One of the busier car purchasing times of the year is around the holidays or shortly afterward, during tax return season. Many Wyoming families will be looking to get into a new vehicle and for many, the roominess and capability of a three-row crossover is the ticket. As an automotive journalist, I get to drive and evaluate a multitude of vehicles.
These are my top choices for family-sized crossover-SUVs for Wyoming drivers. All of them have three rows of seating, all of them are fuel efficient, and all of them are capable of handling Wyoming’s weather when they have to. I’ve skipped over nearly all of the sport utilities (aka “truck-based” or “body-on-frame”) that are sold as three-row options. I did that because most people don’t really need the towing and true four-wheel drive capabilities of those rigs and, per safety testing and real-world highway crash results, most of those truck-like SUVs are less safe than are car-based crossovers. Plus experience shows that a well-designed all-wheel drive system is far better in inclement weather on bad roadways than is a high center of gravity and four-wheel drive. Most SUVs are also far below the average crossover in fuel economy and not nearly as passenger-friendly on the inside.
For this list, we’re also avoiding luxury brands and sticking with standard makes and models. If a luxury choice is your preference, each of my highlights for these makes and models will include reference to the luxury brand equivalent (if there is one). If a particular vehicle is not mentioned here, it’s likely because it’s not considered as good as what is here. Finally, the average price is for the listed crossover-SUV with all-wheel drive (AWD) included and the fuel economy ratings are for that same AWD model. Reliability expectations come from both J.D. Power and Associates and Consumer Reports.
Our list here comprises my top five picks for crossover-SUV choices in the 2018-2019 model years for Wyoming families. Plus a further list of other options, given alphabetically. So without further ado, let’s get started.