10 Most Popular Luxury SUVs and Crossovers

Christian Wardlaw | Sep 25, 2016
2016 Lexus RX 350 photo

Thinking of buying a luxury SUV? Something plush and upscale, yet ready for anything you might need to carry during any kind of weather? There are plenty of them available, and this buyer's guide details key aspects of the 10 most popular* luxury SUVs in America, including pricing; quality, reliability, and appeal ratings; fuel economy; safety ratings; and cargo volume.

*Popularity based on calendar-year sales through July 2016

10) BMW X3 (22,506 sales)

2015 BMW X3 photo

One rung up from the small X1 crossover, the slightly bigger X3 sits on a rear-drive rather than a front-drive platform. All-wheel drive is optional, and BMW supplies one of three turbocharged engines for the X3: a 4-cylinder, diesel 4-cylinder, and a 6-cylinder. View Photos of the 2018 BMW X3 Now

Base Price—$40,245*
Initial Quality—4 PCRs
Predicted Reliability—4 PCRs
Overall Vehicle Appeal—4 PCRs
Fuel Economy (city/highway mpg)—19/34
NHTSA Crash Test Rating—5 Stars
IIHS Crash Test Rating—Testing incomplete
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat—27.6 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded—63.3 cu. ft.

*Pricing is for the 2017 models

9) Infiniti QX60 (24,673 sales)

2016 Infiniti QX60 photo

Based on the Nissan Pathfinder, the Infiniti QX60 is available with a V-6 engine and a continuously variable transmission or a gas-electric hybrid drivetrain. Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive available as an option. Equipment is grouped into stair-step option packages.

Base Price—$43,595
Initial Quality—Not rated
Predicted Reliability—Not rated
Overall Vehicle Appeal—Not rated
Fuel Economy (city/highway mpg)—19/28
NHTSA Crash Test Rating—5 Stars
IIHS Crash Test Rating—“Top Safety Pick”
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat—40.8 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded—76.5 cu. ft.

8) BMW X5 (24,948 sales)

2016 BMW X5 xDrive40e photo

BMW’s midsize SUV is available with a choice between three turbocharged engines, including a 6-cylinder, diesel 6-cylinder, and a V-8. Additionally, a plug-in hybrid version is available, as well as a performance-tuned version called the X5 M. All of them have all-wheel drive except for the base model, which comes with rear-wheel drive.

Base Price—$56,495*
Initial Quality—5 PCRs
Predicted Reliability—3 PCRs
Overall Vehicle Appeal—4 PCRs
Fuel Economy (city/highway mpg)—14/30
Fuel Economy Range for Plug-in Hybrid—56 MPGe
NHTSA Crash Test Rating—5 Stars
IIHS Crash Test Rating—Testing incomplete
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat—35.8 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded—76.7 cu. ft.

*Pricing is for the 2017 models

7) Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class (26,802 sales)

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class photo

In 2016, Mercedes-Benz replaced the GLK-Class with the new GLC-Class, a compact crossover SUV that is one step up from the less expensive GLA-Class. A turbocharged 4-cylinder engine powers the rear or all four wheels, and the lineup expands in 2017 to include a more expensive and less practical “coupe” version as well as a performance-tuned AMG variant. View Photos of the GLC-Class F Cell Now.

Base Price—$40,075*
Initial Quality—Not rated
Predicted Reliability—Not rated
Overall Vehicle Appeal—Not rated
Fuel Economy (city/highway mpg)—21/28
NHTSA Crash Test Rating—Not rated
IIHS Crash Test Rating—Not rated
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat—19.4 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded—56.5 cu. ft.

*Pricing is for the 2017 models

6) Audi Q5 (26,819 sales)

2016 Audi Q5 photo

One of the oldest entries in the compact luxury crossover segment, the Audi Q5 is available in 2.0T, 3.0T, Hybrid, and SQ5 model series and with Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige trim packages. The 2.0T and Hybrid use a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, while the 3.0T and SQ5 employ a supercharged 6-cylinder engine. Quattro all-wheel drive is standard for all Q5 SUVs.

Base Price—$41,825
Initial Quality—3 PCRs
Predicted Reliability—3 PCRs
Overall Vehicle Appeal—3 PCRs
Fuel Economy (city/highway mpg)—17/30
NHTSA Crash Test Rating—4 Stars
IIHS Crash Test Rating—“Top Safety Pick”
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat—29.1 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded—57.3 cu. ft.

5) Lexus NX (27,979 sales)

2016 Lexus NX 200t photo

Lexus uses the same platform as the Toyota RAV4 for its rakish NX crossover SUV, a compact model available with a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine or a gas-electric hybrid drivetrain. Front-wheel drive is standard, all-wheel drive is optional, and the sportiest version is called the F Sport.

Base Price—$35,940
Initial Quality—Not rated
Predicted Reliability—Not rated
Overall Vehicle Appeal—Not rated
Fuel Economy (city/highway mpg)—22/31
NHTSA Crash Test Rating—5 Stars
IIHS Crash Test Rating—“Top Safety Pick”
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat—17.7 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded—54.6 cu. ft.

4) Acura MDX (29,517 sales)

2016 Acura MDX photo

Sharing a platform with the Honda Pilot, the Acura MDX is a roomy and upscale midsize crossover SUV with seating for 7 people. Designed to deliver engaging driving dynamics, the MDX is equipped with a V-6 engine and front-wheel drive, with Acura’s torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system available as an option.

Base Price—$43,995
Initial Quality—2 PCRs
Predicted Reliability—3 PCRs
Overall Vehicle Appeal—2 PCRs
Fuel Economy (city/highway mpg)—18/26
NHTSA Crash Test Rating—5 Stars
IIHS Crash Test Rating—“Top Safety Pick”
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat—38.4 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded—68.4 cu. ft.

3) Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class (29,598 sales)

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class photoThe SUV formerly known as the M-Class, the GLE-Class lineup gets a new name for 2016 and gains a rakish new fastback variant that Mercedes-Benz insists on calling a “coupe.” New turbodiesel, turbocharged 6-cylinder, and plug-in hybrid versions also debut, while AMG versions continue in both standard and coupe body styles.

Base Price—$52,925*
Initial Quality—Not rated
Predicted Reliability—Not rated
Overall Vehicle Appeal—Not rated
Fuel Economy (city/highway mpg)—13/30
Fuel Economy Range for Plug-in Hybrid—43 MPGe
NHTSA Crash Test Rating—Testing incomplete
IIHS Crash Test Rating—“Top Safety Pick”**
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat (GLE-Class)—38.2 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat (GLE Coupe)—23.0 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded (GLE-Class)—80.3 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded (GLE Coupe)—60.7 cu. ft.

*Pricing is for the 2017 models
**Applies to the GLE; GLE Coupe not tested

2) Acura RDX (30,596 sales)

2016 Acura RDX photo

Based on the same platform as the Honda CR-V, but equipped with more dynamic styling and a standard V-6 engine, the Acura RDX is a compact crossover SUV with seating for up to 5 people. Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive optional.

Base Price—$36,510*
Initial Quality—4 PCRs
Predicted Reliability—2 PCRs
Overall Vehicle Appeal—2 PCRs
Fuel Economy (city/highway mpg)—19/29
NHTSA Crash Test Rating—5 Stars
IIHS Crash Test Rating—“Top Safety Pick”
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat—26.1 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded—61.3 cu. ft.

*Pricing is for the 2017 model

1) Lexus RX (57,934 sales)

2016 Lexus RX 350 F Sport photo

By a wide margin, the Lexus RX is the most popular luxury SUV in America. Redesigned for 2016, the RX’s dramatic new styling appears not to have dented its popularity. It continues to be offered with a V-6 engine or a gas-electric hybrid drivetrain, and with front-wheel or all-wheel drive. The Lexus RX seats up to 5 people and is optionally available in racy F Sport trim. Check out photos of the 2018 Lexus RX 350 from the LA Auto Show.

Base Price—$43,995*
Initial Quality—Not rated
Predicted Reliability—Not rated
Overall Vehicle Appeal—Not rated
Fuel Economy (city/highway mpg)—19/30
NHTSA Crash Test Rating—4 Stars**
IIHS Crash Test Rating—“Top Safety Pick”
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat—18.4 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded—56.3 cu. ft.

*Pricing is for the 2017 model
**Applies to the RX 350; Testing incomplete for the RX 450h





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