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Best Large SUVs (2023 Shopper’s Guide)

Chevrolet was the first to introduce the concept of a mass-production SUV with the 1935 Suburban Carryall. Fast-forward to 2023, the SUV has become the default vehicle of choice for buyers who need a roomier, more versatile, and practical everyday “car.” We compiled this best large SUVs list if you are in the market right now. Based on our research, there are five we feel confident in recommending.

Except for the Mercedes-Benz GLS, the large SUVs on this list have a body-on-frame construction versus a unibody. Body-on-frame SUVs are sometimes classified as more “truck-like” as they have specific attributes like a higher towing capacity or more off-road capabilities. There are a few larger unibody SUVs we believe are excellent options, including the Kia TellurideHyundai Palisade, and Subaru Ascent

With regard to max towing capacity and the large SUVs on this list, even though some of the numbers might look high, they are relative. The more cargo, gear, and occupants you have in the vehicle (GVWR), the more the max towing capacity decreases.

Best Large SUVs for 2023

Ford, Lexus, and Jeep top our list. The Cadillac Escalade and Mercedes-Benz GLS are also good choices.

Best Overall
2023 Ford Expedition
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Good Cargo Capacity
2023 Jeep Grand Wagoneer
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Ample Off-Road Tech
2023 Lexus LX 600
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2023 Ford Expedition

The current fourth-generation Expedition that debuted in 2018 is a descendant of the original Ford created to replace the Bronco in 1997. The Bronco has since made a bold comeback to challenge the Jeep Wrangler, but the Expedition remains a value-packed three-row SUV with tremendous towing and hauling capabilities.

The Expedition is available in a lengthier Max variant. It’s 12 inches longer than a standard-wheelbase Expedition, offering 77 percent more storage space behind the third-row seats.


  • Spacious Cabin
  • Potent V6 Engine
  • Standard Tech Features


  • Dull Steering Feel
  • Real-World Fuel Mileage

Powertrain & Fuel Economy

The Ford Expedition has a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 with 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft. of torque. The twin-turbo engine sends power to the rear or all four wheels (Control Trac four-wheel drive is optional) via a 10-speed automatic. Higher trim variants receive an uprated EcoBoost with 440 horsepower and 510 lb-ft. of torque.

The Expedition’s EcoBoost V6 is a powerhouse, pushing it from zero to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds. The downside to the Expedition’s quickness is the below-average, real-world gas mileage based on our research. EPA-estimated fuel economy for the Ford Expedition 4WD is 17 in the city, 22 on the highway, and 19 combined.

Max Towing Capacity & Cargo Space

The Expedition can tow up to 9,300 lbs. when properly equipped, a more than decent figure in its class. The Heavy-Duty Trailer Tow Package adds a 3.73 non-limited-slip rear axle, integrated trailer brake controller, reverse brake assist, and trailer backup assist, among other features.

The Expedition has about 20 cubic feet of room behind the third-row seats with nothing folded down. Folding the third row reveals 57.5 cubic feet while folding the second row provides up to 105 cubic feet of space. The Ford Expedition can easily handle the demands of a big family in terms of cargo capacity. There is enough room for grocery bags, sports equipment, camping gear, and anything else.

Ford BlueCruise

Standard in the top-of-the-line Platinum is BlueCruise driver-assist technology. It utilizes data from the vehicle’s driver assistance systems (lane centering, adaptive cruise control, speed sign recognition) to deliver a hands-free driving experience on prequalified sections of highway. BlueCruise debuted on the Mustang Mach-E and is also available on the F-150 Lightning.

Interior Layout: Seating For Eight

The base Ford Expedition is a five-seat SUV with two rows of seats, but other models have three-row seating for up to eight adults. Even the fleet-intended Expedition XL has a boatload of tech like keyless entry, push-button start, a 12-inch infotainment touchscreen, a six-speaker audio system, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Meanwhile, other goodies like tri-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, and a digital instrument cluster are standard as you climb the trim ladder.

Ford Expedition Safety Ratings & Features

The 2023 Ford Expedition received a five-star overall safety rating from NHTSA. Every Expedition leaves the factory with Ford Co-Pilot360, an advanced driver assistance package that includes automatic high beams, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist, and forward collision warning.

Ford Expedition Warranty

All Expeditions have a three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. There are options available to extend the factory warranty on a new Expedition.

2023 Ford Expedition Starting MSRP

The 2023 Ford Expedition is available in six primary trims: XL ($56,970), XLT ($61,035), Limited ($69,855), Timberline ($73,245), King Ranch ($79,910), and Platinum ($81,755).

2023 Ford Expedition

Excellent overall value for the money.

EcoBoost V6 has good power.

King Ranch and Platinum add more luxury.

2023 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

Jeep recently debuted the longer-wheelbase Grand Wagoneer L, a lengthier and roomier Grand Wagoneer, to rival Ford’s Expedition Max land yacht. Like the Expedition Max, the Grand Wagoneer L is 12 inches longer than a standard Grand Wagoneer. If you don’t need all that size and heft, consider the regular-wheelbase Grand Wagoneer on our best large SUVs list.


  • Cargo Space
  • Unique Jeep Styling
  • Potent Engine Options


  • High Starting MSRP
  • Jeep’s Past Reliability Scores
2023 Jeep Grand Wagoneer (left) and Grand Wagoneer L (right). Best Large SUVs.
2023 Jeep Grand Wagoneer (left) and Grand Wagoneer L (right).

Powertrain & Fuel Economy

The 2023 Jeep Grand Wagoneer has two available engines: a 6.4-liter 392 V8 or a Hurricane Twin Turbo 510 in-line six. The 6.4 V8 delivers 471 horsepower and 455 lb.-ft. of torque and features cylinder deactivation to help with fuel consumption. The Hurricane engine packs a bit more grunt with 510 horsepower and 500 lb.-ft. of torque. Both engines pair to an eight-speed automatic that feeds a standard all-wheel drivetrain.

The downside is fuel economy and cost, especially as premium is recommended for both engines. EPA-estimated fuel economy for a Jeep Grand Wagoneer is 14 in the city, 20 on the highway, and 17 combined for the turbocharged inline-six. On the other hand, the V8 achieves 13/18 city/highway and 15 combined.

Max Towing Capacity & Cargo Space

The Grand Wagoneer edges out the Expedition in the towing department. When properly equipped with 4WD and the 6.4 V8, the Grand Wagoneer can tow a max of 9,850 lbs.

The standard wheelbase Grand Wagoneer offers 28.4 cubic feet of storage room behind the third-row seats and up to 72.9 cubic feet with the third row folded away. If you need to carry more, folding the second and third rows reveals 96.9 cubic feet of space. The longer wheelbase model will increase the cargo capacity even further.

Off-Road Capability

While the Lexus LX 600 does have some impressive off-road chops, there is still nothing like a Jeep. The Grand Wagoneer is standard with Jeep’s Quadra-Drive II 4×4 system, complete with a rear electronic limited-slip differential. Other key off-road features include a Selec-Terrain traction management system, a crawl ratio of 48:1, and up to 24 inches of water fording.

Interior Layout: Rugged Luxury

The Jeep Grand Wagoneer may bring an aura of prestige, but it’s not as polished as others on this list. It may be the best-appointed vehicle in Jeep’s lineup, but there’s no hiding its utilitarian DNA. However, the Grand Wagoneer’s leather-wrapped cabin is nearly silent on the highway, an important attribute further enhanced by Jeep’s Quadra-Lift air suspension.

Standard features include four-zone automatic climate control, heated, ventilated, and massaging front seats, heated captain’s chairs for the second row, a power-adjustable and heated steering wheel, and ambient lighting. Opting for a second-row 60/40 bench versus captain’s chairs will allow for eight-passenger seating on the Grand Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer Series II.

In-cabin tech is abundant, though a bit fiddly to operate. Highlights include a digital instrument cluster, a 12-inch infotainment touchscreen, a heads-up display, navigation, wireless charging, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Amazon Fire TV with Alexa, and a banging 19-speaker McIntosh premium audio system, among many more features.

Jeep Grand Wagoneer Safety Ratings & Features

The 2023 Jeep Grand Wagoneer has yet to receive crash and safety ratings from NHTSA and the IIHS at the time of this writing. Advanced driving aids include blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and an automated parking system. Selecting the Convenience Group option adds more safety nets like a night vision camera, front cross-traffic alert, a rear-seat camera monitor, and traffic sign recognition.

Jeep Grand Wagoneer Warranty

The Jeep Grand Wagoneer comes with a three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty, although options are available to extend that coverage.

2023 Jeep Grand Wagoneer Starting MSRP

The Grand Wagoneer is available in three primary trim variants: Series I ($89.995), Series II ($97,090), and Series III ($109,995).

2023 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

Available engines pack a mighty punch at the expense of fuel economy.

Interior is loaded with the latest tech and convenience features.

Long wheelbase models further increase cargo capacity.

2023 Lexus LX 600

Toyota discontinued the J200 Land Cruiser in 2021 despite unveiling the tenth-generation J300 model that same year, just in time to commemorate the Land Cruiser’s 70th anniversary. Some industry sources claim Toyota’s mighty SUV could return to Uncle Sam’s embrace soon, but the Lexus LX 600 more than makes up for the Land Cruiser’s temporary absence.

The Lexus LX is a more sophisticated Land Cruiser with its adaptive variable suspension, off-road driving modes, butter-soft leather upholstery, and a wide array of tech features. The LX 600 Ultra Luxury has four seats with VIP-style captain’s chairs in the second row. Other models have two or three rows of seats for five to seven passengers.


  • Off-Road Tech
  • Luxurious Cabin
  • Turbo V6 Engine


  • Small Cargo Area
  • Intrusive Driving Aids

Powertrain & Fuel Economy

Gone is the venerable V8 engine shared between the Lexus LX and Toyota Land Cruiser. Lifting the hood reveals a more compact, lighter, and more potent 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 with 409 horsepower and 479 lb-ft. of torque (for comparison, the old 5.7-liter naturally-aspirated V8 had 383 horsepower and 403 lb-ft. of torque). The twin-turbo V6 mates to a 10-speed automatic that turns all four wheels using full-time 4WD and a two-speed transfer case.

The leaner engine not only has more power, but it does so while drinking less gas. The EPA ratings are 17 in the city, 22 on the highway, and 19 combined. Those are better numbers than the previous LX 570 and its EPA-rated 14 combined mpg. Lexus recommends premium fuel for the 2023 LX 600.

Max Towing Capacity & Cargo Space

The Lexus LX 600 can tow up to 8,000 lbs. when properly equipped, an impressive number given its smaller turbo V6. Although Trailer Sway Control is standard, Lexus does not offer an integrated trailer brake controller option from the factory, as the Ford Expedition has. If you plan on towing with the Lexus LX, look into an aftermarket trailer brake controller.

Chassis & Suspension

The Lexus LX 600 shares its TNGA-F underpinnings with the Toyota Land Cruiser, Sequoia, and Tundra full-size pickup. According to Lexus, the architecture is 441 lbs. lighter despite being 20 percent stiffer than before. High-mounted front double wishbones and a four-link axle-type rear layout with adaptive dampers and an adjustable ride height suspend the vehicle, ensuring optimal off-road grip and a smooth ride on the tarmac.

Off-Road Tools

While the LX 600 is luxurious and fancy, it’s also not afraid of the elements. Standard Multi-Terrain Select allows drivers to pick from six modes, including Auto, Dirt, Sand, Mud, Deep Snow, and Rock. The suspension, braking, and engine output are optimized according to the selected mode. Crawl Control, Downhill Assist Control, and multi-terrain camera views (shown on the 12.3-inch display) increase off-road performance and convenience.

Interior Layout: Luxurious Yet Slim On Cargo Space

The Lexus LX offers plenty of passenger room in the first two rows of seats, although the Ford Expedition has a roomier third row. If you plan to haul more than five adults or growing kids regularly, the cramped third row could be an issue.

Although a luxurious vehicle, the minimal cargo area is a significant ding for the Lexus LX. With all seats up, the LX offers just 11 cubic feet behind the third row. Folding the third row reveals 44 cubic feet, which is better, but still well behind others on this list. With the second and third rows folded, 64 cubic feet of space is available. If cargo capacity is a top priority, the Lexus LX 600 is not the best option.

The LX 600 has standard heated and ventilated front seats, leather upholstery, dual-touchscreen infotainment (12.3-inch upper and seven-inch lower), ambient lighting, navigation, a 10-speaker audio system, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and wireless smartphone charging.

Lexus LX 600 Safety Ratings & Features

NHTSA and the IIHS have yet to publish safety ratings for the Lexus LX 600 at the time of this writing. Despite this, it has a laundry list of standard safety features and advanced driving assistance technologies via the Lexus Safety System+ 2.5 package. It includes automatic emergency braking, frontal collision warning, emergency steering assist, dynamic radar cruise control, and intelligent high beams.

Lexus LX 600 Warranty

The 2023 Lexus LX 600 leaves the factory with a four-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty. It also comes with a six-year/unlimited miles corrosion warranty and one year of complimentary maintenance. Options are available to extend the warranty of any Lexus vehicle, including the LX.

2023 Lexus LX 600 Starting MSRP

The 2023 LX 600 is available in five trims: Base ($89,160), Premium ($97,110), F Sport Handling ($103,370), Luxury ($105,110), and Ultra Luxury ($129,250).

2023 Lexus LX 600

Updated design driven by consumer feedback.

New platform provides better handling.

F Sport adds unique styling and performance features.

2023 Cadillac Escalade

GM practically wrote the book on large SUVs, with the Cadillac Escalade being its pinnacle example. Complimenting the elegant and stylish interior is a lion’s share of Detroit muscle, especially if you have your eye on the Escalade-V.


  • Spacious Three-Row Cabin
  • Digital Cockpit-Style Driver’s Seat
  • Available Super Cruise Technology


  • Real-World Fuel Economy
  • Average Reliability Ratings

Powertrain & Fuel Economy

The Cadillac Escalade has a standard 6.2-liter naturally-aspirated V8 gas engine with 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft. of torque. There’s an available 3.0-liter inline-six diesel that pumps out 277 horsepower and the same 460 lb-ft. of torque as the V8.

Meanwhile, the top-range Escalade-V has a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 with 682 horsepower and 653 lb-ft. of torque. It’s the same powerhouse motor that motivates the magnificent CT5-V Blackwing sedan. The Escalade-V is one of the most powerful SUVs on the market, reaching 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. All Escalades have a 10-speed automatic with a rear-wheel drivetrain, but 4WD remains optional (except for the Escalade-V).

The EPA ratings of a V8-powered 4WD Cadillac Escalade are 14 in the city, 18 on the highway, and 16 combined. The Escalade-V is no better at 11 in the city, 16 on the highway, and 13 combined. If you desire a fuel-sipping Escalade, the rear-wheel drive 3.0-liter diesel delivers 21 in the city, 27 on the highway, and 23 combined.

Max Towing Capacity & Cargo Space

The Cadillac Escalade will tow up to 8,200 lbs. when properly equipped, while the Escalade-V hauls up to 7,000 lbs. despite its supercar-like power figures.

Escalade’s vast interior has enough room to accommodate up to eight adults across three rows of seats. The regular wheelbase model offers 25.5 cubic feet of storage behind the third row and up to 72.9 cubic feet behind the second row, making it roomier than the Ford Expedition. Fold the second and third rows for 121 cubic feet of cargo space.

Chassis & Suspension

The Cadillac Escalade shares its GMT T1XX platform with the Chevy Tahoe/Suburban and GMC Yukon/Yukon XL. It has a four-wheel independent Magnetic Ride Control suspension. The system has sensors that scan the road surface 1,000 times per second, while metalized particles enable the dampers to stiffen or soften in response to road irregularities.

Super Cruise

GM’s Super Cruise, a hands-free driving technology, is available for the Escalade (except the base Luxury). The system uses adaptive cruise control data, cameras, sensors, and LiDAR maps to deliver a hands-free driving experience on compatible highways. Cadillac vehicles in the near future are expected to have an upgraded version of Super Cruise.

Interior Layout: Sleek With Some Criticisms

The base Escalade has faux leather upholstery, a 16.9-inch infotainment touchscreen, a 14.2-inch digital instrument display, tri-zone automatic climate control, a 19-speaker AKG audio system, and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Higher trims receive a panoramic sunroof, genuine cowhide seats, heated and ventilated chairs, soft-closing doors, and a 36-speaker AKG premium audio system.

If there is any criticism to be had of the interior, it’s the suggestion that it lags behind some European luxury SUVs in material quality and overall layout. This will likely come down to personal taste and preference, so if you are interested in the Escalade, try not to sweat it too much.

Cadillac Escalade Safety Ratings & Features

The 2023 Cadillac Escalade earned four out of five stars from NHTSA. Meanwhile, the Escalade has a long list of advanced driving aids, including forward collision warning, lane departure warning, front and rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, and more.

Cadillac Escalade Warranty

The Escalade has a four-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty, although options are available to extend that coverage. Recent RepairPal ratings place Cadillac at 26 out of 32 for all major car brands in terms of reliability. Despite the mediocre reliability ratings, some studies show that Cadillac has high customer loyalty.

2023 Cadillac Escalade Starting MSRP

The Cadillac Escalade is available in six trim levels: Luxury ($82,690), Premium Luxury ($91,490), Sport ($94,490), Premium Luxury Platinum ($108,990), Sport Platinum ($108,990), and V-Series ($152,590).

2023 Cadillac Escalade

Magnetic Ride Control delivers a “magic carpet” feel on the road.

Super Cruise is regarded in the automotive and tech industries.

6.2-liter Escalade-V will keep up with muscle and sports cars.

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLS

As a Mercedes flagship, the GLS makes no pretensions about its intent and purpose. It’s the only one on this list with a car-like unibody platform, officially making it a large, seven-seat crossover. Despite this, it has a standard 4MATIC all-wheel drivetrain and enough clever engineering to make it a surprisingly capable mild off-roader.

It may not have the ladder-frame architecture of the other large SUVs, but this setup pays dividends on the highway when it comes to comfort and refinement. Add to that its spacious cabin, sporty handling, snappy engines, and a plethora of new tech features, and it’s hard to overlook the GLS-Class.


  • Ride Quality
  • Tech Features
  • Powerful Engines


  • Cargo Space
  • Bland Styling

Powertrain & Fuel Economy

The base Mercedes-Benz GLS 450 has a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six with 362 horsepower and 369 lb-ft. of torque. Upgrading to the GLS 580 gives you a 4.0-liter turbocharged V8 with 483 horsepower and 516 lb-ft. of torque.

If you desire a Mercedes seven-seat SUV to rival the Cadillac Escalade-V, the Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 will satisfy your whims with its 603-horsepower twin-turbocharged V8. All engines mate to a nine-speed automatic that feeds power to all four wheels using the brand’s 4MATIC all-wheel drivetrain.

The base turbocharged inline-six delivers an EPA-rated 18 in the city, 23 on the highway, and 20 combined. Meanwhile, the GLS 580 returns 16/21 city/highway and 18 combined. The hotrod AMG GLS 63 has an EPA rating of 14 in the city, 19 on the highway, and 16 combined.

Chassis & Suspension

The Mercedes GLS has the most luxurious ride among its contemporaries, one of the main reasons it places on our best large SUVs list. Its unibody structure features a double-wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension with adaptive air dampers. The adaptive air damper controls the ride height and ride comfort, meaning the GLS can be sportier or more calm depending on the selected driving mode.

Max Towing Capacity & Cargo Space

When properly equipped, the 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLS tows up to 7,700 lbs., an above-average number given its unibody design.

With the third-row seats in the upright position, the GLS offers 17.4 cubic feet of cargo space, a tad more than the Lexus LX 600 but still below the Grand Wagoneer, Escalade, and Expedition. Fold everything down, and the GLS has just shy of 85 cubic feet of cargo space. That’s still more than the LX 600, but behind the others on this list.

Interior Layout: Comfortable & Luxurious

Up to seven can relax across all three rows, while the oversized windows enhance the feeling of space. As expected from a Mercedes-Benz, the GLS comes brimming with new-age technology. It has a 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen powered by MBUX, standard navigation, four-zone climate control, voice control, wireless charging, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a Burmester audio system.

Mercedes-Benz GLS Safety Ratings & Features

NHTSA and the IIHS have yet to issue their safety ratings for the 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class at the time of this writing, but it does come with the necessary driving aids befitting of a luxury brand. Standard in every Mercedes GLS is blind-spot monitoring, forward collision mitigation, automated parking, and a surround-view camera.

Mercedes-Benz GLS Warranty

The GLS leaves the factory with a four-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, although options are available to extend that coverage.

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLS Starting MSRP

The 2023 GLS-Class is available in two trim variants: GLS 450 ($82,850) and GLS 580 ($106,050). The Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 will have a starting MSRP around $136,000.

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLS

Unibody platform with air suspension increases driving comfort and refinement.

Executive Rear Seat Package adds a separate tablet to control various features.

AMG models offer mind-bending power and performance.

Best Large SUVs: Conclusion

You can’t go wrong with anything on this list, whether you’re looking for space, comfort, luxury, on-road performance, off-road abilities, or all of the above. Today, manufacturers are scrambling for position in the new, hotly-contested electric SUV market. These may be the best large SUVs for now, but it will be interesting to see how things play out in the next few years.

Alvin Reyes is an Automoblog feature columnist and an expert in sports and performance cars. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his younger years and is still very much smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine.