Skip to main content

Looking for a reliable SUV that offers a more stress-free ownership experience? These least satisfying SUVs are over $30,000 but fall short in drivers’ eyes, especially when marketed as a luxury SUV. When automakers don’t deliver on promises, these sport utility vehicles rank at the bottom of the segment. The good news is these options from Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, and Infiniti still have plenty of new technology and features.

The least satisfying SUVs include the Volkswagen Atlas

When J.D. Power asked owners about the best cars, trucks, and SUVs, the 2023 Volkswagen Atlas came up short again. While the Atlas is still a brand-new SUV with plenty of features, it feels like Volkswagen tried to do too many things. The engine didn’t seem powerful enough to move the SUV across town.

While drivers found it pleasant enough, Volkswagen’s SUV ranges from $34,360 to $51,625, which is kind of expensive. It gets 276 hp and returned about 21 mpg for fuel economy. That was noted as another negative, as VW gave higher numbers. Overall, this SUV only earned a 72 for quality and reliability.

The Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport received low marks for the sound system too. Owners found the quality of the speakers was not up to par. Overall, a few negatives impacted the overall experience with the Atlas.

The Mercedes-Benz GLB made the list of least satisfying SUVs

Unfortunately for the brand, the 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLB stays on this list. Entry-level luxury SUVs are some of the least satisfying, making owners think twice about repurchasing the same vehicle. The GLB only earned a 73 for quality and reliability, which is relatively low for a luxury SUV.

The GLB sits between the GLA and GLC in size but lacks some of the refinement consumers are looking for. These in-between models are usually lackluster, cutting essential features from the bigger versions to fit into a more compact body (and budget). With a range of $39,800 to $51,500, there might be better options out there. Drivers report that the engine was slow at times and could use some extra power.

Owners report not liking the Mercedes-Benz infotainment system, noting it was hard to use and slow to respond. Beyond that, drivers say that the GLB didn’t have much character.

Entry-level or not, the Infiniti QX50 fell short

This Infiniti QX50 made this Consumer Reports least satisfying SUVs list
A 2023 Infiniti QX50 | Infiniti

Another semi-entry-level luxury SUV, the 2023 Infiniti QX50, failed to impress owners. J.D. Power says it is roomy and quiet, but the QX50 but falls short on performance and fuel economy. Inside, the controls are confusing, and the infotainment system is hard to navigate. With a range from $40,300 to $57,350, drivers have high expectations for this compact premium SUV.

This is one of Infiniti’s smaller SUVs in the lineup but also one of the least popular among drivers. Drivers also remarked that the Inifinti felt too small to offer adequate protection in an accident. It earned a score of 78 for quality and reliability, which is pretty average. The sound of the vehicle’s engine was reported as a disappointment.

Reports from owners offer insight into what driving one of these SUVs is like. Not everyone will have the same opinion, but these entry-level options might be worth skipping over for some.


3 Midsize SUVs With the Lowest Depreciation Over Five Years