While this midsize non-premium SUV comparison test doesn’t include all the models available for the U.S. market, it’s still worth knowing how the GMC Acadia, VW Atlas, Mazda CX-9, Nissan Pathfinder, Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander compare.
Choosing between these six models will ultimately come down to personal preferences and sticker price. They’re all very capable in their own way, and picking an overall winner is indeed hard.
However, as proven here by Kelley Blue Book, adding up all the pluses and minuses does help in deciding how these SUVs should be ranked.
For example, the KBB team found that the 2017 GMC Acadia scored poorly compared to the others, in categories such as highway and city driving, interior quality and cargo space. It was among the best in terms of infotainment systems, but that’s about it.
Aside from the Acadia, it’s a close race between the other five models. The 2017 Honda Pilot and Mazda CX-9 seem to have the best interiors of the bunch, while also excelling at highway and city driving characteristics – unlike the 2017 Nissan Pathfinder, whose best feature is its spacious 3rd row.
Speaking of which, the 2018 VW Atlas came out on top in the 3rd row seating category. It also scored well in terms of cargo space and was said to have a good infotainment system.
As for the Toyota Highlander, aside from a strong rating for city driving, nothing else really stood out during the course of this comparison test. Still, it’s a strong contender with few shortcomings.