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Saying the most reliable midsize SUV isn’t a Toyota or Honda is automotive blasphemy. But what happens when expert data and opinion back this claim? Does that change the mindset and allow other reliable car brands into consideration? Maybe, maybe not.

The most reliable midsize SUV is arguably the 2023 Nissan Murano

Blue 2023 Nissan Murano Midsize SUV - are there transmission problems with this Nissan SUV
2023 Nissan Murano | Nissan

Among midsize SUVs, the 2023 Nissan Murano is the only model to achieve a 90 out of 100 in quality and reliability from J.D. Power. That score puts this midsize SUV on the higher end of the “Great” category.

This Nissan SUV packs an impressive V6 engine making 260 hp and can be optioned with front-wheel or all-wheel drive. Expect solid acceleration, a refined ride, and a relatively quiet cabin in the 2023 Murano. It also provides spacious accommodations for five riders and a standard 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system.

How does J.D. Power determine vehicle reliability scores?

J.D. Power conducts three major automotive studies to determine the most reliable vehicles, including midsize SUVs. These studies are as follows:

  • Initial Quality Study (IQS)
  • Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS)
  • Automotive Performance Execution and Layout Study (APEAL)

Using data from those studies, J.D. Power scores vehicles during each model year. According to the market research firm, its “Quality & Reliability” metric “measures the level of defects, malfunctions, and design flaws experienced by vehicle owners.” It also covers the entire vehicle, from the engine to the infotainment system. “A higher rating means fewer problems.”

What are the 10 most reliable midsize SUVs?

We know the 2023 Nissan Murano sits atop J.D. Power’s reliability ratings, but where do the other midsize SUVs stand? Here are the top 10 and their reliability scores:

  • Nissan Murano, 90
  • Toyota 4Runner, 87
  • Chevrolet Blazer, 86
  • GMC Acadia, 85
  • Kia Telluride, 85
  • Hyundai Palisade, 84
  • Ford Explorer, 83
  • Honda Passport, 83
  • Kia Sorento, 83
  • Chevrolet Traverse, 83

Notably, Toyota and Honda SUVs make the list. The Toyota 4Runner is only three points from tying with the Murano. And though the Honda Passport sits toward the bottom, it still earned a score J.D. Power considers “Great.”

Do other experts offer a different opinion?

2023 Toyota 4Runner | Toyota

The automotive research site iSeeCars has a different ranking. Notably, the 2023 Toyota 4Runner tops the list, but the Passport is absent from this roundup. However, Honda’s other midsize SUV, the Pilot, sits in second place. And the Nissan Murano lands in ninth.

Here are the 10 most reliable midsize SUVs for 2023 and their scores (on a scale of one to 10) per iSeeCars:

  • Toyota 4Runner, 8.8
  • Honda Pilot, 8.6
  • Toyota Highlander, 8.5
  • Hyundai Santa Fe, 8.5
  • Dodge Durango, 8.5
  • Ford Explorer, 8.4
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee, 8.4
  • Nissan Pathfinder, 8.3
  • Nissan Murano, 8.2
  • Ford Edge, 8.2

iSeeCars calculates its reliability ratings by assessing millions of vehicles to determine long-term durability and dependability.

A list of the most reliable midsize SUVs becomes interesting when the Nissan Murano and Toyota 4Runner make the cut. Sporting an old-school vibe and seating for up to seven, the 4Runner is an off-road-focused, body-on-frame SUV that can handle the toughest terrain. Meanwhile, the five-seat Murano is a refined two-row crossover with car-like unibody construction.

These two models couldn’t be more different, but they share at least one quality: high reliability.

Which midsize SUVs should make your shortlist?

Red Ford Explorer Parked in Front of a House - The 2023 Explorer makes the top ten for reliability with J.D. Power and iSeeCars
Ford Explorer | Ford

If you want the most reliable midsize SUV, J.D. Power’s and iSeeCars’ lists might provide too many options. Still, comparing the two roundups, you’ll notice they have three models in common:

That’s a respectable shortlist to help narrow your search for a dependable midsize SUV.

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