's market. But you wouldn't know it by the sales numbers; it's selling the most units in its entire history. That's probably due to its excellent reliability and off-road prowess. Still, the interior is dated and lacking in modern tech. Plus, the ride is unforgivingly stiff.
19. 2019 Ford Explorer
It's the last year for this Ford Explorer. The 2020 model sports a complete redesign. Since next year will be all-new, Ford didn't try too hard to impress with this version. There's a distinct lack of standard features that are included, especially when you start comparing to comparably priced competitors. The interior also feels cheap with the use of hard plastics and faux wood trim.
18. 2019 Ford Flex
The Ford Flex is being put out to pasture after the 2019 model year. While it has a useful cargo area and can seat up to seven people, the Flex can't brag about much else. It has poor fuel economy, below-average reliability ratings, a dated cabin that utilizes low-rent materials, and unsupportive seats. We can't say we'll miss it, especially with the updated Ford Bronco waiting in the wings.
17. 2019 Nissan Pathfinder
The Pathfinder has a simple and straightforward infotainment system. That's something we always appreciate. It also has powerful engine options. But the Pathfinder falls to the bottom of the list because of its stiff ride and small cargo area. We also found the seats to be uncomfortable in the back, and the cabin materials were unimpressive. A completely faux wood center stack? No thank you.
16. 2019 Nissan Murano
The Nissan Murano notches one spot above its sibling. While it has some sleek styling and a clean, spacious interior, there is noticeable body roll through turns. Steering feedback was numb, and it's not as powerful as some other V6 engines on the market. The cargo space is also lacking compared to others in this segment.
15. 2019 Dodge Durango
The 2019 Dodge Durango has some strong engines, which probably helps it have some of the strongest towing capacity in the class. There's also lots of room inside. However, fuel economy numbers are particularly terrible. Handling is a wash, and there are few standard safety features. Not something you want in a family vehicle. Reliability also tends to be poor.
14. 2019 GMC Acadia
The Acadia can have a third row, but should it? We say no, as it's a pretty cramped affair back there. Plus, the third row cuts into some much-needed cargo space. The cabin is well-designed and upscale, but we can't help but think the high prices GMC asks of the Acadia make the Chevrolet Traverse (a mechanically similar cousin) the much better value.
13. 2019 Chevrolet Blazer
The Chevy Blazer returned in 2019 after a long absence, but it bears no resemblance to the S-10 Blazer that left the market in 2005. We're a fan of the aggressive styling borrowed from the Camero, and the Blazer is surprisingly responsive and agile for its size. The downside is that value seems to disappear quickly at high-priced higher trims. The cargo area is also smaller than some competitors.
12. 2019 Jeep Wrangler
The tried-and-true Jeep Wrangler is the granddaddy of off-roading vehicles. And while it may be a beast off the beaten track, things go wonky on the pavement. City drivers will find that it's not particularly agile for having compact dimensions. It also has a high starting price compared to similarly equipped mid-size SUVs, though it does retain its resale value very well. We also wish there was more cargo space.
11. 2019 Kia Sorento
In the middle of the list is the Kia Sorento. It's got plenty of standard features at a low starting price. The cabin is comfortable and the seats are roomy, at least the first two rows, that is. We weren't the biggest fans of the bland exterior styling, however, even after a recent facelift in 2018. We know that Kia can do better; just take a look at the recently released Telluride (though, that's a 2020 model).
10. 2019 Toyota Highlander
The 2019 Toyota Highlander is the last of the third-generation design. It ranks highly on our list, so things can only go up for 2020! The cabin is stylish and practical, and it utilizes materials we expect at this price point. There are peppy engines (including a V6), but we suggest opting for the hybrid. It has lots of standard features, and it doesn't cost too much over the traditional gas version.
9. 2019 Ford Edge
The Ford Edge is in the top half of our ranking thanks to strong engine options, an open and airy cabin, and an infotainment system that isn't overly complex. Ford updated the transmission this year, also, from a six-speed to an eight-speed automatic. There is some noticeable body roll when cornering, however.
8. 2019 Chevrolet Traverse
The Chevy Traverse is spacious for the entire family and all of the cargo to go along with it. As is often the case with Chevrolet infotainment systems, the one in the Traverse is intuitive and not overly complex. It also has affordable price points that make it a good value proposition. The smooth-riding powertrain is also enjoyable for drivers and passengers alike.
7. 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee
Like Jeep's other offerings, the Grand Cherokee has stellar off-roading capabilities. But it's also just at home on the pavement as off it. The engines are powerful, and the interior is well-appointed and stately. Also appreciated are blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alerts. These are now standard offerings for the first time and really up the safety factor. It also improves on cargo space from the smaller Wrangler further down on this list.
6. 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe
The Santa Fe is Hyundai's largest SUV for 2019, but next year it will be superseded by the new-for-2020 Palisade. With a full redesign of its own, the two-seat version has dropped the "Sport" moniker and is now simply the "Santa Fe." The 3-row version will slowly disappear. With good reliability ratings, tons of standard features, and affordable price points, the new Santa Fe is a winning package.
5. 2019 Honda Passport
The former Honda Passport hasn't been seen since 2002. This 2019 update is a sight for sore eyes. It, essentially, looks like a Honda Pilot with the back third cut off (and that's a good thing). It has a spacious cabin that is also well designed. You might not think of Honda when it comes to off-roading prowess, but the Passport holds its own. When compared to something like the Chevy Blazer, the Passport offers more bang for your buck.
4. 2019 Subaru Ascent
The Subaru Ascent features great handling and a comfortable ride. That's something most of the other mid-size SUVs on this list aspire to. The third-row seat is a little cramped, but the Ascent makes up for it with tons of tech options and good first- and second-row room. It also has good fuel economy numbers for a mid-size SUV: 20 mpg city and 26 mpg highway.
3. 2019 Honda Pilot
The well-rounded Honda Pilot is a good minivan substitute. There's plenty of space around the cabin—including adult-friendly third-row seating. It drives smoothly and assuredly, responding well to input from the driver. The infotainment stack is also intuitively designed with a clean layout. Plus, the Pilot should hold its value well for when you do decide to trade it in years down the line.
2. 2019 Volkswagen Atlas
The Volkswagen Atlas also has three spacious rows of seats but drives like a much smaller vehicle. It's agile without lots of body roll through turns, common among other SUVs of this class. It also is well appointed in terms of both materials and tech options. The minimalist dashboard styling is easy to use and read, which is important when you want to keep your eyes on the road ahead.
1. 2019 Mazda CX-9
Like its smaller sibling (the CX-5), Mazda's CX-9 is a larger SUV that almost drives like a sports car. It has powerful engines that allow it to be speedy around town. The CX-9 also has nimble handling, a solid list of standard features, and a cockpit that looks like it was pulled straight from the luxury class. With all that packed into an affordable package, it makes the CX-9 hard to beat.