Consumer Reports Best Midsize SUVs Have a Standard Feature Others Don’t

If you’re shopping for a new midsize SUV, head to the experts to find the best option. One of the most respected reviewers is Consumer Reports. On its list of best midsize SUVs, only a select few models received the “recommended” label. The top two choices overall are the 2022 Subaru Outback and the 2022 Toyota Venza. Coincidentally, they’re also the only models with a standard feature other models don’t have, all-wheel drive.

Consumer Reports best 2 midsize SUVs

A pale green 2022 Subaru Outback driving on the beach.
2022 Subaru Outback | Subaru

According to Consumer Reports, the best two midsize SUVs are the 2022 Subaru Outback and the 2022 Toyota Venza. As a result, there are many things that make them stand out above the competition. For example, the Toyota Venza is rated at 37 mpg on average, which is far better than nearly every other CR-rated model. In addition, the top-ranked Outback received a stellar road test score because of its excellent ride quality, smooth-shifting transmission, and comfortable seats.

Another thing that makes these two midsize SUVs stand out is standard all-wheel drive. This standard feature is a coveted one others don’t offer. While most of the competition offers optional AWD or standard AWD for higher trims, every Outback and Venza automatically comes with AWD. Since they’re affordable in their base forms, it adds a lot of value.

The standard feature other models don’t have

The 2022 Subaru Outback and the 2022 Toyota Venza have standard all-wheel drive. Other models, like the third-place Chevrolet Blazer, come with standard front-wheel drive with optional AWD. However, the top-ranked duo doesn’t even offer front- or rear-wheel drive. Usually, that would mean the entire lineup is less affordable. Quite the contrary, as the Outback starts lower than nearly every other midsize SUV, and the Venza is on the low-end for pricing, too.

According to Edmunds, the Base model Outback costs $28,820 MSRP. On top of standard AWD, it also comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. Next, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, dual seven-inch touchscreens, automatic climate control, hill descent control, and a few driver aids are standard. For example, adaptive cruise control, forward collision mitigation, lane-keeping assist, and automatic high beams.

Next, the base model 2022 Toyota Venza LE starts at $34,355 MSRP. Not only is it offered exclusively with all-wheel drive, but also a hybrid 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. As a result, the base model gets the best fuel economy in its class. Plus, it has a hands-free tailgate, wireless smartphone charging, four USB ports, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa compatibility. Plus more basics like dual-zone automatic climate control and LED headlights.

Consumer Reports’ best midsize SUVs have standard all-wheel drive

The most popular SUVs of 2022 include the Subaru Outback
The Subaru Outback SUV by the water | Subaru

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In conclusion, Consumer Reports’ best midsize SUVs have standard features others don’t. That feature is all-wheel drive, which comes with every 2022 Subaru Outback and 2022 Toyota Venza. If you’re looking for a model in this segment, these two are clearly the best choices. With AWD, low starting prices, and many features to add value, it’s a win-win for consumers. Since the Venza has the best fuel economy, and the Outback is the cheapest with the best road test performance, it’s clear why CR recommends them above every rival.

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