Most Reliable SUV Options
Whenever you’re about to drop a lot of money on a car, you want to know it’s going to be reliable and you won’t have to spend more money on repairs down the road. To figure out the most reliable SUV options out there, we looked at ratings by Edmunds and JD Power, and came up with seven of the best SUVs in three categories, compact to full-size. These vehicles, not surprisingly, have consistently strong ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), when available.
- Most reliable compact SUVs
- Most reliable mid-size SUVs
- Most reliable full-size SUVs
- How to finance the most reliable SUV option
Most reliable compact SUVs
If you love the versatility of an SUV but don’t often need to transport multiple people and a lot of stuff, a compact SUV may do the trick. It could give you the SUV feel but still let you park in an urban setting without too much sweat.
7.8 out of 10 by Edmunds experts, 4.8 out of 5 by consumers (10 reviews)
IIHS Top Safety Pick
27 city/33 highway/30 combined MPG
Even among boxy SUV vehicles, the Kia Soul stands out with “funky-fresh” styling, which may or may not rev up your interest. With a 5-year, 60,000 mile “bumper-to-bumper” warranty, the best safety ratings in the industry and a price starting under $20,000, it could take the cake.
7.4 out of 10 by Edmunds experts, 4.3 out of 5 by consumers (34 reviews)
5 stars NHTSA
26 city/32 highway/28 combined MPG
The Equinox looks more like a traditional SUV and it has a Teen Driver system that is standard on even the base trim level. You could add both all-wheel-drive and a diesel engine option for an increased MSRP of $31,300. It’s worth noting that the 2020 Equinox is available but a diesel engine isn’t an option on the newer version.
Most reliable mid-size SUVs
A popular category, there are a ton of mid-size SUVs on the market, giving you plenty of choices. These vehicles are sometimes called “family haulers” as it can help you haul the kids and the groceries without any of the ice cream being within reaching distance on the way home.
7.8 out of 10 by Edmunds experts, 4.5 out of 5 by consumers (80 reviews)
5 stars NHTSA; IIHS Top Safety Pick+
22 city/29 highway/25 combined MPG
Hyundai and Kia are sister companies and their vehicles have the same great warranty of 5 years, 60,000 miles. The Santa Fe has seven trim options so you can easily customize it. It is often featured in lists of the best mid-size SUVs.
2019 Volkswagen Tiguan
7.3 out of 10 by Edmunds experts, 4.3 out of 5 by consumers (34 reviews)
22 city/29 highway /25 overall MPG
One of the best 4×4 SUVs, the Volkswagen Tiguan has a warranty even better than Kia and Hyundai — 6 years, 72,000 miles. The Tiguan is smaller than the VW Atlas, which is capable of seating seven, but the Tiguan does have an available third row. It’s worth noting that the Tiguan has mostly “good” ratings from IIHS, but NHTSA noted a safety concern where the driver door unlatched and opened during a side-impact crash test.
2019 Lexus GX 460
7.4 out of 10 by Edmunds experts, 4.7 out of 5 by consumers (3 reviews)
15 city/18 highway/16 combined MPG
From one of the most reliable luxury brands, the Lexus GX promises not just to get you to your destination, but to get you there in style. The Lexus GX 460 in particular tends to hold its value as it maintains exceptional resale value.
Most reliable full-size SUVs
Large families, long road trips or heavy trailers (including boats and RVs) usually means you want to get a full-size SUV. Here are two of the most reliable SUV options in the full-size category.
2019 Ford Expedition
7.7 out of 10 by Edmunds experts, 4.3 out of 5 by consumers (8 reviews)
5 stars NHTSA
17 city/24 highway/20 combined MPG
If you need to take eight people and the kitchen sink on a long drive, the Ford Expedition has your back. Because it has lots of room for people and cargo, and a high towing capacity, plus a 4×4 option, it’s also a best vehicle for snow.
2019 Chevrolet Tahoe
7.0 out of 10 by Edmunds experts, 3.5 out of 5 by consumers (2 reviews)
4 stars NHTSA
15 city/22 highway/18 combined MPG
Another eight-passenger SUV, the Tahoe’s sales are usually strong, landing near 100,000 units annually since 2016. It has a standard V8 engine and can tow up to 8,600 pounds with the Max Trailering Package.
How to finance the most reliable SUV option
Just as you would shop around for a car, you should shop around for a car loan. SUVs tend to be more expensive than sedans, so the APR of your auto loan can have an even bigger impact on your wallet.
It does not hurt your credit to apply to several lenders any more than it does to apply to one lender, as long as you do all applications within a 14-day window. Potential lenders include your credit union, bank and online lender. You could also fill out an online form at LendingTree and get up to five potential auto loan offers from lenders, depending on your creditworthiness.
Vehicles had to earn a 5 out of 5 JD Power’s reliability Power Circle Rating and place in the top three in Edmunds’ Best SUVs in its respective category.
MSRPs in the article are accurate as of the date of publishing.