I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, the SUV market in the U.S. has become rather competitive. As minivans and wagons are being replaced by SUVs, all SUV producers are racing to get their vehicles into the hearts and minds of the American population. Currently there are more than 100 different kinds of SUVs in the American market, but for some reason many people are overlooking these 50 SUVs. These are the 50 best SUVs that no-one is buying in the U.S.
For some time now, the Koreans – mainly Kia and Hyundai – have been offering seriously discounted options, which diminished the value of their products. As a response, Kia addressed the perception by offering the strongest warranty offer available in the class. This move was enough for people to notice the brand more, even if it was a marketing spin and not a genuine trust in their products. The Kia Sorrento is a mid-sized crossover that has a boxy design and a low-quality interior finish, but all the same, it’s well worth its price.
The Honda CR-V moniker stands for Comfortable Recreational Vehicle. We can definitely say that the small car specialists from Japan have delivered a good-quality product. The CR-V and smaller HR-V represent great value in the market. Aside from that, they also stir up the competition. The CR-V is one of Honda’s largest cars, as it seats 5 adults comfortably and it has versatile storage options.
While it may lack somewhat in size due to its compact dimensions, the BMW X1 is a sports car in terms of an SUV. It has a 228 hp turbocharged engine, quick transmission and perfect road holding. All the same, its starting price is $34,500, making it an expensive option for an SUV that doesn’t offer much interior space.
Subaru Forester 2.5i
Don’t let the boxy styling fool you, the Subaru Forester 2.5i is an excellent SUV. Its starting price is less than $24k, and it has Subaru’s Eyesight technology, making it a leader in safety with the two cameras mounted at the front of the car to allow the driver to see more of the road. As an SUV, the Forester 2.5i is extremely capable with AWD functionality and off-road credentials.
This SUV is excellent for large families since it sits up to 8 people comfortably. Its cabin is spacious for its class and has a 288 hp engine along with AWD option. While the Enclave might have a rather high price tag, it’s well worth the money. Its base price is around $38k, but there have been Enclaves that sold for as low as $26k. Because of the sales drop in 2017, and since a new model is on the horizon, the prices are reducing even further.
The Mercedes GLA is one of the most affordable luxury SUV options on the market. With the recent sales being slow and decreasing, its price could drop even lower than before. All the same, you would be getting the classic Mercedes luxury and reliability in this 5-seater. With an option for a 208 or 375 hp engine and AWD, this SUV is a great choice. Its price ranges from $25k all the way to $34k, making it a bargain for the SUV you’d be getting.
While its original MSRP price started at $35.6k, it has since come down because of the low sales numbers. All the same, the Acura RDX is a great SUV, with a 279 hp V6 engine, plenty of cargo space, and low ownership costs. It has both AWD and FWD, and it got a full five stars rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. All in all, this SUV is a great buy.
With its base price just under $26k, the Kia Sorento is a great mid-sized SUV for a family. It seats seven people in the three rows, and while it might not be very spacious, it definitely makes up for it in looks and price. There is a choice of a 185 or 290 hp engine and has both AWD and FWD. To top it off, it has a wonderfully designed interior and it runs super smoothly.
While the Audi Q3 may not be the most impressive in its class, it definitely is a worthwhile buy. With a base price of about $32k, it has the sleek Audi design with the luxurious interior as well. It sits five people and has a 200 hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The smaller dimensions of the SUV make maneuvering the car that much easier and it also rides smoothly.
A domestic SUV that doesn’t sell too well is the Lincoln Navigator. The premium SUV only sold a little less than 2,500 examples, but seeing as the new Navigator is now on the market, a growth in sales is to be expected. All the while, the Navigator isn’t what you would call a good seller. All the same, this model has great reviews both by the press and consumers, most of all for its safety features. Only time will tell how the next Navigator will perform on the market, but for now, you can find a great deal on the older model.
Seeing as Jeep is one of the main brands that shaped the modern SUV, they sure know how to make one. The Compass received mostly positive reviews from the consumers and press. All the same, its sales figures are quite low considering the fact that Jeep is an American brand with a strong fan base in the US. Its sales figures saw a 58% decrease, and it sold just over 8,500 copies in Q1 2017. Since the new Compass is going to arrive soon to replace both its older model and the Patriot, the figures can be more understandable. With that said, keep an eye out for deals that Jeep might offer.
Jeep Renegade Sport
A small SUV that can be an example of the styling direction Jeep is heading in, the Renegade Sport has a more rounded appearance that still contains the classic Jeep design in its modern exterior. While Jeep brought down its prices to attract more customers, the Renegade Sport lacks features such as air conditioning and power mirrors that should be essential to any car, even if it costs just $19k.
This compact SUV that Mini released is currently struggling in the US market. The reason being that it has already been replaced by the new generation. So, the number of sales being 2,672 is not completely representative seeing as there is an expected bump in sales coming up. All the same, this model is not that big, in terms of competition as sales figures. It’s definitely safe to say that the Countryman is not a car that is bought too much in the US.
If you’re looking for an SUV with lots of space, the Armada is definitely a contender. It can seat up to 8 people and still tow up to 8,500 pounds. It has full-size dimensions, a big 390 hp engine and plenty of great features. Its price is also reasonable, at $46k. The only downside there might be is its poor fuel economy.
The Japanese manufacturer combined the Land Cruiser with the Lexus luxury, creating a monster that has the comfort of a Lexus along with the incredible capabilities of Toyota’s best SUV. A capable offroader that incorporates the luxury of a land barge, its starting price is $89,880. The LX sold just 1,491 copies – less than any other contender in their class. Seeing as the market for expensive SUVs was not large in the first place, the sales figures for the LX are a sure marker that things won’t be changing anytime soon.
With a starting price of under $30k, The Nissan Murano is a fantastic bargain. It just might be the best proposition on the list, with technology and comfort that most buyers would only expect from premium European brands. Nissan definitely delivered an attractive and capable SUV with the Murano.
While the sales figures of the Range Rover may sound pretty good with over 5,500 copies sold in the Q1 of 2017, this is, in fact, one of the worst selling in its class. Despite its obvious positive qualities, the starting price of a Range Rover is $85,650 which seriously limits its market audience. All the same, this car is a great one, with a stylish exterior and good off-road performance.
Kia Soul Base
While this may be one of the cheapest crossovers on the market right now, the Kia Soul is a pretty good purchase. With the distinctive Kia grille, the Soul has a modern design and a variety of great options. Its base model has a 1.6L engine and a 6-speed manual transmission as well as Bluetooth connectivity and a USB port to stream music. While adding more features will add to its price, the Kia Soul is a great option for a smaller SUV.
The Mazda CX-5 has sold less than 25,000 copies despite other models having sold over 100,000 on average. The reason for the low sales numbers is still unclear, as the CX-5 is a great SUV with a beautiful design, decent performance, and good build quality. This car earned many positive reviews from the press as well as buyers. All the while, this model has shown a 3% increase at the beginning of 2017 which is a good start. However, the car still doesn’t get the attention it really deserves.
This is Jaguar’s first SUV, and its one of the best in its class with fantastic styling, incredible driving dynamics, and, of course, powerful engines. Its interior is as comfortable as it gets and it has a well-appointed dashboard. The SUV engine choices go up to a whopping 380 hp supercharged engine. The F-Pace price begins at $42k. Seeing all the features that it includes, the price is appropriate.
The Bentley Bentayga has incredibly low sales number, but for a different reason than the rest of the cars on this list. With a selling number of just 209 copies, this luxurious SUV has a price of almost $250,000. Seeing as most people would not be able to afford this price, the low sales figures are understandable. All the same, Bentley never intended for the SUV to be a model that sold a lot of examples, so the low sales number makes sense.
Fiat 500X Pop
While the Fiat 500X shares the same engineering as the Jeep Renegade, its exterior definitely matches the Fiat 500 hatchback. Even its AWD capability can’t distract from its rounded appearance and circular headlights. In terms of performance, this Fiat has plenty of agility and is enjoyable to drive. By far, the biggest con is its design.
Despite the fact that its sales figures fell 14% in 2016, Cadillac Escalade sold 4,300 copies and does relatively well in the full-sized SUV market in the US. However, compared to the whole premium SUV market, the number is pretty low. Even though Cadillac is one of the most well-known companies in the States, the Escalade is slowly losing to the Mercedes-Benz GLS.
One of the models that began the SUV craze, the Ford Expedition is still pretty relevant with its modernized design. A spacious full-size SUV with modern construction, it has a 365 hp engine and can carry up to 8 people. In addition, this versatile SUV can cruise a highway comfortably and tow up to 9,200 pounds!
The next Mazda on our list is doing relatively badly as well despite the fact that it has had the biggest sales increase in its class. Over 2016, the Mazda CX-9 has had a 478% increase in sales. With such a significant increase, the CX-9 is expected to make a breakthrough towards the end of the year, but as of now, it has sold just 6,300 copies. To put it in perspective, that’s ten times less than the Ford Explorer which sold over 62,000 examples during the first quarter of 2017. Even with the low sales numbers, the CX-9 is by far the best-looking model in its segment and is a great car to consider since it has such good reviews.
When Porsche released its first SUV, the Cayenne, the motoring world was in shock. Nowadays, they have a smaller but just as great SUV named the Macan. It’s a mid-sized sporty SUV that has amazing performance and handling that has been praised by car magazines. While it might not be the most spacious, it does have premium features. The price begins at $48,500 for the 252 hp base.
The Mazda CX-3 is a very practical choice for a smaller SUV. In this subcompact SUV, there is a lot to offer. It sits five passengers and has AWD as standard. Its starting price is $19,960 and it has great build quality along with a list of excellent features. Even with its sleek design, it has fallen short with a 24% loss compared to the first quarter of 2016. It sold under than 3,200 examples compared to more than 25,000 Jeep Renegades that sold. Nonetheless, the CX-3 is definitely one of the best SUVs in the class and worthy of your attention.
Dodge Journey SE
One of the largest SUVs on this list, the Journey is sold for a low price mainly because it is so out of date. It offers a 4-speed auto while all its competition is at 6 to 8-speed autos. However, this is only part of the problem, since the Journey has an old-fashioned box-like design that has been overtaken by the modern and sleek generations of SUVs. Driving an old-fashioned SUV out of the dealership only to get a mediocre performance is pretty much what you should expect from the low price point of the Journey.
With an elegant style and a 290 hp engine, the Acura MDX is equipped with a third row of seats while still offering great driving dynamics. For these reasons, the Acura MDX is on our list. It has a starting price of $45k and is a spacious, mid-sized SUV that is a great buy for the quality you would get.
Even with its compact size, the Ford Escape is a very capable SUV. It has a nice amount of space, a long list of different options and engines as well as great quality. It starts with a 168 hp four cylinders and ranges all the way up to a turbocharged 245 hp engine, making this model quite the performer. With the high-performance engine, the Escape can tow up to 3,500 pounds – an impressive feat for a compact SUV.
With more than 20 offerings from a variety of manufacturers, the compact SUV segment is one of the most competitive SUV segments. While the segment is dominated by Nissan, Honda, and Toyota, Kia Sportage is far from the top. It sold 15,400 copies and had a 12% fall compared to 2016. It’s strange considering the fact that this SUV has great reviews, a sleek design, and its starting price is at $23,200. The price is relatively competitive in the segment.
Clearly, the Ford Edge is trying to take back the market from the European and Japanese with its contemporary style and perfect proportions. The 2017 model crossover SUV has Ford’s most current driver’s assistance tech, including the Sync 3 touchscreen, self-parking, and a keyless tailgate. Since it’s loaded with features and is priced appropriately, the Edge is definitely on the way to global dominance.
This SUV is one the market has been waiting for a long time. With the Volkswagen Atlas being a mid-sized, third-row SUV with plenty of comfort, fantastic equipment, and bulky design, its base engine is 235 hp with front-wheel drive. You can get a 276 hp engine and all-wheel drive as an option. Its base price is just over $31k which is affordable when you consider the quality, space, and features.
Nissan Juke S
The Nissan Juke S has a rather funky design, especially for an SUV. This is rather surprising as Nissan tends to deliver stylish SUVs. The exterior aside, the Juke is a great car to drive, which can help one get past the style mishap. This model is the most powerful crossover in its class, as it has input into the engine by Nissan Motor Sport. While the newer model has replaced the manual transmission with CVT, the previous model still is very impressive.
To this day, Volkswagen is still recovering from the 2015 Dieselgate scandal, and it definitely reflects on their sales figures in all their market segments. The Tiguan is a decent SUV with the standard Volkswagen quality and conservative but sleek design. And yet, in North America, they sold just 10,000 copies, which is nothing compared to the 101,000 Nissan Rogues that were sold in the US. All the same, the Tiguan has had a 10% increase throughout 2016, so you can expect the sales to go up in the future.
Hyundai Tucson SE
The smaller, 5-seat Hyundai Tucson SE SUV has a lot of features for a car that costs under $24k. It has a touchscreen infotainment system, a smooth Bluetooth connection, and standard safety features such as rear parking cameras and autonomous emergency braking. Altogether, these things make up a pretty impressive SUV for a great price.
Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i
The Subaru Crosstrek 2.oi is like the Forester’s little brother. A sporty little SUV, it has sharp gearing and responsive steering. Clearly, this SUV was designed especially for the driver. With all that said, Subaru definitely deserves more success than they are currently experiencing with the Crosstrek. The exterior design is a little more aggressive than the Forester, and the current Crosstrek might be lower in price as there a new model set to be released.
Alfa Romeo Stelvio
The new Alfa Romeo Stelvio is another sporty looking, mid-sized SUV. It is the latest effort of the company to regain their popularity in the American market. It comes with a 280 hp turbocharged engine, a nice interior, and sleek exterior. With a base price of $43k, you might want to just wait for the Stelvio Quadrifoglio that has a 590 hp engine and aggressive looks.
Hyundai Sante Fe
Just like Kia, Hyundai is attempting to change the perception of low quality that has afflicted the brand since it started exporting. However, Hyundai is further along, with the Santa Fe a great SUV for an even better price. Not only that, but Hyundai stocked the SUV with plenty of features, delivering a well-balanced mid-sized SUV that is comfortable and enjoyable to drive. It is also available as a 7-seater, making it a great family car.
Seeing as Mitsubishi has had it rough for the past few years, their cars can’t seem to get to any customers, even with the overall good quality and nice design. The same is to be said for the Outlander, which still doesn’t have great sales, despite the fact that it had a 65% increase in sales since the facelift. In the first quarter of 2017, the Outlander only sold less than 10,000 examples – ten times less than the segment leaders. However, if you’re looking for a mid-sized SUV, the Outlander is a very good choice.
Despite the fact that Volkswagen used to be a decent seller, nowadays, the Volkswagen Touareg is one of the worst selling SUVs in the States. It’s just one of many Volkswagens that are still suffering from Dieselgate-induced sales flops. In the first quarter of 2017, the Touareg sold just 802 examples. As time goes on, it continues to downfall even though it’s a good car. Now that the Atlas is set to arrive, be on the lookout for some Touareg deals that are sure to happen.
Jeep Patriot Sport
Another Jeep that is all but done, the Jeep Patriot Sport currently has the out of date boxy design that used to be synonymous with the brand. Now the new Jeep Compass is set to replace the Patriot as well as the Compass Sport. However, the Patriot Sport also has an underpowered engine as well as hand-cranked windows. While the brand still brings in plenty of buyers, the owners of Jeep are looking to run out this model as quickly as they can in order to make way for newer models.
Tesla Model X
Despite a significant bump in sales figures with 4,300 examples sold in the first quarter of 2017 compared to the 2,400 sold in the first quarter of 2016, the Tesla Model X is still not a very bought car. Even though it has great design, zero emissions, amazing performance, and even better equipment, alternative power hasn’t caught on too much yet. While sales numbers may not be very impressive compared to other models in its class, the Tesla Model X is still a raging success.
Volvo is a long-standing brand which has great reliability, good quality, and safety on its side. All the same, the Volvo XC60 is not doing all that well in the US. Currently, the sales stand at 3,736 sold copies, a 2% increase since Q1 2016. Seeing as there is a replacement on the way, the low figures are to be expected, but it is still unclear how the XC60 doesn’t have more customers in the United States. When it comes to the XC60, we hope the new generation will have more of an impact as its an amazing car in every aspect.
The Lexus GX is a fascinating vehicle since it has luxury features, and a sturdy chassis as well as a powerful engine. It basically is an off-roader with a luxurious exterior. Its base price is $52,000, which is reasonable for the full-size SUV as it has a 301 hp V8 engine and AWD as standard. It’s a perfect SUV for people wanting to go on an adventure in style.
The Sequoia is the largest Toyota SUV and it can hardly stand against the competition from Chevrolet and Ford as it sold just 3,437 copies in Q1 of 2017. In addition to the low sales, this model is becoming more and more outdated, which makes its 11% growth from 2016 rather surprising. All the same, the Sequoia has gained pretty good reviews and seeing as the price is similar to the Tahoe and Ford Expedition, this SUV can offer a lot for what it’s worth.
Mercedes-Benz G Class
You would think people aren’t aware that the Mercedes-Benz G Class is available on the market with its low sales numbers. In the Q1 2017, it sold just 1,005 examples in the US, only increasing by 3% since 2016. This SUV is one of the few that offers a true off-road performance combined with luxury, and customers tend to forget about it. One reason why is because of its design that has yet to be changed since its release in 1979. In addition, its $122,400 price tag doesn’t help much either. All the same, this SUV is one of the most versatile SUVs in the North American market, and if you want an SUV with great performance, this is definitely an excellent choice.
Another charming and well-built SUV is the Fiat 500X, and while it has great qualities, it’s one of the worst selling cars. It sold just 1,966 copies and had a 50% decrease in sales compared to the first quarter of 2016. The strangest thing is that the bestselling SUV in its segment shares a platform and most of the mechanical components with the 500X. It ends up being just another flop for Fiat in the US market as it still fails to establish itself as an upscale brand.
Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
While the current SUV market is dominated by soft SUVs that compete in road manners and comfort, the Jeep Wrangler truly delivers off-road capabilities with good drivability and comfort. Those things along with its classic Jeep rugged design makes this SUV very desirable. The base price begins at under $29,000 which is an excellent price for such a capable SUV.
While its starting price is $40k, this SUV is well worth the price. The Cadillac XT-5 has the brand’s signature style and virtues along with a good amount of space, all in a compact frame. It has a 310 hp engine and optional all-wheel drive, making it a great performer with an elegant look.
The boldly designed Ford Flex truly does not get the love it deserves. As a lifestyle SUV, it doesn’t seem to attract many buyers. In the first quarter of 2017, it sold only 6,100 copies, barely outselling the Mazda CX-9. In addition, it experienced a 5% decrease in sales compared to the first quarter of 2016. Another thing that might be killing the Ford Flex is the Ford Edge, as it sold almost 32,000 copies in the first quarter of 2017. Seeing as the price difference between the Edge and the Flex isn’t so significant, if you want to drive a good, reliable SUV and still stand out from the crowd in the best way, the Ford Flex is the way to go.
Chevrolet Trax LS
A small, if not uninspired, capable SUV, the Chevrolet Trax LS is essentially hatchback with AWD. Since it has been expanded to the international markets, it offers some modern features even in its base model such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as a rear parking camera and keyless entry. The 2017 model also got an updated exterior design, but this SUV still has some improvements before it becomes a best-seller. In the meantime, Chevrolet is keeping its price low to maintain turnover.
Like the Ford Explorer, the Chevrolet Tahoe is an SUV classic. An SUV with a big body-on-frame and plenty of space, it has a powerful V8 engine and incredible pulling power. Its price begins at under $50k and for that amount, you would get a big, capable, and strong SUV with a 335 hp engine, a good selection of standard equipment and a list of optional extras.
Along with other known brands, Maserati got caught up in the SUV craze. The Levante costs $74,000 but is a great sporty SUV with excellent style and performance with a 345 or 424 hp engine. It’s an elegant alternative to the BMW X5 or Audi Q7. While it may lack in interior space, it definitely makes up for it in the style.
With its sales plummeting, the Infiniti QX30 is a rather great option for a more affordable luxury SUV. Its starting price is just under $30k, and it has a 208 hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The QX30 also has outstanding fuel economy, with an EPA-rating of 24 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. If this wasn’t enough to convince you, it also has AWD and FWD, and with all-wheel drive, the fuel economy decreases to 21 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.