Sport utility vehicles (SUVs) have become one of the most popular choices by Canadian consumers, trailing only pickup trucks as the top-selling vehicle throughout the country. While the “best SUV in Canada” can be a subjective endeavour — one person might consider the most affordable to be the best while another would argue that the latest safety features are what qualifies as best — the bottom line is that some SUVs are clear standouts in the industry.
Whether you want pure power, luxury, fuel economy, capability, 4WD and AWD, convenience, safety, or a mix of the bunch, here are some of the best SUVs in Canada.
The Toyota RAV4 has been Canada's best-selling SUV over the past few years, including 2022, when it sold a whopping 55,921 units. With alluring looks, comfort, and top-notch features, this compact SUV has a little something for everyone.
Recently, Toyota leaned into the RAV4’s popularity and introduced green powertrains, including hybrid and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) models. With the PHEV RAV4 Prime, drivers get a fuel economy of 5.8 L/100 km and an all-electric driving range of 68 km, putting the vehicle in the upper echelon of all vehicles — not just crossovers. Plus, with a 1,588-kg towing capacity and up to 1,977 litres of cargo space, the RAV4 is quite versatile. And this fuel-efficient people hauler is a blast to drive too, with a 0-100 km/h time in the sub-six-second range.
The Toyota RAV4 is also an Insurance Institute for Highway Driving (IIHS) Top Safety Pick. It received “Good” ratings in all original IIHS tests, but these were lowered to “Acceptable” in the more stringent updated tests. It also includes standard Toyota Safety Sense, which includes many advanced safety features, such as blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, and cross-traffic alert, making it a great choice for families or those with teen drivers.
The RAV4 delivers on all fronts, leading the way in a crowded space of other small SUV options, perfect for commutes through heavy Toronto traffic or a weekend camping trip to get away from it all.
If you’re looking for more great compact SUV options check out our article The 6 Best Compact SUVs in Canada.
You can enjoy the Hyundai Kona in two flavours: gasoline or electric. In our best SUV in Canada list, we’re looking only at the gasoline model.
The Kona is a tiny SUV with plenty to offer within its petite 2,600-mm wheelbase, but it includes a standard 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine with a respectable 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. Those looking for a little more speed can jump to the N-Line trim, which adds a 1.6-litre turbo four-cylinder with 195 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. Both engines are available with front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD).
If you want a true performance crossover, the Kona N (not to be confused with the N Line) may be right for you. Its turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine delivers 276 horsepower and 289 pound-feet of torque. This zips the Kona N to 100 km/h in under five seconds. Unfortunately, the Kona N is only available with FWD.
The Kona is a subcompact SUV, so it isn’t as roomy inside as some on this list. Despite its small stature, it still has a respectable 1,296-litre cargo capacity with the rear seats folded. It’s also loaded with numerous desirable standard features, such as wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, power windows, Bluetooth, an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen, lane-keeping assist, automatic emergency braking, and more.
Midsize SUVs aren't just for the small nuclear family anymore. The Kia Telluride is proof. This larger-than-life midsize SUV doesn't feel like a midsize, as it has room for up to eight passengers and features all-wheel drive and a host of advanced technology and infotainment features (including a 10.3-inch touchscreen) that make the classic Canadian family road trip a bit more bearable.
Under its hood, the Telluride packs a 291-horsepower, 3.8-litre V-6 paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission that lets you zoom to your destination or easily traverse challenging Canadian terrain with up to 5,000 pounds of towing capacity. Add in its head-turning looks — with or without the blacked-out Nightfall package — and the Telluride is far more intriguing than the pricing would suggest.
If you prefer a slightly different style, you can also opt for the Hyundai Palisade, which is essentially the same vehicle with a different body.
As more Canadians turn to the SUV segment to chauffeur the family, minivans continue to fall by the wayside. But when they're replaced with the majestic looks, power, and versatility of the three-row GMC Yukon, chances are no one will miss the minivan era.
While it’s still closely related to the Chevrolet Tahoe or Suburban, the Yukon has separated itself a bit with many unique styling cues. A gleaming chrome grille pairs with 20-inch wheels and dynamic styling to provide sleek, sophisticated aesthetics on top of its power and convenience
Powered by a 5.3-litre V-8, a 6.2-litre V-8, or the turbo-diesel 3.0-litre V-6, the Yukon tows up to 7,900 pounds, making short work of trailers, campers, or boats you need for a family trip to Banff.
Inside, this three-row SUV treats passengers with heated and ventilated seats, a high-quality sound system, a 10.2-inch touch screen, and more. This cabin provides all the bells and whistles that a new car, and even a used car, should.
We review the best seven- and eight-seater SUVs in our articles The 7 Best 7-Seater SUVs in Canada and The 13 Top 8-Seater Vehicles Your Family Will Love.
If your idea of the best SUV in Canada includes a little more opulence, the Mercedes-Benz GLE obliges. This midsize luxury SUV bears all the sophistication and German engineering that's made the brand a winner over the past century. Its careful blend of performance, opulence, and drivability is unmatched by other automakers.
While the exterior emits a beacon of style and status, this luxury SUV's interior is a shining attribute. Thanks to five- and seven-seat options, drivers can choose between family-hauler or single-person options. One slight critique is that the third row is not a spot for taller people — it’s best reserved for younger kids and shorter teens and adults. Depending on the configuration, the GLE-Class offers between 630 and 2,055 litres of cargo space, which should suffice for even larger families.
But the most luxurious part of the GLE-Class is its breadth of high-tech features. The centrepiece of all this technology is the Mercedes MBUX infotainment system. Designed for ease of use courtesy of a large 12.3-inch touch screen, connectivity is at a premium with touch-screen control capabilities from your steering wheel or by saying, "Hey, Mercedes." Even Audi, Lexus, Cadillac, Land Rover, and BMW drivers recognize the detailed aspects of the new system, although the other luxury competitors are just a little behind.
The luxury doesn’t stop there, though. The Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class also features standard leather, heated seats and steering wheel, and E-active body control for added comfort. But even with all these features, the Mercedes proprietary 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system paired with the GLE450's 3.0-litre turbocharged V-6 provides precise and fun handling. Put the pedal to the floor, and you'll hit 100 km/h in just 5.7 seconds. Just be wary of the highway patrol if you want to air this beast out on the Trans-Canada Highway.
The Ford Escape Hybrid was once the king of fuel economy in the SUV realm, but the newly released Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid’s 5.6 L/100 km combined fuel-consumption rating beats it by 0.4 L/100 km, giving it the fuel efficiency crown.
For Canadian families or those looking to lower fuel costs and maximize their carbon tax rebate, the Corolla Cross Hybrid delivers the best numbers of any non-plug-in hybrid on the market. Through a 2.0-litre four-cylinder hybrid powertrain that delivers 194 horsepower pairs with a continuously variable transmission (CVT), this hybrid SUV boasts an impressive 5.6L/100 km combined fuel-consumption rate. On top of that, the Corolla Cross comes standard with all-wheel drive for some extra traction in those snowy Canadian winters.
For a comprehensive list of fuel-efficient SUVs, check out our article The 28 Most Fuel-Efficient SUVs in Canada.
The Nissan Rogue continues to impress as an excellent entry-level choice in the SUV market. In 2021, Nissan ushered in a new-generation Rogue with a handsome exterior and standard 17-inch alloy that solidify its status as the best SUV in Canada for value.
The Rogue was recently voted the best midsize SUV in Canada, and it’s no wonder with piles of interior goodies, driver assist features, and safety features. The Rogue’s available wireless Apple CarPlay eliminates wires throughout the cabin while boosting your interior entertainment. At the forefront of the Rogue's IIHS Top Safety Pick rating is a host of advanced safety features courtesy of Nissan Intelligent Mobility and the innovative, semi-autonomous ProPilot Assist.
The Rogue’s standard 181-horsepower four-cylinder doesn't burn up the road, but its 8.1L/100 km combined provides a nice trade-off. For everything it is, the Rogue is certainly a strong value buy.
The Rogue SV and higher trims come standard with a 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine that cranks out 201 horsepower and pushes its combined fuel consumption down to 7.2L/100 km. On top of that, all 1.5-litre models include standard AWD to help you navigate those slippery Canadian winters.
If you’re looking for more of the best SUVs in Canada with great value, take a look at our article The 12 Cheapest New Cars in Canada.
While the new Ford Bronco has stolen some of its thunder in the off-road space, the Jeep Wrangler remains the preferred choice to tackle the top-ranked off-road trails in Canada, such as the Gun Mountain Loop Trail in Ontario or the South Mountain overlooking the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia.
With decades of fine-tuning, the Wrangler remains the apex of off-road capability, challenging all types of terrain through its trail-rated features such as Command-Trac, Selec-Trac, or Rock-Trac 4X4 systems. Also helping off the beaten path is its 246.4 to 327.7 mm of ground clearance.
The Wrangler now has five engine options that deliver very different driving experiences, starting with a 285-horsepower 3.6-litre V6. It also has a 270-horsepower turbo 2.0-litre, a 260-horsepower 3.0-litre diesel, a 470-horsepower 6.4-litre V-8, and a 270-horsepower plug-in hybrid. Whatever driving style you prefer, the Wrangler has an option for you.
Jeep doesn’t skimp on the features either, as the Wrangler has standard air conditioning, touch-screen infotainment, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and even a two- or four-door option. Never has the Wrangler been such a one-two punch of capability and comfort.
Looking for more off-roading options? Check out our article The 12 Best Off-Road SUVs.
The Honda CR-V has long been one of Canada’s most popular compact SUVs for years, but don't let its small footprint fool you. The Honda CR-V is a leader when it comes to safety.
The 2023 Honda CR-V received the prestigious Top Safety Pick+ (TSP+) in the small SUV category by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). It earned this honor by receiving "Good" ratings across the board, demonstrating its robust build and design. It also received a superior rating for its automatic emergency braking system’s performance in vehicle-to-pedestrian crash avoidance in the daytime and an “Advanced” rating in the nighttime.
But the CR-V is about more than just safety. It also has a 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine that delivers 190 hp and 179 lb-ft of torque. If you want something a little greener, the CR-V has an optional hybrid model that pairs a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine with an electric motor, generating 204 hp and 247 lb-ft of torque.
The 2023 CR-V also boasts a spacious interior, providing up to 1,042 mm of rear legroom and 1,113 to 2,166 litres of cargo space. This makes it a practical choice for families or those needing ample cargo space.
For a full list of the safest SUVs, take a look at our article The 17 Safest SUVs in Canada.
Although the best SUV in Canada is subjective, deciding where to buy yours should be more objective. You can skip the hassles associated with car dealerships, streamline the process, and get your SUV delivered to your door with Clutch.
With a huge inventory of SUVs, financing options, a trade-in appraisal tool, and added protection plans, Clutch has everything you need to find the best SUV in Canada from the comfort of your own home. The only thing left for you to do is choose which one is best for your needs. With Clutch as your ally, at least half of the work is already done.