Subaru Forester

12 award-winning SUVs to suit every budget

Subaru ForesterNo matter how much you might be looking to spend, life is too short to settle for second place.

That means when it comes to picking a family SUV, whatever your needs might be, you can have one which has been recognized as a leader.

Our collection includes everything from compact crossovers, to full-size luxury SUVs, plus all those in between. Whether it be a top choice for safety, a design award winner, or an expert best pick, all of these SUVs are winners.

2019 Subaru Forester

Subaru Forester

Starting MSRP: $24,295

The biggest Forester to date brought greater interior space, better crash protection, and extra driver assistance technology when launched in 2018.

All Foresters are powered by Subaru’s 2.5-liter boxer flat-four engine, producing 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft of torque. Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive is standard, and all versions feature Active Torque Vectoring to ensure power goes to the wheels with the most grip.

Premium, Sport, Limited and Touring models come with X-Mode, which allows the driver to tune the engine, gearbox and chassis for optimum performance in mud and snow.

It was enough to impress the Northwest Automotive Press Association, which named the 2019 Forester Sport as the best Compact Family SUV at its annual ‘Mudfest’ competition. So even if your Forester stays firmly on asphalt, you can still be proud of how it could handle itself in the mud.

2019 Hyundai Kona Electric

Hyundai Kona EV

Starting MSRP: $36,950

Hyundai’s battery-powered version of the Kona compact SUV found itself voted the 2019 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year. That is a major achievement, with the judges believing the EV Kona could convince even the most skeptical drivers to try electric.

All Kona EVs use a 201 horsepower electric motor, powered by a 64 kWh lithium-ion battery. EPA estimated figures show a total range of 258 miles, and the Kona is capable of accelerating from 0-60 mph in 7.6 seconds.

Standard features on the base SEL trim include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, a 7-inch multimedia touchscreen, heated seats, and a rear view camera. Opting for the $41,400 Limited trim adds leather seats and LED headlights, with the range-topping $44,900 Ultimate boasting a heads-up display and active cruise control.

2019 Chevrolet Equinox

Chevrolet Equinox

Starting MSRP: $24,995

If reliability matters most of all, then the Chevrolet Equinox is the one to pick, according to the 2019 J.D. Power U.S. Dependability Survey. Amongst a study of owners of three-year-old vehicles, the Equinox took the prize for most dependable Compact SUV. The platform-sharing GMC Terrain was a notable runner up.

Engine choices for the Equinox include 1.5-liter and 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline four-cylinder units, with a 1.6-liter turbo diesel also available. Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive offered on all trim levels except the base ‘L’ model.

With room for five, and the potential for up to 63.90-cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded flat, the Equinox offers usable practicality. Keyless entry is standard across the range, along with climate control plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

2020 Kia Telluride

Kia Telluride

Starting MSRP: $31,690

Designed in Irvine, California and built at Kia’s factory in West Point, Georgia, the Telluride was created in America with American buyers firmly in mind. It certainly did enough to impress in the Lone Star State, where the Texas Auto Writers Association made it their official ‘CUV of Texas’ for 2019.

Only one engine is offered a present, with the 3.8-liter ‘Lambda-II’ gasoline V-6 producing 291 horsepower, and 262 lb-ft of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard, with front-wheel drive the default layout. All-wheel drive can be specified as an option.

Seating for eight is available on key trim levels, with the Telluride rated as being capable of towing up to 5,000 lb. An 8-inch multimedia touchscreen is standard, incorporating Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth connectivity, Sirius Satellite radio, and voice recognition.

Most important of all, the Telluride features five USB sockets for charging devices, with six available on higher trim levels.

2019 Porsche Macan

Porsche Macan

Starting MSRP: $51,150

The facelifted 2019 Porsche Macan gains a mildly updated exterior, along with a revised interior that features an imposing 10.9-inch touchscreen as standard.

Powering the Macan is a 248 horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine, capable of achieving a 141 mph top speed. The Macan S is even more powerful, with a 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6 producing 348 horsepower.

Both models are all-wheel drive, and use Porsche’s seven-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission. LED headlights, satellite navigation, tri-zone climate control, and a 10-speaker audio system are all part of the factory specification.

If you need to find a reason to help justify picking a Porsche as an SUV, how about the impressive way it retains value? Kelley Blue Book awarded it the prize of Best Resale Value in the Luxury Compact SUV/Crossover category for 2019.

2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Jeep Grand Cherokee

Starting MSRP: $31,945

According to Jeep, the fourth-generation Grand Cherokee has won more awards than any other SUV in history. With more than 30 accolades collected since 2011, it is more than likely to have taken a prize that fits your requirements.

One of the most recent wins was the position of ‘Most Satisfying’ mid-size SUV in the 2018 AutoPacific awards. The company’s market research covers everything from seating comfort, to buying experience and reliability, to find the cars which satisfy their owners.

The Grand Cherokee range is vast, stretching from the base model Laredo with a 3.6-liter V-6 engine, through to the epic Trackhawk. Powered by the 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V-8 engine used in the Dodge Hellcat muscle cars, the Trackhawk produces 707 horsepower!

All trim levels of the Grand Cherokee feature a 7-inch multimedia touchscreen, air conditioning, keyless entry, and a rear view camera as standard equipment.

2019 Volvo XC40

Volvo XC40

Starting MSRP: $34,345

Despite being less than two years old, the Volvo XC40 seems out to take the Grand Cherokee’s crown as the most awarded SUV. The XC40 bagged the European Car of the Year Award in 2018, along with a host of trophies from across the globe.

It was made the Luxury Family Vehicle of the Year for 2019 by the Midwest Automotive Media Association. So if you need an SUV to cruise along Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, the XC40 is clearly the one for you.

A pair of 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engines are on offer. The T4 version makes 187 horsepower, and comes in front-wheel drive format, whilst the 248 horsepower T5 comes standard with all-wheel drive. Both engines are matched with an automatic transmission.

The entry-level Momentum version comes with leather seats, a 9-inch central touchscreen, digital dashboard, power seats, and LED headlights. Opt for the plush Inscription model and you will even get a gearshifter crafted from solid crystal!

2019 Infiniti QX50

Infiniti QX50

Starting MSRP: $36,650

Along with the dramatic exterior styling and luxurious interior, underneath the hood is where the 2019 QX50 is attracting the most attention from automotive experts.

Powering this SUV is Nissan’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine, but with a special trick up its sleeve. Variable compression technology allows the turbocharged unit to produce 268 horsepower, but also achieve an EPA combined fuel economy of 27 mpg.

It meant the engine found its way to ‘Wards 10 Best Engines’ list for 2019, but the cabin of the QX50 was also given honoree recognition in the 2018 Interior Design Awards. The swooping dashboard design, high-quality material choices, and ambient lighting clearly impressed the judges.

Automatic LED headlights, keyless entry, dual-zone climate control, power seats, and a wealth of safety equipment are standard on all versions. All-wheel drive can also be added to all trim levels for a $2,000 premium.

2019 Lincoln Navigator

Lincoln Navigator

Starting MSRP: $73,205

Proving there really is a successful SUV to suit all tastes and budget, the dominating presence of the Lincoln Navigator also happens to be an award winner. According to the New England Motor Press Association, the Navigator is their top pick for the ‘Best in Class Full-Size Luxury SUV’ in 2019.

There is no doubting the luxury appeal of the fourth-generation Navigator, which features class-leading space in the second and third rows of seating. Those who still want more can opt for the long-wheelbase ‘L’ version, which adds an extra 9.1-inches of space.

All Navigators use a turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine, shared with the Ford F-150 Raptor pickup. The 10-speed automatic transmission uses dashboard buttons and steering wheel-mounted paddles for manual shifting. Four-wheel drive models also gain a two-speed transfer case.

Pick the Black Label Navigator, which begins at $96,205, to own one of the most expensive vehicles ever made by a Ford brand. It means acres of leather and genuine wood trim inside, a 20-speaker audio system, power-deployable running boards, and even a heavy-duty tow package.

2019 BMW X2


Starting MSRP: $36,400

The X2 is one of the latest compact SUV models from BMW, which aims to capture bold design and on-road performance in a crossover body.

It was the unconventional shape of the X2 which helped it scoop a prize in the automotive section of the 2018 iF Design Awards. The X2 won particular praise for how it invoked ideas of classic BMW coupes, but added a modern SUV twist.

At present, buyers can pick an X2 with two different flavors of TwinPower 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine. The X2 28i models feature 228 horsepower in front-wheel or all-wheel drive versions. Topping the range is the X2 M35i, which has 302 horsepower and the ability to hit 0-60 mph in under 5 seconds.

A power tailgate, keyless entry, parking sensors, rear view camera, and Apple CarPlay are standard on all versions. The M35i gains larger 18-inch alloy wheels and a special bodykit to mark it out from the herd.

2020 Subaru Ascent

Subaru Ascent

Starting MSRP: $31,995

Subaru’s flagship SUV is the largest vehicle ever offered by the brand, and comes in seven- or eight-seater configurations across three rows.

A turbocharged 2.4-liter boxer flat-four engine powers all Ascent versions, with 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque available. Subaru’s Lineartronic continuously variable transmission is also standard, with an eight-speed manual mode.

This is combined with Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system, along with Hill Descent Control for the X-Mode, and a towing capacity of up to 5,000 lb. Enough for the Ascent to be voted the 2019 Rocky Mountain SUV of the Year.

All Ascents include three-zone automatic climate control, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, and a 6.5-inch multimedia touchscreen. The $45,045 Touring model is the fanciest Ascent, and includes a panoramic power moonroof, 14-speaker Harmon Kardon audio system, and Java Brown leather seats.

2019 Audi Q8

Audi Q8

Starting MSRP: $67,400

Even being one of the newest and priciest SUVs on our list is no barrier to the Audi Q8 claiming an award already. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated the full-size luxury crossover Q8 as one of the ‘Top Safety’ picks for 2019, when combined with LED Matrix lighting.

A key part of the Q8’s safety kit is the Pre Sense Front system. This is capable of detecting pedestrians and cyclists whilst the Q8 is travelling at up to 53 mph, and brake automatically to prevent a collision.

All Q8 models in the USA come with a 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6 gasoline engine, producing 335 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive system is standard, as is an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Those who want to really make their Q8 look special can opt for the ‘Year One’ package. Offered on Premium Plus and Prestige models, this adds 22-inch Audi Sport alloy wheels, illuminated door sills, and a distinctive Black Optic exterior kit.

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