Family-style flexibility.

The midsize SUV segment has been as busy as the families who depend on them. The 2017 model year brought us updated versions of the Toyota Highlander and Nissan Pathfinder, as well as a totally redesigned GMC Acadia. Now, 2018 brings us a brand new entry from Volkswagen, an all-new version of the Chevrolet Traverse and an updated Ford Explorer. All of this following a 2016 model year that brought us all-new takes on the Honda Pilot and Mazda CX-9. Whew.

Six of those eight models were available in time for this year's midsize SUV comparison, so we gathered them up and headed out on a strategically indirect route to the Southern California mountain community of Big Bear Lake. When we weren’t driving them in back-to-back succession we were exploring cubbies, crawling into third rows and comparing notes. When we returned to our Irvine offices, each of six editors had logged more than 300 miles in these all-new and updated models.

As always, the goal of this comparison test is to help give shoppers like you a sense of the relative strengths and weaknesses of each model, not to name winners and losers. Looking for maximum roominess? Make sure to put the new Atlas on your list. Looking to have a little fun? The Mazda CX-9 is your answer. Each of these six SUVs is the best choice for someone, let's find out if one of them is the best choice for you. 

In alphabetical order:

2017 GMC Acadia

Starting Price: $29,995

Max Capacity: 7

Completely rethought for 2017, the new Acadia proved the outlier in this test. Read more

2017 Honda Pilot

Starting Price: $31,685

Max Capacity: 8

The Kelley Blue Book Midsize SUV Best Buy for 2017 continues to meet our lofty expectations. Read more

2017 Mazda CX-9

Starting Price: $32,460

Max Capacity: 7

The best-looking, most fun-to-drive entry in the segment. (The same thing we say about almost every Mazda.) Read more

2017 Nissan Pathfinder

Starting Price: $31,250

Max Capacity: 7

Impressively enhanced for 2017, and one of the roomiest third rows. Read more

2017 Toyota Highlander

Starting Price: $31,590

Max Capacity: 8

Easy, practical and proven. Read more

2018 Volkswagen Atlas

Starting Price: $31,425

Max Capacity: 7

VW’s first 3-row SUV impresses with the test’s roomiest third row and more. Read more

More 3-Row Midsize SUVs

Check out our Midsize SUV Buyer's Guide to see more of what's new and what's next in the segment, or jump straight to one of your other options below.


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