From the February/March 2023 issue of Car and Driver.
Stand at attention: a second 10Best list is here. From a long list of contenders, we have chosen the best trucks and SUVs for sale in a crowded market. Each choice delights, satisfies, and exceeds expectations.
Your eyes aren't deceiving you. Reality isn't buffering. This isn't a mistake—you are in fact looking at a second 10Best list. Last month we gave out our 2023
10Best Cars awards; this time, we're picking our favorite trucks, SUVs, and basically anything that isn't a car. With the market shift away from cars and the explosion of SUV and truck offerings, we decided to give them their due and award a second 10Best. We invited trucks, SUVs, and vans priced from below $110,000, a number selected based on the assumption that anything that costs more better be pretty damn great. For a week, the Car and Driver staff left the office to shake down the vehicles on our 10Best loop. After a few note-comparing discussions around the dinner table, we sat down to vote individually. Scores were averaged, and the 10Best emerged. Each winner leads its segment and offers the refinement, practicality, and value we look for during judging. Of course, C/D believes those virtues shouldn't come at the expense of the driving experience. Satisfying performance and entertaining vehicle dynamics are a requirement for every 10Best winner, no matter its shape, size, or segment.
Click each individual vehicle to get its full story, or keep reading to find out more about the 2023 10Best Trucks and SUVs.
Although the hype is passing and Broncos are now a common sight, we're still smitten with this SUV, which combines supreme open-air off-road chops with tolerable highway manners. Recent additions to the lineup include the retro Heritage model, the swamp-creature Everglades, and the all-conquering Raptor, which hits 60 mph in 5.6 seconds and comes with tires that would do it proud at the King of the Hammers competition. Minimalists can get a four-cylinder two-door model with steel wheels. Realists might go for a four-door Outer Banks and its on-pavement civility. And survivalists can park an Everglades, with its winch and snorkel, at their bug-out compound. All those models share a commitment to fun, an attitude that driving ought to be a good time. A Bronco is supposed to deliver a little spark of excitement every time you fire it up. And in its third model year, it definitely still does.
The Maverick makes a very strong case for a compact pickup. The cab doesn't require a big climb to get into. Loading its bed doesn't mean lifting heavy cargo four feet off the ground. And the sightlines actually allow you to see what's in front of you. Easy to own, easy to use, and easy to live with, the Maverick proves that when done right, a compact truck is the just-enough truck. It may lack the body-on-frame construction of its bigger siblings, but with up to 1500 pounds of payload capacity, this isn't a truck in name only. It may not tow a jetliner, but the 250-hp turbo 2.0-liter's 4000-pound max rating can handle real-life tasks such as a small snowmobile trailer or a pair of personal watercraft. At the same time, the standard front-wheel-drive-only hybrid powertrain tugs just 2000 pounds but returns an eye-popping 42 mpg city, according to the EPA.
The GV70 combines comfort, athleticism, and refinement with an artful and upmarket design. It impressed and delighted us as we hustled it through our 10Best evaluation loop. Two satisfying powertrains are available: a 300-hp turbocharged four-cylinder that can send the GV70 to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds and a 375-hp twin-turbo V-6 that takes 4.6 seconds to hit 60 mph. Both powerplants offer refined but muted engine notes that keep the cabin serene. The GV70 checks the boxes buyers in this class expect, such as space for four adults, exemplary fit and finish, refined engines, and big-box-store-worthy cargo space. This Genesis oozes luxury, and its undeniable desirability makes it a welcome addition to our 10Best list.
The CR-V is a well-rounded package that punches way above its weight on multiple levels. That impression starts as soon as you close the door and start rolling, as the structure of the new CR-V immediately feels tight, hushed, and substantial. The body shell is more rigid, and there's more sound insulation in the cowl, firewall, and instrument panel areas. Once you're underway, the new CR-V delivers the kind of smoothness you expect from a more expensive vehicle. The steering is willing and pairs to a chassis that cuts a steady arc through turns. The interior feels rich too, with an attractive styling theme shared with the Honda Civic, a 10Best Cars winner. The Sport models feature a hybrid system that delivers up to 40 mpg combined; they're our most recommended versions of this much-recommended vehicle.
Hyundai Ioniq 5
Much of what makes the Ioniq 5—Car and Driver's 2022 EV of the Year—such a standout SUV stems from the fact that Hyundai developed it as a dedicated battery-electric vehicle. Built on the automaker's EV-specific E-GMP platform shared with the Kia EV6, every Ioniq 5 model comes with an 800-volt electrical system that allows it to fast-charge from 10 to 80 percent in 18 minutes. We've also found each Ioniq 5 trim level to be a joy to drive, offering quick acceleration and agile handling. The interior is vast thanks to the underfloor position of its battery pack, its compact electric motors, and its four wheels being pushed to the far corners of its body. Hyundai further enhances the cabin's spacious feel through large windows and an open and flat front floor. Yet the Ioniq 5's true pièce de résistance is arguably its retro-futuristic looks. It's the sort of distinct design that makes even non-enthusiasts enthusiastic about this EV.
Kia made the EV6 as good and practical as our favorite gas-powered SUVs and then baked in a dose of fun. Its 800-volt architecture is something usually reserved for pricier EVs and allows the EV6 to fast-charge at rates as high as 240 kW, adding 100 miles of range in just 11 minutes. With up to 310 miles of EPA-estimated range, the EV6 has the most offered on any EV priced under $50,000. Go for the 576-hp GT performance model, and 60 mph arrives in a mere 3.2 seconds. But the EV6 isn't on our 10Best list because it's quicker to 60 mph than a Ford Mustang Shelby GT500; it takes a spot because every EV6 trim level delivers a practical package and well-bred refinement and is blessed with a ride-and-handling balance that left us grinning.
The Telluride's degree of polish, well-considered design, and level of equipment put it at the head of the three-row-SUV class. Its 291-hp 3.8-liter V-6 murmurs contentedly from beyond the firewall, the engine's linear response combining with the eight-speed automatic's demure gearchanges to provide effortless thrust. Its composed chassis provides secure handling and a refined ride. And if you care to live some of that SUV dream life, the Telluride acquits itself capably off-road—more so this year with the arrival of standard hill-descent control along with slightly higher ground clearance for the X-Line and X-Pro trims. A premium product in every way except the price, the Telluride takes a remarkable fourth straight 10Best win.
You might sit a lot higher than you do in one of Porsche's iconic sports cars, but scythe through a few corners and blast a straight or two and you'll quickly forget you're piloting a roughly 4300-pound crossover. The seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox executes rapid, snappy shifts with a click of the cool metal paddles or responds seemingly telepathically when left to its own devices. The entire package boosts the driver's confidence with every turn of the wheel and prod of the pedals. Porsche charges full price for the Macan's greatness, with the base model starting at nearly $60,000 and the GTS coming in at an as-tested price of $100,130. A hefty sum for sure, but no other SUV offers the Macan's broad spectrum of talents. Regardless of the trim level or powertrain, each Macan provides the thrills of a corner-carving rocket, and when the road turns less exciting it becomes a luxurious cruiser.
For everyone looking for a full-size pickup—which is a lot of Americans—the Ram meets all your needs and exceeds expectations. Its coil-spring rear suspension provides luxury-SUV-like ride quality, making the bouncy competition feel like farm trucks. The optional 5.7-liter V-8 makes a satisfyingly nostalgic roar yet still manages decent fuel economy when equipped with the eTorque 48-volt hybrid system. At the top of the range, there's the supercharged Ram TRX, with its 702-hp 6.2-liter V-8, an off-road-worthy exercise in the wonders of life-affirming absurdity. The Ram's interior is its most impressive and delightful attribute. The upper trim levels feature carefully selected materials, including leather, metal trim, open-pore wood, and the kind of attention to detail we'd expect from a Mercedes-Benz S-class. Basic versions share sound ergonomics, excellent build quality, and buttons and knobs that are satisfying to the touch.
The R1T is the best-driving pickup we've ever tested. With 835 horsepower, it is also the most powerful vehicle—pickup or not—to make the 10Best list. Four motors, one per wheel, move this sleek machine's 7150 pounds to 60 mph in as little as 3.0 seconds. A large 128.9-kWh battery pack nets a 75-mph highway range of up to 280 miles. But the acceleration and EV range aren't solely what make the Rivian a winner. The interior design looks futuristic, the seats are comfortable, and the cabin materials are ones no contractor would recognize. Then there's the exemplary on-road behavior: hydraulic anti-roll control, air springs, and adaptive dampers are attributes usually reserved for big luxury sedans, but here they all are on a pickup.