(Our Auto Expert) — According to current car sales figures, base, mid-size SUV sales in the U.S. outperformed the overall passenger car market last year, and all trends continue to suggest it will this year as well.

So what makes mid-size SUVs so popular? Here are some of the top reasons Americans are buying them.

Let’s face it. Mid-size SUVs aren’t exactly exciting. They’re designed for hauling passengers comfortably, but that doesn’t mean they have to be boring, and automakers have figured that out. Consumers want more than just a stock SUV. They want great styling, bigger aggressive wheels, and better overall performance. Vehicles like the 2023 Hyundai Tucson XRT represent why this category continues to be one of the fastest-growing segments. 

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The Tucson XRT is all about incredible design. The front and rear bumpers match the rest of the vehicle’s color, 19-inch blacked-out wheels stick out, and the interior is ultimately designed to match the rest of the car. Consumers especially love the price of $34,790.

Special trim packages aren’t new to midsize SUVs, but vehicles like the 2023 Chevy Traverse High Country take the standard to a new level. 

The high-country package is outfitted with 20-inch wheels, a dual-pane moonroof, and the trailering package. Interior cargo space is among the top requests by consumers, and the traverse sports 100 cubic feet of space. The traverse with the high-country package sits at $52,000 

What if you want to take the lesser road traveled? You’re going to need more ground clearance. Nissan has its pathfinder, but when you go with the rock creek package, you now get 9 inches of ground clearance. 

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It’s purpose-built for more off-roading with all-terrain tires, and the suspension is designed to take on obstacles. The best part is you don’t have to be a serious off-roader to enjoy it. Pathfinder rock creek starts at $42,820.  

Safety is also top of mind for consumers, especially those with a family. All three of these mid-size SUVs have great safety packages that give you peace of mind when on or off the road. Features like front pedestrian detection and avoidance, lane keep assist, and rear pedestrian detection comes standard.

Midsize SUVs represent one of the most significant growing segments in the market. They are easier to drive than full-size SUVs and trucks, packed with safety and tech, and are incredibly affordable.