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The car industry is continuing to advance in great leaps and bounds, and the 2013 model year is no different. The merging of digital technologies and more stringent safety protocols are producing some of the most amazing vehicles we’ve ever seen. SUVs are no longer relegated to the gas-guzzling trash heaps they may have been five years ago. 2013 is the year of the SUV and here are the top five to buy:

1. Jeep Wrangler Sahara

The Jeep Wrangler has remained largely unchanged for two decades in terms of its look and performance. That is a good thing, and the 2013 Sahara model proves it. You will get 21 miles per gallon (MPG) from the V6 engine, as well as the freedom to go anywhere your heart desires thanks to the strong 4WD capability.

2. Chevrolet Equinox

The Equinox is a crossover and not a traditional SUV, but this doesn’t make it less powerful. The smooth, sweeping lines make it much more visually appealing than earlier crossovers. The MPG rating sits at 32 MPG, which means a cost savings over other SUVs as well. Chevy has revised the touchscreen system and has created an integration system for smartphone apps called Chevy MyLink.

SUV

3. GMC Terrain

GMC has packed several luxury features into the Terrain that are absent from other SUVs. This vehicle is a littler larger than some other crossovers, which translates to more internal storage space and passenger room. Similar to the Equinox, the Terrain also has a smartphone app integration system referred to IntelliLink. Combine that with the luxury provided and that makes this a technophile’s dream SUV.

4. Buick Enclave

Another crossover SUV, the Enclave is a full-size family model designed with a family in mind. Offering third row seating as well as a smooth, solid ride, the Enclave has a spacious and comfortable interior. The large grille and curved front end sweep back to make this look more like a luxury vehicle to match the feel inside. All of its size and luxury do not take away from is gas saving ability, as the Enclave gets 24 MPG.

5. Ford Explorer

Ending the list is the new Ford Explorer, and it is unlike any other one to date. The Explorer is arguably the SUV that began Americans enthusiasm toward this class of vehicle, and the newest model doesn’t disappoint. The suspension and engine have received sport-tuning and turbocharging, respectively. The interior features aren’t lacking either, with options like a heated steering wheel and front airbags at knee level.

Joan Price is an avid writer, a full-time mom, and a fan of Texas beaches. For more information about purchasing a Chevrolet in Edinburg, TX contact her on Twitter @JoanniePrice.