Sure, the seven-passenger Mazda CX-9 hasn't seen an update since 2016, but it's still a good-looking crossover that has Mazda's signature fun-to-drive characteristics. The steering is quick and direct, and the chassis has a nimble quality that belies its larger footprint.
Under the hood is a 2.5-liter turbocharged I4 engine that makes up to 250 horsepower when fueled with 93 octane. The CX-9's powertrain has been optimized to deliver up to 310 pound-feet of torque as low as 2,000 rpm.
While it doesn't offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto (yet), the CX-9 doesn't skimp on advanced driver-aid systems. Lane-keeping assistance, forward precollision braking and adaptive cruise control flesh out a fully featured i-ActivSense suite of technologies.
The Honda Pilot was revamped in 2016 and goes into 2018 largely unchanged. We like its strong 280-horsepower V6 engine, which returns 27 mpg on the highway when equipped with the optional nine-speed automatic transmission.
The Pilot is incredibly spacious for both passengers and cargo. The top-end Elite trim gets second row captain's chairs and allows for seven passengers, but the rest of the line-up can seat eight. Fold the second and third rows down and there's 83.8 cubic feet of cargo space.
The Pilot is available with front- or all-wheel drive and can tow up to 5,000 pounds. Honda Lane Watch is standard on all but the lowest trim, and other ADAS systems such as adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist are available on mid trims and standard on higher trims.
One of the few midsize body-on-frame SUVs still on the market offers rugged looks and has a sterling reputation as a stone reliable vehicle. The 4.0-liter V6 engine puts out 270 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque, mated to a five-speed automatic transmission.
It's a simple, throwback SUV that has truck-like qualities, but it's compliant enough to ride on the pavement. It doesn't have any of the Toyota Safety Sense features, however, such as adaptive cruise control or blind-spot monitoring.
The 4Runner is capable of doing some legit off-pavement motoring. TRD Off-Road versions of the 4Runner come standard with an electronic-locking rear differential. An adaptive Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System is available as an option on the 4Runner TRD Off-Road to provide additional wheel travel off-road. In addition, the suspension system improves on road handling by reducing body roll in corners.
Audi's Q7 is unlikely to stir passions the way some of its more overtly sporty or luxurious models do, but this three-row crossover SUV does just about everything right. It offers a refined ride and strong in-cabin tech and it handles well.
The XC60 looks a lot like a shrunken-down XC90, and it's gorgeous. The front fascia is dominated by the "Thor's Hammer" headlights and a chrome-lined grille. There's even a crystal shift knob for a fancy-pants interior.
The interior is well laid-out, beautifully made and comfortable, and the XC60 has a whole slew of safety features. The Pilot Assist adaptive cruise control system works especially well, bringing the car to a full stop in traffic. Standard on the XC60 is oncoming lane mitigation. There is even an optional air suspension system with automatic leveling.
It's different. The available T8 power train combines a 2.0-liter turbocharged and supercharged engine with an electric motor. The T8 engine produces up to 400 horsepower and 472 pound-feet of torque. In a world of X5s and Q5s, the XC60 stands out as something else, something cool.
One of the best warranties in the business covers the powertrain for 10 years or 100,000 miles and the rest of the vehicle for five years or 60,000 miles. Five years of 24/7 roadside assistance means the Santa Fe probably won't leave you stuck like Chuck.
You want V8 power in your midsize SUV? Dodge offers not one, but two eight-cylinder options. The regular Durango can be had with FCA's 5.7-liter Hemi V8, and the Durango SRT gets the big, mean, 6.4-liter engine.
It's a Toyota, so it will run until the cows come home and the seas reclaim our coastlines. The base Highlander LE has an anemic 2.7-liter I4 engine with 185 horsepower, but other Highlander models have a 3.5-liter V6 with 295 horsepower. The V6 model is actually the most efficient, returning 21 mpg city and 27 mpg highway with front-wheel drive.
It's no-nonsense, three-row transportation. If you need a workhorse, the Highlander can handle it. There is room for seven or eight passengers and lane-keeping warning with steering assist and adaptive cruise control are both standard.