Automotive Research

2023 AAA Car Guide sneak peek: Large SUVs

Every year, the AAA Car Guide provides members with useful information about buying and operating a vehicle, plus detailed, objective reviews of dozens of new cars and light trucks. Here’s a sneak peek at 3 large SUVs we’ve recently tested.

Large SUVs excel at nearly any task that involves comfortably carrying a lot of people or towing a heavy load, such as a trailer or boat. Unquestionably, big SUVs have evolved—most are jam-packed with lots of tech and creature comforts and are more fuel-efficient—but they haven’t lost their ability to impress.

Cadillac Escalade-V

The Escalade, Cadillac’s flagship SUV, gained a performance version, the V, in 2023—which adds a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 (682 hp), a performance-tuned adaptive air suspension, and high-performance brakes to the mix. It’s also pretty pricey, starting at $151,000.

The Escalade-V’s big V8 supplies plenty of power, and the adaptive air suspension delivers sporty handling. The interior is spacious, comfortable, and luxurious, with an abundance of leather, wood, and brushed metal trim. High-tech convenience and safety features abound, including front heated and ventilated seating with massage, customizable drive modes, and GM’s Super Cruise semiautonomous driving system.

Downsides include dismal fuel economy—13 mpg in combined driving—plus poor rear visibility and an exhaust that’s loud at startup and can’t be turned down. Oh, and that jaw-dropping MSRP.

Jeep Grand Wagoneer Series III 4x4

For 2022, Jeep resurrected the Grand Wagoneer name for its biggest, most luxurious SUV ever; it can comfortably haul up to 8 passengers and their gear and tow almost 10,000 pounds. What’s more, the Grand Wagoneer retains its off-road cred, with plenty of ground clearance and multiple driving modes for varied terrain.

The Grand Wagoneer’s cabin is extremely comfortable, with excellent fit and finish. Standard convenience and safety features include 4-wheel drive, 4-zone climate control, leather seating, plus a full set of standard ADAS features.

Downsides include bounciness when driving on rough roads and low fuel economy: 15 mpg in combined driving. Also, on the center screen, the controls and capacitive-touch buttons are overly sensitive and hard to use.

Lexus LX 600 Ultra Luxury

The LX 600 is Lexus’ biggest, most expensive SUV. Its twin-turbocharged V6 engine puts out plenty power and gets better fuel economy than its V8 predecessor.

The LX 600’s roomy, quiet cabin is exquisitely furnished with luxurious materials, and Lexus provides a full complement of advanced safety features. The LX 600 can venture off pavement, too, with 6 off-road driving modes—although one might ask how many owners are going to use a $130,000 vehicle as an off-road rock crawler.

Other missteps include an enormous grille, a floaty ride, and a busy, outdated instrument/infotainment system. Also, transmission shifts are rough, and large rear roof pillars limit side and rear visibility. 

The 2023 AAA Car Guide is coming April 2023

For more information on these 4 sedans and dozens of other new vehicles, check out the 2023 AAA Car Guide. It will be available online and in hard-copy format in AAA branches in April 2023.

Automotive offers & deals

AAA tow truck driver Jeff
AAA automotive services

See how we can help with Roadside Assistance, car buying, auto repair, driver education, and more.


Learn more


AAA Approved Auto Repair

Search approximately 7,000 AAA approved facilities throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Learn more

AAA mobile battery service

AAA Mobile Battery Service

AAA provides a convenient testing and replacement service that comes to you.

Learn more

NAPA store exterior

Automotive discounts

Use your AAA membership to unlock do-it-yourself car care discounts.

Learn more

AAA driving school

Teen driving resources

AAA wants to help your teen develop safe driving habits.

Learn more

back to top icon