Mid-sized SUVs Buyer's Guide

Jeep Grand Cherokee

Mid-size SUVs continue to sell well in North America, as buyers have preferred this body class and design the past four years. Falling gas prices have contributed to changing perceptions about the total cost of vehicle ownership.

Research shows that fuel economy is no longer the dominant consideration for today's car buyers. People desire reliability, styling, brand preference, ride and handling, reputation and price, according to J.D. Power and Associates in a June 2014 survey.

Low interest rates and credit availability are also resulting in higher demand for SUVs. However, compact/crossover SUVs remain the fastest selling segment of the automotive market, making up nearly one in four new cars sold. Trucks are also seeing growing demand. Mid-size SUVs may capture more demand if manufacturers can keep prices low given economic realities in the U.S.



2015 Dodge Journey

2015 Dodge Journey

The 2015 Dodge Journey is one of the more affordable mid-size SUVs in the market, with a base price of $20,000. It seats five passengers and comes with front-wheel drive, powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine (173 hp) with four-speed automatic transmission.

Buyers can upgrade to an all-wheel drive, 3.6-liter V6 engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. Critics knock the Dodge Journey for its relatively low fuel efficiency of 19/26 mpg in city/highway, but it does have 67.6 cubic feet of cargo space. This model also gets good safety ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for (1) overlap front test, (2) side impact (3) rear crash, and (4) roof strength test results.

The 2015 Dodge Journey has a well-designed cabin, and comes with a 4.3-inch Uconnect touch-screen radio, heated mirrors, push-button start and dual-zone air conditioning. Buyers can add options such as an 8.4-inch touch screen, satellite radio, hands-free text messaging, navigation, a rear-seat entertainment system with a 9-inch screen, rear parking sensors, a rearview camera and remote start.

Dodge Journey for sale



​2015 Hyundai Santa Fe

2014 Hyundai Santa Fe

Industry observers consider the 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe one of the better mid-size SUVs on the market. It retails for $23,000 to $33,000 and comes with either a two- or three-row model. The base four-cylinder engine has 190 hp with an EPA rating of 20/27 mpg in city/highway, which is decent fuel economy for its class. (The three-row Hyundai Santa Fe has a V6 engine but only gets 18/25 mpg.)

The 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe gets high praise for the quality of its interior cabin with good forward visibility. Its standard features include Bluetooth and a USB port. The three-row model comes with a rearview camera and a 4.3-inch touch-screen display. Buyers can add options such as a 12-speaker Infinity audio system, parking sensors, blind spot monitoring and navigation with an 8-inch touch screen.

Hyundai Santa Fe for sale



2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee

2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee

The Jeep Grand Cherokee has always distinguished itself with a sleek exterior design and first-class interiors. The 2015 version seats five passengers and continues to impress with its tasteful look as well as off-roading capability. The new Cherokee has a wide-selling range of $30,000 to $63,000 reflecting a large array of options and added features.

The standard model comes with a 3.6-liter V6 engine (290 hp) and an eight-speed automatic transmission. The rear-wheel drive is standard. At 17/25 mpg in city/highway, the 2015 Cherokee is not as fuel-efficient as other mid-size SUVs. However, the diesel model gets a good rating of 22/30 mpg.

Many observers feel the Cherokee provides a comfortable driving experience, with a smooth ride and controlled handling. Standard features include a Uconnect infotainment system with a 5-inch touch screen, Bluetooth and a USB port. Buyers can add a variety of features such as a rearview camera, 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, navigation, adaptive cruise control.

Jeep Grand Cherokee for sale


Photo of Jeep Grand Cherokee courtesy of Petr Magera, used under CC license.

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