Which Midsize SUV Is Safe, Reliable and Fuel-Efficient?

"Which midsize SUV is safe, reliable and fuel-efficient?"



Several SUVs may fit that description, depending on what you consider fuel-efficient and what qualifies as midsize. Here are five suggestions: Chevrolet Equinox, Honda Crosstour and CR-V, and Toyota Highlander and RAV4.

All have been rated Top Safety Picks by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and at least some versions of those models have EPA highway mileage ratings of 25 mpg or more.

In addition, all have performed well in recent reliability measurements by J.D. Power and Associates. For example, the Equinox had the fewest problems among compact SUVs in the 2012 Vehicle Dependability Study and the RAV4 was second highest among all SUVs in the 2013 study.

Although you asked about midsize SUVs, we're including smaller models because of their higher fuel-economy ratings. Versions of the Equinox, CR-V and RAV4 top 30 mpg in EPA highway estimates. Among midsize SUVs, ratings of 30 mpg or more are rare, and the list shrinks with all-wheel drive.

Several other SUVs may meet all or most of your criteria, depending on how flexible you are about size. We suggest you check crash-test ratings on the Cars.com Research page, which is found at the Safety & Recalls tab, and tap the resources of the Cars.com Vehicle Recommender to find models that offer the fuel efficiency you desire, other features you may want and fit within your budget.

Have a car question you'd like us to answer? Send us an email at tips@cars.com.

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Lexus, Porsche Top 2013 J.D. Power Dependability Study
Vehicle Recommender



I won't even consider a UAW built vehicle, so truth be told, there are only 4 choices.


Does cars.com use the EPA definition of compact and midsize or what? The CR-V and RAV4 are compacts IMO. The Equinox is borderline. The Honda Crosstour isn't a SUV or even a true CUV, it's a hatchback at best. And since Acura cancelled the ZDX the Crosstour probably doesn't have much time left either. The Acura RDX and Audi Q5 are also pretty fuel efficient. Those could be included because I don't see anywhere stated in the question that the vehicle has to cost under a certain amount.


If you are including the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V then you have made a gross error by not including the Mazda CX-5 and declaring it the clear winner. It is the MotorWeek choice for Best in Class, winner of the Japan Car of the Year Award, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick and the winner of numerous other accolades. Finally, Mazda has the most affordable five-year cost of ownership of all automotive manufacturers according to Kelley Blue Book's KBB.com.


AgentMike- and you chose to air this insignificant bit of information to the world...why?

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