What's the best SUV to be driving this holiday season?
Looking to show up in style at your next holiday party? We examine several of the latest SUVs on the market with a variety of prices and sizes to suit your needs (and bank account).
Honda CR-V: compact non-luxury SUV
For 2015, Honda has freshened the CR-V’s exterior with a more modern and stylish look. But the improvements aren't just skin deep — the interior has received upgrades in both materials and sound deadening. Handling is improved too, with a retuned suspension and better brakes. A CVT is now standard equipment for greater fuel efficiency. Price starts at $25,990.
Lexus NX: compact luxury SUV
If edgy styling and luxury are what you’re looking for in a compact SUV, have a look at the all-new 2015 Lexus NX. It has an exterior dominated by sharp creases and a distinctive spindle grill, and a luxurious cabin replete with sporty seats. The NX is also packed with Advanced Pre-Collision and Rear Cross Traffic alert safety systems.
Engine choices include a 235-horsepower, 2.0-litre turbocharged four cylinder paired with a six-speed auto transmission with paddle shifters. A hybrid model is also available. Prices start at $40,950 for the NX200t, and $58,850 for the NX300h (hybrid).
Toyota Highlander: mid-size non-luxury SUV
Looking for a mid-sized, all-wheel drive SUV that seats up to eight in quiet comfort? The Highlander may be the answer for your household. Inconspicuous and practical, the Highlander won’t blow your socks off in the handling department but has a well-controlled ride and a functional interior with a lot of storage and niceties. A 280 hp hybrid version with two electric motors is available as well.
Starting at $31,975, add $44,015 for the hybrid version.
BMW X5: mid-size luxury SUV
The X5 handles like the company’s famous mid-sized sports sedans, which is one of the primary reasons to consider this German crossover SUV. If you like gadgets, you'll be right at home here — it's full of technology including BMW’s iDrive system, an available heads-up display, and a whole plethora of active and passive safety systems. An optional third row increases passenger capacity up to seven, but it's really suitable for children or small adults only.
There are several powertrain options to suit almost every need. A 3.0 L turbocharged inline six is standard, and a powerful 4.4 L twin-turbo V8 and a frugal 3.0 L inline-six turbo diesel are optional. Price starts at $64,690.
Infiniti QX80: full-size luxury SUV
Refreshed for 2015, the QX80 is built on a full-size truck frame and is powered by Infiniti’s 5.6 L 400 hp V8 engine. This large Infiniti is an opulent choice if you need to carry eight passengers while towing a heavy boat or trailer, and look good doing it. The cavernous interior is as luxurious as an ocean liner and just as comfortable, too. Price starts at $73,650.