2014 Mid-Size SUV Preview
Families are flocking to mid-sized crossovers and SUVs. Some do a better job accommodating these growing families than others, but all offer the availability of seven-passenger seating in case they want to fill the rear seat. Luckily, folding down the rear seat offers huge cargo stowage for big shopping runs or an extended vacation.
What is out there for families needing a vehicle to pack everyone and everything in? This list includes a wide range of vehicles from affordable models to the top of the line
BUICK: The Enclave was designed to replace three vehicles in its lineup. It does so with opulent luxury and classic Buick style. Because its platform replaced GM’s minivans, you get the interior space of one without the height. You can actually fit seven adults inside!
CHEVROLET: GM’s Lambda platform offers the Traverse as its value-laden three-row choice. With seven-passenger comfort, the Traverse provides family value and versatility you would expect at a Chevrolet showroom.
DODGE: The Durango is not a gumball machine, according to Ron Burgundy (Will Farrell). It is an accommodating three-row crossover with a lot of power when needed. A choice of a Pentastar V6 or HEMI V8 is available to connect to the new ZF eight-speed automatic. It also comes with all-wheel drive to survive through anything.
FORD: Drive an Explorer and you will understand why it has been popular since the 1990s. This iteration has a choice of engines, including two EcoBoost turbocharged ones. Three-row seating is available in all grades, including the high performance Sport model. Ford also offers the choice of the Flex. This true three-row crossover is not just an alternative. It is actually roomier than the Explorer for honest seven-passenger room.
GMC:** The Acadia is the final member of the Lambda triplets. Seven adults would find comfort whether they are inside the value laden SLE or the top shelf Denali model.
HYUNDAI: The Santa Fe comes in two lengths: The two-row Sport and the three-row namesake. The larger of the two is the one you want for a big family with enough space for everything. The power is good and the ride is compliant.
KIA: The Sorento comes with an optional third row, which helps in making a choice between small children or cargo. Sorentos are powerful machines with a compliant ride and a huge equipment list.
MAZDA: The CX-9 was designed to offer a three-row alternative to the Zoom-Zoom set with families. Though third row room is minimal, you will enjoy the power of the V6 engine and the traction of the all-wheel drive system.
MITSUBISHI: Some may argue that the new Outlander should not belong in this class. It does – because of its third row. Though smaller than its competitors, which it lacks in size is made up in interior space, equipment levels and value.
NISSAN: The Pathfinder used to be a rugged SUV that went anywhere you wanted it to. Not anymore, as it has spawned a third row and plenty of space on a crossover platform. You could also get this with a hybrid driveline.
SUBARU: A lot of us may have forgotten about the Tribeca. It is Subaru’s only three-row crossover with six-cylinder boxer power and the brand’s patented all-wheel drive system.
TOYOTA: A brand new Highlander has arrived. It is bolder, a bit bigger,and more spacious – it claims to seat up to eight people. You get a choice of a four-cylinder, a V6 or a hybrid driveline as an option.