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The 10 Best SUV’s You Can Buy in 2017

Updated June 14, 2018

The Best SUV’s of 2017

The story of the sport utility vehicle, or SUV, in America is a funny one. At first, SUV’s were actually made for utility purposes. They could carry more cargo, hold more passengers, and get over terrain that smaller vehicles could only dream of. They were big, cumbersome, and notoriously hard on fuel. That said, they were awesome.

 

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Over time they became less about off-road capability and and more about comfort and trunk space. SUV’s grew fat, soft, and slow. Oddly enough, that was really the peak of SUV’s in popularity. The roads were full of slow, boring, and big vehicles. When gas prices went up and people became aware of global warming, the SUV fell out of favor.

Nowadays, the coolest things to have are sporty sedans and Crossovers, and SUV’s are free to do their own thing out of the spotlight. To make it these days, SUV’s have to bring more to the table and offer more utility than smaller vehicles. Here are 10 SUV’s available for 2017 that you shouldn’t miss.

10. 2017 Volkswagen Atlas

First off, we have what is effectively a large crossover from Volkswagen. While this may not sound particularly exciting, it’s important to remember that there are plenty of options out there for those of us looking for a powerful 4×4 with a big V8, and that it’s hard to make something that is both practical and good.

Something about the smooth lines and simple shape give it that round, charming VW character that has drawn so many to their cars over the years. It has a ton of space inside and can hold 7 passengers total and still have room for cargo. The 280 horsepower going out to all four wheels is sufficient to get around without feeling like you’re driving an old VW bus.

Overall, the Atlas is never going to be a car that keeps you up at night dreaming of track days or cruising late at night. The Atlas is going to be fairly quiet and comfortable while being a reliable way to carry a lot of cargo. The Atlas is fun, modern, and safe, and does a great job of making the most of its larger size.

9. 2017 Toyota 4Runner

In the dwindling world of SUV’s that are the “real deal”, the 4Runner is the realest. While most companies are making the move to smaller, more efficient and comfortable Crossovers, Toyota is staying consistent in offering capable and tough vehicles like the 4Runner. The 2017 model is no exception.

The 2017 TRD Pro takes the already formidable 4Runner a step further. It offers customers, on top of the standard model with 270 horsepower running through a 5-speed automatic transmission, greater ground clearance, under-body protection, and electronically controlled suspension that adapts to different types of terrain.

This is an old-school SUV that, above all else, will get you where you need to go. If your path is one of a less-beaten sort, there is not a better option. Toyota has a fantastic reputation of making reliable and capable off-roaders, and it doesn’t seem like they’re stopping anytime soon.

8. 2017 Volvo XC90

The 2017 Volvo XC90 looks better than ever. Similar to VW with the 2017 Atlas, Volvo only makes big cars if the size serves a purpose. This is not an SUV that is big for the sake of being big. That’s why there are three rows of seats in the XC90, providing adequate seating for seven.

Interestingly, every model of he XC90 comes with a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. The base model makes 250 horsepower while a twin-charged engine makes 316 in the T6 model. There is even a hybrid available that makes a combined 400 horsepower. The hybrid can also get as much as 53 mpg.

The entertainment system is loaded with neat features and, since this is a Volvo, you know it is safe if the worst happened.

7. 2017 Range Rover

For years, the Range Rover has been the standard for capable off-road performance in the lap of luxury. In 2017, is the Range Rover now too standard? There are a lot of contenders trying to manufacture the best luxury off-roader, so the Range Rover needs to bring everything it can to the table.

The 2017 model is available in a number of trims and power levels, including a 254 horsepower turbo diesel engine. The highest trim level, the Autobiography, steps up the looks of the Range Rover inside and out. But is all of this enough?

The Range Rover is big, expensive, and relatively unchanged over the years. Sure it offers a lot to customers, but shouldn’t it? It costs upwards of $100,000 with the more well-appointed trim levels. That should bring with it a set of attributes that the competition can’t even touch, and I’m not sure that Range Rover has done enough to contend with Maserati and Bentley.

6. 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT

It’s strange that there’s a Jeep Grand Cherokee that you can get from a dealership that can go from 0 to 60 in 4.4 second. But in the year 2017, this is just business as usual. The 2017 Grand Cherokee SRT packs 475 horsepower and a track-oriented all-wheel drive system under its large frame, and can act surprisingly nimble.

The thing is, a fast SUV is not necessarily a good SUV. While the performance numbers are good, there is stiff competition with performance SUV’s and starting with something smaller than a Grand Cherokee seems like ti offers some real benefits. Adding to that, the Grand Cherokee, for all of its new styling, is not all that refined.

So this is the choice of people who want a fairly normal car with an abnormal amount of grunt. If you want a really mean, quick SUV that can make it through anything, look no further.

5. 2017 Porsche Cayenne Turbo

Over the years the Porsche Cayenne has evolved into a sleek, fast vehicle that is comfortable on and off-road. The first generation, for those who remember, was kind of tall and awkward, and stood out more thanks to the flak received from Porsche fans that wanted nothing to do with the SUV business.

But the move to make 4x4s was ultimately a good one for Porsche, and the models we see now are much more fitting of their badges. The 2017 Cayenne Turbo is available with as much as 570 horsepower and go from 0 to 60 in under 4 seconds. For the price, which hovers around $120,000 and, in typical Porsche fashion, can reach astronomical heights, it seems like an appropriate level of performance.

Porsche, between the name and the price tag, has to deliver a lot with the Cayenne. It appears they have done a great job of that, and if they continue at this rate, it will become more and more normal to see large 4x4s with the Porsche badge on the hood.

4. 2017 BMW X5M

When every luxury brand under the sun is taking a swing at making a fast, sporty SUV, BMW is out to remind people that they have been at this for years now. On top of the fact that the X5 is already a great platform on which to make a performance SUV, the X5M has the added advantage of being handled by the renowned M division at BMW.

So what effect does that little ‘M’ have on the X5? Well, for starters, there is 567 horsepower helping the X5M get from 0 to 60 in 3.8 seconds. Top speed is limited to 160 miles per hour, and if you are gentle on the right pedal you can squeeze out 19 mpg. The real work that M does is found in the suspension and brakes.

It’s hard to see, on paper, what makes the X5M such a serious athlete in the world of performance SUV’s. The way it feels, handles, stops, and holds the road will all be very much a BMW experience. They have been making the X5 for some time now, and it’s hard to imagine that a manufacturer like BMW would let it out of the factory before it was perfect, especially with the M badge on the back.

3. 2017 Alfa Romeo Stelvio

I won’t lie; when I heard that Alfa Romeo was going to make a sporty SUV I was skeptical and a bit disappointed. I have nothing against a good, fun SUV, but Alfa always seemed above the whole trend. Maybe I am looking at the brand with Rosso Red-tinted glasses, but Alfa Romeo seems more like a brand that makes sporty convertibles and coupes, with the occasional sedan to keep it practical. But an SUV?

As with many things these days, I was wrong and I will be the first one to admit it. The 2017 Alfa Romeo Stelvio not only looks amazing, but it packs a serious punch as well. The Quadrifoglio model, i.e. the one you really want, come with 505 horsepower and will go from 0 to 60 in 3.9 seconds. Adaptive suspension and big brakes helps keep everything under control, even at track speeds.

This car is fast, comfortable, and seriously good looking. It is even available with a 900-watt stereo from Harmon Kardon. 2017 is going to be a competitive year for SUV’s, and the Stelvio is going to be one of the biggest contenders.

2. 2017 Maserati Levante

Out of all of the luxury brands producing luxury SUV’s for 2017, Maserati makes the most sense. They already spend most of their time and energy making passenger-friendly sedans, so the next logical step is to make an SUV. Looks-wise, it’s a bit generic. Nothing aside from the Maserati badge really stands out.

With up to 424 horsepower, you will not find yourself wishing for more power behind the wheel of the Levante. Even though the power goes to all four wheels, the 2017 Levante is more oriented towards road use. The $73,000 starting price will entice customers put off by the big price tags on competitors’ cars, and there is certainly a market for people who want an SUV for mostly paved roads.

The Levante looks nice and sounds great. The interior is sure to be comfortable and well adorned with gadgets. Is it going to drive around the world without a hiccup? Probably not. But it will do everything it is designed to do with style and comfort, and that is plenty.

1. 2017 Bentley Bentayga

If you find the Porsche Cayenne too pedestrian and the Range Rover a bit too thrifty with interior creature comforts, then you may want to check out the 2017 Bentley Bentayga. Be warned, going this route requires deep pockets. This SUV starts at $231,825 and goes up from there.

So what do you get for all of this cash? How about 600 horsepower and a top speed of 184? 0 to 60 takes an insane 3.5 seconds and with the interior comforts, it’s unlikely that you’ll even feel it. The inside is every bit as lavish as you would imagine, and the extra space allotted by the big SUV body is utilized for more passenger space.

Sure a luxurious interior and W12 engine are overkill in an SUV, but isn’t that kind of the point? Luxury SUV’s give you the comfort of a limousine with the capability of a Jeep and leave no room for compromise. If you can afford the price tag, why get anything else?

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Calvin Escobar
About

The Car scene is so diverse Where I come from, most enthusiasts recognize the amazing engineering (particularly the engines). The bulk of the ridicule originates from the manner in which many of the vehicles are modded/maintained. Thus, the jokes and or hate tends to be aimed more at the owner rather than the machine. All of which makes seeing properly sorted old Toyota's and Hondas at car meets, auto shows, and track days all the more refreshing.

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