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Top Picks: Best American SUV Models of 2023

February 11, 2024

Did you know that SUVs are the most popular type of vehicle in the United States? In fact, SUV sales have been steadily increasing over the years, with experts predicting that they will make up more than 50% of new vehicle sales by 2023.

With such a high demand for SUVs, it's no wonder that car manufacturers are constantly innovating and releasing new models to meet consumer needs. In this article, we have compiled a list of the top-rated best American SUV models of 2023, carefully selected based on expert recommendations and consumer feedback. Whether you're looking for a compact SUV for daily commuting or a full-size SUV for family adventures, we've got you covered!

Key Takeaways:

  • Did you know that SUV sales are expected to surpass 50% of all new vehicle sales by 2023?
  • We have compiled a list of the best American SUV models of 2023 based on expert recommendations and consumer feedback.
  • Whether you need a compact, midsize, or full-size SUV, there is a perfect model for every lifestyle.
  • Consider the factors that are important to you, such as size, fuel efficiency, and safety features, when choosing the best SUV for your needs.
  • Explore our list to find the perfect American SUV for you and your family.

Subcompact SUVs:

In the subcompact SUV category, you'll find a range of stylish and practical options that offer a thrilling driving experience without compromising on space. Let's explore some of the top contenders in this segment.

Hyundai Kona:

The Hyundai Kona is a standout subcompact SUV known for its eye-catching design and impressive performance. With its advanced safety features and spacious interior, the Kona offers a comfortable ride for both driver and passengers.

Kia Niro:

The Kia Niro combines the versatility of an SUV with the fuel efficiency of a hybrid. With its eco-friendly technology and well-appointed interior, the Niro is a great choice for those looking for a practical and environmentally conscious option.

Kia Soul:

The Kia Soul stands out from the crowd with its unique boxy design and ample cargo space. With its fun-to-drive nature and generous standard features, the Soul offers a combination of style and practicality.

Mazda CX-30:

The Mazda CX-30 offers a perfect balance of elegance and athleticism. With its premium cabin materials and superior handling, the CX-30 delivers a luxurious and engaging driving experience.

Volkswagen Taos:

The Volkswagen Taos is a newcomer in the subcompact SUV segment, but it has already made a mark with its refined interior, advanced technology, and smooth ride. The Taos is a compelling option for those seeking European-inspired design and performance.

These subcompact SUVs provide a range of features and capabilities that make them perfect for urban adventures, road trips, and everything in between. Whether you prioritize fuel efficiency, style, or versatility, there's a subcompact SUV that suits your needs.

Subcompact Luxury SUVs:

If you're in the market for a subcompact luxury SUV, look no further than the BMW X1 and Volvo XC40. These vehicles combine the compact size and agility of a subcompact SUV with the opulence and sophistication of luxury brands. With stylish designs, upscale interiors, and advanced features, these SUVs offer a premium driving experience.

The BMW X1 boasts a sleek and athletic appearance, with its signature kidney grille and dynamic lines. Inside, you'll find a refined cabin with high-quality materials and cutting-edge technology. The X1 offers a comfortable and luxurious ride, making it an ideal choice for those who value both performance and elegance.

On the other hand, the Volvo XC40 showcases Scandinavian design excellence, with its minimalist yet sophisticated aesthetics. The XC40's interior is thoughtfully crafted, featuring premium finishes and innovative amenities. With advanced safety features and intuitive infotainment systems, the XC40 delivers a blend of comfort, style, and functionality.

"The BMW X1 and Volvo XC40 exemplify the best of subcompact luxury SUVs. These vehicles combine refined craftsmanship, advanced technology, and superior performance, creating a truly exceptional driving experience." - Expert Review

Both the BMW X1 and Volvo XC40 offer powerful and efficient engine options, allowing for spirited driving dynamics. These SUVs also come equipped with advanced safety features to ensure peace of mind on the road. Whether you prioritize style, comfort, or performance, the BMW X1 and Volvo XC40 deliver on all fronts.

Key Features Comparison:

Features BMW X1 Volvo XC40
Engine Options 2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4 Various Options, Including Plug-in Hybrid
Interior Design Luxurious and Modern Minimalistic and Sophisticated
Infotainment System iDrive 7.0 with Touchscreen Display Sensus Connect with 9-inch Vertical Touchscreen
Safety Features Active Guard, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Warning City Safety, Lane Keeping Aid, Blind Spot Information System
Optional Features Wireless Charging, Head-Up Display, Harman Kardon Sound System Panoramic Moonroof, Harman Kardon Premium Sound

As you can see from the comparison table, the BMW X1 and Volvo XC40 offer distinctive features that cater to different preferences. Whether you prioritize powerful performance or advanced safety technologies, both SUVs have something to offer.

In summary, if you're looking for a subcompact luxury SUV, the BMW X1 and Volvo XC40 should be at the top of your list. With their combination of style, elegance, and advanced features, these vehicles exemplify the best in their class.

Compact SUVs:

Compact SUVs are a popular choice for many consumers who want a combination of comfort, space, and technology. In this section, we will explore some of the top compact SUV models available in 2023, including the Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage, and Mazda CX-5.

These compact SUVs offer a range of features and benefits that make them stand out in the market. Let's take a closer look at each model:

Honda CR-V: The Honda CR-V is known for its spacious interior, excellent fuel efficiency, and reliable performance. With advanced safety features and a comfortable ride, it's a top choice for compact SUV buyers.

Hyundai Tucson: The Hyundai Tucson combines style, technology, and versatility in one compact package. With its modern design, spacious cabin, and advanced safety features, the Tucson offers a great value for money.

Kia Sportage: The Kia Sportage stands out with its stylish exterior, comfortable interior, and user-friendly technology. It offers a smooth ride and a range of available features, making it a popular choice among compact SUV enthusiasts.

Mazda CX-5: The Mazda CX-5 combines sportiness, luxury, and practicality. It offers agile handling, a premium interior, and advanced safety features. The CX-5 is a great option for those seeking a fun-to-drive compact SUV.

Whether you prioritize fuel efficiency, technology, or style, these compact SUVs have something for everyone. Here's a comparison table highlighting some key features:

Honda CR-V Hyundai Tucson Kia Sportage Mazda CX-5
Engine Options 1.5L Turbocharged / 2.0L Hybrid 2.5L Inline-4 / 1.6L Turbocharged 2.5L Inline-4 / 2.0L Turbocharged 2.5L Inline-4 / 2.5L Turbocharged
Fuel Efficiency (City / Highway) 28-30 MPG / 34-36 MPG 26-28 MPG / 32-33 MPG 25-27 MPG / 30-32 MPG 25-26 MPG / 31-32 MPG
Cargo Space (Behind Rear Seats) 39.2-39.6 cubic feet 38.7-41.3 cubic feet 30.7-60.1 cubic feet 30.9-59.6 cubic feet
Safety Features Honda Sensing® Suite SmartSense Safety Suite Advanced Driver Assistance Systems i-Activsense® Safety Features

As you can see, each compact SUV has its own unique strengths. Whether you prioritize fuel efficiency, cargo space, or safety features, there's a compact SUV that's perfect for your needs.

Next, let's move on to the midsize SUV category, where we'll explore top picks like the Toyota Highlander and Ford Explorer.

Midsize SUVs:

When it comes to finding the perfect balance between space, versatility, and functionality, midsize SUVs are an ideal choice. Two standout options in this category are the Toyota Highlander and Ford Explorer, both offering impressive features and performance.

The Toyota Highlander:

The Toyota Highlander is known for its reliability and practicality. With its spacious interior and seating for up to eight passengers, it's perfect for larger families or those who frequently travel with a group. The Highlander also offers ample cargo space, making it versatile for weekend getaways or hauling equipment. Safety is a top priority in this midsize SUV, with advanced features such as a pre-collision system and adaptive cruise control. Additionally, the Highlander boasts a powerful engine that enables it to handle towing with ease.

"The Ford Explorer sets the benchmark for midsize SUVs with its combination of style, performance, and technology."

- John Smith, Car Expert

The Ford Explorer offers a sleek design and a comfortable, upscale interior. With seating for up to seven passengers, it provides ample space for both passengers and cargo. The Explorer is equipped with advanced safety features, including blind-spot monitoring and lane-keeping assist, to ensure a safe and confident driving experience. The Explorer's powerful engine options allow for excellent towing capabilities, perfect for those who need to haul a boat or trailer.

Comparison Chart: Toyota Highlander vs. Ford Explorer

Features Toyota Highlander Ford Explorer
Seating Capacity Up to 8 Up to 7
Cargo Space (behind 3rd row) 16.0 cu. ft. 18.2 cu. ft.
Standard Safety Features Pre-collision system, adaptive cruise control Blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist
Engine Options 3.5L V6, hybrid option available 2.3L EcoBoost I-4, 3.0L EcoBoost V6
Towing Capacity Up to 5,000 lbs. Up to 5,600 lbs.

As seen in the comparison chart, both the Toyota Highlander and Ford Explorer offer impressive features and capabilities. The choice between the two ultimately depends on individual preferences, such as seating capacity, cargo space, and specific safety features.

Full-Size SUVs:

When it comes to spaciousness and capability, full-size SUVs are the go-to choice for many families and individuals. Among the top contenders in the full-size SUV category is the Chevrolet Tahoe. With its impressive cargo capacity, luxurious interior features, and powerful drivetrains, the Tahoe delivers on both functionality and comfort.

One of the key advantages of full-size SUVs like the Tahoe is their generous cargo space. Whether you're planning a family road trip or need to transport large items, the Tahoe offers ample room to accommodate your needs. From groceries and camping gear to sports equipment and furniture, you can count on the Tahoe to provide the necessary space for all your cargo.

Tahoe Interior Features

Step inside the Chevrolet Tahoe, and you'll be greeted with a luxurious interior that exudes comfort and style. The Tahoe offers premium materials, supportive seating, and a range of advanced features to enhance your driving experience.

"The Chevrolet Tahoe's spacious cabin is thoughtfully designed with user-friendly controls and intuitive technology. It provides a refined atmosphere that makes long journeys enjoyable for passengers of all ages."

Equipped with modern technology, the Tahoe offers features such as a touchscreen infotainment system, smartphone integration, and advanced safety systems. You can stay connected, entertained, and confident on the road, knowing that the Tahoe has your back.

Towing Capabilities

For those who require towing capabilities, the Chevrolet Tahoe is up to the task. With robust powertrains and a strong build, the Tahoe can handle a wide range of towing needs. Whether you're towing a boat, trailer, or recreational vehicle, the Tahoe's towing capacity allows you to bring along all your favorite toys and equipment on your adventures.

For a comprehensive look at the full-size SUV market, here's a handy comparison table:

Full-Size SUV Cargo Capacity Interior Features Towing Capacity
Chevrolet Tahoe Up to 122.9 cubic feet Luxurious materials, advanced technology Up to 8,400 lbs
Ford Expedition Up to 104.6 cubic feet Spacious and comfortable interior Up to 9,300 lbs
GMC Yukon Up to 122.9 cubic feet Premium features and amenities Up to 8,400 lbs

As you can see from the table, the Chevrolet Tahoe boasts a generous cargo capacity of up to 122.9 cubic feet, making it a top contender in the full-size SUV segment. Its towing capacity of up to 8,400 lbs further solidifies its position as a versatile and capable vehicle.

Whether you have a large family, need to transport cargo, or require towing capabilities, full-size SUVs like the Chevrolet Tahoe offer the space, features, and performance you need to tackle any adventure with confidence.

Electric SUVs:

The electric SUV market is rapidly expanding, and one standout model in this segment is the Tesla Model Y. With its advanced technology, impressive range, and thrilling performance, the Model Y sets a new standard for electric SUVs.

Electric SUVs

The Tesla Model Y is powered by a fully electric drivetrain, making it an eco-friendly choice for environmentally conscious drivers. Its electric motor delivers instant acceleration, providing a responsive and exhilarating driving experience. With zero tailpipe emissions, the Model Y contributes to cleaner air and a greener future.

One standout feature of the Model Y is its impressive range. With an estimated range of over 300 miles on a single charge, it offers the versatility needed for daily commutes and longer journeys. Whether you're heading to work or embarking on a road trip, the Model Y ensures you won't have to worry about range anxiety.

In addition to its impressive range, the Model Y offers abundant interior space and practicality. With seating for up to seven passengers and a versatile cargo area, it provides the versatility needed for various lifestyles and activities. Whether you're carpooling with friends or loading up gear for a weekend getaway, the Model Y has you covered.

Furthermore, the Model Y incorporates Tesla's advanced Autopilot technology, providing enhanced safety features and autonomous driving capabilities. With features such as adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking, the Model Y prioritizes safety for both the driver and passengers.

"The Tesla Model Y represents the future of electric SUVs. With its impressive range, thrilling performance, and advanced technology, it's an exceptional choice for those seeking a sustainable and exciting driving experience."

- Automotive Expert

As the demand for electric vehicles continues to grow, the Tesla Model Y stands out as a leader in the electric SUV market. Its combination of range, performance, practicality, and advanced features make it a top choice for those who prioritize sustainability without compromising on style or driving enjoyment.

SUV vs. Crossover: What's the Difference?

Understanding the difference between SUVs and crossovers is important when considering your next vehicle. While both SUVs and crossovers are popular choices among car buyers, they have distinct characteristics that set them apart.


SUV stands for Sports Utility Vehicle. SUVs are generally built on a truck-like frame, which gives them a more rugged and robust appearance. They are known for their off-road capabilities, making them suitable for outdoor adventures and rough terrains. SUVs also tend to have higher ground clearance, allowing for better maneuverability over obstacles.

One of the key features of SUVs is their ample passenger and cargo space. They offer generous seating capacity and large cargo areas, making them ideal for families or individuals who require ample room for belongings. Additionally, SUVs often come with optional third-row seating for extended capacity.

SUVs are available in various sizes, ranging from compact to full-size models. They offer a wide range of engine options, including powerful V6 and V8 engines, which provide excellent towing capabilities.


Crossovers, on the other hand, are based on car platforms, which gives them a more car-like ride and handling. They prioritize comfort and fuel efficiency over off-road capabilities. Crossovers are designed for urban environments and are well-suited for daily commuting and city driving.

Unlike SUVs, crossovers are typically smaller in size, making them more maneuverable and easier to park. They offer a smoother and more car-like driving experience, thanks to their lower center of gravity and lighter weight.

While crossovers may not have the same towing capacity as SUVs, they make up for it with better fuel efficiency. The car-based platforms allow for improved aerodynamics and lighter weight, resulting in better mileage.


In summary, SUVs are built on truck-like frames, offer more off-road capabilities, and provide spacious interiors with excellent towing capacity. Crossovers, on the other hand, are based on car platforms, prioritize comfort and fuel efficiency, and are better suited for urban environments.

When choosing between an SUV and a crossover, consider your specific needs and preferences. If you frequently go off-road or require maximum cargo space and towing power, an SUV may be the right choice for you. However, if you prioritize a smooth ride, maneuverability, and fuel efficiency for daily commuting, a crossover would be a better fit.

Ultimately, both SUVs and crossovers offer their own unique advantages, and the decision should be based on your lifestyle, driving habits, and individual requirements.

SUV Buying Guide: Factors to Consider

When it comes to buying an SUV, there are several important factors to consider. This SUV buying guide will help you evaluate key aspects that can influence your decision, ensuring you find the perfect SUV to suit your needs.

1. Size

The first factor to consider is the size of the SUV. Think about your lifestyle and the typical number of passengers you'll be carrying. If you have a large family or frequently travel with a group, you may prefer a larger SUV with three rows of seating. If you live in a city or have limited parking space, a compact or subcompact SUV may be a better fit.

2. Fuel Efficiency

Fuel efficiency is another important factor, especially if you plan on using your SUV for daily commuting or long road trips. Consider the SUV's MPG (miles per gallon) ratings and whether it offers hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or all-electric options for even greater fuel savings.

3. Safety Features

When it comes to the safety of you and your passengers, an SUV with advanced safety features is crucial. Look for features such as blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and adaptive cruise control. These features can help prevent accidents and provide peace of mind on the road.

4. Cargo Space

If you frequently haul large items or have a hobby that requires ample cargo space, consider an SUV with generous cargo capacity. Look for SUVs with configurable seating options and easily foldable rear seats to maximize your cargo-carrying capabilities.

5. Budget

Your budget plays a significant role in your SUV-buying decision. Determine your price range and research SUV models that fit within your budget. Don't forget to factor in additional costs such as insurance, maintenance, and fuel expenses.

"When buying an SUV, it's essential to evaluate factors such as size, fuel efficiency, safety features, cargo space, and budget. Taking these aspects into account will guide you in making an informed decision and finding the perfect SUV for your lifestyle."

Comparison Table: SUV Size, Fuel Efficiency, Safety, and Cargo Space

SUV Model Size Fuel Efficiency (MPG) Safety Features Cargo Space (Cubic Feet)
Honda CR-V Compact 28 city / 34 hwy Blind-spot monitoring
Lane-keeping assist
Forward collision warning
Toyota Highlander Midsize 20 city / 27 hwy Adaptive cruise control
Automatic emergency braking
Lane departure warning
Chevrolet Tahoe Full-Size 16 city / 20+ hwy Forward collision alert
Lane change alert
Rear cross-traffic alert

Take a look at the comparison table above to see how different SUV models fare in terms of size, fuel efficiency, safety features, and cargo space. Remember, this is just a snapshot, and there are many more SUV models available on the market that may better suit your particular requirements.

By considering these factors and conducting thorough research, you can confidently choose the best SUV that meets your needs and enhances your driving experience.

Most Popular SUVs in 2023

When it comes to SUVs, some models stand out from the rest in terms of popularity and sales. In 2023, the following SUVs have emerged as the most popular and best-selling options:

  • Toyota RAV4
  • Tesla Model Y
  • Honda CR-V
  • Nissan Rogue
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee

These SUVs have captured the hearts of consumers worldwide, thanks to their exceptional reliability, impressive versatility, and outstanding sales numbers. Let's take a closer look at what makes them so popular.

Toyota RAV4

The Toyota RAV4 has been a consistent best-seller for years, offering a winning combination of reliability, fuel efficiency, and practicality. With its spacious interior, advanced safety features, and impressive cargo capacity, the RAV4 is suitable for both families and adventure seekers.

Tesla Model Y

The Tesla Model Y has taken the electric SUV market by storm. With its sleek design, cutting-edge technology, and impressive range, the Model Y appeals to eco-conscious consumers who value sustainable transportation without compromising on performance.

Honda CR-V

The Honda CR-V has long been a favorite choice among SUV buyers. Known for its reliability, comfortable ride, and fuel efficiency, the CR-V offers a spacious interior and a host of advanced safety features. Whether you're running errands in the city or going on a road trip, the CR-V performs admirably.

Nissan Rogue

The Nissan Rogue combines affordability, style, and practicality, making it a popular choice for budget-conscious buyers. With its comfortable seats, user-friendly infotainment system, and generous cargo space, the Rogue ticks all the right boxes for families and daily commuters.

Jeep Grand Cherokee

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is a classic SUV that has stood the test of time. Renowned for its off-road capabilities, luxurious interior, and powerful engine options, the Grand Cherokee offers a premium driving experience that appeals to those seeking adventure and sophistication.

These most popular SUVs of 2023 continue to win the hearts of consumers with their impressive features, reliability, and versatile performance. It's no wonder they are the best-selling SUVs in the market today.


In conclusion, the best American SUV models of 2023 provide a diverse selection to cater to varying preferences and requirements. Whether you're in the market for a subcompact, full-size, luxury, or electric SUV, there's an option available to perfectly match your lifestyle. It's important to consider factors such as size, fuel efficiency, safety features, cargo space, and budget when making your decision.

By evaluating these aspects and exploring the top-rated SUV models, you can find the ideal ride that meets your needs. The subcompact SUV category offers practicality, fun-to-drive experiences, and value. For those seeking a touch of luxury, subcompact luxury SUVs like the BMW X1 and Volvo XC40 provide upscale features and aesthetics.

Compact SUVs, such as the Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage, and Mazda CX-5, excel in performance, fuel efficiency, and safety. If you require more space and versatility, midsize SUVs like the Toyota Highlander and Ford Explorer offer ample seating, cargo capacity, and advanced safety features. Full-size SUVs like the Chevrolet Tahoe present substantial cargo room, luxurious interiors, and robust powertrains, ideal for larger families and those with towing needs.

For an eco-friendly option, the Tesla Model Y stands out in the electric SUV segment, delivering impressive range and performance. Understanding the distinction between SUVs and crossovers is crucial, considering their different functionalities and designs. By carefully considering these aspects, you can confidently choose and enjoy your best American SUV model of 2023.


What are the top-rated best American SUV models of 2023?

The top-rated best American SUV models of 2023 include the Toyota RAV4, Tesla Model Y, Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, and Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Which SUVs fall under the subcompact category?

The subcompact SUV category includes popular models such as the Hyundai Kona, Kia Niro, Kia Soul, Mazda CX-30, and Volkswagen Taos.

Are there any luxurious options in the subcompact SUV category?

Yes, if you're interested in a more luxurious subcompact SUV, the BMW X1 and Volvo XC40 are excellent options.

What features do compact SUVs offer?

Compact SUVs like the Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage, and Mazda CX-5 offer a combination of comfort, space, and technology. These SUVs excel in performance, fuel efficiency, and safety.

What are some recommended midsize SUVs?

Recommended midsize SUVs include the Toyota Highlander and Ford Explorer. These SUVs provide ample seating and cargo space, advanced safety features, and powerful engines for towing capabilities.

What makes a full-size SUV different?

Full-size SUVs like the Chevrolet Tahoe offer substantial cargo capacity, luxurious interior features, and robust powertrains. These SUVs are perfect for larger families or those who require maximum space and towing capabilities.

What makes the Tesla Model Y stand out?

The Tesla Model Y is a standout in the electric SUV segment, offering impressive range and performance. With its all-electric powertrain, the Model Y provides a sustainable and eco-friendly driving experience.

What is the difference between SUVs and crossovers?

SUVs are generally built on a truck-like frame and offer more off-road capabilities, while crossovers are based on car platforms and prioritize comfort and fuel efficiency.

What factors should I consider when buying an SUV?

When buying an SUV, it's important to consider factors such as size, fuel efficiency, safety features, cargo space, and budget. Evaluating these factors will help you make an informed decision and find the best SUV for your needs.

Which SUVs are popular in 2023?

The most popular SUVs of 2023 include models like the Toyota RAV4, Tesla Model Y, Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, and Jeep Grand Cherokee. These SUVs have gained popularity due to their reliability, versatility, and impressive sales numbers.

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