In the age of the crossover, it seems that every automaker purports to have the vehicle that can do it all. Of course, there's no single vehicle model that can handle everything: style, performance, all-seasons traction, cargo space, technology, reliability, ergonomics, passenger comfort, etc., but there are a handful of vehicles that seem to outpace the others handily. So, as you shop for the best all-around vehicle, consider these three we've selected. They tick most of the boxes that matter, and you'd be smart to put them at the top of your list.
2018 Audi Q5
The Audi Q5 is one of the best in its segment in terms of NVH, and its sophisticated, clean design makes it one of the most attractive and conservative models on the road. It’s also one of the best handling vehicles, too, feeling buttoned down on just about any roadway. The 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder makes a respectable 252 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque that’s filtered through Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system
The Audi MMI infotainment system with the Q5’s optional 8.3-inch display is a true pleasure to use, featuring Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Wi-Fi, and navigation. Additionally, the Q5 comes with Audi’s virtual cockpit system that has a customizable 12.3-inch display for the instrument cluster. The system provides access to navigation with Google Earth and Google Street View screen options as well as media and vehicle information.
The cabin is well-adorned with high-quality leather seats and accents as well as plenty of soft-touch material. There’s a lot of leg room for the driver and all passengers. The cargo space features 26.8 cubic feet with the seats in place and 60.4 cubic feet with the second row folded. The loading floor is flat, too, making it easy to slide in heavy items or gear. Overall, the Audi is a very smart vehicle, and it’s built for likeminded folks.
2018 Mazda CX-9
If you need a sporty and upscale three row, but you don’t have the dough for one with a premium brand’s badge, get the CX-9. Mazda’s three-row puts every other mainstream competitor to shame on a twisty road and manages to show up even some of the premium brands. It’s attractive and well-laid out cabin, sleek exterior Kodo design language, and strong 250 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that can filter power to all four wheels make it a winner.
The Mazda Connect infotainment system is one of the simpler ones out there. It’s very easy to use thanks to a 7-inch touchscreen and a Multifunction Commander rotary-dial. The system lacks Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but it does have Bluetooth connectivity, voice commands, Sirius XM Radio, HD Radio, navigation, and a suite of radio apps like Pandora, Stitcher, and Aha. The ease of use makes up for the system’s lack of features common in many other vehicles.
The CX-9 has one of the most attractive and comfy interiors of any vehicle in its class. The leather seats are supportive and well-bolstered, and getting them in the proper position is easy. The only downside is that the third row of seats is a little tight on space. Throughout the cabin, you’ll find first-rate materials, including genuine rosewood trim. The cargo area measures 14.4 cubic feet with all three rows in place and 71.2 cubic feet with the second and third rows folded. This gives you the option to haul around many different things as you grow to love the well-rounded machine.
2018 Genesis G80 Sport 3.3T AWD
Not interested in a crossover? Get a Genesis G80 Sport. Hyundai’s luxury brand makes some of the best well-rounded premium sedans on the market right now. The elegant yet sporty model combines excellent materials, good driving characteristics, and a long list of features into one exceptional value proposition. Any version of the G80 Sport will be a fantastic car, but if you really want the best the brand has to offer, you need to get the 3.3T AWD. This model gets a 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 that makes 365 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque, and with all-wheel drive, you have serious traction and all-weather capabilities.
The G80 Sport makes driving easy with numerous driver-assistance features, including a full-color HUD, Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Alert, Driver Attention Alert, Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross-traffic Alert, Lane Keep Assist, Lane Departure Warning, and a Multi-view Camera System. The infotainment system features a clear 9.2-inch screen and has capabilities like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Blue Link Connected Car Services, Bluetooth, and navigation.
The interior punches well above the G80 Sport’s price tag, with rich leather, plenty of soft-touch materials, and either matte finish wood or carbon fiber trim. The leather seats are a dream, with plenty of padding, bolstering, and adjustment. The trunk, with its smart power-operating lid, is a respectable 15.3 cubic feet, giving you plenty of room for gear or baggage, so you can enjoy your destination as much as you’ll love this car.