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Top-Rated 2015 SUVs: Performance and Design

Top-Rated 2015 SUVs: Performance and Design

By Christian Wardlaw, July 27, 2015

Each year, J.D. Power conducts the Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study in order to determine what owners like and dislike about their new car, truck, SUV, or van after they've owned it for at least 90 days.

Consumer-friendly Power Circle Ratings are formulated from this data, intended to summarize how appealing each make and model is to own and drive. When shopping for a new vehicle, consumers who want to own a model that rates highly in terms of overall appeal can use the Power Circle Ratings as a guide.

According to the 2015 U.S. APEAL Study, the following mass-market SUV models rate highest in terms of overall appeal within their respective vehicle segments. Listed below in alphabetical order, each of the following models receives a Power Circle Rating of 5 (out of a possible 5) for overall appeal.

2015 Chevrolet Tahoe
Redesigned for the 2015 model year, the full-size Chevrolet Tahoe's cargo carrying capabilities may have diminished, but owners perceive this SUV to be among the most appealing models in the segment. Available in LS, LT, and LTZ trim levels, a new 5.3-liter V-8 engine that is more powerful and fuel-efficient than last year's model is standard for all 2015 Tahoes.

2015 Ford Expedition
Ford updates the Expedition for the 2015 model year, installing a new turbocharged V-6 engine that gives the SUV class-leading towing capacity, and introduces a new luxury-oriented Platinum trim level. Available in standard and extended-length EL model series, the 2015 Expedition also features new safety and infotainment technologies.

2015 GMC Yukon
Similar to the Chevrolet Tahoe, the redesigned GMC Yukon is improved in almost every way, and the result is satisfied owners. Under its different styling, and behind the SLE, SLT, and Denali trim levels, the Yukon is similar to the Tahoe except that the luxury-themed Denali version is additionally offered with a more powerful 6.2-liter V-8 engine.

2015 Mazda CX-5
Introduced for the 2013 model year, the Mazda CX-5 is a compact crossover SUV designed to blend style, utility, and engaging driving dynamics in a single package. Based on the opinions of the people who one, the CX-5 is one of the most appealing models in its segment. By the summer of 2015, the refreshed 2016 CX-5 was already on sale.

2015 Mini Countryman
Larger than a Mini Cooper and available with an all-wheel-drive system, the Mini Countryman is a member of a burgeoning mini-SUV segment. Buyers choose between standard, sporty S, and performance-tuned John Cooper Works models, and Mini's broad range of colors, trims, wheels, materials, and options makes it easy to custom tailor a Countryman to specific preferences.

2015 Nissan Murano
A 5-passenger, midsize crossover SUV, the 2015 Nissan Murano is redesigned, showcasing new styling themes for the brand. All four versions--S, SV, SL, and Platinum--have a 3.5-liter V-6 engine and a continuously variable transmission. All-wheel drive is optional.

Additional Research:

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