3 Popular SUVs Consumer Reports Gave the ‘Avoid’ Label

If there’s one thing that’s consistent in car sales, it’s that people love SUVs. Some SUVs have maintained their best-selling status despite their shortcomings. This is often thanks to having a reputable name and coming with a lot of perks. Yet some of the most popular new SUVs Consumer Reports says people shouldn’t buy. Let’s look at what they are and why they’ve been given the ‘avoid’ label. 

A white 2021 Ford Explorer parked on a boardwalk.
2021 Ford Explorer | Ford

Consumer Reports recommends avoiding the 2021 Ford Explorer

Sure, the 2021 Ford Explorer probably seems like a great choice, but it’s got some serious shortcomings. For one thing, it only gets 21 mpg, which isn’t a lot, even in its class. Consumer Reports also called its ride “stiff” and “less compliant” than others in its category. 

Perhaps the best things the Explorer has going for it are its size and safety features. The Ford Explorer comes with everything that Consumer Reports says a new car should. And it has plenty of passenger and cargo space. 

Yet even better is the 2021 Kia Telluride. It’s easy to maneuver, has loads of safety features, and Telluride owners love their SUVs.

The 2021 Honda Passport is a midsize SUV Consumer Reports says to avoid

Consumer Reports notes that the 2021 Honda Passport is similar to the 2021 Honda Pilot in that they share the same engine and transmission. Yet even with the 3.6-liter V6 in the Passport, it doesn’t quite live up to the Pilot’s hype. 

Consumer Reports says that the Honda Passport’s ride is still and handling is unrefined. Additionally, the infotainment system is somewhat lacking and slow. Perhaps most importantly, the Passport’s reliability rating is subpar at just a 2/5.

So what should you buy? Consumer Reports says that if you’d been interested in the Honda Passport, you may prefer the 2021 Ford Edge. It’s quiet, handles well, and has a good reliability rating. 


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The 2021 Ford Escape has pretty good gas mileage, at 26 mpg. However, its reliability isn’t great. It only gets a 1/5. The 2020 Ford Escape also gets a 1/5 for reliability. The worst areas include the body integrity, power equipment, and in-car electronics. 

The Ford Escape also comes with some pretty important safety features, like forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, and blind spot warning. The IIHS gives the Ford Escape all good ratings. The NHTSA also gives the Escape all five stars except for rollover, which each gets four stars. Yet its ride is stiff and Consumer Reports called its braking “oversensitive.”

So what would be a better choice than the Escape? The 2021 Mazda CX-5. It’s quiet, has “responsive” handling, and comes with a host of important safety features. 

Although these are some of the most popular new SUVs, Consumer Reports just recommends that you stay away. And with so many other great options out there that combine safety, reliability, and drivability, there’s no reason to choose any of these SUVs with the “avoid” label.