Midsize Luxury SUV Buyer's Guide
Sometimes the Middle of the Road is the Place to Be
Roomier than small luxury SUVs but not as pricey, thirsty or cumbersome as the big ones, midsize luxury SUVs might be the most well-balanced luxury vehicles of all.
Most midsize luxury SUVs offer three-row seating, several offer driving dynamics reminiscent of some sport sedans, and many start in the low $40,000 range or lower. All of them, of course, offer the elevated seating position, cargo flexibility and bigger-is-better profile that continue to drive the increasing popularity of SUVs across the industry.
Which one's right for you? You'll have to answer that question for yourself, but we're here to make it easy. Keep reading to get a handle on the segment, then explore your 14 options below.
Starting prices in this group range from about $40,000 to $50,000, give or take a couple thousand, with the average price paid landing just north of $50,000. The Lincoln MKX takes the title for lowest starting price in this group, while a fully loaded Porsche Cayenne Turbo can zoom well into the six-figure stratosphere.
Mid-Lux SUV Comparison
We gathered the Acura MDX, Audi Q7, Infiniti QX60, Range Rover Sport and Volvo XC90 for a recent comparison test. There were good and bad surprises over the course of our two-day evaluation, but every one of the SUVs proved a pleasant way to put 700 miles of asphalt in the rearview mirror.
Awards and Accolades
What's New and Next
We've already driven the totally redesigned 2018 Buick Enclave and the all-new 2019 Porsche Cayenne. In addition, at the New York Auto Show, Lincoln introduced the 2019 Aviator, a three-row SUV that is likely to replace the MKT.
Two-Row Midsize Luxury SUVs
Three-Row Midsize Luxury SUVs
Two-row midsize luxury SUVs max out at seating for 5, but they're roomy and flexible nevertheless. Those looking at three-row models should note that the Buick Enclave and Lincoln MKT offer second-row captain's chairs, which provide easier access to the third row when car seats are installed in the second row. While the Infiniti QX60 doesn't offer captain's chairs, it does offer a clever way to access the third row while a car seat is installed in the second row.
One of our favorite applications of diesel power is in midsize SUVs. Better fuel economy and bigger torque figures are both welcome enhancements in these not-small vehicles. Diesel power is available in the BMW X5 and Land Rover Discovery.
There are six midsize luxury SUVs currently offered with hybrid power: the Acura MDX, BMW X5, Infiniti QX60, Mercedes-Benz GLE, Porsche Cayenne and Volvo XC90, three of which are plug-ins. The BMW X5 xDrive40e offers the highest range at 540 miles, while the Cayenne S E-Hybrid boasts 416 total horsepower.
The 570-horsepower, $162,000 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S will run to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds on its way to a top speed of 176 mph. The Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S starts at around $108,000 with 577 horsepower, a 0-60 mph time of 4.2 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph. And the high-performance BMW X5 M, which starts at just under $102,000, offers 567 horsepower and a 0-60 mph time of 4.0 seconds.
Every midsize luxury SUV offers all-wheel drive. And while many are surprisingly capable off-road, the Land Rover Discovery and Lexus GX are the truest off-roaders in this group.
If you don't need this much room, most of these models have smaller but equally appealing siblings. Check out our Compact Luxury SUV Buyer's Guide to see all your options.
Looking for a roomier third row, more cargo room and/or greater towing capacity? The next level in luxury SUVs includes the Cadilac Escalade, Infiniti QX80, Lexus LX, Lincoln Navigator, Mercedes-Benz GLS and the two-row only Range Rover.