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Black Friday SUV Winners and Losers Listed by Consumer Reports

Here’s a summary of the latest large-sized SUV’s that despite their perceived popularity, should be avoided. According to Consumer Reports car experts, here are two losers to avoid, two winners as alternative choices; and two under-the-radar gems they’ve found for this year’s Black Friday deals.

What is Popular is Not Necessarily Good

In a recent analysis by Consumer Reports analysts for this year’s Black Friday SUV deals, CR analysts have sifted through those models with low CR test scores and reliability ratings to help car shoppers make better, more-informed buying decisions when looking at the latest SUV deals offered this Black Friday season.

According to CR analysts:

Popular vehicles tend to fall into three camps: models from brands people trust, models from brands that have a broad dealer network, and mediocre models that have been priced to move or are pushed in droves through rebates, low-interest financing, and attractive leases.

As such, to help consumers identify the losers to avoid and the winners to consider as better alternatives, CR analysts did all the work and presented their latest recommendations as well as two under-the-radar choices for those shoppers looking for a better-scoring model that doesn’t sell as well, in case you don’t want to follow the crowd.

All models recommended scored well in road tests, have good reliability, possess key active safety features, and performed well in crash tests.

That said, here is a summary of their recommendations for your consideration toward buying a large-sized SUV.

Please note the following safety feature abbreviations used:

• FCW---forward collision warning
• BSW---blind spot warning
• AEB---automatic emergency braking


Popular SUV to Avoid #1

Poor Choice Loser: 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLS
Price Range: $77,200
CR MPG: Overall 20 / City 13 / Hwy 30 mpg
Rated #7 of 11 Luxury large sport-utility vehicles

While this is a large luxury-level SUV with three-row seating and a smooth six-cylinder turbo engine, as well as several safety features such as forward collision warning (FCW), automatic emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian detection, and blind spot warning (BSW), it suffers from a well-below-average predicted reliability rating. In addition, its controls are difficult to use and easy to mis-select buried within a digital version of a customer-service phone tree.

Better Choice Winner: 2022 BMW X7
Price Range: $74,900 - $141,300
CR MPG: Overall 22 / City 14 / Hwy 32 mpg
Rated #1 of 11 Luxury large sport-utility vehicles

This alternative made CR’s recommendation list due to its higher predicted reliability rating. However, not quite perfect, here are the pros and cons they listed on this winning choice:

Pros: Strong and smooth powertrain, comfortable ride, quiet cabin, spacious interior that’s well-assembled with high-quality materials, good fuel economy, and standard FCW, AEB, and BSW.

Cons: Daunting controls have a significant learning curve, optional second-row captain’s chairs don’t fold flat, lane keeping assistance system overzealously corrects course, and requires premium fuel.

Under-the-Radar Alternative: 2022 GMC Acadia
Price Range: $34,800 - $48,600
CR MPG: Overall 19 / City 13 / Hwy 28 mpg
Rated #8 of 29 Luxury midsized sport-utility vehicles

Definitely a more cost-conscious buy, this model although not at the same level of luxury, does offer the basic reasons for why a family needs a large-sized SUV that includes not just reliability but also a quiet cabin and comfortable ride for long trips; a comprehensive and easy-to-use infotainment system; and roomy rear seats.

However, CR analysts point out that among the reasons why some shoppers may want to skip this model is due to:

• Fuel economy trails many competitors
• Fussy gear selector
• Expensive for the level of standard features
• Some features (power sunshade, four-way lumbar) aren’t available.

Popular SUV to Avoid #2

Poor Choice Loser: 2022 Nissan Armada
Price Range: $48,900 - $68,300
CR MPG: Overall 14 / City 10 / Hwy 20 mpg
Rated #3 of 8 Large sport-utility vehicles

The best features of the Armada are that it possesses an 8,500-pound towing capacity and standard safety features that includes FCW, AEB, BSW, lane departure warning (LDW), and rear cross traffic warning (RCTW). However, mileage is only 14 mpg, the ride and handling are lacking, plus the controls are described as cluttered, outdated and difficult to reach.

Better Choice Winner: 2022 Ford Expedition
Price Range: $50,110 - $81,815
CR MPG: Overall 16 / City 11 / Hwy 23 mpg
Rated #1 of 8 Large sport-utility vehicles

Reasons to buy: Powerful turbo V6, quiet interior, easy-to-use infotainment system and controls, spacious interior, and standard FCW, AEB, BSW, and RCTW.
Reasons to skip: Ride is on the stiff side, cabin access, ponderous handling, fuel economy.

Under-the-Radar Alternative: 2022 Toyota Sequoia
Price Range: $50,500 - $69,775
CR MPG: Overall 15 / City 10 / Hwy 21 mpg
Rated #2 of 8 Large sport-utility vehicles

All of the basics with the exception of overall handling and fuel economy are covered with this model as a good under-the-radar alternative based on its reliability, refined powertrain, generous accommodations, strong towing capability, cabin storage, power-retractable rear window, and standard FCW, AEB with pedestrian detection, BSW, and RCTW.

For more details and specs of the vehicles, readers are encouraged to visit for unparalleled reviews of cars and how they compare in model-by-model comparison studies.

For more about great car deals that save money, be sure to check out Consumer Reports Most Discounted New Cars to Buy Right Now.

And finally…

For additional articles on SUVs to help you have an enjoyable SUV experience and save money, be sure to check out these earlier articles: Consumer Reports Rates the Worst SUV Deals; Consumer Reports Best New 2021 SUV Deals for Thanksgiving; and, SUVs, Sedans, and Sports Cars That Made Consumer Reports Best New Car Deals List.

COMING UP NEXT: Car Repair Stress Cure with ASMR Brake Job

Timothy Boyer is Torque News Tesla and EV reporter based in Cincinnati. Experienced with early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for improved performance. Follow Tim on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites for daily Tesla and electric vehicle news.

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