Popular Midsized SUVs to Avoid and What to Buy Instead

Don't get stuck with a two- or three-row model you'll regret buying when there are better, more reliable ones

2020 Kia Telluride third-row seat.
2020 Kia Telluride third-row seat.

When you see a popular midsized SUV around town, you might wonder why so many people chose that model and whether it's really the best in that category to buy right now. But the popularity could be the result of factors that have little to do with quality, such as competitive discounts and advertising.

So what are the best midsized SUVs to buy? And what qualities do they have? We at Consumer Reports have compiled a list of popular models to avoid and two better alternatives that our testing shows are among the best midsized SUVs.

The vehicles to avoid listed below sell well, so there are lots of them to choose from on dealer lots. Some of them are even discounted. 

Best & Worst SUVs and Cars

For this article, we focused on models that are popular in their category, although they may not be the top sellers. Then we present the two alternatives we think are among the best. We offer:

  • A better choice: Another vehicle that also sells well but has a higher Overall Score.
  • An under-the-radar alternative: A better-scoring model that doesn’t sell as well, in case you don’t want to follow the crowd.

The better choices and under-the-radar alternatives are models recommended by Consumer Reports, meaning they scored well in our road tests, have good reliability, have key advanced safety equipment, and performed well in crash tests.

If you’re a CR member, this article and the list below are already available to you. But if you haven’t signed up, click below and become a member to access the list and all our exclusive ratings and reviews for each vehicle we buy and test. Joining also gives you full access to exclusive ratings for the other products our experts evaluate in several categories, including electronics and appliances. Used-car shoppers can click through to the model pages for information on these vehicles from older model years.

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Popular Midsized Two-Row SUV to Avoid