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.

Price Range

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

Several of these SUVs are featured on our most recent list of 10 Best Luxury SUVs, and a version of one found its way onto our list of 10 Most Fun SUVs.

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

2018 Cadillac XT5

Starting Price: $40,990

The Cadillac XT5 offers impressive handling and eye-catching angular styling, and is roomier, quieter, more powerful and more fuel-efficient than its predecessor.  Read More

2018 Lexus RX

Starting Price: $44,265

The recently redesigned Lexus RX has an edgy new look, but at its core, Lexus' best-selling model continues to focus more on ride comfort and refinement. Read More

2018 Lincoln MKX

Starting Price: $39,960

The Lincoln MKX may be the best value in the segment. Read More

2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE

Starting Price: $53,195

Every bit a comfortable, refined and well-appointed Mercedes-Benz. Read More

2018 Porsche Cayenne

Starting Price: $61,650

The Porsche Cayenne is the most fun-to-drive midsize luxury SUV on the market. Read More

 

Three-Row Midsize Luxury SUVs
 

2018 Acura MDX

Starting Price: $45,195

Offering refined performance, handsome styling, reliability and value, the MDX is both practical and fun. Read More

2018 Audi Q7

Starting Price: $50,875

The Audi Q7 combines the brand's signature contemporary interior design with the family practicality of 3-row seating. Read More

2018 BMW X5

Starting Price: $57,945

BMW's 2- or 3-row SUV remains one of the most fun-to-drive entries in the midsize luxury SUV segment. Read More

2018 Buick Enclave

Starting Price: $40,990

All-new for 2018, the Enclave is more modern, more luxurious and roomier -- and still one of the most affordable choices in the segment. Read More

2018 Infiniti QX60

Starting Price: $44,295

The Infiniti QX60 offers soft, traditional luxury interior styling and a surprisingly roomy third row. Read More

2018 Land Rover Discovery

Starting Price: $53,085

The Discovery is a far cry from the LR4 it replaces, yet still stays loyal to Land Rover tradition. Read More

 

2018 Lexus GX

Starting Price: $53,150

Truck-like construction qualifies the GX among the most capable off-roaders in the segment. Read More

2018 Lincoln MKT

Starting Price: $44,455

The Lincoln MKT is among the roomier options in the midsize luxury SUV segment, with one of the most livable third rows. Read More

2018 Volvo XC90

Starting Price: $47,895

The XC90 is the most luxurious Volvo ever made. Read More

Seat Selection

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.

Diesel Options

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.

Hybrid Power

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.

Performance Plus

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.

Off-Road

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.

Smaller Options

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.

Bigger 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.

Other Options

Bolder, sportier alternatives to the models above include the BMW X6, Infiniti QX70 and Range Rover Sport. Mercedes-Benz also has an answer to the BMW X6: the GLE Coupe.

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