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As we come toward the end of the year, it’s time to look back at the best 3 SUVs of 2021. Motor1 gave its highest-rated vehicles tested in 2021 so far, and only three SUVs made the list. The other seven members of the top 10 list are all sedans, hatchbacks, and even one sports coupe. Considering the most popular vehicles in America are SUVs and crossovers, it’s surprising that more automakers aren’t making great ones.

The 2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 is the third-best SUV of 2021

The second vehicle in the Maybach lineup successfully ditches the third-row bench seat. While some might dislike the lack of seating, others will love the second-row spaciousness it adds. Although it comes in at an outrageously high price, it’s one of the best SUVs available for the 2021 model year. The enormous crossover carries a starting price of $160,500 plus a $1,050 destination fee.

Although the price makes it unaffordable for most, it has a lot to offer. The GLS 600 comes with a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 capable of making up to 550 horsepower. Additionally, it comes with an EQ Boost integrated start-generator which can contribute another 21 hp. The Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 can go from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.8 seconds. When reviewing the SUV, Motor1 gave it a score of 9.5/10.

2021 Genesis GV80: the (almost) perfect SUV

The Genesis GV80 luxury midsize SUV

Genesis is new to the luxury car segment, but it’s already raking in awards. In addition, it’s received countless high-quality reviews across all of its models. The GV80 is no different, as it’s highly touted by just about every review source in the market. Motor1 not only gave it a score of 9.5/10, but it also called it “the new benchmark.” What’s most liked about it is its overall design, as opposed to other features.

A 14.5-inch center display in the front, the two-spoke steering wheel, and a smooth dashboard make the interior stand out from the rest. As you’d expect from a luxury brand like Genesis, the front and rear rows are equally comfortable. The bottom of the dash slopes forward to make more room for front passengers. Overall, the Genesis GV80 is a highly spacious, stylish, and comfortable SUV coming in at a starting price of $48,900.

The 2021 Nissan Rogue is the best SUV of the year

The 2021 Nissan Rogue parked in a lot
2021 Nissan Rogue | Nissan

Coming back down into affordable territory, the Nissan Rogue received the highest rating of any SUV for the 2021 model year from Motor1. The Japanese automaker’s compact crossover offering provides an impressive amount of space inside. Its comfort, smart technology, and active safety gear also rank among the best in its class. According to Motor1, only its plain exterior design is responsible for dropping it from a perfect score.

The 2021 Nissan Rogue received a 9.7/10, making it the highest-ranking SUV on the list. It received some significant improvements for the 2021 model year. A new digital instrument cluster, an enormous head-up display highlight the top trim improvements. For the lower trims, the infotainment system and hardware were also vastly improved. Most importantly, the 2021 Nissan Rogue costs start at only a measly $26,050.

All in all, the 2021 model year was good for those looking to purchase an SUV. These are the highest-ranking options according to a single review source. There are plenty of other options available that are similar in style and features to those on this list, especially if you’re not looking to spend $160,000 or more on a Mercedes.


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