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Ranked: Midsize SUVs with the best interiors for 2023

Picture of Chris Teague

Chris Teague

Midsize SUVs are among the most popular and in-demand vehicles today, but there are so many models available that it’s tough to decide which one offers the features and space you need. Whether you need two rows of seats or three, you’ll want to make sure the SUV you’re considering has the right equipment and that it will remain comfortable for you and your family for the long haul.

We’ve gathered a list of the midsize SUVs with the best interiors for 2023. Our rankings consider interior space, comfort, materials quality, and usability. Having three rows of seats wasn’t a requirement, but all at least offer them as an option. Let’s dive in and look at what’s what.

Midsize SUVs with the best interiors for 2023

2023 Kia Telluride

This might be at the top of the list of the midsize SUVs with the best interiors for 2023. The Kia Telluride’s interior punches well above the SUV’s price tag, and it’s plenty spacious for both people and gear. Synthetic leather comes standard, but it’s nicer than it sounds and remains comfortable on longer trips. Kia offers genuine leather upholstery with heated and ventilated front seats, and top models add heated and ventilated second-row seats. 

Both rows of seating offer good comfort, and there’s solid space in the first two rows. Models with second-row captain’s chairs are the most comfortable, but the standard bench offers an extra seat for a total of eight. It’s also more shapely and supportive than many bench seats, making it a solid choice for people who need to carry several passengers regularly.

midsize suvs with the best interiors for 2023

2023 Hyundai Palisade

The Palisade is closely related to the Telluride, but its interior features unique styling and features. It’s a nice space with plenty of room and high-quality materials. Like the Telluride, there’s seating for seven or eight, with some trims getting second-row captain’s chairs. Hyundai equips cloth upholstery as standard, but synthetic and genuine leather are available in higher trims. Other comfort features include available heated and ventilated seats in the first two rows and heated third-row seats.

There’s good space in the front seats, and the buckets offer great padding and support. Even the base cloth upholstery feels nice, and the leather in top trims is premium enough for a vehicle in a higher price bracket. Second-row passengers get good space, and the seats are comfortable, but they can’t match the plushness of the front seats.

midsize suvs with the best interiors for 2023

2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee

The iconic Jeep Grand Cherokee’s interior features excellent materials quality and deluxe seating accommodations across both rows of seats. Jeep offers a three-row Grand Cherokee L, but the standard Grand Cherokee’s five seats are mostly spacious and plenty comfortable. Cloth upholstery comes standard, along with a power driver’s seat. Higher trims offer leather and features like heated and ventilated front seats. Adding to the luxury factor, some models offer massaging front seats.

The Grand Cherokee has wonderfully spacious and comfortable front seats that offer great padding and support for passengers of all sizes. Though it’s not the most spacious in the class, the Grand Cherokee’s back seat is comfortable and has a good shape for back support.

suvs with the best interiors for 2023

2023 Mazda CX-9

The Mazda CX-9 brings a high-class interior with impressive materials quality and an attractive design. Though it can seat up to seven people, the SUV is much more comfortable hauling four or five passengers. Its front seats are deep and nicely supportive buckets, and there’s good room for taller drivers. Leather upholstery comes standard, along with heated front seats. Buyers can upgrade with Nappa leather and ventilated seats, and the available second-row sunshades are great for parents with small, potentially-napping children. 

Even with the plentiful front-seat space, the cabin feels tight and sporty, which can be great for drivers but not so fantastic for families hauling people and gear. The second row is comfortable and can easily accommodate adults, but the third-row seat isn’t spacious enough for anyone but children, and on short trips even then.

midsize suvs with the best interiors for 2023

2023 Buick Enclave

Buick has always skirted the line between mainstream and luxury, and the Enclave brings elements of both. Its interior offers generous space and has comfortable seating for up to seven people. The SUV comes standard with leather upholstery and heated front seats. Buick offers heated second-row seats, along with ventilation for the front seats. Buyers can also add massage for the front seats, and the folding third-row seats can be powered.

The leather upholstery feels great, and Buick’s massage function adds a layer of luxury that makes the SUV much more comfortable on longer drivers. There’s good space in the first two rows, and the third-row seats can handle adults without much complaint. At the same time, there are more hard plastics and cheap materials than we’d like to see at the Enclave’s price point.

2023 Chevrolet Traverse

Chevy’s not a premium brand, but the Traverse’s interior is nicer than expected. The cabin is spacious and comfortable across all three rows, and the base cloth upholstery is nice enough. Chevy offers leather, and buyers can opt for heated and ventilated front seats. Eight-passenger seating comes standard, and the available second-row captain’s chairs cut seating to seven.

The Traverse’s front seats are wonderfully spacious and feature great padding. Even taller adults can ride comfortably in the second row, and the third-row seats can handle grown-ups for shorter trips. Kids will be fine in the third row, and installing car seats is easy in any of the available anchor points.

Frequently asked questions about the midsize SUVs with the best interiors for 2023

What interior color is best for families?

While it’s not impossible to maintain a clean, light-colored interior with kids on board, it’s not all that easy, either. Kids and other passengers bump their feet into interior surfaces, and even if they’re careful, it’s easy to see the dirt after a short while. This is more of a rule if you’re considering a cloth interior, but even lighter leather colors can develop staining over time.

What are car seat LATCH connectors?

LATCH stands for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children. The anchors provide a safe and secure point to connect car seats to the vehicle. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates vehicles on how easy it is to install car seats using these anchors, with scores ranging from “Poor” to “Good+.”

Are captain’s chairs better than bench seats?

The decision between captain’s chairs and bench seats comes entirely down to preference and the need for a specific seating capacity. Many SUVs offer eight-passenger seating with a second-row bench but drop a seat to offer captain’s chairs in the second row. The tradeoff for losing a seat is that captain’s chairs are typically more comfortable and supportive than the bench.

Is a rear-seat entertainment system worth the cost?

Rear-seat entertainment can be the difference between bored kids and happy passengers, but many of the systems that automakers offer are too expensive for what you get. Kia offers a $1,500 rear-seat system for the Telluride, but a pair of iPads and headphones would be much cheaper and offer most of the same capability.

Can I install a car seat in the third row?

Yes. As long as there are anchors in the third-row seat, you can install a car seat. The Mazda CX-9, for example, offers two sets of LATCH anchors in the second row and one tether anchor in the third-row seat.

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