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6 New SUVs for 2017

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author photo by Autotrader December 2016

SUVs remain ever-popular, especially as gas prices idle at reasonable levels. In the past 25 years, utility vehicles have become as much a part of American culture as baseball and hot dogs. Part truck, part car and part wagon, the modern SUV offers buyers more room, ride height, features and safety than today's large-sedan offerings. Here are six new SUVs arriving for the 2017 model year.

2017 Audi Q7

This 3-row luxury crossover brings with it plenty of power, performance, technology and comfort. The upscale cabin is quiet and plush, and there's a wide array of safety features. The only criticism about the interior is its relative lack of cargo space.

Under the hood, the Q7 is motivated by a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 tied to an 8-speed automatic transmission. This powertrain delivers 333 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque, and that energy goes to all four wheels to help the Q7 drive smoothly and confidently. Maximum towing capacity is an impressive 7,700 pounds. The Q7 is available for a base MSRP of $54,800.

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2017 Cadillac XT5

With its unmistakable Cadillac styling, the XT5 is a brand-new model for the 2017 year. This compact luxury SUV offers a plush ride, excellent front and rear visibility and an eye-catching exterior design. The XT5's interior is high-quality and features a cavernous cargo compartment for whatever you need to store or haul.

Power for the XT5 comes from a 3.6-liter V6 that makes 310 hp and 271 lb-ft of torque. Energy is managed by an 8-speed transmission. Front- and all-wheel-drive models yield 22 and 21 miles per gallon, respectively. On the road, the XT5 tows up to 3,500 pounds and offers a balanced ride and handling experience. With a starting price of $54,800, the XT5 may be pricey, but you get what you pay for.

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2017 GMC Acadia

This crowd favorite has been completely redesigned for 2017. The GMC Acadia returns for the new model year in a slightly smaller package, making it more maneuverable and efficient than its peers. As before, the cabin is quiet, and the seats are comfortable even during long drives and road trips. The new Acadia's styling is attractive but nothing revolutionary, and the cargo area is not quite spacious enough to compete with some other new SUVs.

Available in three trim levels, the Acadia utilizes a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 194 hp and 190 lb-ft of torque. Power is managed by the only available transmission, a 6-speed automatic that feeds either the front wheels or all four. Fuel economy for the Acadia is pretty good at 23 mpg combined. Even more impressive is the 4,000-pound towing capacity. The base sticker price for the all-new 2017 GMC Acadia is $29,070.

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2017 Honda CR-V

Although it's not yet in showrooms, the all-new 2017 Honda CR-V is hugely anticipated. It promises to bring enhancements in performance and technology, as well as a more athletic and modern look thanks to design elements such as the new signature LED headlights. The new active-shutter grille will not only give the CR-V a bolder look but also improve the vehicle's aerodynamics. The completely redesigned model will bring a more refined interior and an increase in cargo space over the outgoing model, which was already the class-leader in this area.

The CR-V will get a new engine this year -- its first turbocharged offering. The turbocharged 1.5-liter 4-cylinder will produce 190 hp. The base engine is a 184-hp 2.4-liter 4-cylinder, and ride and handling will be improved thanks to a new rear multilink suspension system. Pricing has not yet been announced for the 2017 Honda CR-V.

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2017 Jaguar F-PACE

The luxury automaker's first SUV is late to the game, but it's worth the wait. Offered in five well-equipped trim levels, the all-new F-PACE is sleek, sexy and luxurious. It has a number of innovative features, including a 3G mobile hot spot and a new gesture-controlled lift gate, and the huge panoramic roof helps to make the cabin feel more spacious. Fold-flat seating in a variety of configurations adds versatility to the roomy cargo area.

The F-PACE is equipped with a choice of three different engines -- a fuel-efficient 4-cylinder diesel that gets around 40 mpg on the highway and two variants of the more powerful 3.0-liter V6, including a supercharged version. All engines are paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. The F-PACE is fast and smooth, exactly what you'd expect from a Jaguar. Pricing for the 2017 Jaguar F-PACE begins at $40,990.

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2017 Nissan Armada

The all-new 2017 Nissan Armada is a full-size SUV with many improvements over the previous model year. The interior has more refined materials and fewer hard plastics than the outgoing model. The instrument-panel layout is intuitive and laden with tech goodies. The Armada's enormous cargo space remains one of its greatest assets.

Big upgrades also encompass the powertrain, which includes a new 5.6-liter V8 outputting 390 hp tied to a 7-speed transmission. That's 73 hp more than the previous model and two extra gears to help increase performance and efficiency. Unfortunately, fuel economy is abysmal at 14 mpg in the city and 19 mpg hwy. On the flip side, you get a legitimate body-on-frame SUV that's ready to tow and tread through most anything. Even with the family aboard. The 2017 Nissan Armada starts at $44,400.

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6 New SUVs for 2017 - Autotrader