As is likely abundantly clear, we loveAmerican craftsmanship. And not just in the gear wecarry every day, but in every facet of manufacturing including architecture, technology, and (of course) motor vehicles. Sure, there was a time a few years back when USA-made automobiles were kind of up in the air. Thankfully, however, that time has come and gone and now American vehicles are on the up and up once more.
One of our favorite classes of motor vehicles is, as you might guess, SUVs. Theyre spacious, capable, and just all-around fun when done right. And a lot of them are made right here in the States even if the greater manufacturer isnt headquartered in the U.S. With that in mind, we put together the following collection of sport utility vehicles that are built here in America. So, the next time youre in the market for a beefy people hauler, youll be armed with the knowledge of where to find the absolute best.
Is there anything vehicle thats more of an American classic than the Jeep Wrangler? Even if you think the answer is yes, theres still no denying the impactthis 44has had on our culture as a whole. From a military vehicle that got our soldiers across the battlefield to a badassadventure-ready off-roader, the Jeep is top tier in our minds. Best part is, you can get this high-level American-made 4-wheeler for a relative bargain brand new. Honestly, its hard to do better than a Jeep on all fronts.
The Dodge Durango doesnt get a lot of love in the SUV conversation. And, honestly, thats not entirely unwarranted, historically speaking. However, this beefy vehicle has gotten some serious upgrades and updates as of late and we think it certainly deserves more of a spotlight now. And that goes double for the SRT trim, which features a monstrous 475-horsepower 6.2L V8 HEMI engine capable of pushing this bad boy from 0-60 in just 4.4 seconds. Basically, this has the beating heart of an American Muscle Car, but a lot morecargo area, headroom, and seating. Not bad, Dodge, not bad at all.
When most folks think of Volkswagen, images of compact cars like the Bug or therally-styleGolf hatchback likely pop into their heads. But were here to tell you the German brand has a lot more to offer than that. In fact, their Atlas SUV is an exceptional value for what you get out of it. It comes standard with three rows of seating (or a hell of a lot of cargo room if you fold some of those seats down), has roof racks for your gear-hauling adventure-ready pleasure, and comes with a massive panoramic sunroof that stretches nearly the full length of the cab so you can enjoy every bit of boththe road(or lack thereof) and the sky.
Ford, since its inception, has always been one of the top dogs of American automotive manufacturing, and their Explorer SUV has been an important part of that pedigree for a long time now. The latest iteration comes standard with the brands best-in-class 365-horsepower 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine, has loads of technological options (including compatibility with the FordPass connectedsmartphone app), and it comes with Intelligent 4WD paired with the brands Terrain Management System. Whether youre tooling around the city or hitting the trails hard, you could do far worse than the Ford Explorer.
Though Toyota is headquartered across the ocean in Japan, they actually have a manufacturing plant in Princeton, Indiana. And its in that factory that they create their Highlander hybrid SUV. And while theres an argument to be made about the best SUVs being gas-guzzlers, its hard to ignore that a vehicle with as much cargo space as this one can still manage a whopping 30 miles to the gallon without being a complete bank-breaker. While their arent a ton of trim options for this particular model, it does benefit from the fact that the top-tier option is under 10-grand over the base models price.
Another case of a foreign car brand manufacturing some of their offerings on American soil, the BMW X3 sits somewhere in the space between luxury and affordability and it does so in spectacular fashion. Thanks to a clever folding seat scheme, this SUV can open up to 62.7 cubic feet of cargo space, comes with a paddle-shifted 8-speed automatic transmission (so you can bounce back and forth between a leisurely drive and a bit more of a driving-focused feel), has an intelligentall-wheel-drivesystem, and comes standard with a 248-horsepower 2-liter engine. Though, its worth noting there are other trim options with a more-powerful 355-horsepower 3-liter.
If full-sized is what youre seeking, look no further than Chevys beastly Tahoe SUV. This massive road-goer comes loaded with a 5.3L V8 engine with 355 horsepower and 383 foot-pounds of torque. And, believe it or not, it still manages a best-in-class 23 mpg. It can also tow up to 8,600 (in case you cant fit all of your toys inside or on top) and has a wealth of options in regards to cabin technology. Though its not small by any stretch of the imagination, Chevrolet still managed to load it up with an impressive number of features from nose to tail. If youre considering this one, we also suggest taking a look at high-performance RST Edition.
If Chevrolet isnt quite your speed, but you still want a full-sized SUV packed to the gills with both driving capabilities and onboard options, you could do far worse than the GMC Yukon. The base model of thisbeastly 4-wheelercomes loaded with a 5.3L EcoTec3 V8 capable of 355 HP and 383 foot-pounds of torque, but that gets bumped up to a 6.2L with 420 HP and 460 foot-pounds of torque if you opt for an upgrade to the Denali trim. Whatever the case, you get at least 8,400 pounds of towing capacity, 8 seats, parking assistance, a rear-facing camera and so much more. Any way you stretch it, that aint half bad.
When luxury is the name of the game, you know you can always turn to Mercedes-Benz even in the case of SUVs. And their GLE is certainly proof positive of that fact. Yes, the base model starts at over $50,000, but you get the assurance that youre behind the wheel of a German-engineered automobile, and thats certainly worth something. It also comes with either a gas-powered engine or a hybrid, has over 80 cubic feet of potential cargo space, and has an available panoramic roof option. If you really want to have some fun, however, we suggest opting for the AMG version boasting an enhanced biturbo V6 with 385 horsepower and 384 foot-pounds of torque, amongst a slew of other upgrades.
The onlyfully-electric caroption on our list and the only one built in California, the Tesla Model X is equal parts eco-friendly high-performance and superb luxury. The brands signature futuristic styling was pared perfectly into the larger SUV format, as was their performance-focused engine tech (though, for the best option it will cost you more than double the price of the base model). Still, even at the low end, you still get 237 miles of range per charge, a top speed of 130 miles per hour, and a 0-60 time of 4.9 seconds. And thats just whats under the hood. Youd need a bibles worth of pages to cue you in on all the other features of this futuristic SUV.
Lincoln has become kind of a dark horse in the automotive world. Or at least theyre not a brand that comes to the forefront of everyones minds when considering buying a new car (with the exception of, perhaps, our grandparents). But we think thats a little bit of a shame, as theyve got a lot more going for them than for which they are given credit. And we mean more than just the fact that theyre bringing back suicide doors (which they are). Their Navigator full-sized SUV, for instance, is a superb vehicle for its cabin capacity, towing capacity, comfort and luxury, and even its performance (it comes with a 450-horsepower 3.5-liter engine). If youve passed up Lincoln in the past, it might be time to reconsider.
Nothing says luxury SUV quite like the Cadillac Escalade. Both outside and in, this monstrous vehicle screams opulence and the plushpremium leatherupholstery goes a long way toward solidifying that. Its also no slouch when it comes to performance, as it comes standard with a V8 engine capable of pumping out 420 horsepower and 460 foot-pounds of torque. It also has seating for up to 8 people, has four trim options of which surprisingly none break the $100,000 price point and there are a good deal of customization options on top of that.
If the thought of an SUV tickles your fancy, but youre hoping to get behind the wheel of something guaranteed to handle the trails with grace, then youll want to check out our list of thebest adventure vehicles.
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