Reliable SUVs That Aren’t Made by Toyota
Toyota makes some of the most reliable SUVs on sale today. In fact, many of the most reliable vehicles on the market are made by Toyota. But reliability is only one metric. Toyota SUVs may be reliable, but some haven’t been majorly updated in a while. As such, they can lag behind slightly when it comes to fuel efficiency and the latest safety tech. And car-shopping is often intensely personal. Maybe you just don’t like anything Toyota’s selling. Luckily, there are still reliable SUVs for sale that aren’t made by Toyota.
The Infiniti QX60 is a bit of a Consumer Reports comeback kid. After debuting in 2014, the QX60 garnered poor reliability scores for 3 straight years. However, starting in 2017, the QX60’s reliability improved dramatically. And now, for 2019, it’s a Consumer Reports recommendation.
Although the latest Nissan recall has dulled the Infiniti QX60’s shine somewhat, the reliable luxury SUV has a lot to offer. In addition to a standard hands-free power-lift tailgate, it also offers one of the most important luxuries: space. Even third-row passengers have a good amount of leg-room. And if you need more cargo space, the second- and third-row seats can split and fold. Motor Trend also notes that the Infiniti QX60 is the only three-row luxury hybrid crossover SUV on the market.
Like the QX60, the Porsche Cayenne has managed to redeem itself in the eyes of Consumer Reports. Initially, rather like the Range Rover, the Porsche SUV was extremely capable but rather prone to reliability issues. However, after 2018, the Cayenne became a reliable SUV. It’s now also a Consumer Reports recommended SUV. In addition, the Porsche Cayenne is one of the highest-scoring SUVs in CR’s testing, achieving 88 out of 100 points.
Although initially reviled by Porsche purists, the Cayenne has proven itself a worthy bearer of the Porsche logo. While prices can creep close to $200k for the fastest versions, even the base Cayenne can go 0-60 in 4.8 seconds, according to Car and Driver. And it’s a proper off-road SUV, with 8” of ground clearance and the ability to ford water almost 20” deep.
Just keep one eye on your checkbook when looking through the options list.
The Audi Q7 isn’t just a reliable and Consumer Reports-recommended SUV. Although its last IIHS Top Safety pick award was in 2017, the Q7 is one of the safest SUVs on the market. In a recent study, the IIHS found that in the 2011-2014, the Q7 had no recorded driver deaths. And while Car and Driver recorded several infotainment glitches with its 2017 Q7, since then Audi has noticeably improved the SUV’s reliability.
While both Car and Driver and Motor Trend have dinged the Q7 for a relatively tiny third-row, overall the Audi SUV has received high marks for refinement and technology. The Q7 is also a three-time Car and Driver 10Best Trucks & SUVs winner.
Unfortunately, while automatic emergency braking is standard, several other safety features are only included at higher trim levels. Audi’s all-wheel drive system, though, is standard across all trims. Car and Driver recommends getting the 3.0-liter supercharged V6 engine, as the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder isn’t much more efficient. The V6 also lets the Q7 tow more.
If you don’t need every gadget, the base Premium Q7 starts at $53,550. If you want some additional safety, though, the mid-level Premium Plus is $2,500 more.
Chevrolet Tahoe/GMC Yukon
While we’ll have to wait and see if the 2021 Tahoe and Yukon fall victim to the ‘refresh unreliability’ issue, Consumer Reports found both SUVs to have above-average reliability. The Tahoe and Yukon are also the only body-on-frame SUVs on this list.
In addition to reliability, both the Tahoe and Yukon show how towing isn’t solely a pickup truck’s job. With a 5.3-liter V8, the Tahoe can tow up to 8600 pounds, though that drops to 8400 pounds with AWD. Car and Driver praised both the Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon for their interior space, although the third row is rather cramped.
In addition, the SUVs’ truck-derived rear axles have led to ride quality criticisms. However, the 2021 Tahoe’s switch to independent rear suspension may fix that somewhat. The 2021 model will also feature more standard safety equipment. Features like forward-collision warning and blind-spot monitoring aren’t standard, even on the base Yukon.
In choosing between the Tahoe and Yukon, the Chevrolet appears to be the better deal. Not only is the base Tahoe LS cheaper than the Yukon SLE ($49,295 vs. $51,895), Car and Driver found the Yukon’s interior materials rather poor, especially at its price point. Also, it is worth noting that the Tahoe’s and Yukon’s larger siblings, the Suburban and Yukon XL, score worse in Consumer Reports’ reliability scoring.