2018 VW Atlas Front Quarter Hero ・ Photo by Volkswagen
Many automakers are bringing out all-new or fully redesigned SUVs for the 2017 model year as a way to capitalize on the segment’s continued growth, and we’re here to talk about the best options. Considering that some 2017 models started arriving at dealerships as early as the middle of last year, our list of 2017 SUVs worth waiting for does include some models that might already be available. That’s because it often takes awhile for a new model to become available across the country even after it’s officially been released, thanks to factors like supply and demand, import and shipping delays, and other logistical issues.
Let’s take a look at 10 of the top new 2017 SUVs — those that have recently arrived at dealerships, and those that are still yet to come — in alphabetical order.
The Buick brand is working hard these days to overcome a reputation for being sort of, let’s say, too classic. What better way to appeal to younger buyers than to bring forth one of their very favorite vehicles — a new compact SUV? To be fair, the Envision has already been on sale for a while (it was actually introduced as a late 2016 model), but it’s one of the 2017 SUVs we were already waiting for. It’s already well-liked amongst reviewers for providing practicality despite its luxury aspirations. A single engine keeps things simple, but beyond that, buyers get plenty of choices, and there are even some tech updates already this year. This is definitely an SUV to watch for 2017.
Photo by Buick
The Chevrolet Traverse is a 2018 model due to appear sometime in 2017, so we’re counting it amongst our SUVs worth waiting for this year. We’re looking forward to this redesign of the mid-size Traverse, since the latest Chevys we’ve seen have been rather impressive. Chevrolet says they expect the 2018 Traverse to offer best-in-class space for passengers in the third row. Other great features include: Chevy’s Teen Driver system; adjustable driving modes for optimal traction on different surfaces; and an all-new version of Chevrolet’s engine stop-start technology designed to improve smoothness while conserving fuel. If a new family-friendly SUV is on your agenda, consider waiting for the redesigned Chevrolet Traverse.
Photo by General Motors
Strictly speaking, the 2017 Infiniti QX30 is already available, but it’s still filtering into dealerships. This luxury subcompact SUV is an all-new entry to the Infiniti lineup, and the first Infiniti co-developed with Mercedes-Benz (the M-B version is the GLA). Though its exterior design suggests sporty performance, early reviews of the vehicle suggest that’s not quite the case. Not necessarily a bad thing — Infiniti succeeds at comfort and luxury, which is a nice change of pace from the athletic-bordering-on-harsh take on the small SUV that seems to entrap so many of Infiniti’s competitors. The QX30 has a smooth ride and plenty of the latest tech features, and that’s really all it needs. If you’re looking for an upscale and cozy small SUV for 2017, we suggest waiting for the Infiniti QX30.
Photo by Infiniti
Not only is the Jeep Compass fully redesigned for 2017, it’s going to play an important role in the Jeep lineup. No longer will there be multiple entry-level crossovers bearing the Jeep name yet providing very little of a Jeep’s true capabilities. It’s true, the Compass (alongside the Patriot and Liberty) was one of them. But the new Compass makes leaps and bounds. We know Jeep can make a capable and affordable SUV — just look at the Renegade — and the Compass follows suit, except its styling is more like a junior version of the Cherokee. Jeep says the all-new Compass will be available in late spring, so the good news is, you don’t have much longer to wait.
Photo by Jeep
All new for 2017, the Kia Niro is a hybrid crossover with a very appealing price and absolutely fantastic EPA ratings. It’s one of the best vehicles the 2017 model year has brought so far. Early reviews indicate it’s definitely a new era of hybrid, one that blends into the crowd and provides a driving experience that’s more like a regular gas car. The Kia Niro’s already for sale, but it seems to be one of those scenarios where it’s actually kind of hard to come by, depending on where you live. If you’re really willing to wait a while, we suggest kicking back until 2018, when the plug-in hybrid version of the Niro is expected to hit showroom floors.
Photo by Kia
If your next new suv has to be a serious off-roader, we recommend waiting for the Land Rover Discovery, which will be available in the summer or fall of 2017. And, as is typical of Land Rover vehicles, the luxurious cabin of this mid-size SUV is sure to impress. The Discovery can accommodate up to seven passengers with its optional third row, and the seats are spacious, comfortable, and finished in upscale upholstery. That said, the Discovery isn’t for everyone — its focus on providing the best off-roading hardware and technology makes it expensive, and it doesn’t offer some of the latest connectivity features. Still, if your plans for 2017 include plenty of adventure, consider waiting for the Land Rover Discovery.
Photo by Land Rover
Bentley built an SUV. Jaguar built an SUV. We guess it was only a matter of time before the Italian sports car brands began to follow suit. Thus, the Maserati Levante, an all-new mid-size SUV for the 2017 model year. Perhaps the most pleasant surprise about the Levante is its price — the base model starts at under $73,000, which is considerably more achievable than we initially expected, especially considering that model comes with a 345-horsepower engine. Sure, the Levante has its drawbacks — it gulps fuel and doesn’t hold a lot of cargo — but if you want a new and unusual SUV that looks and sounds more expensive than it is, wait for the Maserati Levante.
Photo by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
At the time of this writing, the all-new Nissan Rogue Sport was due in just days, so by the time this is published (or read), the Rogue Sport might be landing at a dealership near you. Or, it might not. There are at least a handful in the country — we know, because we’ve driven it already — but as Nissan told us at the Rogue Sport’s launch event in April, they’re being built in Japan, shipped to California, pushed through Customs, and then allocated to dealerships throughout the country — which means that West Coast dealerships will probably get them first. It shouldn’t be a huge delay, maybe just a couple of weeks, but we like this compact take on the popular Rogue and think it’s worth the wait.
Photo by Nissan
Yeah, we can almost hear the eyes rolling. But put aside Tesla’s controversial practices for a moment, and consider: the Model X is still, perhaps, the epitome of a 2017 SUV worth waiting for, even if 1) it’s got some issues and 2) its delays in production are Tesla’s own fault, whether deliberate or not. Face it, Tesla’s vehicles are a game-changer, and that includes the luxurious mid-size Model X, even if people who made a down payment for this falcon-winged SUV a year ago or more are still waiting and wondering when their production slot’s going to open up. Demand still outstrips production capacity at Tesla, but they’ve never really denied that it’s always been part of the plan.
Photo by Tesla
The all-new VW Atlas is actually a 2018 model year vehicle, but it’s on the way for 2017 — and we’ve seen it, and we like it, and so we confidently include it in our list of SUVs worth waiting for in 2017. The 7-seater Atlas slots in the VW lineup just above the Touareg in size, yet it’s more affordable and more practical, thanks to its three rows of flexible, family-friendly seating. The Atlas is under a lot of pressure because this is its first entry into a very established competitive segment. But the good news is that the Atlas was designed specifically for American families and we think it has hit that target on all fronts. That makes the VW Atlas an SUV worth waiting for in 2017.
Photo by Volkswagen