2020 Ford Explorer Limited Hybrid

10 Best SUVs for 2020

The best SUVs for 2020 are all versatile rides that can offer many of the industry’s top technology and comfort features. Mobile Wi-Fi, climate-controlled seats, and advanced safety systems are all in the mix for today’s mainstream SUVs. But while these vehicles have a lot in common, we also know that different customers can have very different needs. As a result, we’ve got you covered whether you prefer a two- or three-row model, a crossover- or truck-style SUV, or a track- or trail-friendly alternative. You can mix and match those benefits, too. And just as importantly, we’ve got SUVs from across the budget spectrum. 

  1. 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk
  2. 2020 Subaru Outback
  3. 2020 Hyundai Palisade
  4. 2020 Toyota 4Runner
  5. 2020 Ford Expedition
  6. 2020 Chevrolet Traverse
  7. 2020 Kia Soul
  8. 2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid
  9. 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid
  10. 2020 Jeep Wrangler
2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

Since we’re taking a quick look at the best SUVs of 2020, we decided to finish up with the quickest of them all: the 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. Packing a supercharged 6.2-liter V8, the Trackhawk bares its talons with 707 horsepower and 645 pound-feet of torque. A simple stomp of the gas pedal — plus standard launch control — can then take you from 0 to 60 in 3.5 seconds. At the dragstrip, the Trackhawk touts an 11.6-second quarter-mile. And Jeep’s high performer doesn’t stop until it reaches a top speed of 180 mph. At that stage, you can slow your roll with standard Brembo brakes. Also on board for stopping assistance is automatic emergency braking. Indeed, it’s part of the Trackhawk’s standard technology package.

2020 Subaru Outback

2020 Subaru Outback

Despite watching as two new players entered the game, the 2020 Subaru Outback remains our pick in the two-row mid-size SUV segment. It’s not that the revived Chevrolet Blazer and Honda Passport don’t have their selling points. But when it comes to the very best SUVs for 2020, the Outback is out in front. Right off the bat, only the Subaru checks in with standard all-wheel drive. Also standard for the Outback — which is newly redesigned this year — is Subaru’s EyeSight safety technology. Meanwhile, a separate new feature keeps an eye on you with a dedicated infrared camera and facial-recognition technology. Together, they monitor your face for signs that you’re getting tired or distracted. The system’s visual and audible warnings are designed to alert passengers as well.

2020 Hyundai Palisade

2020 Hyundai Palisade

You might not have heard of the 2020 Hyundai Palisade before, but that’s part of its charm. After all, despite their many benefits, the best SUVs for 2020 tend to have familiar names. The just-mentioned Toyota 4Runner, for example, has a moniker that’s been around for 35 years. In contrast, the all-new Palisade is the first of its line — and wins our award for best debut. The Palisade garners this honor for its spacious three-row cabin, bold exterior design, and long list of standard safety features. Hyundai’s optional technologies are notable as well. They range from the rarely found automatic reverse emergency braking to LED headlights. In fact, with the upgraded lamps, the 2020 Palisade has a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the IIHS.

2020 Toyota 4Runner

2020 Toyota 4Runner

If the rough-and-ready Jeep Wrangler is a bit too rough for your tastes, and the Ford Expedition is too big, we can recommend a test drive in the 2020 Toyota 4Runner. This body-on-frame SUV is a popular off-road performer with a 5,000-pound tow rating. The thing is, the 4Runner can also provide a quieter, more civilized driving experience than the Wrangler, thanks in part to the Toyota’s solid roof. The standard soft top from Jeep is great for open-air driving, but not so good for keeping out road noise. Next, the 4Runner’s mid-size dimensions mean that it’s more maneuverable than the Expedition — a bonus on the road and off. Nor do either of those rivals boast the same standard safety technology that you get in the 4Runner. 

2020 Ford Expedition

2020 Ford Expedition

After exhaustively researching the best crossover SUVs for 2020, we turned to the Blue Oval for a full-size body-on-frame option. The 2020 Ford Expedition is bigger in key dimensions both inside and out than the Chevrolet Traverse. Highlights for the Ford include 36.1 inches of third-row legroom and 104.6 cubic feet of total cargo capacity. Of course, the real benefits of body-on-frame construction are in the capability department. The Expedition’s maximum tow rating of 9,300 pounds is a steep 86% higher than that of the Traverse. A powerful twin-turbo engine also lets the Expedition out-tow its direct rival — the Chevrolet Tahoe — by 700 pounds. For trail duty, you can bolster the Expedition’s robust frame with a high-tech Terrain Management System, four-wheel drive, and performance shocks. 

2020 Chevrolet Traverse

2020 Chevrolet Traverse

At the other end of the size spectrum, the best SUVs for 2020 include the 2020 Chevrolet Traverse. Stretching about a meter more in length than the 2020 Kia Soul, the Traverse takes the trophy in the three-row crossover category. Our thinking here is that if you’re going to use that way-back seating on a regular basis, it should at least be relatively roomy. The Traverse meets this requirement with 33.5 inches of third-row legroom — 20% more than in a rival like the 2020 Toyota Highlander. The Traverse also serves up plenty of space for gear. Folding all of its back seats will bring you 98.2 cubic feet of cargo capacity. That’s 16.5 extra cubic feet versus the 2020 Ford Explorer

2020 Kia Soul

2020 Kia Soul

There’s been a big increase in demand for subcompact SUVs this year. It makes sense, since they provide outsized versatility to go with affordable pricing. The 2020 Kia Soul is a great example of this. The Soul is 2 feet shorter in length than the Kia Optima, yet it also has 3.2 more inches of rear legroom than that mid-size sedan. Additionally, the Soul’s boxy shape allows you to carry 62.1 cubic feet of cargo. Not only is that well beyond the trunk space of the Optima, it’s more storage than you get from direct rivals like the Honda HR-V. The Soul then shows its value — and earns a place among the best SUVs for 2020 — with a starting price of just $17,490. 

2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid

2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid

We’ve also picked a three-row hybrid as one of the best SUVs for 2020 — and it’s a hybrid in more ways than one. As a starting point, the brand-new 2020 Ford Explorer has an available hybrid powertrain with a 3.3-liter V6 and a 1.5-kWh lithium-ion battery. This setup is good for 318 horsepower and EPA estimates of 27 mpg city/29 mpg highway/28 mpg combined. The second hybrid advantage comes from Ford combining crossover-style unibody construction with the standard rear-wheel drive of a traditional SUV. So even though the competing Toyota Highlander Hybrid is slightly more efficient, the Explorer has 4.5 more inches of third-row legroom, can out-tow its rival by 1,500 pounds, and comes with a standard blind-spot monitor that costs extra for the Highlander.

2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid

2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid

The best SUVs for 2020 can also appeal to greener drivers. Just consider the 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid. This is Honda’s first-ever hybrid SUV, and it’s expected to be 50 percent more efficient in city driving than the non-hybrid model. If so, the new powertrain would deliver an EPA rating of 42 mpg in urban travel — a single mpg above the 2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. Beyond the fuel-saving bonus, the CR-V Hybrid’s two-motor setup also enables electrified all-wheel drive, with one of those motors driving the rear wheels when extra grip is needed. Furthermore, this SUV can help protect passengers at the same time that it helps protect the environment. Credit for that goes to a standard Honda Sensing package with a full suite of safety technology.

2020 Jeep Wrangler

2020 Jeep Wrangler

Many of the best SUVs for 2020 are built like cars. That means they begin with a “unibody” structure, which combines the frame and the body in one piece. It’s an excellent way to achieve a smoother ride on the road. Off the pavement, however, you need the kind of truck-like setup you still get with the 2020 Jeep Wrangler. Our No. 1 choice for trail-lovers, the Wrangler can also build on its body-on-frame construction with a two-speed transfer case, upgraded rock rails, heavy-duty Dana axles, and 33-inch all-terrain tires. It’s enough hardware to leave the less-capable competition in your off-road dust. Yet the Wrangler does keep up with modern technology, offering content like Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, LED headlights, adaptive cruise control, and a blind-spot monitor.