If you are in the market for a new SUV, this might be the year to purchase. Don’t be overwhelmed by the choices. There is an SUV out there for everyone, depending on what you need to do with it. According to MotorTrend, these are some of the best sport utility vehicles that you can buy this year, but not all of the options are as reliable as we would hope.
The best 2021 small SUV offerings
First up is the best subcompact SUV, the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek. The Crosstrek is a hybrid of all other vehicles. It has a hatchback, a roof rack, good fuel economy, and like the title says: it’s a subcompact.
For a base price of $23,295 to $29,045, it is a good option. Consumer Reports gave the Crosstrek an 84, which makes it a reliable choice.
The best compact SUV was a 2021 CR-V. This is one of the more popular types of SUVs. A little more room than the Crosstrek, but still fairly small. With a score of 82 from Consumer Reports, safe and reliable keep the CR-V a fan favorite. Priced anywhere from $26,525 to $37,525.
For the midsize options, the Subaru Outback ranked highest. The Outback came in at around $27,845 and all the way up to $40,995.
The best SUV with three rows of seating was the Kia Telluride. With rave reviews (and a score of 97 from Consumer Reports), this one sounds like a good bet for a little more room.
“Every detail and function has been thoroughly conceived and thoughtfully executed, and the driving experience is at least a class above,” Erik Johnson commented. The Telluride price was anywhere from $33,415 through $43,715, which still makes it a good option for families.
Next on the list is the full-size three-row SUV, which is the Ford Expedition. The Expedition is definitely a bigger option, capable of moving more than half of a soccer team. The Expedition is on the higher end of things, priced at $51,690 to $77,470 for the base models.
Some of the more luxurious SUV offerings
The best luxury subcompact SUV is a mouthful, but the 2021 Volvo XC40 topped the list. This one comes in a little higher, anywhere from $35,000 to $55,000 for an optioned-out base model. With five seats and a towing capacity of 3,500 lb, this one works.
The Volvo XC60 came in first for the best luxury compact SUV. With a similar towing capacity as the XC40, this one is slightly steeper in price from $42,795 up to about $72,000.
For a midsize luxury SUV, the Land Rover Defender fits the bill. The most expensive option yet with a price range of $47,450 up through $84,350, this one might be outside some budgets. It does have a maximum towing capacity of 8,200 lb, which makes it appropriate for bigger projects.
But before we sign the paperwork, Consumer Reports gave this SUV a score of 45. The predicted reliability was one out of five. The acceleration and character scored high, but braking, controls, agility, and fuel economy scored low.
The Lincoln Aviator was the choice for the best luxury three-row SUV. With a twin-turbo V-6 getting 400 hp or a plug-in hybrid with 494 hp, this one suits all kinds of lifestyles.
The price? $52,195 to $89,600. As far as reliability? Consumer Reports noted that the controls, gear selector, and fuel economy could use work.
And finally, the best full-size, three-row, luxury SUV is the Lincoln Navigator. Almost too obvious, the Navigator is big, luxurious, and has all the bells and whistles. Anywhere from $77,480 through $102,620, this one is steep. But the looks almost make it worth it if you have $100 grand to throw around.
Which type of SUV is right for you?
With all of these options, there is an SUV out there for everyone. For those looking to drive around, one of the compact or subcompact options might suffice. If you are looking for large and luxurious, the Lincoln options top the list.
The predicted reliability isn’t always totally accurate, so consider that before buying an SUV for your family. If the safety features and price are adequate, try taking it for a test drive for the final decision.