4 Utilitarian SUVs That Are Fun to Drive in Real Life

We love SUVs and all of their capabilities, utility, and comfort. But did you know they can be fun to drive too? It’s true. Over the past year, we have driven many trucks and SUVs from various manufacturers. Here are four SUVs that are utilitarian in their designs and fun to drive daily.

1. 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz parked next to horses.
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is the Korean automaker’s funky-looking SUV/truck. It has a four-foot bed, which makes moving fairly large items a breeze. It has a comfortable ride, and its interior is spacious enough for four adults. We were also surprised at how fun it is to drive.

Under the hood of our Santa Cruz tester was a turbocharged 2.5-liter engine that generates 281 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque. That’s plenty of power to accelerate this 4,000-pound truck off the line at a decent rate. Once up to speed, the Santa Cruz took the tight canyon corners we put it through with relative ease. It wasn’t a sports car, but it was agile for what it was.

2. 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness

A rearview of the 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness
2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

The 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness we tested earlier this year had a 0.8-inch lift over the regular Outback. It was also outfitted with all-terrain tires, which worked well in the couple of inches of snow that dropped during the week we had it.

What made it so fun to drive was the Outback Wilderness’ ability to traverse every snowy surface we drove it on with ease. We even went through a couple of parking lot snow piles just to see if it could do it – it did. Not even Santa could have this much fun in the snow.

3. 2022 Acura RDX

The 2022 Acura RDX A-Spec next to rocks
2022 Acura RDX A-Spec | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

The 2022 RDX that Acura sent us was an A-Spec model with an adaptive suspension. And while you might think that the suspension made it fun to drive, it wasn’t the only thing. The SUV has snow tires on it, which came in handy during the week we had it because it snowed heavily. Thanks to those tires, we were able to make our way through the snow just fine. When the weather got better, we were also able to test out the turbocharged 272-hp engine, which made freeway entrances a blast to drive on.

4. 2022 Toyota 4Runner Trail Edition

2022 Toyota 4Runner Trail Edition
2022 Toyota 4Runner Trail Edition | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

If you think that the only way to have fun in a 2022 Toyota 4Runner is to go all-out and buy a TRD model, we would disagree. We got to drive the 4Runner Trail Edition, which came equipped similarly to the SR5 trim level. That means it comes equipped with everything you need, with some added accessories like a cargo rack and black 17-inch wheels.

What made it so fun? Under the hood is a 270-hp V6 engine, which made it accelerate well off the line. It also boasted 9.6 inches of ground clearance, which made it a joy to drive over uneven pavement. For the 4Runner TRD, all you really need is the Trail Edition for most off-roading needs.

Utilitarian SUVs that are fun to drive

We get to drive a lot of different SUVs throughout the year, but these four stood out to us the most as being the most fun to put through their paces. Whether it was through tight canyon roads or over snowy pavement, each of these SUVs proved that they’re not just about the amount of cargo space or interior volume. In real life, they can be fun to drive as well.

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