2017 Toyota Highlander

It could’ve been the Sequoia we selected, but the Highlander is just more popular. It’s undergone a recent redesign to make it more attractive, less boxy, and it performs better on and off the road. The Highlander goes with a 295-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 in most cases, which is the better choice than the 185-horsepower four-cylinder option.


Space-wise, the Highlander is pretty impressive. The second row handles adults with ease and the third row has space for slightly smaller occupants. Other vehicles have a useless jumper seat tossed in as an afterthought – this is not one of those. It’s a great choice for SUVs with third row seating, especially for active families.

2017 Ford Explorer

One of the modern SUV pioneers is the Explorer, and the 2017 version is an excellent option. With renowned 4WD capabilities and performance options that include a 365-horsepower 3.5-liter EcoBoost 6-cylinder, the Explorer is a choice that can actually tackle on- and off-road enjoyment.

The interior development was a little less refined off the start. But recent years have seen marked improvement between the doors. There’s now comfort at all three rows, including seating for seven and more than 33 inches of legroom in the rearmost seat.

2017 Hyundai Santa Fe

Right now, you can’t go wrong with a Hyundai. The 2017 Santa Fe is a solid performer, especially on a budget, and capable of comfortable street travel or light off-road use. With 290 horsepower available and optional features that include an All-Around View Monitor, it’s hard to find a flaw in the Santa Fe’s value.


Setting the Santa Fe apart from many others is the available captain’s chairs in the second row. It drops passenger capacity from 7 to 6 if you choose it, although how many people use the third row on a consistent basis? Not many.

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