How We Calculate Ratings

The ratings you find in our reviews and the complete list of SUVs with 3 rows are calculated based on two sources of information: reviews published by respected automotive critics and experts and reliability data collected from third-party resources. The overall ratings are not based on our own tests or the opinions of our editors.

For each vehicle in the complete, sortable list of SUVs our editors gather and analyze professional reviews about it in order to calculate a score that represents critics’ sentiment. The reviews are collected from popular automotive websites and magazines as well as major newspapers such as Edmunds, Kelley Blue Book,, The Car Connection, MotorTrend, Consumer Guide Automotive, Autobytel, Car and Driver and U.S. News & World Report.

Every SUV receives a score for three different aspects:

  • Critics’ Ratings – Based on the overall tone and level of recommendation a car receives.
  • Performance – According to the reviewer’s assessment of the SUV’s ride quality, handling, acceleration, braking and other measures.
  • Interior – Based on the expert’s assessment of the SUV’s cargo space, styling, build quality, features and comfort.

In order to get an even more accurate and complete portrayal of a vehicle’s standing relative to its competitors, we factor in other information that is of particular interest to consumers including reliability and safety data.

  • Safety – Scores from leading safety rating sources including the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
  • Awards – Industry accolades such as the North American Car of the Year and Motor Trend Car of the Year add to the overall rating.
  • Reliability – The rating provided by J.D. Power and Associates which is calculated using the previous 3 years of dependability data from studies such as Initial Quality Study (IQS) and Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS).

Once all of this data is collected, we run it through a formula that places more weight on factors that matter the most to new car buyers. The final result is an overall score out of 10 that provides a way to compare two or more vehicles quickly and easily in order to reduce the time spent reading our in-depth reviews.

As soon as all the vehicles for the coming year have been announced, we will update the complete list to include the new models. Check back occasionally to see the ratings of the latest SUVs.

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