Most popular vehicle models are typically pretty decent. If people don’t like owning a certain car or SUV, they usually will spread the news. However, Consumer Reports is poking holes in some of the most popular midsized SUVs and telling folks of a better way to spend their money. These are the most popular SUVs that you should avoid and buy instead.
The 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe is a popular SUV but Consumer Reports isn’t feeling it
Even Consumer Reports admits the 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe (64/100) has a lot going for it. It got a more powerful engine after its 2021 refresh, giving it a more exciting driving experience. The hybrid version gets an impressive 30 mpg.
However, some aspects of the Santa Fe left CR testers wanting. For one, the push-button transmission trend needs to go. Consumer Reports notes that these buttons require the driver to look and even search for the button they need. This is unnecessary and potentially dangerous.
Although the up-ticket trims get a better engine, the 2.5-liter is weak and noisy. The optional turbocharged version also suffers from some low-speed vibrations. Lastly, due to its newness and the fact that the first-year model is showing some signs of reliability issues, CR was less than pleased. For this last reason, CR suggests waiting another model year to let Hyundai work out the kinks.
Consumer Reports offers the 2022 Toyota Venza (83/100) as the better alternative to the Santa Fe in this segment. The Toyota Venza name now sits on this midsized hybrid SUV. The Toyota Venza is not likely to wow you with dazzling luxury or breakneck speeds, but overall the Venza is a pleasant ride. Not to mention, the Toyota reliability reputation is a net gain for anyone looking to get in a Venza.
Steer clear of the 2022 Ford Explorer
The midsized SUV segment is one of the most contested in the business. The 2022 Ford Explorer (47/100) has no place in a field, so strewn with great options. Consumer Reports found that the turbocharged four-cylinder didn’t yield better fuel economy than many V6 powerplants in the segment. Not to mention the 10-speed automatic transmission threw rough shifts like an overnight coal mine.
Most importantly, the 2022 Ford Explorer has poor predicted reliability based on years worth of recalls and complaints from owners. In fact, the Explorer has the lowest reliability of any of these popular SUVs.
The alternative is the current King of the popular SUVs, the 2022 Kia Telluride. The Telluride stunned many people when CR gave it a 97/100 overall. That is an impossibly high score that should really resonate with any CR readers. Consumer Reports calls the Telluride “the best three-row SUV” it has ever tested.
The Telluride has a smooth ride but is not so sporty in the corners. It also has a strong 291-hp V6 paired with a smooth-shifting eight-speed transmission. The cabin is spacious, well equipped, and decent-looking. You’ll be hard-pressed to find anything on Consumer Reports that they liked as much as the 2022 Kia Telluride.
Don’t be fooled by the popular SUVs
It is always wise to do your own research when buying a car. Popularity won’t keep repair costs down or you and your family safer in a crash. While some popular models like the Kia Telluride are fantastic, popularity can be a pitfall if you don’t do your due diligence.