Best Midsize SUV – X3M vs Macan Turbo vs SQ5
Recently I googled “best midsize SUV” and what I found made me so angry it actually propelled me to make this post. Not only did the post rant and rave about the “convenience” and “practicality” of the SUV, but it proceeded to list the absolute worst ones you could buy.
My initial reaction was blind rage. How could they be so misleading? How could they be so full of shit? How dare they?
SUVs aren’t practical by any stretch of the imagination. They are expensive, eat tons of gas, have poorer safety ratings and generally drive like a school bus. They certainly aren’t convenient. Sometimes they don’t even fit into a garage let alone the parking spot at work.
Still, people want them more than Kanye West wants to be the creative director of Adidas.
Honestly, when I read the post I was floored. But it’s the exact reason I wear the cape. I became the AutoPaladin to fight this misinformation. If you’re going to buy an SUV, the shittiest car out there, then it’s my job to make sure you at least get the best shittiest car out there.
And that’s what this list is about. If you’re looking for a midsize SUV you really need a station wagon, which is often confused with a crossover. I’ve touched on this before as well as my issues with SUVs so feel free to read up on the difference before proceeding.
What is a Midsize SUV?
I don’t know. Honestly, neither do the people buying them. The SUV craze has everyone just thinking “they need one” rather than thinking about what it actually is.
I think a Midsize SUV is one that sits between a full-size SUV and a small SUV probably.
Recently, I wrote on my top 5 choices for small SUVs, so it can’t be a car on that list. I also have written before on other SUVs. For example, my list of the best luxury SUVs.
The Best Midsize SUV of 2019
Here is the thing. When it comes to the best midsize SUV there are only 3 that really come to mind and they aren’t American. Despite the fact that American automakers have come out with like 83 different SUVs in all sizes they still can’t really make one that’s all that good.
Top 3 Best Midsize SUVs of 2019
- BMW X3M Competition
- Audi SQ5
- Porsche Macan Turbo
Let’s get into why these are the best three midsize SUVs out there, in my opinion.
Aside from looking great the BMW X3, shown here in the X3M “competition” trim package, delivers phenomenal driving dynamics and plenty of quality. Despite everyone’s fears about reliability, JD Powers has named BMW in the top 10 most reliable brands for some time now.
BMW X3 Trims and Pricing:
- sDrive30i: $42,000
- xDrive30i: $44,000
- M40i: $56,000
- X3M Competition:
The X3 is a hell of an SUV. Nimble, direct, and surprisingly quick, it combines all of the best attributes BMW brings to the table with style and sophistication. Also, utility. That is the point right?
At a starting price of $44,000 the BMW XDrive 30i is more than enough car for most people and comes in way less than a Tahoe. But if it’s
The X3M Competition boasts 503 hp and because it rocks the “M” badge you know it wasn’t just tested at the Green Hell, but it was designed there. Adaptive suspension, a newly designed inline turbo-charged six cylinder and big ass brakes make this a midsize SUV that will have the neighborhood taking pictures.
Slide into the amazing M Design
It’s a bad mother trucker that will do 0-60 in a claimed 3.9 seconds. That’s fast as shit. And you can bet that the 8 Speed sport automatic and standard AWD work great too.
The Audi SQ5 is the sporty big brother of the already amazing Audi Q5. We’ve tested the Q5 and written before on its great driving demeanor and stability as well as its spacious cabin and utility. The SQ5 is the exact same with a step up in interior design and a little more muscle under the hood.
Audi SQ5 Trims and Pricing:
- Premium $53,400
- Premium Plus: $59,200
- Prestige: $63,100
As far as crossovers go, the SQ5 made our list of best crossovers in 2018, but with the addition of the BMW X3 M40i in 2019, I have a hard time justifying
It’s turbocharged 3.0-Liter V6 is good for 349-hp and 369 lb-ft of torque but it’s the 8-speed automatic that really leaves you craving more. A good sports car can be ruined by its transmission. I’m not saying that the SQ5 has been ruined by this one but it certainly isn’t doing it any favors.
Using the amazing Quattro all-wheel-drive system the SQ5 hits the sprint to 60 mph in about 5.1 seconds. Well behind the speedy Beemer M40i which comes in at 4.6 seconds. At sixty-three G’s for all the tech and goodies, it’s hard to justify the premium over the BMW X3 M40i given the performance disparity.
That’s not to say the Audi SQ5 isn’t a solid car because it is beautiful. And the driving dynamics are amazing. The steering is direct and the car feels planted, but good in corners. Not top-heavy at or lumbering like some “sporty” crossovers.
The big brakes make it apparent that it really can get down to business, but the problem isn’t the quality, the interior or even the driving pleasure. No, the problem is that its competitors are coming to the table a little more powerful, just as beautiful, and a little easier on the wallet.
Porsche Macan Turbo
Porsche is always pushing the limit and improving up its already great platforms. The Macan Turbo is no exception. Insane performance, amazing driving dynamics, and incredible build quality make the Macan Turbo the undisputed king of Midsize SUVs. The Porsche Macan made our list of best family cars that aren’t boring.
Porsche Macan Turbo Pricing and Trims:
- Macan Turbo: $77,200
- Performance Package: $87,000
Porsche has never been known to be too kind on the wallet when it comes to ticking the options box and the Macans pricing reflects that. However, with both the Turbo and Performance Package you get some goodies standard that the other trims have to pay extra for.
The Turbo comes with 400-hp twin-turbocharge V6, standard all-wheel-drive and a twin-clutch automatic created by the Race Gods. Seriously, Porsche’s PDK is that damn good. The 400-hp version can snap from 0-60 in 4.6 seconds and 4.4 seconds with the optional Sport Chrono Package.
But the competition package shoves you into 60 mph in a tested 3.7 seconds. Almost as fast as an Audi TTRS and sure as shit fast enough to keep your kids from making noise in the back seat. Seriously, that is insanely fast.
As per usual the Porsche Macan behaves and drives like a true Porsche and feels amazing to handle through corners and in a straight line. Build quality is unparalleled and recently Porsche came in second in JD Power’s “Most Dependable Cars” list.
The interior is beautiful and everything is right where it should be. New technology place Porsche’s cabin experience at the tippy-top of the luxury pile but it’s the fact that it is all so functional that makes it great. If you are looking for a fun midsize SUV that has the race pedigree of the Kentucky Derby, then look no further.
The Best Midsize SUV – Verdict
You can’t go wrong with any of these, but there is a clear winner here. In terms of practical everyday performance, your best bet is to step into a Base Macan which comes with 248-hp and can be very well equipped at around $60K or the BMW X3 M40i. Unfortunately, the Audi SQ5 just can’t cut its teeth against these two high performers.
Although these three represent the pinnacle of the midsize SUV segment in my eyes, there’s a host of great smaller SUVs out there. When it comes to being the best midsize SUV the Porsche Macan and BMW X3 represent the best this segment has to offer.
However, the small SUV segment has a lot of great cost effective choices as well, so be sure to research the best small SUVs out there before making your choice.