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40K to 50K SUV comparison test

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We wouldn't normally think that a Ford and a Mercedes-Benz could face each in a comparison test, but we just did it. Two factors explain what was unthinkable 20 years ago.

Just for you, we rank these five high-riding, all-wheel drive machines in order of preference.

Mainstream brands saw the opportunity to create uplevel versions of their products and sell them at higher prices. On the other hand, luxury brands exploit their prestigious logos to develop lower-end vehicles, assuming people will buy a reputation instead of all-out extravagance.

The meeting point seems to be a price range of around $40,000 to $50,000. Within this bracket, you can choose a sport-utility vehicle between the two types mentioned here. We gathered five such SUVs, although if every model we invited had accepted to come to the party, the total attendance would've been double. And if you prefer calling them crossovers, go ahead.

The guest list thus includes the mainstream-brand Ford Edge Sport AWD and Mazda CX-7 GT AWD as well as luxury-brand Mercedes-Benz GLK350 4MATIC, Volvo XC60 T6 AWD and Acura RDX Technology.

After countless hours of testing, driving, sitting down, observing, arguing and taking notes, we came to the conclusion on what's the best SUV of the bunch. Obviously, we didn't include a prestige factor in our scores, since that's up to you, the buying public.

Just for you, our valued reader, we rank these five high-riding, all-wheel drive machines in order of preference, although no one of these can be called a loser.

After countless hours of testing and taking notes, we came to the conclusion on what's the best SUV of the bunch.