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It’s no secret that purchasing trends have been shifting toward SUVs for years now. Manufacturers have definitely taken notice of this trend, which is why many of them have dedicated significant resources to improve their current SUV offerings. The 2021 model year showed fantastic results, especially among the luxury SUVs sector according to one trusted reviewing site. 

Read on to learn more about how Consumer Reports decides on which vehicles to recommend, and which luxury midsize SUVs made it on their coveted recommendation list. 

The Consumer Reports recommendation standards

Red 2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupé is on display at the 112th Annual Chicago Auto Show
The 2020 Porsche Cayenne | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Consumer Reports is among the most trusted review websites as they do not rely on advertisements or backdoor deals with car manufacturers when reviewing vehicles. They are completely independent and instead depend on subscription fees to bring the best information to consumers when they make decisions about large purchases. 

When it comes to vehicles, Consumer Reports will add a checkmark and the word “recommended” next to the names of vehicles that meet their strict criteria. To get a “recommended” label, a car must score well on the Consumer Reports road test, predicted reliability ratings, owner satisfaction, crash test safety ratings, and available safety equipment. It’s not easy for vehicles to get the “recommended” label, but those that do provide an overall excellent value for most people. 

Within the luxury midsize SUV segment of the market, Consumer Reports has placed their recommendation label upon seven excellent vehicles. It’s not hard to fathom that the 2021 BMW X5 came in the top spot with a road test score of 98/100 from Consumer Reports, and an overall score of 84/100.

The reviewers at Consumer Reports have even gone as far as to say that it’s among the best SUVs they have ever tested. Their recommendation mostly comes from how fun it is to drive, the improved trouble spot ratings from previous years, and the super comfortable yet classy interior. 

The 2021 Porsche Cayenne also received CR’s recommendation, scoring an impressive 87 on their road test and an 81 overall. The Cayenne’s driving experience and comfort were the main factors for its high score, though it does suffer a bit in terms of acceleration from a complete stop. 

Many didn’t see the 2020 Infiniti QX60 coming, and it was a pleasant surprise for a recommendation despite its slightly low predicted reliability score. Its score of 79 on the road test and overall score of 71 was thanks mostly to the superior standard safety features and quietness of the cabin, but it suffers a bit from less-than-stellar visibility. 

Lexus had a fantastic year for luxury midsize SUVs, as it made the recommendations list three times with the Lexus RX, Lexus RX L, and Lexus GX. The 2021 GMC Acadia took the final recommendation spot. 

A wide variety of recommendations

Lexus may have three recommended luxury midsize SUVs this year, but the other four recommended midsize SUVs come from different manufacturers, adding quite a bit of diversity to the list. GMC, Infiniti, Porsche, and BMW all also received the coveted CR recommendation in this category this year. 

This year’s Consumer Reports recommendations aren’t just diverse in the number of brands on it, it’s also diverse in the range of starting prices. The cheapest vehicle on the list, the 2021 GMC Acadia, starts at $29,800 and can go all the way up to $48,600. The most expensive starting price on the list goes to the 2021 Porsche Cayenne, which starts at $67,500 and goes up to a whopping $166,200. 

Despite the variety, if you’re in the market for a luxury midsize SUV, you can’t go wrong with any of Consumer Reports’ recommendations in 2021.