The Most Comfortable SUVs of 2021 According to Consumer Reports

Finding the most comfortable SUVs can be tricky, given the size of the segment. Typically, comfort means a smooth ride, a quiet cabin, and plush seats. To help us gauge the most comfortable SUVs of 2021, Consumer Reports created a guide to calculating and judging comfort across the segment. According to Consumer Reports, The 2021 Kia Telluride, 2021 Subaru Forester, and 2021 Lexus RX are the most comfortable SUVs of 2021. 

An interior view of a 2021 Kia Telluride front seats and dashboard adds to the comfort of this SUV.
2021 Kia Telluride Interior | Kia

Interestingly, with all the luxury car brands now making SUVs, only one luxury brand made the SUVs list. The fact that Subaru and Kia beat out BMW, Mercedes, and other such luxury brands are really interesting. 

How does Consumer Reports choose the most comfortable SUVs

Consumer Reports rates at five different categories to assess a vehicle’s comfort rating. The first of the five is the ride. CR testers look to see how well a vehicle can absorb bumps and imperfections in the road. The second category is noise. This category deals with engine, road, and wind noise. How well a car or SUV is isolated can make a major difference in how pleasant a vehicle is to drive. 

The 2021 Kia Telluride parked in dirt
2021 Kia Telluride | Kia

I will lump together the third and fourth categories because they center around the same thing: seat comfort and driving position. Seat comfort should be pretty self-explanatory, but the driving position is a little more nuanced. Seat adjustability and how well the driver fits in the space. Lastly, the fifth category is access, meaning how easy it is to get in and out of. This tends to only really apply to SUVs and sports cars

All of these categories are taken into consideration when judging the most comfortable SUVs of 2021.

The 2021 Subaru Forester is one of the most comfortable SUVs

Subaru has really made gigantic strides in the SUV segment. The 2021 Subaru Forester is not only on this list of most comfortable SUVs but is also one of the safest and affordable, earning it an 89/100 on CR. Consumer Reports goes so far as to say that “The Forester lavishes you with comfort from the first time you open its large doors and effortlessly slide into its easy-to-access hip-height seats.” High praise indeed, but it doesn’t stop there. 

2021 Subaru Forester parked in front of a mountain home
2021 Subaru Forester | Subaru

The 2021 Subaru Forester is killing it in every single comfort category. The driving position is spacious and grants high visibility. The seats are plush, the dash is well laid out, and the materials are all decent quality. Also, the remote start allows for climate control to start working before you get in.

From top to bottom, the 2021 Forester is highly comfortable and highly recommended, much like the king of comfort, the 2021 Kia Telluride.

The 2021 Kia Telluride is the King of Consumer Reports

A side-rear view of a dark-colored 2020 Kia Telluride midsize SUV driving into the sunset
2020 Kia Telluride | Kia

First and foremost, the Kia Telluride is the highest-ranked vehicle on Consumer Reports in any category. It scored an insane 97/100. Consumer reports have almost no complaints about the Telluride, which goes doubly so for its ride and comfort.

Pick a category, and the Kia Telluride dominates it. Space: dominated. Seat comfort: dominated. Reliability: dominated. The list doesn’t end. The Kia Telluride is a force of nature that has dominated the SUV world to completion. 

The 2021 Lexus RX is predictably comfortable 

While the Subaru Forester and Kia Telluride might have been more on the surprising end, the 2021 Lexus RX is a bit less of a shock. Lexus is who you might have expected to see on a most comfortable SUVs list. 

An image of a 2021 Lexus RX parked outside. This model is on Consumer Reports most comfortable SUVs of 2021
2021 Lexus RX | Lexus

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The Lexus RX is built around comfort. Performance and value aren’t really any a factor with this one. Luxury is the name of the game, and the Lexus RX delivers.

It has a super smooth and soft suspension that eats up most road imperfections. The cabin is beautifully insulated to keep out all the noises of the outside world. Also, the seats are highly adjustable and offer plenty of support and padding. 

Comfort isn’t everything, but it is nice

Not every vehicle needs to be comfortable. Some are purpose-built for certain activities or driving styles that comfort just doesn’t support. According to Consumer Reports, if you are looking for a strong daily commuter or road trip vehicle, these three SUVs are the most comfortable SUVs of 2021.