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VIDEO: Three Row SUV Showdown


Although consumers turned their backs on the biggest SUVs in the wake of 2008's gas-price spike, they have come back to family haulers, but on a slightly smaller scale. We put seven of these to the test to see which could please our experts and our family with its combination of driving quality, features and family-friendliness.


We pitted seven of the largest SUVs against each other in our latest Shootout.

The seven contenders, in alphabetical order:
2012 Chevrolet Traverse
2012 Dodge Durango
2012 Ford Explorer
2012 Honda Pilot
2012 Kia Sorento
2011 Mazda CX-9
2011 Toyota Highlander

We researched the segment's major players, models such as the Honda Pilot and Chevrolet Traverse, and priced midlevel trims with family-friendly features. That brought us to roughly $37,000, so we asked automakers to give us models below the price that would best serve a family of four.

Ford officials said they were unable to lend us an Explorer because they were in the midst of their model-year changeover, but it's such a large player in the segment that we secured a brand-new 2012 Explorer from a broker. A Hyundai spokesman said the 2012 Veracruz was getting several updates and would not be available in time for our Shootout. Subaru said it did not have a suitable Tribeca available in its fleet.

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