New SUVs remain the hottest vehicles on the market for 2023. They come in all shapes and sizes with enough variety to sway even some who are looking for a new car rather than a crossover. With such a dizzying variety from which to choose, it can be tough to decipher which ones you should consider and which ones to pass over for something else.
An increasing number of electric, plug-in hybrid, and hybrid models have helped the segment grow more fuel efficient while many models boast impressive driver assistance features, tech features, and sporty driving characteristics. Some provide a surprisingly car-like driving experience while others boast exceptional off-road capability.
Still, with so many from which to choose, there are several standouts that deserve your consideration. Keep reading to see our picks for the best SUVs for 2023.
1. 2023 Honda CR-V
The much-loved Honda CR-V has been completely redesigned for the 2023 model year. Despite its extensive styling makeover, the CR-V will still feel familiar to its buyers. It combines elements of the Accord’s styling on the outside and the Civic’s on the inside. It also retains the same level of practicality its buyers have come to expect.
A 190-horsepower turbo four-cylinder only puts it mid-pack among other small SUVs with which it competes, but it does not need to have any more or less power than it does. It still sports a roomy interior, a comfortable ride, class-leading cargo space, and plenty of safety features to appeal to those with small families.
With its additional size and features over the outgoing model, the starting MSRP is up by a few thousand dollars, inching ever closer to its more upscale Acura RDX sibling. Sure, it is still a ways away, and you do get a ton for the money, but that may push some buyers toward other compact SUVs like the Volkswagen Tiguan, Kia Sportage, Ford Escape, or Nissan Rogue.
2. 2023 Kia Telluride/2023 Hyundai Palisade
Even with so many other Kia and Hyundai models impressing us with their performance, value, and fuel economy, the Kia Telluride and Hyundai Palisade still stand at the top of the pack. Both are versatile midsize SUVs with seating for up to eight, powerful V6 engines, plenty of standard safety features, easy-to-use tech features, roomy cabins, and comfortable rides.
True gripes about both of the models usually stop at both models’ subpar fuel economy estimates, though the Palisade’s styling can also be a little much for some buyers. Both crossovers represent two of the best values across each SUV segment, especially considering their relatively low price points and their excellent warranties.
As two of the largest three-row crossovers in the segment, neither Kia nor Hyundai have explored the hybrid or plug-in hybrid realms as they have with the smaller Kia Sorento and Hyundai Santa Fe. Still, both the Palisade and Telluride are two the best SUVs on the market.
3. 2023 Genesis GV70
The larger Genesis GV80 is arguably better than the GV70 because it is bigger, has more of a road presence, and is still value-priced compared to the competition. The Genesis GV70 is slightly newer, more nimble, more maneuverable, is just as value-oriented, and combines clear luxury styling with some sporty elements to make it stand out more in a crowd.
It is one of the most well-rounded luxury SUVs on the market as it is packed with driver assistance technology, its interior is much more well-appointed than its low MSRP would suggest, it comes standard with all-wheel drive, its base engine pumps out 300 horsepower, and it has great cargo space compared to its rivals.
A massive 14.5-inch touchscreen comes standard on each trim level. Unfortunately, the rotary knob that controls the infotainment system is a little cumbersome to operate as its position is awkwardly placed. Competitors like the Lexus RX, Acura RDX, BMW X3, and Audi Q5 may soon be struggling to keep up with the tricks that Hyundai has up its sleeves.
4. 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class
If you are looking for a serious luxury SUV that looks and feels the part, you should check out the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class. Before you even get in, it looks solidly built and stately. After you get in, you will experience the best that German luxury has to offer. The huge dual 12.3-inch touchscreens act as the centerpiece of the entire vehicle.
The MBUX infotainment system is easy to use and is accompanied by Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a Wi-Fi hotspot. Passengers will also be comfortable in the first and second rows. If you opt for the third row, you will not get much use out of it because of its cramped dimensions. You will get use out of the GLE-Class’s 33.3 cubic feet of cargo space without the third row.
A 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder powers the base rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive GLE 350. You can go with a more powerful 362-horsepower inline-six with a mild hybrid if you want to get closer to the base Porsche Cayenne’s power output. Even more power can be had if you go with one of the several AMG models available. The GLE 63 S will reward you with 603 horsepower, but it will cost you extra cash.
5. 2023 Mazda CX-5
The 2023 Mazda CX-5 earns a spot on our list for its engaging driving experience, excellent driving dynamics, handsome styling, and its overall refinement. It is sneakily luxurious with one of the best interiors in the compact SUV segment. It is not quite as value-packed as its Korean competitors, but it offers much more than a typical SUV experience.
If you do not care too much about driving engagement, you still benefit from its upscale feel. You have the choice of a 187-horsepower or 227-horsepower turbo engine, depending on your trim level of choice. Both feel quicker than they are, and all-wheel drive is standard across all trim levels.
With only average cargo space, there are plenty of storage cubbies for miscellaneous items in the cabin. Rear legroom is also lower than the class average, but it is still enough for most passengers. You may forget about its few drawbacks when you find that a 10.3-infotainment screen, LED headlights, and a Wi-Fi hotspot are some of its many standard tech features.
6. 2023 Subaru Outback
Subaru buyers love their Subarus, and there are several good reasons for that. One big reason is the Subaru Outback, a crossover SUV that functions and looks more like a lifted station wagon than a traditional SUV. Because of that, it lacks any real competition and loading cargo on both the roof and in the trunk is a breeze.
Even though most buyers will use the Outback for their everyday grocery-getter, its famous symmetrical all-wheel drive system can get you to nearly every place you need to go, including some places that most other SUVs will not. You can even get a little wild and go with the Wilderness trim. It comes with additional ground clearance, all-terrain tires, and heated rear seats.
With its capability in mind, the Outback is one of the most versatile vehicles you can buy. Its base engine feels weak and underwhelming, but the larger turbo option brings horsepower up to 260. It is safe, has plenty of tech features, is fuel-efficient for a vehicle with full-time AWD, and provides a comfortable ride for all passengers.
7. 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
The Toyota RAV4 is one of the best-selling crossovers on the market. It is affordable, reliable, stylish, comes with plenty of tech features for the average driver, and comes with most safety features that modern buyers want. In addition to several trim levels from which to choose, it is a proven, versatile pick with which most buyers will be satisfied.
The hybrid version of the RAV4 combines nearly everything the regular RAV4 provides while boosting fuel efficiency to an EPA-estimated 40 MPG combined. It is a good vehicle for those who are not yet ready to jump into the RAV4 Prime or another plug-in hybrid vehicle. A reasonable starting MSRP of around $32,000 ensures that the RAV4 Hybrid is also relatively affordable.
Unlike in some hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles, the RAV4’s powertrain does not intrude into the cargo area, leaving 37.6 cubic feet for you to use. Its main downfall is its age. The segment is jam-packed with new and redesigned competitors, and the RAV4 is starting to feel old. Fortunately, it is not too old for many buyers who are still loyal to the brand.
8. 2023 BMW X1
The 2023 BMW X1 is a bit pricey, but its excellent driving dynamics, standard all-wheel drive layout, peppy 241-horsepower turbocharged engine, and redesigned styling make it one of the better choices for a small luxury SUV. If you can spend the money to get into one, there are few things about which to be disappointed.
Its passengers and the cargo that comes with them benefit from a longer wheelbase, greater width, and taller stance than the previous model year. The updated infotainment system trickles down from the iX and 7-Series, but it can be a little tedious given that the iDrive controller knob has been deleted.
One of the biggest upgrades from the outgoing model is the X1’s updated tech features. Wireless Android Auto, a safe-exit system, and blind-spot monitoring join the standard lineup. A 28 MPG combined fuel economy rating is decent given its standard AWD. With only a few drawbacks, and with its 2023 redesign, the BMW X1 has become one of the best luxury SUVs for its size.
9. 2023 Ford Bronco
The 2023 Ford Bronco takes a spot on our list over the Jeep Wrangler, another great SUV. The Wrangler could fit into most “best of” lists because it is so different from mainstream crossovers on the market. The Bronco is a true Wrangler competitor, and the hype surrounding its return two years ago has not yet worn off, keeping demand high.
Not to be confused with the Ford Bronco Sport, a crossover version of the beastly off-roader, the “Big Bronco” is a body-on-frame SUV in which you can get a dizzying variety of trim levels with just as many options. Those include a seven-speed manual transmission, the choice of two or four doors, and a 300, 330, or 418 horsepower engine, only available in the Raptor version.
As one might expect, fuel economy numbers and overall ride comfort are lacking compared to other compact crossovers. When it comes to off-road capability, the Bronco far outweighs each crossover that offers a special off-road-focused trim level. Even when it is not on the trail, each buyer has the chance to experience a little of the Bronco’s history within the modern era.
10. 2023 Kia EV6
As an all-new model for the 2022 model year, both the Kia EV6 and Hyundai Ioniq 5 entered the scene as two of the best all-electric SUVs on the market. This year, the EV6 GT is added to the lineup with a Tesla Model X-rivaling 576 horsepower. That power comes from two electric motors that send it to all four wheels.
More buyers will likely gravitate to the less expensive and less powerful rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive EV6 Wind or EV6 GT-Line models. With fast-charging technology, tech features like remote parking, and a ton of great standard safety features like lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, and driver drowsiness monitoring, there is not much to hate.
Cargo space takes a bit of a back seat to its futuristic styling, but it does not look so alien that it should drive away customers. A fairly low starting MSRP of around $50,000 is reasonable for an electric SUV, and Kia’s outstanding warranty is rivaled only by Mitsubishi. Its electric range tops out at 310 miles in the base trim level and 206 miles in the GT.
11. 2023 Mazda CX-30
Mazda’s second entry on our list is the CX-30. It looks more like a lifted Mazda3 hatchback than any SUV, which is not a bad thing at all. The subcompact SUV earns high marks for its nimble handling, high-end interior, standard all-wheel drive, versatile trim options, and great tech features.
An IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award is aided by the CX-30’s robust list of standard safety features, including lane-keep assist, automatic emergency braking, driver attention monitoring, and adaptive cruise control. These features are enhanced even further by the other tech features it has, including an 8.8-inch infotainment display.
Cargo and passenger space are average for the subcompact class, mainly because of the CX-30’s curvy lines. Not average for the class is the choice of either a peppy 191-horsepower four-cylinder or a more potent 227-horsepower turbocharged engine. Mazda even claims that the turbo’s power is boosted to 250 horses with premium fuel.
12. 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe
Korean automakers continue their streak of entries on our list with the 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe. It slots in between the slightly smaller Hyundai Tucson and the larger Hyundai Palisade. Unlike many midsize SUVs on the market, it lacks a third row. Similarly sized to its sister crossover, the three-row Kia Sorento, you get 36.4 cubic feet of cargo space where the third row would be.
We would forgive you if you do not take a liking to its odd front-end styling, but once you are inside, you will forget all about the outside. Its comfortable ride, ample front and rear legroom, and good headroom will have even adults sitting comfortably on long road trips. A 191-horsepower or 281-horsepower engine is available for your choosing.
As on many other Hyundai and Kia models, standard technology and safety features are plentiful at a comparably low price point. If 28 MPG on the highway is not enough for you, you can explore the Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid or the brand-new plug-in hybrid version.
13. 2023 Volvo XC40
It can be hard for a luxury marque to design a subcompact SUV because of the necessary balance between luxury features and affordable pricing. The Volvo XC40 does a great job with both of those things. It possesses a full suite of driver assistance features, attractive styling, punchy performance, and plenty of technology for a sub-$40,000 MSRP.
A 48-volt mild-hybrid system comes standard on each new model. The lowest trim levels benefit from 194 horsepower while higher trim levels come with a more powerful engine that produces 247 horsepower. Front-wheel drive is standard on the less powerful engine, so getting all-wheel drive necessitates larger pockets for a higher trim level and a more powerful engine.
The XC40 is not as sporty as the BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class, or Jaguar E-Pace, but it provides good fuel economy, good value, and high safety scores for its buyers. More environmentally conscious buyers should also consider the Volvo XC40 Recharge. It has a lower range than some of its electric SUV competitors, but it retains much of what the regular XC40 offers.
14. 2023 Chevrolet Tahoe
The Chevrolet Tahoe has several close relatives like the GMC Yukon, and the larger Chevy Suburban. They share many of the same elements like powertrain options, serious towing capability, and a spacious third row. Even though the Tahoe is a large SUV, it has pricing and size advantages over its two siblings.
Its full-size status does not help it get the best fuel economy, but it is one of the few SUVs to offer a more fuel-efficient turbodiesel that can get up to 28 MPG on the highway. Even though it is not a crossover, its combination of size and comfortable suspension helps it cruise down the highway with enough room for up to nine passengers.
Though not quite as posh as its GMC Yukon counterpart, buyers still benefit from tech features like wireless Apple CarPlay, wireless Android Auto, a Wi-Fi hotspot, a rear-seat alert system, automatic emergency braking, and lane-keep assist. Each Tahoe is available with either rear or four-wheel drive, consistent with traditional body-on-frame SUVs.
15. 2023 Jeep Grand Wagoneer
Jeep revived the Grand Wagoneer moniker to rival luxury SUV class leaders like the Cadillac Escalade, Lincoln Navigator, Land Rover Range Rover, and Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class. A high starting MSRP and terrible gas mileage do not scare us away that much, though. You get a ton for the money and many that buy one will most likely not dwell on its poor fuel efficiency.
It is not quite as large as the cavernous Cadillac Escalade, but it is close. It comes standard with four-wheel drive, its towing capacity approaches 10,000 pounds, and it has some off-road cred, despite its large size. You can choose to get one with a 471-horsepower V8 or a twin-turbo inline-six that pumps out 510 horsepower.
Tech features like a stacked 12-inch touchscreen and a 10.25-inch touchscreen, wireless Apple CarPlay, wireless Android Auto, a 19-speaker McIntosh audio system, and wireless device charging all come standard. A comprehensive list of safety features like rear cross-traffic alert, stop-and-go adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, and more help buyers swallow the hefty price tag a little easier.
https://www.autolist.com/guides/best-suvs Best SUVs for 2023