Automakers typically build most vehicles today with turbo engines because of their high-level performance.
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However, although turbo engines are the norm now, we’ve surveyed the market for SUVs with naturally aspirated ones.
Of course, remember most of these models still have variants with turbo petrol and turbo diesel engines. There are also affordable cars with boxer engines you should explore.
Sub-compact SUVs Without Turbo Engines
A sub-compact SUV is the smallest of SUVs. It is slightly bigger and more spacious than a regular sedan so you’d expect similar performance from them and sedans.
These are some sub-compact SUVs without turbo engines:
1. Subaru Crosstrek
The Subaru Crosstrek is an all-wheel-drive sub-compact SUV with a naturally aspirated engine.
This small SUV is endowed with a 2.0-liter boxer engine that has 152 horsepower at 6,000 rpm. It can deliver a torque of 145 lb-ft at 4,000 rpm.
The Crosstrek has an 8-speed gear transmission and a maximum towing capacity of 1,500 pounds.
With such commendable abilities, it would seem the absence of a turbo engine isn’t even noticeable on an average day.
2. Hyundai Venue
Some Hyundai Venues are powered by 1.2-liter, 4-cylinder naturally aspirated engines.
They come with 121 horsepower at 6,300 rpm and a torque of 113 lb-ft at 4,500 rpm. Furthermore, you can get it with a continuously variable-speed automatic transmission.
This front-wheel-drive SUV has a maximum payload capacity of 1,158 pounds when properly equipped. While it isn’t the best car for towing, it can also tow weights over 1,000 pounds.
Again, turbo engines have not been missed.
Please also read our article about problems with hybrid SUVs.
Compact SUVs Without Turbo Engines
These SUVs are in between sub-compact and mid-size SUVs, but they’re often mistaken for sub-compact SUVs.
Still, despite this oversight, compact SUVs pack more of a mechanical punch than their smaller siblings.
The list continues with some compact SUVs that have naturally aspirated engines as well.
3. Jeep Cherokee
The Jeep Cherokee is a household name as it is one of the oldest compact SUVs.
Today, a Cherokee can have a 3.2-liter V6 non-turbo engine mated to a 9-speed automatic gear transmission. Their powertrains deliver 180 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and a torque of 171 lb-ft at 4,600 rpm.
They also come equipped with an optional front or all-wheel drivetrain. The Cherokee has an edge over rivals with a maximum towing capacity of 2,000 pounds.
You can already see how compact SUVs outshine sub-compact ones still without turbo engines.
The Cherokee is also among some popular compact SUVs with V6 engines.
4. Mitsubishi Outlander
The Mitsubishi Outlander comes with a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated 4-cylinder engine paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT).
Even without a turbo engine, the Outlander produces enough power for its off-road performance.
Its powertrain delivers 181 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and a torque of 181 lb-ft at 3,600 rpm. Besides its 8.5 inches of ground clearance, the Outlander would serve well on unpaved roads.
The Outlander is available in both front-wheel and all-wheel-drive and further has a commendable towing capacity of 2,000 pounds.
5. Toyota RAV4
A variety of naturally aspirated engines can power the Toyota RAV4. These include the 2.0-liter and the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engines.
The 2.0-liter engine has 203 horsepower at 6,600 rpm and a torque of 150 lb-ft at 4,400 rpm. The 2.5-liter engine also has 203 horsepower at 6,600 rpm and a torque of 184 lb-ft at 5,000 rpm.
They both have 8-speed automatic transmissions.
Lastly, the front-wheel-drive is currently the standard drivetrain for the RAV4 but the hybrid version has an optional 4-wheel-drive.
6. Mazda CX-5
Other than a non-turbo 2.5-liter engine, the Mazda CX-5 is mated with a 6-speed automatic transmission. We speak about trannies a lot because a transmission ensures that power from an engine travels efficiently to the wheels. Hence, we want the minimum amount of power loss possible.
In the absence of turbo engines, you need the transmission’s help in preserving power that reaches the wheels.
The 2.5-liter engine delivers 187 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and a torque of 186 lb-ft at 4,000 rpm.
The CX-5 has a maximum towing capacity of 2,000 pounds, which is like that of the Cherokee and Outlander.
You should also read our article about SUVs with heated rear seats if you live in a very cold environment.
Mid-size SUVs Without Turbo Engines
Mid-size SUVs provide more interior space and more amazing off-road capabilities than compact ones. Their comfortable seating further makes them perfect for families.
Add their superb fuel efficiency relative to full-size SUVs and it’s obvious why they’re sought after in the automobile industry. Let’s look at some of them without turbo engines.
7. Kia Telluride
No doubt, the Kia Telluride has an appealing appearance for car lovers.
A 3.8-liter V6 engine powers this beautifully designed SUV. It has 291 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and a torque of 262 lb-ft at 5,200 rpm.
With the Telluride, power is transmitted through an electronically controlled 8-speed automatic transmission.
It further has two drivetrain versions, which are the 4-wheel drive and the all-wheel drive variants.
These options make room for variety between off-road enthusiasts and regular drivers. It also boasts an outstanding towing capacity of 5,000 pounds.
8. Honda Pilot
The Honda Pilot comes with a 3.5-liter naturally aspirated V6 engine which supplies 280 horsepower at 6,000 rpm. It has a torque of 262 lb-ft at 4,700 rpm and a 9-speed shiftable automatic tranny.
The standard drivetrain in this SUV is front-wheel drive with an option for all-wheel drive.
Towing capacity for the Pilot stands at 3,500 pounds for the front-wheel-drive and 5,000 pounds for the all-wheel-drive version.
9. Dodge Durango
The Dodge Durango has an impressive V6 non-turbo engine. Higher trims can have the enormous 6.4-liter V8 engine.
It produces an impressive 293 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and then boasts a torque of 260 lb-ft at 4,000 rpm. An 8-speed automatic transmission powers the all-wheel drive vehicle.
This “bold” SUV has an astonishing trailering capacity of 6,200 pounds. Its powertrain makes it excellent for off-road functions.
Needless to say, the build, components, power, and appearance of the Dodge Durango denotes dominance in this category of SUVs.
Full-size SUVs Without Turbo Engines
Full-size SUVs are the largest of all SUV categories and have a powerful powertrain, designed to handle off-road challenges.
They also come in handy when towing large cargo. These SUVs typically have three rows of seats.
We’ve analyzed some full-size SUVs built without turbo engines.
10. Jeep Grand Wagoneer
The Jeep Grand Wagoneer is the biggest of all Jeep-manufactured SUVs.
It is powered by a 6.4-liter V8 engine which is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Its powertrain delivers 471 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 455 lb-ft of torque at 4,400 rpm.
The Grand Wagoneer has an expected 4-wheel-drivetrain; anything less would be considered “unfair” to this magnificent automobile.
It also brandishes a massive towing capacity of 9,850 pounds. Thus, it is a top choice for high-performance SUV lovers.
Make sure to also read our article about SUVs with the most trunk space if you love packing a lot of gear for your trips.
11. Toyota Sequoia
The Toyota Sequoia’s V8 5.7-liter engine is mated to a 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission.
The V8 engine produces a reasonable 381 horsepower at 5,600 rpm with a torque of 401 lb-ft at 3,600 rpm. The rear-wheel-drive drivetrain is the standard option.
The Sequoia has a moderate towing capacity of 7,400 pounds for an SUV of its size. If you’re dissatisfied with its towing capacity, remember that it compensates with its large cabin and cargo area.
12. Chevrolet Suburban
It appears full-size cars are mostly equipped with V8 engines today. The Suburban is powered by 5.3-liter or 6.2-liter V8 engines and a 10-speed automatic gearbox.
Its drivetrain has both rear-wheel-drive and 4-wheel-drive options. The Suburban further produces 355 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 383 lb-ft of torque at 4,100 rpm.
When properly equipped, the 5.3-liter V8 engine has a maximum trailering capacity that ranges from 8,100 to 8,300 pounds. The 6.2-liter V8 variant then boasts a trailering capacity of 8,200 pounds.