For 2022, the year started with great SUVs with plenty of features and configurations. Quantifiable specifications such as horsepower, towing and prices are easy to find. But what about literal seat-of-the-pants stuff like soft or hard rides? We have that covered here.
2022 SUVs run smoother, better than ever
Over the years, automakers have refined suspensions, shock absorbers and seat construction to give SUV owners the best of many worlds. Isolation has also improved, providing a quieter ride. The noise level can distract from driving the SUV, which is also important.
Sometimes the differences are difficult to determine, but in other cases the difference is obvious. These SUVs display a harder or stiffer ride, or conversely, a soft ride. Sometimes it’s worse than the opposite. You want a smooth ride, but also a ride that doesn’t feel like it’s leaning too hard in corners. Or one that’s so washed out you feel like the tires are dancing, never firmly planted.
With so many SUV sizes, save this look for medium and large three-row SUVs. Most small SUVs and crossovers are car-based, and in most cases, these three-row SUVs are their own animal. Some even use half-ton truck chassis and suspensions that are modified. We will also steer clear of premium brands, sticking to mainstream manufacturers. Sorry, Mercedes and Porsche.
So which 2022 SUV drives the best?
According to consumer advisory groups and our own driving experiences, these are the best three-row SUVs for a smooth ride. Topping the list is the 2022 Kia Telluride. It ticks a lot of boxes, but the ride just beats the others. Surprisingly, it’s also the cheapest of the bunch, which belies the adage that money will buy you better. Also, the cabin looks premium, not cheap and plastic.
Next up is the three-row from another Korean automaker, the 2022 Hyundai Palisade. Slightly more expensive than the Telluride, you can get a loaded one for less than $50,000. The cabin is quiet, with only slightly stiffer suspension compared to the Kia, but only marginally. It’s a performance SUV, from the base model to the top of the range. Your family will love it.
Third on our list is the 2022 Honda Pilot. It’s Honda’s largest SUV, and it flaunts Honda quality and style. The cabin is comfortable and quiet, with only slight harshness noticed over bumps and railroad tracks. The packaging is well done and the most expensive topping will set you back just over $50,000.
These SUVs are based on trucks
The next three are hampered in this category due to their size and truck underpinnings. But these are mostly considered better SUVs by many for these reasons. This shows that driving alone is not the only measure in choosing a new vehicle. But in some cases, the ride is smoother than even the Meercedes can build. And the advantage over the first three is that the passenger and cargo specifications are better because they are larger.
So, just below the Honda is the Chevy Suburban, which some consider the penultimate SUV. The ride is noticeably stiffer than the models above, but it’s also an extremely comfortable ride with the added benefit of space. There is definitely plenty of room inside. You don’t feel locked in. Although Suburbans can fetch nearly $80,000 fully loaded, you can snag a well-equipped base model for $55,000.
Are the Yukon and the Tahoe the same?
About the same place as the Suburbans is the GMC Yukon. It’s just a slightly shorter version of the Suburban, which some prefer when it comes to parking and handling. Chevy builds a virtually identical model with its Tahoe. The difference between the Suburban and the Yukon is mostly down to the shorter wheelbase, which adds a bit more chop to the ride. But the base model costs just over $50,000, so you’ll walk away with a bit more in your wallet.
The last of our six is the 2022 Ford Expedition. It’s had its ups and downs over the decades, but the latest Expedition is best-in-class in many ways. It is a larger version of the Explorer and is based on the frame and suspension of the T3 F-150 platform. As with the others, the cabin can be outfitted with a myriad of luxury features, with the top-end model fetching just over $80,000.