Buying Guides

5 Best SUV Interiors

Don't compromise on a luxurious driving experience

Jane Ulitskaya, Digital Content Specialist

SUV shoppers are a demanding bunch. Features like a powerful engine, AWD, and high towing capacity are often listed as nonnegotiable (along with off-road prowess for the adventure seekers). Even if you're not in the market for a luxury SUV, we believe a premium and comfortable cabin is no less important than capability when you consider how many hours you spend behind the wheel. The following 5 SUVs blend upscale styling, comfort, user-friendly tech, and generous passenger space to give you a well-rounded vehicle that's just as driver-friendly as it is adventurous.

2020 Hyundai Palisade


for Luxury bargain hunters

  • PROS: Ample passenger space, excellent infotainment layout, premium interior materials that match the luxury brands.
  • CONS: third row seats have a high floor and poor back support, some wind noise at high speeds.

The 2020 Hyundai Palisade comes loaded with creature comforts and utility. Drivers and passengers are welcomed with large and comfortable seats, premium materials such as available Nappa leather, and a 10.25-inch infotainment screen for access to the Palisade's user-friendly tech. There is also ample room for storage within the cabin thanks to a pushbutton shifter that allows for increased center console space. For 2021, Hyundai adds an even more upscale Calligraphy trim to the Palisade lineup with quilted leather door panels, microfiber-suede headliner, and a perforated leather steering wheel.

2020 Kia Telluride

  • PROS: One of the best interiors for the money, the right amount of space for large families, intuitive infotainment and controls.
  • CONS: Only one engine option, some hard plastic materials mixed into the interior design.

Families that like to adventure in comfort will find the Kia Telluride checks all of their boxes. This near-premium SUV rides on the same platform as the Hyundai Palisade but adds a sense of ruggedness to the equation. The midsize SUV offers seating for up to 8 with generous legroom in all three rows. Premium materials like Nappa leather and faux wood look and feel luxurious. Unique touches like the seat stitching pattern and the coin-edge bezel on the analog gauges make the Telluride's interior stand apart from the pack. A 10-inch infotainment screen offered in the higher trims is simple to use and responsive.

2020 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque


for Weekend off-roaders

  • PROS: Increased interior space, fancy interior appointments, ergonomic and comfortable seats.
  • CONS: Touchscreen control lag, lack of interior storage space, high price tag.

It will be tough to find a crossover with an interior as luxurious and unique as the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque. As the smallest Range Rover in the lineup, the Evoque packs a hefty amount of sophistication into its cabin. With seating for 5, the Evoque features leather upholstery and a long list of available features that elevate the driving experience like heated and ventilated front seats, 14- and 16-way power-adjustable front seats, massaging front seats, heated rear seats, and a heated steering wheel. As far as in-car tech is concerned, the optional double infotainment screen looks great, but the system itself could be more user-friendly and responsive.

2020 Mazda CX-9

  • PROS: Sporty and premium interior styling, loaded with standard features, excellent small storage space.
  • CONS: Cramped third row only fits kids, lackluster infotainment software.

The 2020 Mazda CX-9 remains the best-driving 3-row crossover we've tested to date. It also offers exceptional cabin quality, comfort, and small storage space. The front and second-row seats provide ample space, ergonomics, and cushioning but the third row is best left for kids as taller passengers will be cramped. The quality of the CX-9's cabin materials lends itself to the levels of luxury brands with features like parchment leather and open-pore matte rosewood in higher trim levels. Although Mazda's infotainment graphics are plain compared to other brands, the system and controls are easy to use while behind the wheel, eliminating distractions.

2020 Volvo XC90


for Road-trippers

  • PROS: Refined cabin with premium materials, comfortable and supportive front seats, very quiet even at highway speeds.
  • CONS: Third-row space is cramped for adults, infotainment screen lags on startup, too much plastic trim inside.

When it comes to cabin comfort, the Volvo XC90 is in a class of its own. The seats are clad in soft, perforated Nappa leather and offer unmatched support and cushioning. Drivers will enjoy the thigh bolstering and the excellent 10-way adjustability while second-row passengers aren't shortchanged in comfort and space. As with most three-row SUVs, the last row could use more legroom but will fit children or shorter adults. Unique interior styling sets the XC90 apart from its German competitors with a stitched dash, fine matte wood, and perforated leather seats.

What makes a great interior?

  • Good seating position, ample leg/head/shoulder room in at least the first two rows.
  • Premium, soft-touch materials.
  • User-friendly infotainment.
  • Good visibility all around.
  • Excellent ergonomics and controls layout.