Buy/Drive/Burn: Three-row, V8 Family SUVs for 2019
The Buy/Drive/Burn series tackled big SUVs in the past, but those were of a distinctly luxurious flavor, costing over $85,000. Today we take a look at three other SUVs, but this time they’re closer to the $50,000 price point. All are from standard, non-luxury brands, have V8 engines, and boast body-on-frame construction. Let’s sort them out.
New to North America for the 2017 model year, Nissan’s Armada is the most youthful design here. The current Armada is a light reworking of the rough and ready Patrol model Nissan distributes globally. It should be noted that though it’s new to customers here, people around the globe have been buying the current Patrol since 2010. Assembled in Japan, North American Armadas receive a single engine: an Endurance V8 engine from the Titan that’s assembled in Tennessee. It’s a 5.6-liter mill, producing 390 horsepower. Power shifts through a seven-speed automatic, which can handle 8,500 pounds of tow weight. Today’s budget nets us a mid-level SL AWD trim, well-equipped for $53,750.
The current fourth-generation Tahoe has been on sale since the 2015 model year, when the K2XX platform took over from the GMT900. Improvements over the outgoing model include better fuel economy, selected panels made from aluminum to reduce weight, and better control of noise inside the cabin. Second- and third-row seats also fold flat, making trips from the hardware store easier. The majority of Tahoes are powered by the familiar 5.3-liter Vortec V8, which now has an EcoTec moniker attached to it. A total of 355 horsepower travels to the drive wheels via a six-speed automatic. Towing capacity measures a worst-in-trio 6,600 pounds in our mid-trim LT 4WD, which asks $55,600.
Rounding out our trio is Toyota’s middle-market full-sizer, the Sequoia. It’s the oldest vehicle here, remaining nearly unchanged since the debut of its second generation for model year 2008. Toyota did update Sequoia for 2018 (slightly), adding LED headlamps and unique grille designs for each trim. Sequoia utilizes the 5.7-liter V8 from the Tundra pickup truck with which it shares a platform. 381 horsepower travel through the six-speed automatic, allowing customers to tow 7,400 pounds. Trim selection today is the blacked-out TRD Sport 4WD, which costs $54,420.
Three truck-based SUVs with room for the whole family. Which is worth a Buy?
[Images: Nissan, Toyota, GM]
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