Ride comfort remains one of the key selling points for SUVs, many of which will be used as family vehicles or commuters. With SUVs and crossovers coming in all shapes and sizes, figuring out which ones will be the most comfortable SUVs for your family would require a lot of test-driving. That’s where we come in. We’ve driven every SUV under the sun, and our behinds have cumulatively racked up thousands of hours in SUV and crossover driver’s seats as a result. To help you pick a smooth-riding SUV, we’ve compiled a list of our favorites under $50,000. Here are 15 of the most comfortable SUVs currently available, arranged from lowest starting price to highest.
Subaru Crosstrek – $22,870
If you’re in search of the most well-rounded subcompact SUV, the Subaru Crosstrek is it. Secure handling, a smooth ride, excellent fuel economy, and a spacious interior make the Crosstrek a great all-around vehicle, especially with its standard all-wheel-drive system.
Subaru Forester – $25,505
The Subaru Forester offers four-season traction and a full suite of safety features as standard. Its supple suspension gives the compact crossover a smooth ride, and its low center of gravity adds a feeling of stability when you take turns, making it one of the most comfortable SUVs in its price range.
Honda CR-V – $25,545
Considered the benchmark of its segment, the Honda CR-V blends utility, efficiency, and surprisingly good road manners all in a smooth-riding SUV. For 2020, the refreshed Honda CR-V gets a hybrid variant with more power and better fuel efficiency. The 190-hp 1.5-liter turbo-four is now standard on gas-only models.
Nissan Rogue – $26,245
Need a comfortable SUV with semi-autonomous driving tech that isn’t too big? Check out the Nissan Rogue, which is available with ProPilot Assist, a hands-on system that works in traffic and can even take gentle curves at highway speeds. We complimented the Rogue’s smooth-riding SUV road manners in a 2017 First Test, saying, “Once moving, the Rogue is a great cruiser. At speed, the cabin is quiet, and the suspension is soft and supple, allowing you to sit back and enjoy the ride.”
Subaru Outback – $27,655
Although the Subaru Outback looks like a wagon, its extra ride height, 8.7 inches of ground clearance, and chunky design make it more than that. Now riding on an updated version of Subaru‘s global platform, the Outback is a smooth-riding SUV that’s also surprisingly capable when the pavement ends. Need more oomph than the base 2.5-liter flat-four offers? There’s a 260-hp 2.4-liter turbocharged unit that’ll give you just that.
Chevrolet Blazer – $29,995
Behind the Chevrolet Blazer‘s polarizing mug is a well-rounded midsize SUV with a punchy six-cylinder engine and seating for five. You can opt for a sportier suspension tune in the Blazer RS, but if you want the best ride, you should opt for the other trims, which are more comfortable.
Chevrolet Traverse – $31,125
Chevrolet‘s Traverse blends practicality, comfort, and V-6 power in a roomy package with a third row that can actually fit adults. The Traverse’s boxy exterior allows for plenty of usable space, making it a great choice for hauling cargo. For its size, the Chevrolet Traverse handles surprisingly well, and it rides smoothly even when equipped with the available 20-inch alloy wheels.
Hyundai Palisade – $32,645
The Hyundai Palisade is mechanically similar to the Kia Telluride but features a more polarizing exterior design. It drives differently, too, feeling more like a luxurious minivan than a large family SUV. With three rows of seating, the Palisade can accommodate up to eight passengers, and its third row is among the most spacious in the segment. Although its ride and handling characteristics are tuned differently from the Telluride, the Palisade is still one of the most comfortable SUVs in its class.
Kia Telluride – $32,785
Quite possibly the most hyped three-row SUV today, the Kia Telluride has a well-appointed interior, user-friendly tech, and a ruggedly handsome design. On the road, the Telluride drives smoothly with its relaxed demeanor, giving it the upscale feel missing from many three-row SUVs. The Kia Telluride is also a good value even in its priciest form, where it comes with features such as heated and ventilated second-row seats.
Subaru Ascent – $33,005
With all-wheel drive, a comfortable ride, and a full suite of driver assistance tech standard, the Subaru Ascent is a great choice for the active family. With seating for up to eight passengers and a spacious cabin, the Ascent is practical enough for carpooling and can easily accommodate people and cargo.
Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class – $42,500
The recently refreshed Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class gets the slick MBUX infotainment system and a slightly revised exterior. With its smooth ride, quiet interior, and punchy 2.0-liter turbo-four, the Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class is a solid choice for customers shopping for comfortable SUVs. The GLC excels as a daily commuter and is also great on road trips, where it coddles passengers in luxury.
Audi Q5 – $43,945
Audi’s Q5 offers a great balance of power, road manners, and a comfortable ride wrapped in a tasteful, minimalist package. The interior remains one of the highlights because of its exceptional build quality and user-friendly design, and its well-damped suspension makes one of the most comfortable SUVs in this category.
Lexus RX – $45,175 ($48,325 for RX 350L)
Recently refreshed and now packing the latest infotainment tech complete with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, the Lexus RX is more appealing than ever. As long as you avoid the F Sport package, the Lexus RX possesses a cushy ride that will keep you comfortable even on long trips. There’s also a longer-wheelbase model called the RX L if you need more space for cargo or occasional jump seats for children.
Acura MDX – $45,395
For a three-row SUV, the Acura MDX drives smaller than it is, offering responsive handling and a reasonably sporty driving experience—all while still having room for up to seven passengers. That dynamic advantage doesn’t come at the expense of ride comfort, either; even with its excellent road manners, the MDX is a smooth-riding SUV that offers good value in its segment.
Volvo XC90 – $49,345
Want one of the most comfortable SUVs that’s also stylish and luxurious? The Volvo XC90 defines Scandinavian design with its minimalist interior and an elegant yet simple exterior design. Cues like the Thor’s hammer headlights, available two-tone upholstery, and natural wood trim give the XC90 a sophisticated appearance. As long as you avoid the 21- and 22-inch alloy wheels, the big Volvo rides extremely well and keeps passengers isolated from the road.
15 of the Most Comfortable SUVs Under $50,000 to Coddle Your Bum
- Subaru Crosstrek – $22,870
- Subaru Forester – $25,505
- Honda CR-V – $25,545
- Nissan Rogue – $26,245
- Subaru Outback – $27,655
- Chevrolet Blazer – $29,995
- Chevrolet Traverse – $31,125
- Hyundai Palisade – $32,645
- Kia Telluride – $32,785
- Subaru Ascent – $33,005
- Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class – $42,500
- Audi Q5 – $43,945
- Lexus RX – $45,175 ($48,325 for RX 350L)
- Acura MDX – $45,395
- Volvo XC90 – $49,345