Top-Rated 2017 Family SUVs in Performance and Design

Christian Wardlaw | Jul 26, 2017
Curious to know which family SUVs people like the most? Check out the results of the annual J.D. Power U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study,SM which measures owner satisfaction with the performance, design, layout and features of their new vehicles after 90 days of ownership.

From the data collected, J.D. Power creates Power Circle Ratings, which are visually represented summaries of the findings for each make and model. Consumers can use these ratings while shopping for a new car in order to make the best decision possible.


2017 Chevrolet Tahoe LT Midnight Edition photo This buyer’s guide highlights the top-rated 2017 Family SUVs from the 2017 U.S. APEAL Study. Each model listed in alphabetical order below receives a Power Circle Rating of 4 or 5 out of a possible 5 for overall appeal.

2017 Chevrolet Tahoe

A full-size SUV made primarily for towing significant weight, the Tahoe is built on a truck platform, is equipped with a V8 engine, and comes in LS, LT, and new Premier trim levels. For 2017, Chevrolet added safe teen driving technology, new driver assistance and collision avoidance systems, and a new 22-inch wheel design.

The 2017 Chevrolet Tahoe receives an APEAL Power Circle Rating of 5 out of 5, and is the award recipient in the Large SUV segment.

2017 Dodge Durango

Though it is an older design, the midsize Dodge Durango remains an appealing choice among SUV owners. Equipped with rear-drive or 4-wheel drive, and a V6 or a V8 engine, the Durango supplies three rows of seating for up to seven people. A new GT trim level arrived for 2017, among other minor changes.

The 2017 Dodge Durango receives an APEAL Power Circle Rating of 5 out of 5.

2017 Ford Edge

A 5-passenger, midsize crossover SUV, the Ford Edge is available in trims ranging from mild to wild, from the affordable SE to the racy, twin-turbocharged Sport. For 2017, Ford makes few changes aside from a handful of new paint colors.

The 2017 Ford Edge receives an APEAL Power Circle Rating of 4 out of 5.

2017 GMC Yukon

Based on a rugged pickup truck platform, the GMC Yukon combined squared-off design elements with seating for up to eight people. Towing and hauling is what the Yukon does best, and it is available in a luxurious Denali trim level. Buyers choose between standard and extended length Yukon XL models, and between two different V8 engines. New safety and infotainment features debut for 2017.

The 2017 GMC Yukon receives an APEAL Power Circle Rating of 4 out of 5.

2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Built to go places most other SUVs can’t, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is part rugged off-roader, part track-ready performance machine, part mainstream family wagon, and part luxury vehicle. It all depends on the version that you choose. For 2017, a new Trailhawk model debuted, specifically designed for maximum 4-wheeling capability.

The 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee receives an APEAL Power Circle Rating of 4 out of 5.

2017 Kia Sorento

Kia’s 3-row, 7-passenger SUV, the Sorento, was redesigned for 2016. This year, the infotainment system adds Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone projection technology, and automatic emergency braking is now available. Trim levels run from basic to luxurious, and buyers choose between a 4-cylinder, a turbocharged 4-cylinder, and a V6 engine.

The 2017 Kia Sorento receives an APEAL Power Circle Rating of 4 out of 5.

2017 Nissan Murano

Nissan’s wild-looking Murano is a 5-passenger, midsize crossover SUV. It comes with a V6 engine and a continuously variable transmission, and with front-wheel or all-wheel drive. Trim levels include S, SV, SL, Platinum, and new Midnight Edition. Apple CarPlay is also new for 2017, and a drowsy driver detection system is offered for more versions of the Murano.

The 2017 Nissan Murano receives an APEAL Power Circle Rating of 5 out of 5, and is the award recipient in the Midsize SUV category.

2017 Subaru Outback

One of the original modern crossover SUVs when it arrived back in 1996, the Outback is one of Subaru’s best-selling models. It seats five people, has standard all-wheel drive, and comes with a 4-cylinder or a 6-cylinder engine. For 2017, a new luxury-themed Touring trim level debuted, and a reverse automatic braking system became available.

The 2017 Subaru Outback receives an APEAL Power Circle Rating of 4 out of 5.
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