Buy/Drive/Burn: Expensive Family CUVs for 2019

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis

Reading Matt Posky’s review of the new Edge ST got me thinking about CUVs of the expensive variety. Though Ford argues that the Edge ST is in a “white space” of its own because of the serious performance it achieves, I’m not so sure. I’m not so sure that outright performance makes that much of a difference in this segment.

Let’s put it to the people and find out if I’m wrong.

Ford Edge ST


Visually revised for the 2019 model year, the Edge’s top-spec ST trim is today’s offering. As the only way to get a V6 in the Edge, the ST features a 2.7-liter turbocharged EcoBoost V6 making 335 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque. All-wheel drive is standard, and power shifts through a new eight-speed automatic. We’ve allowed for one option today: the $5,000 adaptive parking/cruise/camera and hot/cold seats package. That brings the total to $48,350. There will be no panoramic roof, no black wheels or big brakes. Matt finds the materials in the Edge to be top-notch, but build quality on the Edges your author has seen in the wild is questionable.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland


The oldest design of the trio today, our budget allows for the middle trim in the series of seven offered by Jeep. In Overland trim, the most basic version of the Grand Cherokee stickers for $45,295 and drives the rear wheels. Jeep asks exactly $3,000 for the privilege of having four driven wheels, bringing our total to $48,295 — almost identical to the Edge. Heated and ventilated leather seating is standard, as is the 8.4-inch UConnect display. Equipped with Chrysler’s smooth and powerful 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, power figures reside at 295 horsepower and 260 lb-feet of torque. The Overland has a nice interior, but there’s perhaps a question about long-term trim fidelity.

Lexus RX350L

The 2019 model marks the second year of the L version of Lexus’ ever-popular RX model. That L stands for long-wheelbase, and means that for the first time ever, the RX has three rows of seats. Pipping the other two in our trio for seating capacity by two full humans, Lexus also pips them on pricing. The least expensive RX350L with front-drive is $47,710. Add two grand for the all-wheel drive example, and we’ll pay $49,710. Leather seats come standard, but heated seats cost extra, and so does any sort of hole in the roof — or map in the dash. Standard is the familiar 3.5-liter V6 engine, which uses an eight-speed automatic to send 290 horsepower and 263 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels. One might assume there are always top-tier materials in a Lexus like this one, and one would be wrong on some occasions.

Which of these three CUVs warrants a Buy?

[Images: Ford, FCA, Toyota]

Corey Lewis
Corey Lewis

Interested in lots of cars and their various historical contexts. Started writing articles for TTAC in late 2016, when my first posts were QOTDs. From there I started a few new series like Rare Rides, Buy/Drive/Burn, Abandoned History, and most recently Rare Rides Icons. Operating from a home base in Cincinnati, Ohio, a relative auto journalist dead zone. Many of my articles are prompted by something I'll see on social media that sparks my interest and causes me to research. Finding articles and information from the early days of the internet and beyond that covers the little details lost to time: trim packages, color and wheel choices, interior fabrics. Beyond those, I'm fascinated by automotive industry experiments, both failures and successes. Lately I've taken an interest in AI, and generating "what if" type images for car models long dead. Reincarnating a modern Toyota Paseo, Lincoln Mark IX, or Isuzu Trooper through a text prompt is fun. Fun to post them on Twitter too, and watch people overreact. To that end, the social media I use most is Twitter, @CoreyLewis86. I also contribute pieces for Forbes Wheels and Forbes Home.

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  • RSF RSF on Oct 15, 2018

    This one's simple: Buy the Lexus because it holds up so well and holds so much value down the road. Drive the Ford- Ford's are great driver's these days. The Edge ST looks fun and is a tremendous value. Burn the Jeep- This thing is ancient and long term reliability is poor. Go find one nearing 100k miles and sit in it and drive it. You'll see what I mean.

  • NeilM NeilM on Oct 15, 2018

    So the definition of 'expensive' here is 'under $50K sticker'? In today's world that's not cheap, but certainly not expensive.

  • Grg I am not sure that this would hold up in snow country. It used to be that people in snow country would not be caught dead in a white car. Now that white cars have become popular in the north, I can't tell you how many times I have seen white cars driving in the snow without lights. Almost all cars are less visible in a snow storm, or for that matter, rain storm, without lights. White ones become nearly invisible.
  • Douglas I have a 2018 BMW 740e PHEV, and love it. It has a modest electric only range compared to newer PHEV's (about 18 miles), but that gets me to the office and back each day. It has a small gas tank to make room for the battery, so only holds about 11 gallons. I easily go 600 or more miles per tank. I love it, and being able to take long road trips without having to plug in (it just operates like a regular Hybrid if you never plug it in). It charges in 75 minutes in my garage from a Level 2 charger I bought on Amazon for $350. Had an electrician add a dryer outlet beside the breaker box. It's the best of both worlds and I would definitely want a PHEV for my next car. 104,000 miles and ZERO problems with the powertrain components (so far).
  • Panther Platform I had a 98 Lincoln Mark VIII so I have a soft spot for this. The Mark VIII styling was not appreciated by all.
  • Grant P Farrell Oh no the dealership kept the car for hours on two occasions before giving me a loaner for two months while they supposedly replaced the ECU. I hate cords so I've only connected it wirelessly. Next I'm gonna try using the usb-c in the center console and leaving the phone plugged in in there, not as convenient but it might lower my blood pressure.
  • Jeff Tiny electrical parts are ruining today's cars! What can they ...
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