Not everyone who buys an SUV is looking for a rough, rugged, and raw driving experience. In fact, many are seeking an SUV that drives like a car so that they can take advantage of the additional cargo and passenger room without having to sacrifice comfort in the name of practicality. This particular preference has long been recognized by car companies building both affordable and high-end options. In fact, some of the following vehicles could be considered wagons and hatchbacks in disguise - just don’t tell their marketing teams.
10 SUVs That Drive Like A Car
2016 Porsche Macan
The 2016 Porsche Macan is an SUV that drives like a car because its designers borrowed an important bit of DNA from the 911 coupe. With the Porsche Macan's chassis informed by one of the most treasured sports cars of all time, buyers can look forward to a level of handling that will have them forgetting just how high off the ground they're actually riding. Standard all-wheel drive teams up with either a 340-horsepower, turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 or a 3.6-liter, turbocharged V6 that's good for 400 horses.
Photo Credit: Nissan USA
2016 Nissan Juke
Let's just call the 2016 Nissan Juke what it really is: a hatchback with a suspension lift. That explains a lot about just how fun the Nissan Juke is to drive, as its agile handling, sprightly acceleration, and reasonable cargo room (as long as you don't plan to haul more than a passenger or two) make it unique in its class. Some people can't get past the Juke's styling, but if you take the test drive plunge you'll find a lot to like about its car-like handling.
Photo Credit: Infiniti
2016 Infiniti QX50
Speaking of vehicles that use the SUV label as a disguise, consider the case of the 2016 Infiniti QX50. This wagon-by-any-other-name also happens to offer rear-wheel drive dynamics and just enough ground clearance to be useful without penalizing cornering capability. The 2016 edition of the QX50 adds a bit of much-needed space to the cabin thanks to an update to the vehicle’s wheelbase. All-wheel drive is optional with the Infiniti, and you also get a seven-speed automatic transmission free of charge.
Photo Credit: Mercedes-Benz
2016 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class
Mercedes-Benz is known for making wagon-like SUVs that drive like cars, and the 2016 GLA-Class, one of the more recent additions to the lineup, counts its sporty handling among its best attributes. The subcompact GLA-Class is one of the most affordable ways to get a Benz, yet its engineering team didn’t cut corners when it comes to driving dynamics. And though the GLA-Class has one of the smallest cargo areas in its class, passengers are treated to the utmost comfort and luxury.
Photo Credit: General Motors
2016 GMC Acadia
The 2016 GMC Acadia is much bigger than most of the other members of this list of SUVs that drive like cars, which means it doesn't feel all that sporty out on the road. On the other hand, despite its bulk, it drives much more like a sedan than many of its sport utility competitors, which is an impressive achievement in an 8-passenger vehicle. Under the hood, the GMC Acadia boasts a 3.6-liter V-6 that churns out 288 horsepower; both front-wheel and all-wheel drive are available.
2016 Mazda CX-5
Mazda has developed an uncanny knack for building sedans and SUVs that feel more like their sports car siblings than they do task-focused daily drivers. The refreshed 2016 Mazda CX-5 is no exception, as the compact SUV handles with nearly the same responsiveness as a smaller hatchback while still providing generous interior room and the availability of an all-wheel drive system. Another bonus: the CX-5 is offered with a pair of Skyactiv 4-cylinder engines that balance frugality with performance.
Photo Credit: Ford
2016 Ford Escape
The 2016 Ford Escape illustrates how the Blue Oval has moved away from its traditional SUV roots, as the currentl generation of this compact 5-seater was designed deliberately to make it more car-like. The Ford Escape provides a dazzling array of 4-cylinder engine options, and a roomy interior ensures that every seat in the vehicle is a good one. An all-wheel drive system is on the list of available features to provide additional traction in inclement weather.
Photo Credit: Land Rover
2016 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque
The 2016 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque's stunning styling reveals a car-like secret out on the road. Despite maintaining Land Rover's reputation for off-road prowess thanks to its standard f4-wheel drive system, the Range Rover Evoque is notable for its pleasant demeanor and respectable handling in an urban setting, too. Another factor wroth considering is the availability of a 2-door model, which is almost unheard of in the SUV world, giving the Evoque car-like styling to go with its car-like handling.
Photo Credit: Lexus
2016 Lexus NX
The 2016 Lexus NX shows just what the Japanese brand can do when it puts its mind to engineering a car-like SUV in the compact segment. Although the rough-riding F Sport model might take things a bit too outside of our comfort zone, the 235-horsepower base model is an excellent choice as a premium 5-passenger commuter. There's even a hybrid edition of the Lexus NX available if efficiency is your priority, and each can be had with the option of all-wheel drive.
Photo Credit: Subaru
2016 Subaru Outback
The 2016 Subaru Outback is the lynchpin on our list of SUVs that drive like a car, and it should come as no surprise: back in the ‘90s when the Outback first appeared, it was essentially a lifted Legacy with body cladding. Flash ahead to 2016, and the Subaru Outback has emerged as a more sophisticated SUV, with updated steering for this year that helps maintain the vehicle’s pleasant demeanor. A continuously variable automatic transmission handles the gear shifting duties for the Outback.