The Best Midsize SUVs in 2024

The Best Midsize SUVs in 2024
The Best Midsize SUVs in 2024

With increasingly few exceptions, there are no terrible new models for sale today. Rather, there are varying grades of better or best, which makes selecting the best of the midsize SUVs particularly challenging. To accomplish this, we considered overall scores from our recent reviews and compiled a list of ten; some may surprise you and at least a few likely won’t.

Since the midsize SUV segment is growing so quickly and competition is so tight, there are worthy models like the Subaru Ascent, Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport, and Ford Explorer that just barely missed the cut. Frankly, if we were to frame this as a list of very good midsize SUVs, you’d need to set aside an entire afternoon to read it all. Instead, we’ve limited it to those models we believe have earned extra attention.

The Best Midsize SUVs in 2024

  • Chevrolet Traverse
  • Mazda CX-90
  • Honda Pilot
  • Hyundai Palisade
  • Hyundai Santa Fe
  • Jeep Wrangler
  • Kia Sorento
  • Kia Telluride
  • Lexus RX
  • Toyota Highlander

2024 Chevrolet Traverse

Chevrolet Traverse

Best for: Buyers who want a capable yet understated three-row family hauler

Chevy’s popular three-row family SUV is all-new for 2024. The 3.6-liter V6 bows out and a completely new 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making 328 horsepower and 326 pound-feet of torque can now be found putting power down via front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel-drive (AWD). Towing capability remains the same at 5,000-pounds when properly equipped. Chevy has revamped the design to reflect a more rugged off-road appearance, and infotainment technology takes a leap as well, featuring a 17.7-inch touchscreen and a fully digital instrument panel.

Shoppers interested in the 2024 Chevrolet Traverse have their choice of trim levels, ranging from a nicely equipped LS model with FWD, up to the off-road-focused Z71 AWD (all-new for the 2024 Traverse) and the sporty Traverse RS, with black exterior accents, a sunroof, and 22-inch gloss black alloy wheels.

2024 Mazda CX-90 review summary

Mazda CX-90

Best for: Miata fans with a family

All-New for 2024, the CX-90 shines in so many ways, you will need sunglasses. This three-row crossover is bold, exquisitely styled, and makes significant and fundamental improvements over its predecessor, the Mazda CX-9. Who says a zero adds nothing? Here we have the practicality of an eight-passenger SUV that harbors the soul and handling DNA of a Miata, interior design and material levels that rival luxury brands costing 20% more, and is powered by two brand-new engines, one being a turbocharged inline-six in two levels of spiciness, and the other (for those aiming for even better fuel economy), the brand’s first PHEV.

All told, this is the SUV on the list that drivers who like to drive will want to drive. It’s a Mazda after all, and the handling regardless of powertrain is a standout. If, on the other hand, you appreciate luxury and value a bargain, this is also your car. We sum up the sheer value in our review, “If you want a luxury image, buy a BMW or a Mercedes-Benz. Those manufacturers are well-known for top-tier luxury and performance, and their high price tags convey status and wealth. But if you want a luxury car, you can also now consider a Mazda. The Japanese automaker has soared past Honda, Nissan, and Toyota in terms of design and material quality, coming closer to the luxury arms of those competitors-Acura, Infiniti, and Lexus.”

Shoppers interested in the 2024 CX-90 have their choice of 11 trim levels, ranging from the CX-90 Turbo in Select trim with RWD, all the way up to the loaded AWD CX-90 Turbo S in Premium Plus trim.

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2024 Honda Pilot

Honda Pilot

Best for: Buyers wanting a versatile midsize SUV with a proven track record

Honda was one of the early players in the midsize crossover segment, when buyers gravitated to the Pilot with its smooth ride, roomy interior, and all-weather capability. In the years since, competitors have come from every corner of the globe, but the Pilot continues to stand among the best.

Fully redesigned with more rugged looks in 2023, the Honda Pilot has earned its spot on this list with a capable V6 engine, choice of FWD or AWD, 5,000-pound towing capacity, and impressive safety scores. There’s room for eight passengers, but opting for the second row captains chairs reduces seating to seven.

In typical Honda fashion, the Pilot can be had in LX, Sport, EX-L, TrailSport, and Touring trim levels. For those craving a more premium experience, Honda also offers the Elite trim that stretches the starting price to a range topping $52,480.

2023 Hyundai Palisade thumbnail

Hyundai Palisade

Best for: Those who seek bold styling and luxury on a budget

For those who don’t know, Hyundai and Kia are sister companies and, collectively, they’ve nabbed more spots on this list than any other brand. If you’ve driven any of their models recently, that won’t come as a surprise.

First among them is the Hyundai Palisade which, like the Kia Telluride, made its debut for the 2020 model year. As we noted in our review, Hyundai took a stab at the three-row, midsize crossover segment before with the decent (if not class-leading) Veracruz and the Santa Fe XL. The Palisade is in a different league with bold exterior styling and an interior that, depending on trim configuration, legitimately rivals luxury models costing thousands more.

Buyers have their choice of FWD or AWD and five trim levels. New for 2024 is the Calligraphy Night Edition trim, which brings blacked-out trim and a black leather interior. Each model is fitted with a standard 3.8-liter V6 engine that boasts 291 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. Various driving modes are available, allowing one to select throttle response and suspension tuning that ranges from subdued to sporty. All of that is wrapped in a package that has earned top safety scores and, in case you’ve forgotten, is backed by a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

2024 Hyundai Santa Fe front static in quarry

Hyundai Santa Fe

Best for: Anyone wanting a thoroughly pleasant crossover that won’t break the bank

The midsize SUV segment is very broad, as evidenced by the inclusion of the three-row Hyundai Palisade and two-row Hyundai Santa Fe on this list. They’re both top-notch contenders; which might be best for you depends on your needs.

The Santa Fe has been completely redesigned for 2024 and embraces an entirely new design language, both inside and out. It’s boxier, more rugged looking, and might even be mistaken for or at least inspired by a certain legendary SUV of British heritage. Comparisons will come to a screeching halt however as the Hyundai is set apart by its outstanding warranty. Santa Fe powertrain offerings include both gas and hybrid options to satisfy a variety of shoppers.

2024 Jeep Wrangler review summary

Jeep Wrangler

Best for: Midsize SUV buyers who want to go wherever the adventure takes them

While most vehicles on our list blur the line between capable SUV and daily-driver crossover, the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited resides squarely in the former camp. This is old-school body-on-frame construction with solid axles, which opens the door to most any path that can be traveled, yet simultaneously provides the most balanced ride and handling characteristics we’ve ever experienced in a Wrangler. If you want a midsize SUV with room for five, a removable roof and doors, true off-road capability, more trim options than there are beers at your local watering hole, and the opportunity to row your own gears with the standard six-speed manual, the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is ready and waiting.

For 2024, Jeep has redesigned the front grill, making it both shorter and wider, and it has ditched the whip-style antenna for one integrated in the windshield. Choices abound when it comes to powering your Wrangler. Powertrain options include a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, a naturally aspirated 3.6-liter V6, an efficient but powerful PHEV version of the 2.0-liter turbo, or a brutish 6.4-liter V8. That V8-equipped Wrangler will put 470 horses at the drivers’ feet. Giddy-up.

2023 Kia Sorento PHEV Review Lead In

Kia Sorento

Best for: Buyers who want the best value in the midsize SUV class Priced from: $30,090*

We’re big fans of the Kia Sorento around here, so much so that it won both best midsize crossover and overall Editor’s Choice in the 2020 CarGurus Best Used Car Awards. That’s not terribly surprising given this three-row SUV’s sporty and upscale styling, available technology, focus on safety, and value proposition. For 2024 Kia has graced the Sorento with a handsomely refreshed exterior and an updated interior featuring a larger infotainment screen. At this point, Kia’s long warranty is just icing on the cake.

While additional details of the 2024 Sorento have yet to be released at the time of writing, we expect a bevy of standard safety features and the current powertrain lineup to remain, which includes a gas, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid version. All indications suggest the Sorento will continue to be a CarGurus favorite.

2024 Kia Telluride

Kia Telluride

Best for: Owners who can calmly and repeatedly tell strangers, “It’s a Kia. Really.”

Hyundai had its Veracruz and Kia had its Borrego. Put another way, each company attempted to crack the not-quite-full-size SUV segment in the past and was met with less-than-overwhelming success. Still, buyers were clamoring for a vehicle at the top end of the midsize segment, like a larger version of the Sorento. The result was the Kia Telluride, a big and boxy SUV that hit the sweet spot for shoppers and had Kia scrambling to meet demand.

It may come as a surprise (it did to us) that the successor to the Borrego immediately felt like a class leader. We’ve praised the Telluride’s styling for being an attractive combination of rugged Chevy and sophisticated Volvo, while the interior could easily lead you to believe you were riding in a Mercedes-Benz. Of course, look closely and you’ll find bits and pieces that aren’t luxury-grade, but for a large midsize SUV that comes fully stuffed for a tad over $53,000, there’s little about which to complain. Introduced in 2020 and then refreshed in 2023 with updates to the interior, exterior, and tech. The 2024 Telluride features very minor exterior styling changes, and remains a tantalizing choice for buyers.

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All versions of the Kia Telluride are equipped with a 291-horsepower V6 and either FWD or AWD capability. Inside, there’s room for up to eight passengers and a cargo area that expands to 87 cubic feet.

2024 Lexus RX Hybrid

Lexus RX

Best for: Buyers who want the tried-and-true flavor of premium midsize SUVs

While this luxury SUV may not get a lot of buzz for being the new kid on the block or packing nearly 500 horsepower under its hood, the Lexus RX has long held rank as one of the best premium midsize crossovers available. For 2024, Lexus is offering additional available technology and safety features, as well as two new exterior colors.

Selecting an RX for yourself might prove to be a challenge, as there are variants of all types. The RX 350 is a five-passenger, gasoline-powered FWD or AWD model equipped with a turbocharged 275-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. Buyers intent on maximizing fuel efficiency and power will want to check out the RX Hybrid lineup. Offered in 450h or 450h+ (the “plus” indicating it’s a plug-in), the 450h+ will deliver up to 83 MPGe (miles per gallon of gasoline equivalent) combined and an EPA estimated 37-miles of electric only range. Sticking with the standard 450h will net you 36 combined. If performance and more aggressive styling are your thing, Lexus offers the F Sport treatment for 350, 450h and 450h+. Better yet, opt for the range-topping 500h F Sport Performance which dishes up 366 horsepower, compliments of an added turbocharger.

2024 Highlander Hybrid

Toyota Highlander

Best for: Buyers who want tried-and-true… and luxury on par with a Kia Telluride

At one time, the Toyota Highlander was arguably the king of the midsize crossover segment. Now, based on our most recent review, it remains in contention but trails rising stars from Hyundai and Kia. There may be no better proof of how competitive the landscape has become, which is great news for buyers.

To battle newcomers fighting for a piece of the midsize pie, the 2024 Highlander rolls out a new Nightshade edition available on hybrid LE and XLE trims. Additionally, a standard hands-free power liftgate trickles down to XLE and XSE trims. Overall we’re particularly impressed by the quality of materials in the cabin that, interestingly, are most closely rivaled by the Kia Telluride. Though it doesn’t feel the least bit sporty, the Highlander promises a refined and comfortable ride. Opt for the hybrid model and its EPA-rated 36 mpg highway (FWD) and you’ll reach your destination having worried little about pit stops for gas.

Like its competitors, Toyota offers the Highlander in a host of configurations that span from the relatively basic FWD LE all the way up to the highly appointed AWD Platinum Hybrid. All offer three rows of seating, two years of free factory-scheduled maintenance, and the confidence that comes with Toyota’s reputation for reliability.

*MSRP Prices are effective as of 10/20/23 and exclude destination charges.

Related Topics

  • The Best 7-Passenger SUVs
  • The Best 3-Row SUVs
  • The Best Small SUVs

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