The Best SUVs of 2018
This is our list of Best SUVs 2018
With model year 2017’s time quickly running out, it’s probably about time to take a sneak peak at what the future holds in store for us with our list of Best SUVs for 2018. In terms of SUV segment, that is. With best SUVs one can buy in 2017 soon to be replaced by successor models, and with 2018 slowly but steadily creeping its way towards us, calculating a few steps in advance is probably the most advisable action. Whether it’s the updated look, new equipment, sweeter deal, or just a vehicle one year junior to those currently available, postponing new vehicle’s acquisition somehow always seems a smart move come mid-year.
Furthermore – come summer time – most details about the upcoming models are already disclosed. That gives us the opportunity to compare the two models by looking at their most obvious differences. And there always are some. Even if manufacturers decide to keep them at a minimum. So, without further ado, here are what we consider to be 2018’s best SUVs.
Land Rover Range Rover Velar
Although not that visually different from other Range Rovers, all-new Velar still manages to bring something new to the table. Slotting between Evoque and Sport in terms of price range, Range Rover Velar also successfully mimics Land Rover Discovery’s price tag. What it does better than the rest, however, is adapting to modern roads. Thus, fourth member of the Range Rover family distances itself from Landy’s traditional off-road philosophy.
This doesn’t mean it won’t be able to traverse rough terrain, though. Just because it’s intended for road trekking, doesn’t mean a Land Rover will suddenly lose its ability to get dirty. Starting from $49,900, Range Rover Velar offers aluminum body, mandatory all-wheel drive, full host of off-road tech goodies, and a choice of three different engines. Focusing on efficiency, Velar’s base engine is 247-horsepower 2.0L turbocharged petrol 4-cylinder. Those in need for even more efficient engine can opt for 2.0L turbodiesel 4-cylinder producing 180 horsepower. Finally, those requiring more firepower should be satisfied with 380-horsepower 3.0L supercharged V6. Although officially 2018 year model, Velar is actually already available to order.
2018 marks the beginning of Volvo XC60’s second generation. Completely redesigned compact crossover should easily count itself among the best SUVs 2018 has to offer. Sharp new design brings XC60 closer to its larger sibling XC90 in terms of looks. In fact, they now share the same Scalable Platform Architecture. But that’s not all that Volvo’s best-sold model (accounting for 30% of Swedish maker’s global sales) has to offer.
As it’s always the case, Swedes have again upgraded the overall safety of their newest model. They’ve done so by introducing the all-new Oncoming Lane Mitigation System. Active electronic safety feature that operates at speeds between 37 and 87 mph, takes control of the vehicle thanks to steering assist and helps it mitigate head-on collisions by steering it out of the way of oncoming traffic. City Safety system and blind-spot monitors are still there, but they too have been upgraded. Even the optional semi-autonomous auto pilot is available this time. Just like the full-size XC90, smaller XC60 too will offer the choice of three engines. They’re actually the same as in XC90 which means 250-hp turbocharged 4-cylinder, 316-hp supercharged and turbocharged version of the same mill, and 400-hp version of the engine with additional electric motor.
Ford Expedition MAX/Lincoln Navigator
Largest two of Blue Oval’s SUVs have finally received much needed facelift after 10 long years. Ford Expedition will be henceforth known as Ford Expedition MAX, while Lincoln Navigator continues as before. This actually means that 2018 Ford Expedition has grown in size, while 2018 Lincoln Navigator continues with two sets of wheelbases.
Although almost a whole foot longer than the outgoing models, new Expedition will still manage to shed couple of hundred pounds of weight. It has aluminum architecture adopted from F-150 to thank for that. Biggest change associated with the new Navigator, apart from new design, is the new range-topping Black Edition model. Both SUVs will be powered by 450-horsepower 3.5L EcoBoost V6 mills mated to optional 10-speed automatic transmissions. Expedition MAX should be available for around $47,000, as before, while Navigator’s top tier might require more than $80,000.
GMC Terrain’s slab-sided frontal fascia and somewhat boxy overall design were always an acquired taste. Much to joy of some and to dismay of others, 2018 GMC Terrain continues with more of the same. Only this time, GM’s soon to become compact SUV raises that to entirely new level. It might be smaller and shorter than outgoing models (wheelbase shrunk from 112.5 to 107.3 inches), but that doesn’t hinder its interior room. And atop of that, new model has shed 460 pounds of weight.
Radical new design is based around cornerstone HID or LED (Denali) headlamps, 17 or 19-inch wheels, huge radiator grille, and floating D pillars. Engine department underwent some major changes as well. 170-hp 1.5L 4-cylinder is rather unconventional for genuine American vehicle (let alone SUV), but here it is. Then there’s another peculiar option – 1.6L turbodiesel 4-cylinder making 137 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque. Finally, top of the line Denali models will be powered by 2.0L 4-cylinder making 252 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. While diesel is mated to older 6-speed auto, petrol engines are tied to new 9-speed automatics sporting a new space-saving electronic mechanism.
Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio
Alfa made a comeback to the US market recently, and they hit with what they do best immediately. Offering sublime looking vehicles no matter the segment. Unlike Europe, where Alfa Romeo is just one of the bricks in the wall called family vehicles, their angle in the states is somewhat different. Here, they deal in luxury vehicles, and Stelvio fits that picture perfectly.
Compact SUVs base model starts from $42,000 and offers 280 horsepower thanks to 2.0L turbo four petrol engine. Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio, on the other hand, appears to be one of the best SUVs 2018 is about to bring. High performance version of the crossover, graced by Alfa’s four leaf clover performance mark (quadrifoglio in Italian), will develop a whopping 505 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of twist through all-aluminum 2.9L twin-turbo V6 mill. Enough for top speed of 177 mph. Not bad for a compact crossover. Not bad indeed. This should allow it to compete with the compact German trio of BMW X3, Audi Q5 and Mercedes-Benz GLC. It sure has performance to match and more than what’s needed in terms of design in order to compete with them. But, will it be as reliable? Remains to be seen.
Although slightly oddball, Subaru Crosstrek was pretty much to be expected, come to think of it. Based on Subaru’s famed Impreza (now WRX) rally car, compact crossover represents the next step in its role model’s evolution. Japanese took what was already capable off-roader (although basically a family car when downtuned), and gave it a few inch lift. Now, current Crosstrek (Impreza XV in Japan) models aren’t that popular, but 2018 brings us all-new fifth gen WRX. That means, Subaru Crosstrek is also being overhauled.
2018 Subaru Crosstrek has grown in size, but barely so. Just 0.6 inches overall, although wheelbase is now 1.2 inches longer. Styling changes don’t seem to be that substantial. It’s a Subaru, after all. Engine choice(s) are also limited. In fact, there’s only one regardless of chosen trim level. 2.0L boxer inline-four will yield 152 horsepower, and it’ll be tied either to 6-speed manual or 7-step CVT transmission. As with every other Subaru, though, Crosstrek’ll come with mandatory all-wheel drive. That and abundance of active electronic safety systems should make it one of the safest small crossovers out there. It’s definitely worth the consideration.
Audi SQ7 TDI
Thanks to the dreaded Oldsmobile Diesel, most people in America never knew the struggle of a diesel family car owner during winter. After breakthrough in diesel engine technology in the last decade or so, they never will. Last step in that rapid advancement of new diesel powertrains comes from Audi and their new full-size SUV, the SQ7 TDI.
Apart from everything else that one German luxury full-size SUV needs to possess, Audi SQ7 TDI comes with 4.0L twin-turbo V8 capable of producing 435 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque. Why is this turbo diesel so good? Because it has virtually zero turbo lag. That’s why. The engine and its two sequential turbos are positioned very close to one another in order to reduce the lag as much as possible. Then 48-volt electrically powered supercharger kills the remaining lag altogether and propels this 5,000-pound 7-seater to 60 mph in just 4.7 seconds. Impressive piece of engineering from Germans, but we didn’t expect any less.
As one of only 8 vehicles officially worthy of “Made in America” badge, Buick Enclave deserves more recognition than it currently gets. Then again, with more than 50,000 units sold in the US annually, premium full-size SUV is doing well for himself. And 2018 Enclave is another GM nameplate that’s switching generations next year.
Always considered to be a looker, new Enclave seemingly looks even better. To add to that, Buick has prolonged its wheelbase for more interior space and upped its towing rate to 5,000 pounds. 3.6L displacement hasn’t been changed, but the engine itself has. V6 mill should be capable of delivering north of 300 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque from now on. New for 2018 is top of the line Avenir model which should serve as Buick’s sub brand from now on. Something like Denali is for GMC. Apart from offering premium materials inside and lots of chrome pizzazz outside, Avenir trim will come with much more advanced equipment. Some of it includes LED lighting, state of the art infotainment system and plenty of standard advanced electronic safety gear.
EcoSport isn’t exactly a new model for Blue Oval. Nameplate was first introduced in 2003, in Brazil, and hence migrated across the oceans. After soul searching for 15 years, Ford EcoSport is finally coming to US shores for the first time in 2018.
Smallest of Ford’s SUVs and crossovers is based on Blue Oval’s new B-car platform that underpins Fiesta among others. Light, nimble, economical – EcoSport shouldn’t have too much trouble finding its market in today’s economy. While 2.0L EcoBoost 4-cylinder and all-wheel drive don’t exactly sound efficient, 1.0L EcoBoost 3-cylinder engine coupled with front-wheel drive certainly does. Both options will be tied to 6-speed automatics, and unlike overseas models, should pack a healthy set of features – both standard and optional putting it at the top of our best suv 2018 list.