Comparison Test: Mid size Crossover SUVs nissan mazda kia hyundai hybrids gmc ford dodge car comparisons
Mid-Size SUV Comparison Test. Click image to enlarge

Originally published December 23, 2013

Review by Autos.ca Staff, photos by Brian Weeks and Jonathan Yarkony

Introduction, Jacob Black

There is a growing market for mid-size, three-row SUVs and crossovers in Canada. It’s a class with many branches and offshoots, and most of them are growing daily.

Want to move your kids, your in-laws and your kids’ friends but don’t want a minivan? This is where you need to turn your eyes.

Want DVD screens? AWD capability? Towing capacity? Cargo space? Check, check and check – mostly. These are feature-packed, ooze practicality, and some of them are even emotional, engaging rides that take pride of place in a family’s driveway.

Rounding up a suite of mid-size SUVs to take part in a comparison test is no easy feat, but we managed to gather seven of them together. And whether you’re interested in something loud, brash and flashy, a proven performer or excellent value for money, we’ve got the whole range covered. If there’s anything you want from a three-row SUV, you’ll find it in this crop.

Comparison Test: Mid size Crossover SUVs nissan mazda kia hyundai hybrids gmc ford dodge car comparisons Comparison Test: Mid size Crossover SUVs nissan mazda kia hyundai hybrids gmc ford dodge car comparisons
Mid-Size SUV Comparison Test. Click image to enlarge

Sales giants Dodge Journey (26,522 YTD, as per goodcarbadcar.net) and Kia Sorento are here (13,876), and we were keen to find out how they’d fare against models with more modest sales figures, like the newly launched Hyundai Santa Fe XL with 2,928 sales to date, and the CX-9 with 1,366.

Missing from the list is Toyota’s Highlander, which is being re-launched in February after a major refresh and so wasn’t available for this test. More than 7,000 of those walked out the door in 2013.

The domestics are well represented. GMC’s Acadia sold 4,254 models this year (add 3,070 Chevy Traverses and 2,977 Buick Enclaves for GM’s total share of over 10K in this segment), we aim to find out what it does right, while the attractive Ford Flex sold 2,191 – maybe we would uncover the reason why?

Comparison Test: Mid size Crossover SUVs nissan mazda kia hyundai hybrids gmc ford dodge car comparisons Comparison Test: Mid size Crossover SUVs nissan mazda kia hyundai hybrids gmc ford dodge car comparisons
Mid-Size SUV Comparison Test. Click image to enlarge

We even have a hybrid – Nissan’s Pathfinder. Overall Nissan has sold 7,253 of those so far in 2013 – we’ll find out if the Hybrid could contribute to growth in 2014.

Prices ranged from $40,755 for the Dodge Journey, to $62,515 for the GMC Acadia. There were price niches here, with the Flex and Acadia both over $55,000 and the Journey, Santa Fe XL and Sorento between $40K and $45K. Mazda’s CX-9 and the Pathfinder Hybrid claimed the middle ground at $49,245 and $51,153, respectively.

So do you have to spend big to win big in this segment? Or is it sales volumes that truly reflects where the quality is?

Here’s what we found.




About Jonathan Yarkony

Jonathan Yarkony is the Senior Editor for Autos.ca, a Brampton-based automotive writer with eight years of experience evaluating cars and an AJAC member.