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One of the best places to find the best vehicle is U.S. News & World Report. The publication has ranking lists for every vehicle segment and detailed reviews. However, the midsize SUV class of vehicles has a few surprises. Popular models you wouldn’t expect fell short compared to many other options. Three midsize SUVs shockingly didn’t make U.S. News’ top 10.

U.S. News’ top 10 midsize SUVs

The best new midsize SUVs include this Kia Telluride
The 2022 Kia Telluride SUV | Kia

According to U.S. News, the best midsize SUVs have a few essential qualities. They have things like space, comfort, technology, and the performance that satisfies drivers. The best midsize SUVs can haul families around town, on a road trip, or carry a lot of cargo. As a result, the best overall model from U.S. News aligns with many other reviewers, the 2022 Kia Telluride.

From there, the top 10 is comprised of very few curveballs. The Hyundai Palisade is tied for first, and it’s the corporate equivalent of the top-ranked Telluride. Additionally, two vehicles are tied for third, the Honda Passport and Mazda CX-9. Moreover, these are not corporate equals, but U.S. News felt both earned the same 8.4 out of 10 score.

  1. Kia Telluride
  2. Hyundai Palisade
  3. Honda Passport
  4. Mazda CX-9
  5. Chevrolet Traverse
  6. Honda Pilot
  7. Hyundai Santa Fe
  8. Jeep Grand Cherokee
  9. Buick Enclave
  10. Dodge Durango

The 2022 Toyota Highlander didn’t make U.S. News’ top 10

A silver 2022 Toyota Highlander driving on the highway.
2022 Toyota Highlander | Toyota

Falling short of the top 10, the 2022 Toyota Highlander is U.S. News’ 13th best overall midsize SUV. This is surprising because the Highlander is one of the most popular vehicles in its class. In addition, other publications tend to rate the Highlander consistently near the top compared to rivals. U.S. News only said a few negative things about the Toyota midsize SUV. For example, it’s less fun to drive than competitors, and the third row isn’t very spacious.

Since the Kia Telluride is the cream of the crop, it’s difficult not to recommend it. As a result, U.S. News has difficulty liking the much more expensive Toyota Highlander. It starts at $35,405 and can reach as high as $49,510 for the fully-loaded version. The Telluride provides more base model standard features for just $33,390.

2022 Ford Explorer failed to impress U.S. News

A blue 2022 Ford Explorer XLT is the most popular trim level for three reasons.
2022 Ford Explorer | Ford

Another of the most popular midsize SUVs is the 2022 Ford Explorer. For a long time, it’s been one of the go-to models in its class for many buyers. However, it fell even further in the rankings than Toyota’s offering, to 15th. Earning just a 7.7 out of 10, the Explorer has a few problems the publication doesn’t like. One of them is the fully-loaded prices, which start above $55,000.

Next, it has a confusing and difficult-to-use infotainment screen. Although the standard unit is better, U.S. News says the optional infotainment system is unintuitive. In addition, the second and third rows are less comfortable than its competitors. Lastly, the interior isn’t as lovely as other options in the midsize SUV segment. Interiors are all about class and luxury now, and the Explorer is too simple and basic.

The Toyota 4Runner is dead last in U.S. News’ rankings

A gray 2023 Toyota 4Runner is towing a boat.
The 2023 Toyota 4Runner | Toyota

Of the 19 reviewed midsize SUVs, the 2022 Toyota 4Runner is dead last. U.S. News gave it a 7.1 out of 10, which is a few points shy of nearly every other model in the class. This is shocking because of the 4Runner’s long history of reliability, long-lasting capability, and other impressive features. Those searching for an off-road capable midsize SUV with serious reliability have turned to the 4Runner for a long time.

However, there are a few things U.S. News doesn’t like about the 4Runner. Firstly, it starts at $37,605, which is higher than most rivals. Next, the publication says it accelerates slowly and has a rough ride. Using a 270-horsepower V6 engine, we’re surprised it doesn’t ride well. In the same vein, the 4Runner gets poor fuel economy, 16 city/19 highway, thanks to its powerful engine and large body. Finally, it has a similarly low-quality interior to the Explorer.

Midsize SUVs that shockingly didn’t make U.S. News’ top 10

In conclusion, U.S. News ranked a few shocking midsize SUV models outside the top 10. For the most part, we expect the Toyota Highlander, Ford Explorer, and Toyota 4Runner to be in the running for the best model in their class. However, this publication ranked them all much lower than their rivals. Unfortunately, a few things held back each one from beating the competition.