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The Best Midsize SUVs of 2018, Part 1

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Midsize SUVs are multitalented machines built to handle more of what life throws at you. They blend the sharp-handling of cars, the cargo capacity of minivans, and the utility of some smaller-sized pickups. Plus, because of their growing popularity among consumers, more manufacturers have been jumping into the SUV game. The result? We’ve seen more options, more innovation, and more competitive pricing. So, to help you get a sense of what your options are, here are the best midsize SUVs of 2018.

This guide will take you through everything you need to know about this segment’s hottest picks. Here, you’ll find information on fuel economy, cool tech, interior options, and everything in between. So without any further delay, here are the best midsize SUVs of 2018.


#1 2018 Nissan Rogue


Go Auto Pricing: $27,955 – $39,933


The first to appear on our list of the best midsize SUVs of 2018 is the Nissan Rogue. One of Canada’s best-selling vehicles, the 2018 Nissan Rogue is both practical and efficient. It has no shortage of cargo space, and has all the advanced active safety equipment you could hope for. With its head-turning exterior design and comfortable interior, you’ll be driving in style no matter where you go. Whether it’s to work, or on an outdoor adventure, the 2018 Rogue is the smart way to get there.

 What’s New in 2018?

From the outside, the 2018 Rogue looks nearly identical to the previous model – and we’re completely OK with that. Inside, though, some happy additions have been made. Of particular note are the updates the signature Nissan Connect infotainment system received. All Rogues now have a standard 7.0-inch touchscreen display compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. These systems integrate your smartphone to your car, and make everything from navigation to listening to podcasts simple tasks.

Moreover, some more additions have been made to the Rogue’s safety system, such as the new Nissan ProPilot Assist. This is Nissan’s most advanced technology to date, and represents the next step towards self-driving cars. It can self-accelerate, brake, and steer the car at highway speeds –  and it’s especially handy during long drives.

Performance & Fuel Economy

The 2018 Rogue isn’t the zippiest midsize SUV out there. Instead, it prioritizes ride comfort, safety, and cargo space. That said, the Rogue is fuel-efficient to boot, and can venture far off the beaten path thanks to its dependable off-roading equipment.

All 2018 Rogue trims are powered by a 170 horsepower 2.5-litre 4-cylinder engine that’s paired to a continuously variable transmission. It’s speedy off the get-go, capable of reaching 100 km/h in 9.3 seconds. It may not win you any drag races, but it’ll always get you to your kid’s Saturday morning soccer game on time.

Another great thing about the 2018 Rogue is that it’s available with intelligent all-wheel drive. This system automatically adapts to road conditions, and sends power to the wheels that need it most. Whether snow, rain, or shine, you’ll always drive with a confident sense of control.

Additional systems working to improve driving performance are hill start assist and intelligent engine braking. The first will keep you from rolling backwards when driving on an incline, while the second smooths out deceleration. What’s more, because of its soft suspension and famously quiet ride, passengers will nap pleasantly on those long road trips. The Rogue also has a famously soft suspension system, which helps give it an ultra-quiet and gentle ride. Translation: your kids will nap happily on your next road trip.

The 2018 Rogue also excels when it comes to fuel economy. It manages an impressive 9.1L/100km in the city, 7.1L/100km on the highway, and 8.1L/100km combined. That puts the Rogue on par with a lot of gas-sipping sedans you’ll find on today’s market.

Safety

There’s no cause to feel anything but safe when riding in the Rogue. It was named a Top Safety Pick for 2018 by the IIHS, and received a four-star (out of five) rating from the NHTSA. And to go with its top-notch safety scores, the Rogue can also come equipped with several active safety and driver assist features. Some of these include:

  • Nissan ProPilot Assist, with intelligent cruise control and steering assist
  • Intelligent emergency braking with pedestrian detection
  • Intelligent around view monitor with moving object detection
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane departure prevention

… and more.

The base trim doesn’t have as many available features, but the second and third-slotted trims have access to the best. Blind spot warning and rear cross traffic alert come standard to all trims.

Finally, the Rogue is more than accommodating for child safety seats. So, if you have a family, or plan on starting one, the Rogue would be a perfect fit for you.

Additional Highlights

The Rogue has tons of cool features, so it’s easy for some to slip under the radar. One thing that you shouldn’t overlook, though, are the Rogue’s clever cargo configurations. Thanks to adjustable panels, you can arrange the trunk in endless ways to maximize packing space. As well, with the split rear sears folded down, you can fit big, bulky items with ease. Whether you’re making an impromptu trip to IKEA, or packing up to go camping, the Rogue can handle the haul.

Beyond that, standard and available equipment consists of:

  • 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels
  • Panoramic moonroof
  • Heated leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Power liftgate
  • LED daytime running lights

… the list goes on.

Reasons to Buy

  • Spacious, well-built interior
  • Standard 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Excellent fuel economy
  • Lots of advanced safety features
  • Comfortable driving dynamics

For a more in-depth look at the 2018 Nissan Rogue, read our full review.


#2 2018 Ford Escape


Go Auto Pricing: $23,000 – $43,139


Next up on our list of the best midsize SUVs of 2018, we have the 2018 Ford Escape. There are so many reasons to love this year’s Escape. It’s fun to drive, good on gas, and available with all the best features – all at a reasonable price. This sporty SUV can maneuver tight city streets, head off-road, and merge seamlessly into high-speed highway traffic.

What’s New in 2018?

Last year, the Escape received a new 4-cylinder engine, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and expanded small item storage. As well, engineers redesigned the front-end, giving the Escape a more sculpted look, and making it more aerodynamic. This year, instead of making big changes, Ford made good stuff more affordable and more accessible to lower trims.

There’s now a new mid-level SEL trim. It does more to bridge the gap between the practical base trim and the luxurious top trims. In other words, the SEL trim offers more value for your dollar. It comes with fine leather upholstery, a power liftgate, rear parking sensors, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen display. Add to that a Sync 3 interface that allows drivers to start, lock, and locate their vehicles via their smartphones. In short, this trim offers upscale features at a discounted price.

Performance & Fuel Economy

All the things that SUVs are usually bad at, the Escape does right. Unlike many SUVs, the Escape’s high center of gravity doesn’t affect turning control, and big winds don’t push it around like they do some competitors. Because the Escape has features like AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control, Curve Control, Torque Vectoring Control, and intelligent all-wheel drive, it always drives steadily, no matter the conditions. Plus, if equipped with the right Trailer Tow Package and engine, the Escape can tow up to 1,587 kg.

There are three different engines to choose from, and each one is mated to a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission. The base engine is a 168 horsepower 2.5-litre inline 4-cylinder engine. Stepping up from that, the SE and SEL trims are both driven by a 1.5-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder Ecoboost engine. This one provides 179 horsepower, and improves fuel efficiency to the lineup’s best: 10.2 L/100km in the city, 7.8 L/100km on the highway, and 9.0 L/100km combined.

But to get the most of the 2018 Escape, opt for 245 horsepower 2.0-litre Twin-Scroll 4-cylinder EcoBoost. With that under the hood, the Escape upstages all rivals when it comes to acceleration and passing power. It’s standard to the stop Titanium trim, and is optional for the SEL trim. When drawing power from this engine, the Escape can go from 0-60 mph in 7.1 seconds.

Safety

The 2018 Escape has solid crash test scores and a suite of active safety features. The NHTSA gave it a five-star overall safety rating (the best possible score). What’s more, it was built with family life in mind. Installing safety seats is quick and easy, and doesn’t affect front legroom in the slightest.

The extensive list of standard and available driver assist and active safety features include:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Forward collision warning with brake support
  • Automatic high beams
  • Blind sport monitoring with rear-cross traffic alert
  • Lane keep assist

… and more.

Additional Highlights

Taking connectivity a step further, the FordPass app lets Escape owners use their smartphones to remotely start their engine, contact roadside assistance, lock and unlock their doors, and access other key information, like distance to empty.

Finally, you also have the option to get a heated steering wheel. Once you go a winter gripping one of those, there’s just no going back.

Reasons to Buy

  • Good value for your dollar
  • Stellar performance and capability
  • Plenty of driver assist and active safety features
  • Ample cargo space

For more information on the 2018 Ford Escape, read our full review.


#3 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan


Go Auto Pricing: $33,146– $43,366


Another one of the best midsize SUVs of 2018 is the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan. Edmunds named it one the Best Small SUVs in 2018. As well, it boasts upscale features, a compelling drive, and a segment’s best infotainment system. The Tiguan is a strong choice for people looking to maximize utility, and who don’t want to compromise on sophistication.

What’s New in 2018?

The 2018 Tiguan is longer than last year’s, and with that extra space, comes increased legroom and cargo space. And get this, the additional space even allows for optional third-row seating. That nifty feature will come in handy when you need to chauffeur a couple extra kids home from hockey practice.

What’s more, the new Tiguan has a bolder look, thanks to an updated exterior design. Actually, it almost looks like the 2018 VW Atlas, just with more manageable proportions.

Performance & Fuel Economy

All trims draw power from a spirited turbocharged 2.0-liter TSI I-4 making 184 horsepower. It’s paired to an enjoyable eight-speed transmission. Overall, this powertrain is nothing to brag about. However, it does provide an extra burst at high speeds, which is exactly what you need for confident highway passing.

Even with its larger body, the Tiguan’s handling remains responsive. Plus, with the available 4MOTION All-Wheel Drive intelligently distributing power between front and rear wheels for added traction, drivers will feel under control no matter what the driving conditions are.

At its best, the Tiguan achieves 10.6 L/100km in the city, 8.7 L/100km on the highway, and 9.8 L/100km combined. Those are satisfying numbers, but they still lag behind class-leaders, like the Honda HR-V, and the Ford Escape.

Finally, the Tiguan is a perfect vehicle for bringing family and friends on out-of-town adventures. Its ride is smooth and agreeable, especially at high speeds. Most importantly, though, the available third row seating means more people can tag along.

Safety

Safety in the 2018 Tiguan begins with a smattering of airbags and ABS brakes. Standard safety features consist of a rearview camera, and an Automatic Post-Collision Braking System. The latter immediately initiates braking after the vehicle suffers a collision, which minimizes the severity of potential follow-up collisions.

A notable step-up from last year’s model, the 2018 Tiguan now offers a comprehensive list of advanced active safety features. These include things like:

  • LED headlights with an adaptive front-light system
  • Park distance control
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Lane keep assist

… the list goes on.

Additional Highlights

In typical VW fashion, the interior is well-built with durable materials. Also, it’s equipped with one of the best and easiest-to-use infotainment systems on the market. The base trim gets a standard 6.5-inch touchscreen display, while others get an 8-inch display. It’s compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Lastly, the top trim has a premium 400-watt Fender Audio System, and it turns the Tiguan into a verifiable concert hall.

Reasons to Buy

  • Fast and intuitive infotainment system
  • Plenty of active safety and driver assist features
  • Attractive styling, both inside and out
  • Available third-row seating
  • Good road manners

#4 2018 Mazda CX-5


Go Auto Pricing: $27,795 – $38,940


The next item on our list of the best midsize SUVs of 2018 is one of our favourites: the 2018 Mazda CX-5. It was named the Best Small Utility Vehicle in Canada for 2018 by AJAC, and for good reason. It’s marketed like a sports car, and it has the driving chops to back it up too. As well, there are numerous safety and driver assist features available to all trims. When you consider everything the CX-5 has, it’s shocking that it starts at the low price of $25,900 (MSRP).

What’s New in 2018?

This year’s CX-5 has a cylinder deactivation system that improves fuel-efficiency – but more on that later. In addition, an advanced blind spot monitoring system with rear cross traffic alert is now standard to all trims. These systems will work to keep you safe by alerting you of fast-approaching cars in your blind spots, as well as of cars approaching you from the side when you’re backing up.

Performance & Fuel Economy

On the road, the 2018 CX-5 is poised and controlled, and is a downright pleasure to drive. Not to mention, it’s one of the most fuel-efficient options in its class. There are two engine options: a 156 horsepower 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine, and a 187 horsepower 2.5-liter inline-4.

Another thing helping to put Mazda at the tip-top of the performance charts, is its innovative SKYACTIV technology. It’s engineered into every part of the CX-5, and works to improve fuel economy, strengthen the chassis, and increase safety. Every manufacturer will brag about their latest tech updates as if they’re the best thing since sliced bread. But the difference, this time, is that SKYACTIV is worth the hype. Just take AJAC’s word for it – they awarded Mazda the Best New Innovations Award because of it.

In terms of fuel-efficiency, the CX-5 can attain 9.3 L/100km in the city, and 7.6 L/100km on the highway. Plus, to make matters better, the engines are now built with a new cylinder deactivation system. This will automatically shut down two of the engine’s cylinders in light-load situations. For instance, when you’re cruising at a constant pace.

Front-wheel drive is standard to the first two trims, and it works great. But for a more balanced, winter-ready drive, opt for the i-ACTIV all-wheel drive system. It’s optional to the first two trims, and standard to the top GT trim. However, regardless of which system you choose, Mazda’s SKYACTIC G-Vectoring Control system will be working behind the scenes to deliver a smooth drive.

Simply put, the CX-5 is a driver’s car. Its speed, handling, and acceleration are world-class, largely thanks to Mazda’s ingenious technological improvements.

Safety

The CX-5 performed adequately in its crash tests, receiving a four out of five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA. Also, it was named a Top Safety Pick+ by the IIHS. That’s largely because of its impressive list of i-ACTIVSENSE safety features, which consists of such features as:

  • Smart city brake support
  • Pedestrian detection
  • Mazda radar cruise control with stop-and-go function
  • Forward obstruction warning
  • Advanced blind spot monitoring system with rear cross traffic alert
  • Traffic sign recognition system
  • Lane-keep assist system

… and much, much more.

Additional Highlights

The CX-5 is far too refined and has too many high-tech features to cost as little as it does. But hey, we’re hardly complaining about that.

Each model comes with a 7-inch touchscreen display with Mazda Connect entertainment options. Audio, hands-free calling, and navigation are all easily controlled with the CX-5’s intuitive controls. Plus, the top trim gets a premium Bose sound system, so your music will come through loud and clear. What’s more, Bluetooth compatibility is now standard to all trims.

Inside, you won’t find a single cheap material. The available leather-trimmed upholstery is soft to the touch, and the interior is serenely quiet, even at highway speeds. As well, there’s an abundant amount of cargo space, especially with the 40/20/20 split rear seats remotely folded flat. Car and Driver gave the CX-5’s interior a five out of five-star overall rating, and even went as far as saying that if you woke up inside one, you “may think you’ve been abducted by kidnappers who own an Audi or a Mercedes.” https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2018-mazda-cx-5-in-depth-model-review-2018-mazda-cx-5-interior-review-car-and-driver-page-5.

Reasons to Buy

  • Great value for your dollar
  • Fun ride with superb handling
  • Attractive design, inside and out
  • Plenty of innovative technologies

#5 2018 Honda CR-V


Go Auto Pricing: $29,800– $41,200


Last on our list of the best midsize SUVs of 2018, but certainly not least, is the 2018 Honda CR-V. The CR-V was named the Motor Trend SUV of the Year, and sets a higher standard for competitors to follow. Fuel-efficient and abundant in high-tech equipment and functional space, the CX-5 is everything a midsize SUV is supposed to be. This is one of the most affordable, most family-friendly vehicles on the market. Whether you’re looking for a grocery-hauler, or something for your weekend adventures, you can’t go wrong with a CR-V.

What’s New in 2018?

Following last year’s comprehensive overhaul, little was done to update the 2018 model. However, there is a hybrid version on the way. It was showcased at the Shanghai auto show in 2017, and will give the hybrid Nissan Rogue and hybrid Toyota RAV4 a run for their money.

Performance & Fuel Economy

Power is drawn from a punchy 190 horsepower 1.5-litre turbo engine. As well, the engine is paired to one of the best CVT (continuously variable transmission) systems on the market. You’ll also be happy to hear that the CX-5 has a max towing capacity of 680 kg (1,500 lbs). That’s more than enough pulling power to tow a small trailer.

Where the CX-5 truly shines, though, is fuel economy. It can get 8.4 L/100km in the city, 7.0 L/100km on the highway, and 7.8 L/100km combined. With numbers like those, you could easily go from Edmonton to Calgary and back, and still have gas to spare.

The CR-V’s ride is as smooth as any, its brakes are strong, and its steering is refined and responsive. Plus, thanks to its Real Time All-Wheel Drive and Intelligent Control system, you’re guaranteed a commanding feel of the road. What these systems do is direct power to the wheels that need it most, and they do so almost instantaneously. So, there’ll never be a moment when you shouldn’t feel like you’re in complete control of your vehicle.

Fuel-efficiency, cargo versatility, and confident road manners make the CR-V something of a multi-sport athlete. It can rise to any challenge, and will look good doing it.

Safety

The 2018 CR-V sets the golden standard for safety in its class. In addition to a wide array of active safety and driver assist tech, the CR-V has top-notch crash test scores. Indeed, the NHTSA gave it a full five stars rating, and the IIHS named it a Top Safety Pick+.

When it comes to the active safety and driver assist features, the CR-V has the best offering in its class. Without having to spring to the top, most expensive trim, you can have access to features like:

  • Adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow
  • Honda LaneWatch blindspot display
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keeping assist

… and more. Other features, like blind-spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, rear parking sensors, and rain-sensing windshield wipers are also available.

Additional Highlights

Inside the CR-V’s surprisingly roomy interior, you can find a 7-inch Display Audio System that comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth compatibility, and Siri Eyes Free compatibility. Also, you can get the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System with the top trim. It shows up directly on the 7-inch touchscreen display, and has a pinch-to-zoom function, so it’s easy to use.

Moreover, its interior is practical, attractive, and has cargo space for miles. With the rear seats folded down, you can easily fit a bike without taking off its front wheel, and still have room to spare. Some more features worth bragging about, among many others, are:

  • Dual-zone automatic climate control system
  • Perforated leather-trimmed seats
  • Heated leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Heated front and back seats

Reasons to Buy

  • Excellent fuel-efficiency
  • Lots of useable space
  • State-of-the-art active safety equipment
  • Standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Your Next Step

Now that you’ve browsed through the best midsize SUVs of 2018 and found the ones you like, it’s time to head to your nearest Go Auto dealer to test them out.

Go Auto offers many special perks, such as no extra fees charged, free loaner vehicles for when your car is in the shop, and 24/7 customer service. With that, and one of the largest vehicle inventories in Canada, there’s no better place to get your dream car.


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