Buying Advice

AutomotiveMap Picks: Best Two-Row SUVs for Families

The Volvo XC60 is one of the cars AutomotiveMap's team thinks makes a great two-row SUV for families.

Photo courtesy of Volvo Car Corporation

Familes, singletons, or empty nesters who want a high-riding vehicle but don't need seating for up to nine frequently see a two-row SUV as a good choice. These types of SUVs comes in all shapes and sizes. Some emphasize comfort and posh amenities over fuel efficiency and cargo space. Others are the opposite. They come in a wide variety of price points from sub-$20,000 to well over $80,000.

Though they often get trolled for all looking alike, there are a whole host of differences that help many of them stand out from the crowd - for the right or wrong reasons. AutomotiveMap's team has whittled down the long list to highlight their favorites below.

​2020 Mazda CX-30

Photo courtesy of Mazda Motor Corporation

Harvey Briggs: This one's for the drivers out there who have to bring the rest of the family with them sometimes. I love Mazda's Kodo design language in the 2020 Mazda CX-30 and this CUV has the legroom its little brother the CX-3 doesn't.

2020 Jeep Renegade

Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

Jesus Garcia: Its boxy exterior design offers a cathedral of interior space while staying true to its off-road pedigree. The 2020 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk's capability off-road will surprise even the most die-hard muddin' enthusiasts.

2020 Toyota RAV4

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc

Perry Stern, AutoNXT: One of the bestselling vehicles in America, the 2020 Toyota RAV4 delivers with impressive fuel economy, a spacious and comfortable interior, good off-road capability and attractive styling.

Nicole Wakelin: The 2020 Toyota RAV4 has lots of standard features, achieves good fuel economy, and earns high predicted reliability scores. There are also hybrid and plug-in hybrid models.

Chad Kirchner: The RAV4, especially the hybrid, offers all the functionality a small family needs. It has a long list of safety tech that you don't have to pay extra for and the hybrid gets stellar fuel economy numbers.

2020 Acura RDX

Photo courtesy of Acura

Eileen Falkenberg-Hull: The 2020 Acura RDX hits the nail on the head for the average two-row buyer in a number of ways. Its cabin is filled with premium materials, it has comfortable seats (with enough space in the second row for two adults to fit), and there's gobs of small item and cargo storage space. On top of that, the RDX, unlike many other SUVs, is fun to drive with engaging steering and excellent throttle response.

2020 Volvo XC60

Photo courtesy of Volvo Car Corporation

Sue Mead: I consider the 2020 Volvo XC60 a benchmark SUV with world-class safety and mannered motoring. It has a gorgeous, quiet, and spacious interior and laudable stowage. It's refreshed upscale R-Design and new Polestar-engineered trim are powered by a robust turbocharged and supercharged engine and hybrid motor.

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The Bronze Edition model builds on the XLE trim.

Toyota

The Toyota Highlander entered its fourth generation for the 2020 model year, which brought sleek style, updated tech, and a premium-look interior. A new XSE trim joined the lineup for 2021, and for 2022, Toyota is adding a new hybrid-only Bronze Edition trim.

2022 Toyota Highlander Bronze Edition The Bronze Edition adds useful features, such as a hands-free power liftgate.toyota

The new Bronze Edition Highlander builds on the XLE trim with:

  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Digital rearview mirror
  • Ambient interior lighting
  • Memory driver's seat with 10-way power adjustments
  • Hands-free power liftgate

Toyota notes that the Bronze Edition previews features that will show up with the greater 2022 Highlander release. Among them are the new Wind Chill Pearl color, which replaces Blizzard Pearl from the previous model, and height/tilt passenger seat adjustments.

2022 Toyota Highlander Bronze Edition The Highlander is a supremely comfortable SUV with room for the family.Toyota

The Highlander carries on into 2022 with a standard 3.5-liter V6 that makes 295 horsepower and 263 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and either front- or all-wheel drive. A Highlander Hybrid is available, which mates a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with two electric motors. Combined system output is 243 horsepower. With the V6 on board, the Highlander can tow up to 5,000 pounds.

2022 Toyota Highlander Bronze Edition The Bronze Edition is available for Highlander Hybrid models.Toyota

All 2022 Highlander models get Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+, which includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, road sign assist, full-speed adaptive cruise control, lane departure alerts, lane tracing assist, a sway warning system, and automatic high beams. Those features and the Highlander's excellent crash testing scores were good enough for the SUV to earn a Top Safety Pick + designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

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New luxury full-size SUV

All-new 2022 Lexus LX 600 will be here soon

The new LX will go on sale in early 2022.

Lexus

The Toyota Land Cruiser and Lexus LX are among the most revered off-road vehicles of all time. Even so, Toyota is cutting the Land Cruiser in the U.S. after the 2021 model year due to slow sales. We will see its twin, however, as the 2022 Lexus LX was just announced. The full-size SUV will go on sale in the first quarter of 2022 and will bring all two new trims, more intuitive tech, and updated but familiar exterior styling.

2022 Lexus LX The new LX gets a twin-turbo V6 instead of a big V8, and its new platform shaves weight while improving rigidity.Lexus

The 2022 Lexus LX 600 comes in five trims: Standard, Premium, Luxury, F Sport, and Ultra Luxury. The new Ultra Luxury trim cuts the number of seats to four by replacing the rear bench with a pair of plush reclining captain's chairs. A rear entertainment system and large rear center console complete the top-level trim. Also new for 2022 is the LX F Sport, which brings Lexus' sharp appearance package to the LX for the first time. The F Sport gets exclusive 22-inch wheels, aggressive exterior styling, and sport seats with unique color schemes.

The LX is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 that produces 409 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with a ten-speed automatic transmission. The body-on-frame SUV rides on an all-new GA-F platform that Lexus says is 20 percent more rigid than that of the previous model. Lexus also carved 441 pounds out of the previous LX's platform weight.

2022 Lexus LX The LX is available in five trims, including a new top Premium Luxury model. Lexus

A new Active Height Control (AHC) system and adaptive suspension provide stability and a comfortable ride while retaining the LX's off-road capabilities. AHC allows the driver to select from three ride heights depending on the situation, and a low setting is available for entering and exiting the vehicle. Three wheel sizes are available, and the F Sport trim comes with a Torsen limited-slip differential.

Lexus updated the LX's cabin for 2022 with new infotainment system and a cleaner, more upscale design. A new dual-screen infotainment system is standard. The top 12.3-inch touchscreen handles audio and infotainment duties, while the lower 7.0-inch touchscreen is used for climate controls and related settings. The LX also gets Lexus' new infotainment software, which promises to be more intuitive and simpler than previous systems. Over-the-air updates will bring new features and update existing functionality, while voice controls can command audio, navigation, phone, and other vehicle settings.

2022 Lexus LX Ultra Luxury trim reduces seating capacity to four but makes the LX's cabin seriously plush.Lexus

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