Mid-size SUVs with three rows of seats are more popular than ever. They have completely suppressed minivans and they are often seen as ultimate vehicles that have a little bit of everything. They are super practical, there look bold and aggressive, and they come with very capable powertrains.
The next will bring a lot of excitement, whether it’s about the mainstream or premium segment. Several models will receive complete redesigns, while some of them will receive mid-cycle updates. Others will remain unchanged, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be competitive.
Here is our list of the best seven-seater SUVs for 2023:
The Highlander has been a household name in the class for a very long time and the current generation is still among the best choices among family haulers. The 2023 Toyota Highlander gets a very important update. The good-old V6 has been dropped, in favor of a 2.4-liter turbo-four, which puts out 265 horsepower and 309 pound-feet of torque. Despite the less power than the V6, it feels better on the throttle, mainly because of pretty generous torque.
Still, the hybrid version is our pick without any doubt. This system is based on a 2.5-liter inline-four and delivers a total output of 243 horsepower. That’s plenty enough for decent driving dynamics but more importantly, this version is extremely efficient. You may count on 36 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway.
Besides capable and efficient powertrains, the Highlander also offers composed handling, though it isn’t particularly engaging to drive. The cabin space is typical for the class, while we like the new 12.3-inch infotainment screen very much. Typically for Toyota, the list of standard safety features is very long.
The starting price for the 2023 Highlander should go around 38.000 dollars.
The Pathfinder has just been redesigned and the 2023 model will represent the second production year. Therefore, we don’t expect to see bigger changes, which isn’t a bad thing at all. Simply, the recent overhaul has brought a lot of big novelties and improvements. The only notable change will be the introduction of the Rock Creek trim level, which will come with some interesting off-road upgrades.
The new generation is way more luxurious than before. You now get one of the nicest cabins in the class, characterized by fine materials and great overall quality. The list of standard and available equipment is also very generous, while we particularly like new tech features.
Another thing we really like is the new automatic transmission, which has replaced the uninspiring CVT from the previous generation. So, even though the 3.5-liter V6 remained the same, the performance and ride quality, in general, are way better. Even the fuel economy has improved, while the max towing capacity goes up to 6.000 pounds.
The 2023 Nissan Pathfinder should feature starting price of around 36.000 dollars.
While the Chinese version of the SUV will receive a pretty radical facelift, the North American version is expected to carry on in the same way. That won’t be an issue, considering that the current generation has been around for just a few years, and it still feels pretty fresh in every aspect.
There are many things to like about the current-generation Explorer. We like the fact that it is one of the rare models in the class to feature rear-wheel drive. Also, the engine lineup is pretty generous. It starts with a 2.3-liter turbo-four, which puts out around 300 horsepower. For those who look for something more capable, there is a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6, which puts out around 400 horsepower.
The Hybrid version will also continue in the same way, with a 3.3-liter V6 that gets help from the electric motor. So, the total output goes around 313 horsepower. All three powertrains come in pair with a 10-speed automatic transmission, which does a pretty good job.
The Explorer is spacious in all three rows, while the cargo area is also pretty generous. What we also like is the long list of standard and available equipment. This particularly refers to tech features. One of the things we really like is the optional 10.1-inch vertically-oriented touchscreen.
The current model starts at around 35.000 dollars and we don’t expect bigger changes in this aspect for the next year.
In the world of full-size luxury SUVs, the X7 stands out with great performance and impressive interior quality. What’s great is that the 2023 BMW X7 gets a significant mid-cycle update. Novelties are coming in virtually every aspect.
First of all, there is the new styling. The new front end features an even more massive grille, along with narrower and sharper headlights. The bumper is also new, with massive air intakes. On the inside, you can see a lot of inspiration from the new iX all-electric crossover, particularly in terms of digital instrument cluster and infotainment screen designs.
Finally, there are some significant upgrades under the hood. The base inline-six engine now features way more power -375 hp. On the other hand, the M50i has been renamed M60i. It continues with the same 4.4-liter V8 and even features the same output (523 hp). However, it now comes with a mild-hybrid setup, which should improve efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.
The updated 2023 BMW X7 will hit the market later in the year, with a starting price of around 79.000 dollars.
The 2023 Cadillac XT6 will represent the fourth production year of this crossover and the latest reports suggest no bigger changes. This mid-size crossover will continue in the same way, offering a smooth and comfortable ride, along with a spacious cabin and good cargo volume.
Under the hood, this SUV will carry on with two familiar engine options. Economy-oriented buyers would probably go for the base 2.0-liter turbo-four, which puts out 237 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. It offers decent performance and pretty impressive fuel economy, which goes around 21 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.
However, we still feel that the optional V6 is a better choice. It is smoother and more capable, as the max output goes around 310 horsepower. However, it is also a little bit thirstier, as the average fuel economy goes around 18 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. Both engines come in pair with a 9-speed automatic transmission, which does a pretty decent job.
Since there are no bigger changes to come, we presume that the starting price will remain the same as for the current model, which is available at a little bit under 50.000 dollars.
The current-generation Durango has been around for more than a decade but it is still a great choice if you look for a genuine American SUV. There are several things to like about it, such as a spacious cabin or an intuitive infotainment system but eventually, it all comes down to the wide powertrain lineup, even though the monstrous Hellcat engine has been discontinued.
The next year’s model will probably be the last of the current generation. So, we expect no bigger changes. The offer will start with a 3.6-liter V6 engine, which puts out around 295 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, which is quite decent for an SUV of this size. Still, the real deal comes with eight cylinders.
Two V8 engines are available. The first one is a smaller 5.7-liter unit, which puts out around 360 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque. For most drivers, this would be the best choice. Still, if you look for ultimate performance, there is the SRT 392 model, with the large 6.4-liter V8 that puts out around 475 horsepower. All three engines come with a pretty impressive 8-speed automatic transmission.
Jeep Grand Cherokee
The legendary SUV has been redesigned last year and among many novelties we’ve seen, the three-row version is among the most important ones. For the first time, the Grand Cherokee is available with three rows of seats. Standard models come with six seats, while you can also opt for the second-row bench and increase seating capacity to seven.
The 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee will continue in the same way. We don’t expect to see bigger changes so, you may count on familiar design and features. One of the things we like about this SUV is its long list of standard tech and convenience features. Furthermore, you may count on 17.2 cubic feet of space behind the third row, 46.9 cubic feet with the third row folded down and 84.6 cubic feet of the total volume. Those are good ratings for a mid-size SUV.
Under the hood, the next year’s model will continue with two familiar engine options. Base models will continue to use a 3.6-liter V6, which puts out 293 horsepower. For those who can’t live without V8 roar, there is the well-known 5.7-liter unit, with 357 horsepower. Finally, we expect to see a plug-in hybrid version, based on a turbo-four engine, with a combined output of 375 horsepower.
We expect that the starting price for the three-row version will go around 39.000 dollars.
After the last year’s refresh, which has brought the new 12.3-inch infotainment system, we are pretty sure that the current generation of Infiniti’s flagship model will remain in production for another year or two, even though the current generation has been around since 2010.
Despite the age, the current model still has a couple of good things to offer. Besides the spacious cabin, we also like the interior quality. The dashboard may look a little bit outdated, but the materials and build quality are really impressive. Furthermore, the new infotainment system works very well.
When it comes to the powertrain, the Infiniti QX80 will continue with a good-old 5.6-liter V8, which puts out 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque. Driving dynamics are great, while handling is also surprisingly good. Unfortunately, this engine is very thirsty and you may expect no more than 14 mpg in the city and 19 mpg on the highway, in terms of fuel economy.
Another thing to like about this SUV is the pretty attractive price. The current model is available at 71.000 dollars.
It looks like the current XC90 could have a decade-long production cycle, just like its predecessor. The current generation was introduced way back in 2014 but the 2023 Volvo XC90 carries on in the same way, with minor updates only.
The biggest updates for the next year came in the form of electrification. Both gasoline units now come equipped with a mild-hybrid system. The base turbo-four puts out around 250 horsepower, while the supercharged turbo-four offers more than 300 horsepower. On the other hand, the plug-in hybrid version remained unchanged, with a max output of more than 400 horsepower.
Despite the age, the cabin still looks pretty fresh and attractive. The materials are really nice, while the build quality is great. The cabin is also pretty spacious, especially when it comes to the cargo area, which offers around 15.8 cubic feet of space behind the third-row seats, 41.8 cubic feet with these seats folded, and 85.7 cubic feet of the total volume. Those are impressive ratings for a mid-size luxury SUV.
The starting price goes around 51.000 dollars.
Lexus LX 350L
The Japanese luxury carmaker has just presented the new generation of the most popular mid-size luxury SUV in North America. For now, we know for sure that the two-row version will be offered, while the three-row model with the L badge is yet to be confirmed.
In any case, this redesign will bring a full load of novelties. Of course, we will see a new styling but, more importantly, the new generation will ride on the TNGA architecture. The ride quality should be improved, while the new interior will feature even better build quality. A new 14.0-inch infotainment screen is one of the cabin highlights for sure.
Big changes are coming under the hood as well. Instead of the good-old V6, the Lexus LX 350L will now feature a 2.4-liter turbo-four, with a max output of 275 horsepower and 309 pound-feet of torque. Along with this version, the company will also offer three hybrid versions. The first one, called 350h will use pretty much the same system as the Highlander, with a max output of 246 horsepower. On the other hand, the RX500h will combine a turbo-four engine with electric motors, so the total output will go all-away up to 367 horsepower. Finally, count on a plug-in hybrid version, which will probably feature the same setup as the RAV4 Prime, though with a slight power increase.
Details about the price are still unknown, but we expect that base versions will go around 50.000 dollars.
Lexus LX Three-Row
The LX has finally been redesigned recently and the 2023 model will represent the second production year. However, that doesn’t mean that we won’t be seeing novelties, despite all the improvements we’ve seen with the recent overhaul.
One of the biggest novelties will be the introduction of the off-road-oriented model. That version will come with all kinds of upgrades, including new suspension, higher ground clearance, locking differentials, and many more.
Also, some sources speculate about the hybrid version. Of course, we would see the same system that powers the new Tundra, which combines a twin-turbo V6 with electric motors, for a total output of 437 horsepower and 589 pound-feet of torque. On the other hand, standard models will continue with a 3.4-liter twin-turbo V6 that puts out 409 horsepower.
The starting price should go around 88.000 dollars.
While everyone talks about the new CX-90 model, with RWD and inline-six engines, it looks like we will have to wait for it for a little bit more. According to the latest reports, the current-generation Mazda CX-9 will remain in production for another year. As we are talking about the final production year, it’s hard to expect more important changes.
Therefore, you may count on an SUV that has been around since 2016. Despite the age, it still feels fresh in many aspects, particularly in terms of aesthetics. The styling is great, while the interior looks impressive. Furthermore, this SUV lacks nothing in terms of tech and convenience features.
Under the hood, you may count on a familiar 2.5-liter turbo-four engine, which puts out up to 250 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque. It comes in pair with a six-speed automatic transmission and offers pretty good driving dynamics. The handling is even better than dynamics, so it’s no wonder that this is the most athletic mainstream mid-size SUV you can find on the market.
The starting price shouldn’t change much compared to the current model, which starts at around 36.000 dollars.
Famous for its amazing air suspensions, the GLE offers an incredibly smooth and comfortable ride. Moreover, it looks great and feels very luxurious, whether it’s about the exterior or interior design. All this will become even better with the 2023 Mercedes GLE, which will receive a facelift.
From what we know so far, this facelift will bring quite subtle changes. The test mule has been spotted on the road and, interestingly, it doesn’t wear too much camouflage. The only thing we can see are minor revisions around headlights and a new, more aggressive bumper. Other than that, things should remain pretty much the same.
We don’t expect to see bigger changes under the hood. So, the engine offer should start with a 2.0-liter turbo-four, which puts out around 255 horsepower. The optional 3.0-liter inline-six is good for 362 horsepower and it comes with a mild-hybrid system, for improved fuel efficiency. Finally, there is the AMG version, equipped with a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8, which puts out around 504 horsepower.
Despite the updates, we don’t expect bigger changes in price. So, base versions should cost around 57.000 dollars.
The current-generation Q7 has been around for a long time but is still a pretty competitive SUV. It has a lot of good things to offer, starting from the fact that it comes standard with three rows of seats. Also, the cabin looks great, whether it’s about materials and build quality, or tech features.
For the 2023 model year, the Ingolstadt company introduced an upgraded version of the 2.0-liter turbo-four engine, which now features 261 horsepower. The optional 3.0-liter V6 is good for 335 horses and offers notably better performance. Also, the V6 provides a max towing capacity of 7.000 pounds, which is very good for the class.
The Q7 offers a great balance between comfort and athleticism. The optional air suspension is particularly impressive, while buyers love the fact that the company’s famous Quattro all-wheel-drive system is part of the standard equipment.
The starting price goes around 58.000 dollars.
Range Rover Sport
The Range Rover’s only three-row SUV is coming completely redesigned for the next year. Novelties are coming in every aspect, so we have no doubt that the new model will attract a lot of buyers, even though the competition is tougher than ever.
This redesign has brought a lot of new things, starting from the new styling. The cabin is also completely new, equipped with an elegant dashboard design and fancy-looking tech features, such as a 13.1-inch curved touchscreen and a 13.7-inch digital instrument cluster.
Also, you may count on a new powertrain lineup, which will start with the new 3.0-liter inline-six with a max output of 355 horsepower. The same engine is available in a variant with 395 horsepower. Furthermore, the same engine is available in a combination with an electric motor and a large battery pack, making a plug-in hybrid system that offers a combined output of 434 horsepower. Finally, there is a version with BMW’s 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 that puts out 523 horsepower.
The starting price will go around 85.000 dollars.