Which 2021 Midsize SUVs Did Consumer Reports Recommend?

Along with its extensive reviews of many products, Consumer Reports also recommends certain ones that have high scores. This information can be really helpful for people going car shopping for a new vehicle. If you’re looking for a new midsize SUV, Consumer Reports picked out just four that earned its “Recommended” stamp. Here’s a quick look at the 2021 Subaru Outback, 2021 Ford Edge, 2021 Nissan Murano, and 2021 Toyota Venza.

The 2021 Subaru Outback

The 2021 Subaru Outback has the top scores from Consumer Reports for both overall score, with 86, and with its road-test score at 91. It’s also the only one of the midsize SUVs to get a five out of five for ride, which looks at how well the suspension eliminates bumps. It received a string of fours out of five, for predicted owner satisfaction, routine handling, emergency handling, and cabin noise. Its lowest rating is for predicted reliability, where it got three out of five.

In Consumer Reports’ test of fuel usage, the 2021 Outback got 21 MPG, the best of the three non-hybrid SUVs. The Outback stands out for being more of a wagon than an SUV, due to its lower height, says Consumer Reports. Despite being Consumer Reports’ No. 1 pick for midsize SUV, the organization did find the infotainment system in the Outback to be a bit slow.

The 2021 Ford Edge

The 2021 Ford Edge comes in second on the list of midsize SUVs for both its overall score of 83 and its road-test score of 84. The Edge, like three of the four recommended SUVs, received four out of five for its predicted reliability score. It also did well, with four out of five, for routine handling, ride, and interior noise. It also has two categories, one more than the Outback that received three out of five for their scores: predicted owner satisfaction and emergency handling.

For fuel efficiency, the Edge comes in just behind the Outback in Consumer Reports’ test, getting 22 MPG. Consumer Reports enjoyed that the 2021 Edge is spacious and quiet with good handling, even saying it “can rival some luxury SUVs.” 

2021 Nissan Murano

The 2021 Nissan Murano comes in third, with an overall score of 79. It has a road-test score of 77. While other SUVs have higher road-test scores than the Murano and Venza, their predicted reliability scores earned them Recommended status. The Murano has a four out of five for predicted reliability. It also has four out of five for ride and interior noise. Its owner satisfaction score is three out of five as are its scores for routine handling and emergency handling.

The 2021 Murano has respectable fuel efficiency for the class. In Consumer Reports’ tests, it got 21 MPG. Consumer Reports describes the Murano as “upscale” and says its rear seat is “roomy.” However, visibility isn’t great to the rear and sides, and the handling isn’t that sporty.

2021 Toyota Venza

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The fourth and final recommended midsize SUV is the 2021 Toyota Venza, which has an overall score of 78. Its road-test score is 75. The 2021 Venza has mainly four out of five ratings, receiving that score for predicted reliability, owner satisfaction, routine handling, ride, and interior noise. Its only three out of five score is for emergency handling.

The 2021 Venza stands out as the only midsize SUV on the list that is marked as a Green Choice. This hybrid SUV got 37 MPG in Consumer Reports’ tests, by far the best of the list. Consumer Reports says that the Venza is a “pleasant-enough vehicle,” but aside from its fuel efficiency, “it doesn’t stand out in the midsized segment.”

All four SUVs received excellent crash-test ratings, although the Venza falls one star short of the others. All four received Good ratings from the IIHS for the front moderate overlap, front small overlap (driver), and side crash tests. The Outback, Edge, and Murano received five out of five stars from the NHTSA for the overall crash, overall frontal-crash, and overall side-crash tests. The Venza received five out of five for two NHTSA tests but got four out of five for the overall frontal-crash test.

All four midsize SUVs stand out for their handling, safety, and reliability. While the 2021 Subaru Outback, Ford Edge, Nissan Murano, and Toyota Venza all have their differences, each one is officially recommended by Consumer Reports.