8. Midsize SUV–Jeep Grand Cherokee
Starting price: $30,490
Fuel-economy rating (EPA city/highway combined): 15-25 mpg
Featuring a broad model range, the attractively styled Grand Cherokee
is one of the most sophisticated SUVs on the market; it’s equally capable of blazing remote trails in the afternoon and transporting a party of five to a gourmet restaurant in the evening. The standard 3.6-liter 290-horsepower V-6 engine should be sufficient for most motorists, with a burly 5.7-liter 360-horsepower “HEMI” V-8 also available for added acceleration. Meanwhile, those favoring fuel economy can alternately choose a 3.0-liter 240-horsepower turbodiesel engine, while those with a need for speed and deeper pockets can avail themselves of the hot-roddish SRT model with a 6.4-liter 470-horsepower V-8. No less than three available four-wheel-drive systems afford varying degrees of on-road security and off-road tenacity; an optional Selec-Terrain control system maximizes the vehicle’s traction over five selectable road surfaces and conditions.