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There are many great SUV options on the market right now, and it can be difficult for car buyers to wade through all of them. That’s where car critics can come in handy, as they bring a lot of experience and expertise and have some recommendations for car shoppers. Here’s a look at the best 2023 SUV to buy, according to Edmunds.

SUVs continue to grow in popularity

A 2023 Kia Telluride, which is one of the 2023 SUV to buy.
2023 Kia Telluride | Kia Media

SUVs didn’t use to be such a popular segment, but that’s been changing in recent years. SUVs in the past tended to be on the larger side, and that separated them from sedans. Nowadays, automakers have created many smaller SUVs, and those small SUVs are competing with and winning against sedans. 

The sales figures don’t lie, and SUVs dominate sedans in the American car market. That said, it’s not just small SUVs doing well. Larger SUVs are also doing well. Because of their size, midsize and full-size SUVs offer superior specs and better safety scores than smaller SUVs and sedans. They often cost more, but there are some affordable options in those segments. 

The 2023 Kia Telluride is at the top of the list

The top SUV on Edmunds‘ list is the Kia Telluride. It starts at about $33,000, and that price tag allows it to compete with smaller SUVs, as well as luxury SUVs. Overall, the car critic had a lot of positive things to say about the Telluride. In fact, it has an overall score of 8.4 out of 10, which is the highest out of any non-luxury SUV. The only SUVs with a higher overall score are all expensive luxury SUVs, which are only higher by a few points.

The reason why this midsize Kia SUV did so well is because it’s very well-balanced. Its standard 3.8-liter V6 engine gets 291 hp, and it’s powerful enough for most drivers. The best part about the Telluride, however, is its cabin. The Telluride has three-rows of seats as standard, and this allows owners to seat up to eight people in a comfortable manner. 

Kia put a lot of thought into designing the SUV’s interior, and the South Korean automaker used many high-quality materials as well. On top of that, Kia gave the Telluride a lot of standard features. For the 2023 model year, Kia improved the SUV by giving it a 12.3-inch touchscreen as standard. The only flaw Edmunds had with the Telluride is that it has “less small-item storage” in its cabin than some of its rivals.

The 2023 Hyundai Palisade is right behind the Telluride

The runner-up was the Hyundai Palisade, and this shouldn’t come as a shock since the Palisade and the Telluride share some similarities. Kia and Hyundai work closely with one another, and a few of their cars are almost identical. The Palisade isn’t the exact same as the Telluride, and one of the more notable differences is in pricing. Hyundai starts the Palisade at just over $35,000, and that makes it about $2,000 more expensive than the Kia. 

Inside the car though, the Palisade is fairly similar to the Telluride. The Hyundai has the same 3.8-liter V6 that the Kia does, and as such, its horsepower, torque, and fuel economies are about the same. That said, the Palisade’s fuel economy is marginally worse since it gets 22 mpg combined compared to the Telluride’s 23 mpg combined. In terms of features though, the two cars are almost identical as the Palisade also gets a 12.3-inch touch screen.

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