Decent Sports Utility Vehicles On the Market Right Now

Some Nice Quality SUVs On the Market Today
Written by Alyssia Walmsley

Hyundai Santa

2016 Hyundai Santa Fe

2016 Hyundai Santa Fe

Hyundai has been changing the Santa Fe’s design ever since its initial launch. This 2016 model shows the evolution going further towards making an all-round balanced vehicle. Looks, comfort, drive, and performance, the Santa Fe has it all. The great combination of value for money and versatility makes the Hyundai Santa Fe a fierce competitor among other luxury SUV’s like the Ford Escape and Toyota RAV4. You would be hard pressed to find an SUV that does any more at this low price point with style.

The Santa Fe is available in a four-door configuration and comes with a 2.4 L front engine that serves 190HP. The Hyundai Santa Fe comes in a sleek elegant body to complement its raw performance. The exterior and body come in a curved shape that exists somewhere between an SUV and luxury saloon.

There are three perspective models you can choose from; each model has a different offering based on your needs. You also have a choice of fifteen different color options to choose from, with the most popular colors including Marlin Blue, Frost White Pearl, Mineral Gray, Serrano Red, and Twilight Black.

Used Model

The Hyundai Santa Fe is priced at roughly $19,000 with slight fluctuations from dealer to dealer. The MSRP from Hyundai comes in at $24,950. But since this is a relatively old model, you’ll most likely be buying it used. The price is affected by what model you decide to go with, but mainly under $20,000.

There are three main iterations you can choose from: the Santa SE, the Santa Fe Sport, and the Santa Fe Limited. There are additional subcategories for types of drive train and engine configuration. This can vary the price based on which version you pick. Make sure to choose optional extras you will use. Selecting unnecessary upgrades is guaranteed to drive your price up by a couple of thousand dollars.

The 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe is nothing if not a solid performer. Coming equipped with a heavy duty V6 cylinder engine in a 2.0L, 2.4L, or 3.3L configuration, based on model. The engine is capable of putting out 190HP on a standard model and a whopping 290HP on a 3.3L version. Making the car generate a massive amount of torque, responsible for its impressive road grip. The SUV comes with an automatic six speed transmission with an option for overdrive, all the power can handle just about any situation.

Heavy duty off roading on dirt trails, swamp paths and rocky paths work extremely well. You can even use the SUV for indent surfaces and hill climbs. The 29-inch tires help to traverse through any kind of terrain. The Hyundai Santa Fe is quick and responsive on the road when you’re executing sharp turns.


The performance of the Santa Fe can be seen when you’re out on the road. The car does 0-60 mph in less than ten seconds. With a top speed of 130mph with a limiter in place to prevent excess speeding.

The Santa Fe provides a smooth ride no matter what kind of task you put it to. Inside the cabin, you will find spacious seating that can accommodate a big family. The two-row seating provides enough space for up to six full adults. As for storage, you have about 71.5 cubic feet of rear cargo space for your luggage. Although some competitors will have a bit more space, the Santa never feels cramped.

The cabin inside is quiet and luxurious with elegant interior and seat trimmings. The seats come with plenty of legroom and latch options for child safety seats. You get all the standard cabin features in the SUV with some extras such as USB ports, climate control, an audio system and satellite navigation. The six-speaker audio system has connections for Bluetooth and USB to allow you to play your music.

Using the climate control, you can tweak exactly what cabin temperature you prefer. The wide wheel base coupled with the multi point suspension ensures you do not feel any of the bumps. Ensuring a smooth ride whether you’re on or off the road. Even the bumpiest of roads feel like driving on a cloud.


The Santa Fe boasts great reliability in the long run. The SUV can run years without needing any major repairs or servicing. Most of the automotive parts are readily available in case you need to perform a repair. Aside from that, Hyundai provides a 60 months/60,000miles warranty for repairs and services.

You get an unlimited warranty for corrosion perforation and unlimited roadside assistance coverage. The Santa Fe is fuel-efficient. It does an impressive 24 miles to the gallon on highways and 18 miles to the gallon on city roads. Meaning that you use less fuel and have fewer breakdowns because of this.

The Santa Fe proves it is just as safe as any normal road going vehicle. Whether you are out there in the boondocks or right up on the interstate, you will be just as safe. The SUV has the highest possible safety rating in its category with a five-star overall certification. It has maximum scores for every test category. It has achieved 5 out of 5 in both front end collision test and rollover tests, very impressive.

The Hyundai Santa Fe is a great all-rounder that doesn’t compromise on anything. Providing off-road driving ability, comfort, class, reliability, and safety all rolled in to one neat package for a low pricetag.

Mazda CX-3 Sport

Mazda CX-3 Sport

The 2017 CX-3 Sport is the newest in the line of subcompact SUVS that are built for versatility on and off road. The CX-3 Sport comes at an affordable price point with included extras. It’s build to last and performs under most driving conditions. This is one of the few SUVs to have excellent safety ratings.

Not only is the Mazda CX-3 Sport a safe car but it provides the excitement you want from an SUV. The CX-3 comes with the option of having a forward wheel drive or four wheel drive. It has four doors and resembles a hatchback form the back. In terms of its appearance, the Honda CX-3 Sport is a crossover between a traditional SUV and a small passenger car. The front engine on the Mazda Sport churns out 146 horsepower. It has a six-speed automatic transmission with an option for automatic gear shifting.


The CX-3 Sport comes in priced at around $21,400 for the base front wheel drive version. You can also get additional versions with all wheel drive and other luxury extras. The Mazda CX-3 comes in with six different variants such as the Sport AWD, Touring AWD and Grand Touring AWD. These versions start from about $21,400. You can choose which iteration of the CX-3 best suits your needs and price point.

The CX-3 doesn’t skimp on performance aspects, it has a front 16 valve inline four engine that churns out 146 hp at 6000 rpm. This enables the car to go from 0 to 60 in a respectable 8.1 seconds. At its full capacity, the Mazda CX-3 Sport can reach 120 mph. For raw power, this may not be the best car for it.

The Mazda is compact with its physical dimensions and only weighs 2,809 pounds. This means that it is good at accelerating quickly from a dead halt. This, however, also means that it may not be ideal for weight intensive tasks. The lightweight makes it next to hard for you to use it for tasks such as towing.

The Mazda CX-3 promises to have seating capacity for at least five people. The standard model comes with cloth seats on two rows. For an additional amount, you can upgrade to the luxury version which includes leather sets instead. There is plenty of space available in the front seats especially in terms of leg room. However, you may find that the back seats a bit cramped if you are going on a long journey.

Great little SUV

The interior design boasts a clean look with elegant trimming feathered throughout. Most points of contact are made with soft touch materials. Everything in the interior suggests that it was made from high grade materials. There is hardly any wear and tear experienced inside the cabin. If you want to get comfortable, you can take advantage of the CX-3’s additional features like the 7-inch screen TV.

The SUV comes with voice activated commands to navigate the controls. This means you will not have to get up from your seat to perform basic functions like using the GPS or taking calls. The Mazda CX-3 Sport comes with a standard three-year/36,000-mile warranty and an additional five-year/60,000 mile warranty on the drive train. It has a reliability score of 3 out of 5 and received praise from reviewers.

Mazda CX-3 Sport has one of the best safety ratings in its category, achieving the maximum possible score for every crash test from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. CX-3 has a five star safety rating which is most you can get. The low curb weight means that it has superior front end protection.

Safest Sports Utility Car

The rearview camera also provides you with additional safety assistance. You can easily monitor blind spots while driving and parallel parking. You also get adaptive cruise control for when you are on fast lane highways with little visibility. The headlights provide an adequate amount of light in even in low lit environments. You even opt for adaptive headlights that adjust the light based on the environment.

The Mazda CX-3 Sport does its job well, whether that involves taking a trip off road or driving by doing daily activities. You can be sure that nothing will beat it in terms of the luxury and safety it provides.


2009 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon

2009 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon

The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon is a classic SUV all the way back from 2009. It’s iconic and widely regarded as one of the toughest SUVs available today. It can handle the tough environment and vertical terrain well. Not only does it perform well but it’s built to last. It’s the best option for an adventurous outdoor vehicle and while it may not be the best passenger vehicle, it works out just fine as an off-road beast.

The Wrangler is available in a few different packages that offer a varying degree of functionality and looks. You get three basic options, the Jeep Wrangler X, the Wrangler Sahara, and the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. You also have the option between a standard two door and a four door Unlimited variant.

The Wrangler Rubicon is available for roughly $20,000. The different versions of the Jeep Wrangler can be had for the same price some versions going from $28,000 to $30,000. Bear in mind that the model is from 2009 so you won’t really find it new. At most you will be able to buy used from pre-owners. It’s best to do research before deciding. Ensure you get the best deal in the most ideal running condition.


The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon features a 3.8L six-cylinder gas engine. This massively powerful engine can churn out 202 horsepower at 5000 RPM. Meaning that a Jeep Wrangler can generate 212-foot pounds of torque. The acceleration is superb, and you can easily go from 0 to 60 in less than ten seconds. You have a choice of having either manual six speed transmission or four-speed automatic transmission.

The 32-inch wheels take advantage of this torque to dig in to the ground. This results in superior grip and climbing. You can make a 45-degree sheer vertical rock climb, or tread through dense waterways. The large wheels are also capable of handling slippery terrain like icy roads and dirt highways. This is further aided by electronically locking differentials on both axles that balance the speed between both tires. The four-wheel drive coupled with the 4:1 gear ratio provides torque especially under pressure.

There isn’t much to say about the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon’s comfort level. The SUV isn’t designed to be a passenger vehicle. This translates to a standard cabin that functions only to seat passengers. There are cloth and bucket seat configurations available for the front and back. The seats are designed to be rugged and comfortable even on rocky terrain. The Jeep Wrangler has a convertible roof option which allows it to be taken off completely. You have the option of swapping windows for fixed plastic ones.

Powerhouse SUV

You do get standard features such as air conditioning, sound system, MP3 player, and CD player with an additional option for a CD changer. You also get a standard central console that has a power outlet for your devices. There are some additional extras that can be opted for such as a navigation system, power windows, and window rear defrosting system. The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon has great reliability.

The body is made from tough grade materials that can withstand immense amounts of damage. Even the engine can function with any breakdowns or servicing. There really shouldn’t be a problem getting it up and running when it breaks down. Since it’s an older model, you should be able to find parts for it quite easily. Wrangler Rubicon is a very safe SUV and has passed every stress test with flying colors.

The SUV has gotten maximum scores a front-end collision and rollover test. The onboard navigation system helps you navigate through the wilderness with ease. You also get heavy duty fog lamps that increase visibility in dense fog. The Jeep Wrangler comes equipped with the Jeep’s own hill-start assist.
What this feature does is prevent the car from rolling away on a steep climb. The system clamps down like a handbrake automatically allowing you to climb with ease. Jeep Wrangler Rubicon is a hardened veteran that’s designed to handle all off-road situations possible with power, reliability and stability.

About the author

Alyssia Walmsley

Alyssia is a Cornell University graduate of 2003 and a former lead technology development manager for Microsoft and Cisco Networking Systems. Between writing on her blog, Blubbr, she likes adventures and chocolate sprinkles.

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