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The Best SUV To Buy in Canada

The Best SUV To Buy in Canada

Canadians love SUVs. In 2022, SUVs accounted for over 50% of new vehicle sales in Canada. With ample cargo space, available all-wheel drive, and the ability to handle varied terrain, SUVs provide unrivaled utility for everything from family road trips to winter commuting.


But with so many SUV models on the market, it can be a challenge to determine which is truly the best option for your needs and budget. This definitive guide covers the 10 top-rated SUVs you can buy in Canada for 2024.


From fuel-sipping hybrids to luxury SUVs packed with cutting-edge tech, we’ve done the research to highlight the cream of the crop. Whether you prioritize space, performance, value, or safety, these SUVs deliver confidence behind the wheel no matter the weather or road conditions.


Read on to discover which SUV comes out on top as the number one model to buy in Canada for 2024!

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#1 Toyota RAV4

The Toyota RAV4 has been the top selling SUV in Canada for 7 consecutive years. In 2022, Toyota sold 55,921 RAV4s, cementing its position once again as the most popular SUV across the country. So what has made the RAV4 such a hit with Canadian buyers?

For starters, the RAV4 offers excellent fuel economy. The standard 2.5L 4-cylinder engine delivers 8.4L/100km in the city and 7.3L/100km on the highway. There’s also a hybrid model available that boosts fuel efficiency even further to 6.0L/100km on the highway. This efficiency helps save Canadians money at the pumps.

The RAV4 also comes equipped with the latest safety technologies, including the Toyota Safety Sense package as standard equipment. This includes advanced driver aids like a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Automatic High Beams, and Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. For families, these innovative features provide peace of mind.

With generous rear legroom and cargo capacity, the RAV4 also offers ample passenger and storage space for daily use. As one reviewer put it: “Whether its rear seats are raised or lowered, the RAV4 can easily accommodate luggage, groceries, camping gear, and other cargo. The rear load floor is low for lifting heavy items.”

The RAV4’s all-wheel drive capability, auto-locking rear differential, and 8.4 inches of ground clearance also make it well-equipped for Canadian weather and rough terrain. For many buyers, it’s the ideal blend of practicality, efficiency, safety and versatility.

 

#2 Mazda CX-5

The Mazda CX-5 is a top choice for driving enthusiasts seeking a compact SUV. This model earns praise from experts for its responsive handling and premium interior quality.

The CX-5 feels nimble and engaging on twisty roads thanks to its precise steering and balanced chassis tuning. Reviewers describe the ride as refined yet sporty. The standard all-wheel drive system enhances traction and control in all weather conditions.

Inside, you’re treated to an upscale cabin packed with features. The CX-5 offers excellent passenger space, including 40.8 cm of rear legroom that beats many rivals. Soft-touch surfaces abound, and even base models come well-equipped.

Fuel economy is another CX-5 highlight. The efficient SkyActiv engines and transmissions provide top notch MPG. For example, the 2.5L engine and AWD returns 9.7 L/100 km combined. With gas prices high, the CX-5 helps save money at the pump.

Car and Driver calls the CX-5 “one of the most satisfying compact crossovers to drive and also one of the most luxurious.” Reviewers praise the premium feel that punches above its price class. For driving enthusiasts seeking a deluxe, fun-to-drive compact SUV, the Mazda CX-5 is a top pick.

 

Best Midsize SUVs

Midsize SUVs provide a balance of passenger and cargo space while still being maneuverable enough for daily driving. Three excellent options in this category for Canadian buyers are the Honda Passport, Hyundai Santa Fe, and Subaru Outback.

 

Honda Passport

The Passport stands out with its rugged styling and strong 3.5-liter V6 engine producing 280 horsepower. Available all-wheel drive enhances its off-road capability. Honda packed the interior with tech like an 8-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a Wi-Fi hotspot. The Passport provides excellent utility for outdoor adventures.

 

Hyundai Santa Fe

Value is the Santa Fe’s biggest selling point. It comes well-equipped even at the base SE trim and includes Hyundai’s exceptional 10 year/200,000 km powertrain warranty. The Santa Fe offers a choice between two punchy turbocharged engines. With three rows of seating, the Santa Fe can accommodate families while still providing 652 L of maximum cargo space.

 

Subaru Outback

The Outback defines crossover capability with its car-like comfort and SUV versatility. Its standard all-wheel drive system gives it surefooted grip on slippery roads. With 213 mm of ground clearance, the Outback can handle light off-roading and rough terrain. Active safety features like pre-collision braking and lane keep assist are standard across the model range.

 

Most Affordable Compact SUVs

For buyers on a budget, compact SUVs offer excellent value without sacrificing utility and modern styling. Here are some of the most affordable options in the compact segment:

 

Nissan Qashqai

The Nissan Qashqai combines attractive design, car-like handling, and generous passenger space in an affordable package. With pricing starting around $25,000, the Qashqai offers great value. The interior feels upscale with soft-touch materials and the NissanConnect infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Qashqai measures 4,394 mm long with 2,646 mm wheelbase, giving rear seat passengers decent 36.6 inches of legroom. With 648 litres of cargo capacity, it provides versatility for daily use and weekend getaways.

 

Hyundai Kona

Fun, funky styling sets the Hyundai Kona apart. This subcompact SUV starts around $21,000 but doesn’t skimp on features. The Kona measures 4,165 mm long with a 2,600 mm wheelbase. It offers excellent headroom and legroom for its size class. Cargo space measures 544 litres, expandable to 1,296 litres with the 60/40 split rear seats folded. The Kona comes well-equipped with a 7-inch touchscreen, Android Auto/Apple CarPlay, forward collision warning, and lane keep assist.

 

Kia Seltos

New for 2021, the Kia Seltos combines sophistication and value with a starting MSRP  of $23,000. Measuring 4,370 mm long and riding on a 2,610 mm wheelbase, the interior of the Seltos feels very spacious. It provides excellent outward visibility and a sense of maneuverability around town. With 752 litres of cargo space, the Seltos easily swallows luggage and gear. The Seltos punches above its weight class with standard features including a 10.25-inch touchscreen, six speaker audio, and an abundance of safety tech.

 

Luxury SUVs Worth the Investment

For drivers seeking the ultimate combination of performance, technology, and comfort, several luxury SUVs in Canada are worth the extra investment. Luxury SUVs offer powerful engines for effortless acceleration, advanced driver assistance features, and lavish interiors using premium materials. Here are three excellent options in the luxury SUV segment:

 

Genesis GV70

The athletic Genesis GV70 blends head-turning style with engaging driving dynamics. Under the hood, you’ll find potent turbocharged engines putting out 300 to 375 horsepower. The GV70 pampers occupants with quilted Nappa leather seats, an interactive digital dashboard, and 14.5-inch infotainment display. Cutting-edge safety technology like blind spot collision avoidance and remote smart parking make the GV70 a technological tour de force.

 

Volvo XC60

Volvo is synonymous with safety, and the XC60 SUV leverages the company’s latest innovations to protect passengers. Systems like blind spot monitoring, lane keeping assist, and cross traffic alert come standard. Optional Pilot Assist offers hands-free highway driving under certain conditions. The minimalist, upscale cabin provides a calming sanctuary from busy roads. A turbocharged and supercharged 316 hp engine delivers smooth, potent acceleration.

 

Acura RDX

The athletic Acura RDX is ready to tackle Canadian roads thanks to the brand’s advanced Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system. By actively distributing power between the rear wheels, this AWD platform offers tenacious grip and agile handling. Under the hood, a 272 horsepower turbo engine provides energetic acceleration. Inside, the RDX balances sporty and luxurious, with available 16-way adjustable seats wrapped in soft Milano leather.

 

The Best SUVs Give You Confidence Behind the Wheel

When searching for the best SUV to buy in Canada, there are several key factors to consider. All-wheel drive or four-wheel drive is essential for winter traction on snow and ice. Look for advanced safety technologies like automatic emergency braking and lane keep assist that help avoid collisions. Fuel efficiency ratings help save money at the pump, while high predicted reliability scores reduce the chance of breakdowns and costly repairs.

Passenger space and cargo capacity allow you to haul family, friends and gear comfortably. The latest infotainment and connectivity features keep you informed and entertained on the go. Don’t forget about the driving experience – pick an SUV that handles responsively and provides a composed, enjoyable ride.

Test drive top contenders back-to-back to get a feel for how they perform on real roads. Focus on the details that matter most to you. Consult expert reviews for professional evaluations. By taking the time to research, you can find the best SUV in Canada to instill driving confidence for years to come.

 

The Best SUVs Give You Confidence Behind the Wheel

Canadians have an abundance of excellent SUV options for 2024. Whether you prioritize fuel efficiency, passenger space, off-road mastery, or advanced technology, several models can fulfill your needs.

The Toyota RAV4 and Mazda CX-5 stand out as the top 2 choices for their combination of value, reliability, and practicality for daily driving and road trips. Shoppers focused on luxury have compelling options like the Genesis GV70 and Volvo XC60 that coddle passengers in upscale interiors.

Midsize favorites like the Honda Passport, Hyundai Santa Fe, and Subaru Outback offer great all-weather traction and generous cargo space for outdoorsy families. Those on a budget can find well-equipped compact SUVs including the Nissan Qashqai, Hyundai Kona and Kia Seltos.

Test drive the top contenders to discover which is the best SUV to buy in Canada for your situation. Take time to assess rear seat room, ergonomics, ride comfort, and the intuitive layout of controls. Prioritize advanced safety aids like automatic emergency braking and blind spot monitoring to give you confidence behind the wheel in any conditions.

By investing time upfront to research SUV models and test drive your favorites, you can make an informed decision and find the ideal SUV to become part of your family for years to come.

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Questions About The Best SUVs in Canada

The Toyota RAV4 is considered the best SUV to buy in Canada. As Canada’s best-selling SUV for over 7 consecutive years, the RAV4 offers great value in terms of reliability, fuel efficiency, safety features, interior space, and resale value. Its available all-wheel drive, generous cargo capacity, and comfortable ride make it very well-suited for Canadian roads and lifestyles.

Based on expert reviews and consumer ratings, some of the top rated SUVs in Canada include the Mazda CX-5, Subaru Forester, Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage, Nissan Rogue, Ford Escape, Toyota Highlander, Volkswagen Tiguan, and Jeep Grand Cherokee. These models score highly for factors like safety, performance, features, comfort, and overall value.

The undisputed best-selling SUV in Canada is the Toyota RAV4. In 2022, Toyota sold over 55,000 RAV4s in Canada – nearly 10,000 more units than the second place Honda CR-V. The RAV4 has ranked as Canada’s favorite SUV for 7 years in a row thanks to its reliability, practicality, and strong resale value.



Some of the most affordable SUV options in Canada include the Hyundai Kona, Nissan Qashqai, Subaru Crosstrek, Mazda CX-3, Kia Seltos, Chevrolet Trailblazer, Buick Encore GX, and Mitsubishi RVR/Outlander Sport. These smaller SUVs can be purchased new for under $30,000 and offer good value for the money.

According to sales data and expert opinion, excellent used SUV options in Canada are the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Ford Escape, Nissan Rogue, Subaru Forester, Mazda CX-5, Hyundai Santa Fe, and Acura RDX. Focusing on these popular models can help buyers find units with lower mileage and extensive service histories.



The Hyundai Kona Electric is currently Canada’s most fuel efficient SUV with an MPGe rating of 132 in the city and 108 on the highway. Other fuel sippers include the plug-in hybrid Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, and Ford Escape Hybrid. These electrified SUVs allow drivers to save substantially on gas.

The 2023 Mazda CX-9 ranks highest for safety scores amongst SUVs tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The CX-9 earns top ratings in all six IIHS crashworthiness evaluations as well as superior scores for its standard accident avoidance technology.

With a supercharged 6.2L V8 putting out 702 horsepower and 653 lb-ft of torque, the 2023 Lamborghini Urus Super SUV claims the title as the most powerful SUV sold in Canada. This ultra high-performance luxury SUV can accelerate from 0-100 km/h in just 3.6 seconds.

For a balance of comfort, performance, safety, and prestige, the Acura MDX, BMW X5, Audi Q7, Volvo XC90, and Lexus RX 350 are considered among the best luxury SUV options in Canada. These refined and capable SUVs provide owners with an excellent overall ownership experience.

Toyota, Honda, and Ford lead SUV sales in the Canadian market. Toyota SUV models like the RAV4, Highlander, and 4Runner make Toyota the top-selling SUV brand. Honda finds success with the versatile CR-V and family-friendly Pilot. Fords like the Escape, Edge, Explorer, and Expedition perform well for the American automaker.

Ideally suited for urban use and fuel efficiency, the Mazda CX-30, Subaru Crosstrek, Hyundai Kona, Kia Seltos, Toyota C-HR, and Nissan Qashqai stand out as the best compact SUV options in Canada. These smaller SUVs deliver ample cargo space and modern tech alongside their maneuverable size.



The Toyota 4Runner has the highest resale value amongst SUVs in Canada according to Canadian Black Book data. Even after 5 years of ownership, the rugged and reliable 4Runner retains over 56% of its original MSRP – significantly higher than comparably sized SUVs. This makes the 4Runner a smart long term value.

For Canadian families needing maximum passenger and cargo space, some top-rated picks include the Kia Telluride, Mazda CX-9, Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, Hyundai Palisade, Volkswagen Atlas, Chevrolet Traverse, and Ford Explorer. These 3-row SUVs offer family-friendly technology, safety, comfort, and overall practicality.



Of all SUVs sold new in Canada, the 2023 Chevrolet Suburban offers the most maximum cargo room at 144.7 cubic feet with both rear rows folded. The cavernous Suburban can handle especially large hauling jobs that exceed the capacity of smaller crossover SUVs.



The 2023 Ram 1500 TRX earns top honors for towing amongst Canadian SUVs, with the capability to tow up to 8,100 lbs when properly equipped. Other SUVs with strong tow ratings include the Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat, GMC Yukon Denali, and Ford Expedition.



Capable off-road SUVs equipped for Canadian winters include the Jeep Wrangler, Toyota 4Runner, Land Rover Defender, Subaru Crosstrek, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Toyota Tacoma, Ford Bronco, and Nissan X-Terra. These SUVs offer available four wheel drive, ample ground clearance, advanced traction systems, and available winter performance tires.



The Tesla Model Y is currently Canada’s top-selling electric SUV. With impressive performance specs and advanced technology alongside Tesla’s reputation, the more affordable Model Y has quickly surpassed sales of the premium Model X electric SUV.



Some of the best SUV lease deals in Canada for 2023 shoppers include offers on the: Nissan Murano, Kia Sportage, Mazda CX-5, BMW X1, Volvo XC40, Infiniti QX50, Cadillac XT4, Lincoln Corsair, and Mercedes Benz GLC 300. Shoppers can find lease offers ranging from $300 – $500 per month including maintenance.



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