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2022 Carz Weekly SUV Of The Year Finalists

Carz Weekly's annual "of the year" vehicle awards enters its second year with an all-new concept. Based on our redesigned rankings, the SUV, sedan, pickup, luxury car, sports car, and EV of the year finalists now represent the top-rated contender of every segment. In this case, five all-star SUVs are fighting for the Carz Weekly SUV of the Year award this year.


Mazda CX-30

#1 in Subcompact Crossovers



Pros: Enjoyable to drive, interior belongs to a luxury car, great standard tech
Cons: Svelte exterior sacrifices interior space, distracting clickwheel infotainment controller

The Mazda CX-30 dominates the subcompact crossover segment with a premium look inside and out. None of its competitors can beat its roster of luxury touches for a bargain price, which includes leather upholstery, remote start, and a full suite of safety tech. The CX-30's sleek styling introduced an updated KODO design direction for Mazda when it was first revealed, with thin lights, reflective character lines, and a compact greenhouse. It led the way for better products from Mazda, and continues to encourage improvements in its large segment.


Hyundai Tucson

#1 in Compact Crossovers



Pros: Cool design all around, various hybrid powertrains, plenty of space
Cons: Larger screen lacks volume knob, stiff ride, weird push-button gear shift

Hyundai has been very adventurous with its latest products, and the 2022 Tucson is no different. The headlights appear hidden behind the grille when they're off, and the sharp creases in the sheetmetal emphasize its edgy look. The Tucson's interior is perhaps the most modern in its class, with an optional 10.25" touchscreen and a digital instrument cluster. The plug-in hybrid variant drives nicely, and feels more powerful than the base gas-only engine. Besides a few small misses, the Tucson looks like yet another hit for Hyundai.


Hyundai Santa Fe

#1 in Midsize Crossovers



Pros: Fairly priced, stylish interior design, offers a smooth ride
Cons: Too many buttons inside, doesn't offer a third row when its Kia relative does

As more midsize SUVs add an extra row of seats and spin off into the three-row SUV segment, there are less two-row midsizers to choose from. However, this segment remains a competitive one, but the Hyundai Santa Fe still offers more than the others. The Santa Fe includes one of the largest cargo areas in its class, and expanding it is easier than ever. A simple button at the side of the trunk folds the second row flat, in order to fit larger items. A boatload of tech is offered too, like a 12-speaker sound system, wireless charging, and robust infotainment through a 10.25" touchscreen.


Kia Telluride

#1 in Midsize 3-Row Crossovers



Pros: Roomy interior, tons of standard features, top-notch warranty
Cons: Only one engine option, no hybrid, AWD versions are less fuel efficient

The award-winning Kia Telluride has been our SUV of the Year for two years in a row, and tough new competition is threatening to dethrone Kia's biggest success. Generous 2022 model year updates go beyond the new logo, such as a newly standard 10.25-inch touchscreen and automatic climate control. The Telluride can either make it or break it in this year's competition.


Ford Expedition

#1 in Fullsize SUVs



Pros: Powerful V6 engine, towing capacity surpasses 9,000 pounds, very spacious
Cons: Gets way too pricey, spacious cabin affects driving experience, okay fuel economy

Ford recently updated its aging Expedition fullsize SUV, which added refreshed headlights and taillights, the Mustang Mach E's 15.5" touchscreen, and a rugged Timberline trim level for off-road adventures. The Expedition is one of the roomiest SUVs in its class, and is a great choice for big families with just as much cargo. For the cargo that can't fit inside, a class-leading 9,000-pound towing capacity can help with that.


Land Rover Defender

#1 in Off-Road SUVs



Pros: Drives well on- and off-road, luxurious ambience
Cons: 6-cylinder engine isn't quick enough, inadequate fuel economy

Land Rover's legendary Defender off-roader made a major return to America in 2019, giving Mercedes' G-Class luxury 4x4 a run for its money. On pavement, the ride is as smooth as its redesigned sheetmetal, but it's a completely different story beyond the asphalt. The Defender does its designated job very well, effortlessly working through sand, mud, gravel, you name it. Even better, coming from a luxury brand means that you'll get to enjoy options like three-zone climate control, an 11.4" display, heated and ventilated seats, and adjustable air suspension while off-roading.


Help us decide the winner. Which finalist would you pick as 2022 Carz Weekly SUV of the Year?

Images: Kia, Ford, Hyundai, Land Rover, Mazda

Title Image: Infiniti






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