TrueCar’s Picks for the Top 3 Best SUVs are Weird

Picking the best SUVs is getting a lot harder these days. SUVs (crossovers, more specifically) have become nearly fully homogenized, or at least they can feel that way at times. Despite the sea of similar crossovers, a few stand-out models like the Kia Telluride tend to top these lists. However, TrueCar didn’t pick any of the usual suspects. In fact, their top three best SUVs are kind of weird. Not bad, mind you; just weird. According to TrueCar, the best SUVs on the market today are the 2022 Kia Sorento, the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder, and the 2022 Hyundai Tucson. 

2022 Nissan Pathfinder
The all-new 2022 Nissan Pathfinder | Nissan

The third best SUV goes to the 2022 Kia Sorento 

TrueCar named the 2022 Kia Sorento the third-best SUV on the market today. This isn’t a bad choice; it’s just a strange one. The Kia Sorento comes in a variety of configurations. The most popular trim is the Sorento SX AWD which comes with a turbocharged 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine sending power to all four wheels. 

2022 Kia Sorento X-Line, Consumer Reports review
2022 Kia Sorento X-Line | Kia

Despite its midsize SUV status, the Sorento still seats seven and comes with a laundry list of features, options, and trim levels. This makes the Sorento easy to like, but it just isn’t all that special or unique. What makes this choice even stranger is the price point. 

The 2022 Kia Sorento starts at $30,805, but the more popular SX AWD trim starts at $41,305. This puts the Sorento in the same price bracket as the nearly-perfect Kia Telluride and the way cooler Ford Bronco. The 2022 Kia Sorento is still a safe, reliable, and comfortable SUV; it just feels strange to see it in the top three best SUVs. 

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder somehow landed in second place

The all-new 2022 Nissan Pathfinder splashing through a puddle.
2022 Nissan Pathfinder | Nissan

This is the weirdest choice of the three by far. The Kia Sorento and the Hyundai Tucson are very popular models that millions of people love worldwide. However, the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is not that. 

The new Pathfinder came to us last year. The redesign of the classic SUV seemed to be well-timed with the wave of newly resurrected nameplates. However, the Pathfinder didn’t have quite the same appeal as the Ford Bronco or Jeep Gladiator

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder only gets one engine option, the 3.5L V6 making 284 hp. The Pathfinder also got a lot bigger since the last time we saw it. Seating up to eight people, the new Pathfinder gets less than some of its competitors out of a tank of gas, only 26 mpg combined. Again, this isn’t bad, but it’s just not great for the second-best SUV. The starting price of $35,105 isn’t helping either.

I (along with many others) haven’t driven the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder yet. But TrueCar’s explanation for why it is the number two SUV on the market is, “it is a pleasant and competent all-arounder with fewer dowdy duds than before.” This is what makes the Nissan Pathfinder a strange choice. 

The 2022 Hyundai Tucson is the best SUV according to TrueCar

Silver 2022 Hyundai Tucson, the U.S. News best compact SUV to buy for families in 2022, parked on a hill
2022 Hyundai Tucson | Hyundai

Hyundai and Kia are making many good vehicles these days. Kia, Hyundai, and the luxury brand Genesis dominated all the awards for the past little while. Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis all made the most reliable new cars list. The point is that Hyundai and Kia have worked out how to make crossovers and SUVs that many people love. 

The Hyundai Tucson is Kia’s best-selling vehicle. TrueCar thinks its popularity will only grow with the new styling of the 2022 model. The Tucson seats up to five people who can experience 10 different trim levels. The most popular trim is the Hyundai Tucson SEL AWD which starts at $29,545. However, if you want something simpler, the base model starts at a very reasonable $26,195. 

The best parts of the Tucson are the fuel economy and price. The Tucson is estimated to get 26 mpg in town and 29 mpg on the highway. There are also regular hybrid and plug-in hybrid options. 

Not bad. But, if this and the price are the best parts, then I can’t exactly see why this model would earn the title of the best SUV. 

This is the best SUV? 

Since when has the most common and cheapest option been the best version of a segment? Never? TrueCar’s list of best SUVs isn’t a bad list, it isn’t even wrong, per se, but it is weird. 

The Kia Sorento, Nissan Pathfinder, and Hyundai Tucson aren’t bad SUVs. In fact, they are all really good (Nissan TBD), but to call these the best of the segment is a bit of shame. It reduces the segment to simply what people already buy, not what they should buy. This is, of course, only one writer’s opinion, but I think you might be hard-pressed to find another list of best SUVs with the Nissan Pathfinder as a better SUV than a Subaru Forester or Kia Telluride.

RELATED: Is the 2022 Kia Telluride Perfect or Boring?