Consumer Reports makes it easy to compare vehicles you might be interested in. That’s especially true when the site slaps a “Recommended” label on vehicles that adhere to its high standards of safety, reliability, and owner satisfaction. In fact, only three large luxury SUVs earned the coveted CR Recommended badge for 2021: the BMW X7, Buick Enclave, and Toyota Land Cruiser.
Here’s why they get Consumer Reports’ stamp of approval.
2021 BMW X7: A super-comfortable performer
For starters, the 2021 BMW X7 is a gorgeous machine inside and out. Consumer Reports gave it a 5 out of 5 in every parameter regarding comfort and convenience, aside from the ride. It got a 4. And the trunk/cargo area suffered from a 2-out-of-5 rating. Overall, CR gave the X7 a 100/100 for comfort.
When it comes to performance, the 2021 BMW X7 largely delivers, too. CR’s reviewers appreciated its punchy acceleration, smooth transmission, and overall handling. As a result, the X7 earned a 91/100 for its overall driving experience. The BMW X7 is fantastic, but not perfect.
Its predicted reliability sits at a so-so 3 out of 5, which isn’t bad, but for the hefty starting price of $74,900, one would expect fewer problems. The fuel economy, too, isn’t stellar by today’s standards, getting only 14 mpg in the city according to CR’s test. Despite the drawbacks, Consumer Reports gave it an overall score of 82 when taking the predicted owner satisfaction rating into account, the highest score in the luxury large SUV category.
2021 Buick Enclave: A reasonably priced luxury SUV
Coming in second place in the category with an overall score of 76 is the 2021 Buick Enclave. Buick has put tons of effort into rebranding itself to entice younger car shoppers and rid itself of the stereotype that Buick cars are only for older buyers. The 2021 Buick Enclave helps with that image — this is a fantastic large SUV.
Consumer Reports gave the Enclave a score of 77 for its overall driving experience. Testers enjoyed the feel of its acceleration, transmission, and braking. It didn’t score as highly in emergency handling maneuvers, but it still handles well in everyday situations. They also rated the interior highly for seat comfort, trunk/cargo area, and noise levels and gave it an 84 overall for comfort.
The Enclave’s drawbacks were its disappointing standard safety features list, poor fuel economy (12 mph in the city based on CR’s tests), and a steep learning curve for gear selection.
But the 2021 Buick Enclave starts at $40,300, a reasonable price for a large luxury SUV.
2021 Toyota Land Cruiser: A reliable owner-pleaser
The 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser‘s overall score of 74 was enough to place it third on the list. And it’s the final large luxury SUV to get CR’s recommendation for this model year.
But its $85,565 base price is significantly higher than the other two on the list, especially considering its poor fuel efficiency of just 10 mpg in the city per CR’s testing. Regardless, its transmission and acceleration received high scores, and it earned at least a 4 out of 5 in all comfort/convenience categories.
Consumer Reports has yet to assign an overall comfort and driving experience score, but it’s safe it’s probably somewhat lower than the other two luxury SUVs on the list. According to CR’s review, the Land Cruiser doesn’t feel as athletic as advertised, and the last row is cramped.
All in all, though, it still got the recommendation, thanks to its high predicted reliability and owner satisfaction ratings, as well as its overall score of 68 on the road test.