How to Choose the Right Midsize SUV: Complete Guide

By Alexi Falson on 05 Jan 2024
image for How to Choose the Right Midsize SUV: Complete Guide If you’re looking to buy a midsize SUV here in Australia, you’re no doubt flooded with options in the family-friendly and practical SUV space.

The midsize SUV segment is one of the most crowded segments of the market, which makes the process of choosing the right midsize SUV somewhat complicated - if you don’t know what you’re looking for.

With that in mind, let’s take a quick overview of all your considerations while choosing the right midsize SUV, and wrap up with a shortlist of ten of our favourites.

How to Choose the Right Midsize SUV

There are a number of things you need to consider while shopping around different makes and models within the midsize SUV segment.

These include, but are not limited to, things that we’ve listed below.

Remember that the key here is to find a package that, most importantly, meets your budget requirements, while trying to tick as many boxes that give you a well-equipped, safe and fuel-efficient package with enough space for you and your family.

  • Your Budget - as we’ve mentioned, it’s important to stay within your budget - not only for the initial purchase price but also for subsequent on-road costs, insurance costs and the price of regular maintenance.

  • Compare Model Variants - the easiest way to stay within your budget is to opt for a base or mid-spec model variant, most of which receive the same engine underneath the bonnet.

  • Engine Size & Power - engine specs and power figures go both ways, with families looking for a sporty SUV or tow a boat caravan on weekends more interested in power & torque, while more casual drivers might be looking specifically for a small-capacity engine with better fuel efficiency.

  • Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid Engine Options - there’s a growing number of hybrid and plug-in hybrid engine options within popular model grades which often add more power while dropping your fuel use considerably.

  • Fuel Economy - pay close attention to the manufacturers’ claimed fuel economy figures of midsize SUVs that you’re tossing up; fuel efficiency pays dividends over the lifespan of the vehicle.

  • Warranty Coverage - typically, midsize SUVs here in Australia receive a five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty, though some companies increase their coverage period up to seven, even ten years in some cases.

  • Depreciation & Resale Value - it’s a wise investment to research resale values and compare depreciation figures between the midsize SUVs that you’ve shortlisted, which can help pocket you thousands if and when it comes to selling down the line.

  • Five or Seven-Seat Layouts - medium SUVs offer a tonne of space for five people, while a limited number also feature a seven-seat layout that can make a huge difference for large families.

  • Boot Space - on a similar note, the everyday practicality of a vehicle is bolstered by how much space there is in the boot, so be sure to compare cargo space, measured in litres, while researching your midsize SUV shortlist.

  • ANCAP Safety Rating - midsize SUVs are the most common family chariot, so it’s essential that you’re purchasing a safe package with a five-star ANCAP safety rating.

  • Active Safety Features - there’s a huge number of active safety features fitted to modern cars these days, though not all models - particularly base models - receive the full suite of clever safety tech like blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts and reverse autonomous braking.

  • Towing Capacities - if you’ve got plans to tow a boat, trailer or caravan come holiday time - be sure that your midsize SUV offers braked towing figures with enough power to tow your gear.

  • Onboard Technology - the difference between an older model vehicle due for an upgrade and a latest-generation SUV can be very noticeable when it comes to interior cabin technology, so be sure that it’s ticking all your boxes. If you don’t need excessive tech, you can save yourself some money with a base model.

  • Interior Features - on a similar note, some medium SUVs come jam-packed with clever, family-friendly touches, particularly in the second row of the cabin while others are quite spartan.

  • Luxurious Touches - if you’re looking for a slice of premium motoring with some luxurious finishes and leather upholstery, you’ll likely have to move to a top-shelf variant from a more typical manufacturer, or entry-to-mid-level variants from a more premium manufacturer.

Ten of our Favourite Midsize SUVs in Australia

Our Favourite Battery-Electric SUVs

Our Favourite Premium Midsize SUVs

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If you’re ready to take the next step on your search for a midsize SUV, be sure to reach out to our expert team of car-buying specialists who can help find you the best possible price.


Alexi Falson

Alexi is an automotive journalist and road tester hailing from Byron Bay. He has an affection for both cars and motorbikes, a great admiration for the simplicity of old-school engineering, and a fascination of new technology making its way to modern cars. When he's not road testing, you'll find him surfing, hiking or helping people find their dream cars.

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