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Consumer Reports Popular Midsized SUVs to Avoid and What to Buy Instead

Avoid buyer’s regret when shopping for a new two- or three-row model SUV by passing on the more popular ones and choosing these models that Consumer Reports lists as being better and more reliable.

According to a recent Consumer Reports newsletter, when it comes to SUVs, popularity isn’t everything.

Just because you often see a popular midsized SUV around town doesn’t mean it’s the best option—or even worth buying. That’s because popularity is often the result of such factors as advertising, financing incentives, or even social media that have little to do with quality, usability, fuel efficiency, or family friendliness,” states CR analysts.

Related article: The Truth on Why Some Cars Are Reliable and Others Are Not

“Buy This, Not That” SUV Advice from Consumer Reports

In their latest “Buy this, Not that” car shopping advice, CR automotive experts are helping shoppers find 2- and 3-row SUVs that may have missed shoppers’ radar because of the over-sell of certain models of SUVs that in their road tests were not all that stellar.

Related articles: Best Hybrid SUVs for Less Than $35,000 and Best Hybrid SUVs That Cost $35,000 to $45,000.

Here is a summary of CR’s latest report that focuses on popular models you should avoid and their recommendations under these two categories

  • A Better Choice: A vehicle that sells well but has a higher Overall Score.
  • An “Under the Radar” alternative: A better-scoring model that doesn’t sell as well as some of the more popular models but offers more in the long run.


Chevrolet Blazer 2024

Price Range:  $35,400 - $45,700

CR MPG:  Overall 19 / City 13 / Hwy 27 mpg

#7 of 16 Midsized SUVs

Cons to Buying This Model: 

  • More focused on styling and comfort than on utility.
  • Dash vents direct air to front occupants’ knees and elbows instead of their upper body.
  • Restricted rear visibility.
  • Reliability is below average.



Ford Edge 2023

Price Range:  $26,650 - $34,975

Owner Reported MPG:  24 mpg

Pros to Buying This Model: 

  • Smooth, quiet acceleration with a standard 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder and eight-speed automatic.
  • Spacious interior and plenty of cargo space.
  • Comes standard with Ford’s Sync 4 infotainment system, with its large 12-inch touchscreen.



Honda Passport 2024

Price Range:  $41,900 - $47,970

CR MPG:  Overall 21 / City 14 / Hwy 28 mpg

#4 of 16 Midsized SUVs

Pros to Consider Buying This Under-the-Radar alternative: 

  • A smooth, refined 3.5-liter V6 engine and nine-speed automatic with 21 mpg overall.
  • The entry EX-L trim is well-equipped, has a roomy interior, and is full of handy storage places.
  • All Passports come with all-wheel drive.



Jeep Grand Cherokee L 2024

Price Range:  $40,035 - $64,560

CR MPG:  Overall 19 / City 13 / Hwy 28 mpg

#18 of 21 Midsized SUVs 3-row

Cons to Buying This Model: 

  • A paltry 19 mpg overall fuel economy
  • Low acceleration.
  • Long stopping distances.
  • Noisy V6 engine.
  • Price too high for what you get.
  • Below average reliability―the least reliable vehicle in CR’s survey.


Toyota Highlander Hybrid 2024

Price Range:  $39,120 - $53,125

CR MPG:  Overall 35 / City 27 / Hwy 41 mpg

#1 of 21 Midsized SUVs 3-row

Pros to Buying This Model: 

  • The Highlander Hybrid tops CR’s three-row midsized SUV ratings.
  • Available with a turbo four-cylinder engine and four-cylinder hybrid powertrains.
  • Stellar 35 mpg overall fuel.
  • A comfortable and spacious ride with comfortable second-row seating.



Mazda CX-90 2024

Price Range:  $37,845 - $57,450

CR MPG:  Overall 24 / City 16 / Hwy 33 mpg

#4 of 21 Midsized SUVs 3-row

Pros to Consider Buying This Under-the-Radar alternative: 

  • The three-row CX-90 moves Mazda upscale with its new RWD-based platform.
  • Two 3.3-liter six-cylinder turbo engines are offered, making 280- or 340 hp; both are smooth and sound good with 24 mpg overall with the 280-hp version.
  • Both seven- and eight-passenger seating configurations are available.

For additional Consumer Reports recommendations when car shopping, here are three selected articles to help you find the right vehicle to fit your needs:

Timothy Boyer is an automotive 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  and Facebook for daily news and topics related to new and used cars and trucks.

COMING UP NEXT: The Worst American Cars You Should Avoid Buying In 2024

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