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Published: Apr 24, 2023 9 min read
Illustration of an SUV in the spotlight
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Full-size SUVs are popular with large families, or anyone who needs to transport a lot of people, pets or cargo. They provide cavernous space to accommodate the heads, legs and elbows of up to nine passengers. They’re the comfortable choice for a crowd, especially for road trips and other long drives.

These jumbo SUVs are also adept at handling a variety of terrain and weather conditions. They deliver ample power for almost any driving situation, including towing a load as heavy as a pickup truck. However, bulkiness has a downside, and the large footprints and heavy weight of large SUVs makes them harder to operate in tight spaces and on narrow city roads.

With their two rows of seats behind the driver's row, these SUVs are also known as 3-row vehicles. In addition to the picks we highlight below, then, you can consider the additional recommended picks we published as our best 3 Row SUVs.

We evaluated the best large SUVs on the market for the attributes that we think matter most – including value for money, safety, towing capability and performance. Below are our five top choices, with explanations on how each stands out from the pack. The specs listed below each review are for the trim level we assessed, which we judged to offer the best value in the line.

Our Top Picks for Large SUVs

Chevrolet Tahoe – Best Overall and Best Value
GMC Yukon – Best for Features
Toyota Sequoia – Best for Handling
Nissan Armada – Best for Safety
Ford Expedition – Best for Technology

Best Large SUV reviews

Best Overall and Best Value: Chevrolet Tahoe

Courtesy of Chevrolet
  • High-end comfort features
  • Innovative technology
  • Expensive, even for a large SUV

The family-friendly Chevrolet Tahoe tops our list as both the best large SUV in this group and its best value. The $72,495 starting price for its range-topping Premier trim may seem high, but you get all the features of a luxury SUV as well as plenty of safety features and a cavernous cargo hold. The Tahoe also earned the highest initial quality ranking for a large SUV, according to J.D. Power.

The Premier cabin feels elegant with perforated-leather appointed trim, heated and cooled front seats, heated second-row outboard seats, and a heated steering wheel. That's a far cry from the base trim’s cloth upholstery and relatively sparse cabin. The Premier comes with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a Wi-Fi hotspot, wireless device charging, and the Chevrolet Infotainment system with a 10.2-inch touch screen. Hands-free driving on compatible roads is possible with the available Super Cruise feature for $4,825.

The Tahoe ties with the Yukon for the largest cargo capacity on this list, with 25.5 cubic feet of space behind its third row and 72.6 cubic feet behind the second row.

The SUV comes with a 355-horsepower V8 engine. That’s plenty of power, but the Tahoe is hardly fuel efficient, at 15 mpg city / 20 mpg highway. Upper trims can get an upgraded V8 that makes 420 horsepower. Despite its large size, the Tahoe ride is responsive and agile.

Best for Features: GMC Yukon

Courtesy of GMC
  • Rich in luxury features
  • Sophisticated in-cabin technology
  • The priciest pick of this group

The wealth of features in the GMC Yukon’s range-topping Denali trim makes it our model pick for this vehicle. Starting at $76,200, the Denali trim comes with a cabin adorned with perforated leather upholstery and authentic wood pieces, as well as heated and cooled front seats, heated second-row seats and a power-sliding center console with a hidden storage drawer.

The Denali cabin offers plenty of extras, like the option to add a dual-pane panoramic sunroof and a rear-seat media system. In addition to the Tahoe’s standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a Wi-Fi hotspot, wireless device charging and 10.2-inch touch screen, the Denali adds a premium GMC infotainment system with Google built-in compatibility. There’s also a heads-up display that projects key information, like your speed and vehicle incline, onto the windshield, so you can better keep your eyes on the road.

The Yukon comes with a beefy 420-horsepower 6.2-liter V8 engine. Opt for the available air-ride adaptive suspension, which automatically adjusts to driving conditions, to further enhance the riding experience.

Like the Tahoe, the Yukon is pricey, even by large-SUV standards. On top of its high purchase price, the vehicle rates towards the bottom of the class for fuel efficiency, delivering just 14 mpg around town and 20 mpg on the highway.

Best for Handling: Toyota Sequoia

Courtesy of Toyota
  • Robust engine
  • Good fuel efficiency for a large SUV
  • Limited cargo space

The eight-passenger Toyota Sequoia runs on a hybrid powertrain that combines a twin-turbo V6 engine with an electric motor to deliver 437 horsepower – the most of any model on this list. The ride feels placid, thanks mostly to its smooth-shifting 10-speed automatic transmission.

The Sequoia’s Limited trim adds luxuries such as heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel and a power moonroof. The updated infotainment system offers wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a Wi-Fi hotspot and a 14-inch touch screen, the largest on this list.

The Sequoia also boasts the best fuel economy of the bunch, delivering 21 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. However, with less than 12 cubic feet of space behind its third row, the SUV’s cargo capacity is about half that of rival large SUVs.

Best for Safety: Nissan Armada

Courtesy of Nissan
  • Innovative safety features
  • Elegant cabin
  • Poor fuel economy

The Nissan Armada stands out in the category for its spate of standard safety features. All models come with at least 16 driver assistance technologies, including a blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert and forward collision warning. There’s also a host of intelligent driver-assist features that use sensors and cameras to monitor driving conditions and send alerts. And the range-topping Platinum trim’s intelligent lane intervention automatically taps the brakes – lightly – if the SUV senses you are veering out of the lane.

The Armada’s Platinum configuration seats eight people on quilted leather seats. The upscale cabin features heated and cooled front seats, heated second-row seats and a heated steering wheel. There are also optional second-row captain’s chairs that are more comfortable than the standard bench seat but reduce seating capacity to seven from eight.

The Armada is powered by a 400-horsepower V8 engine. Cargo capacity is middling. The 16.5 cubic feet of storage space behind the vehicle’s third row is more than you'll find in the Toyota Sequoia, but less than the capacity of the Ford Expedition and Chevrolet Tahoe.

Best for Technology: Ford Expedition

Courtesy of Ford
  • Rich in tech features, especially given its modest price
  • Robust engine
  • Relatively few standard comfort features

The Ford Expedition provides a lot of technology features for less money than its competitors. Starting just below $60,000, the mid-range XLT trim includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a Wi-Fi hotspot and a 12-inch touch screen. A dual-headrest rear-seat entertainment system is available for $1,995 to keep the family entertained on road trips.

The Expedition has connectivity features that provide navigation services as well as remote access to your vehicle.

The XLT interior is comfortable but noticeably sparse compared with the lavish features found in the Armada and Tahoe.

The Expedition makes 380 horsepower using a V6 engine. The SUV provides 20.9 cubic feet of space behind the last row, which is about average for the segment.

Jaclyn Trop is an award-winning journalist who road-tests and reviews vehicles, in addition to covering automotive news. Her byline has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Fortune, Consumer Reports and U.S. News & World Report, among other publications.