Consumer Report’s List of Best Stress-Free SUVs

There are a lot of reasons to buy an SUV — in fact, SUV popularity has skyrocketed in the few years according to The New York Times. Luxury and performance brands, including Lamborghini and Aston Martin, have even joined the SUV market, but that doesn’t discourage us from all of the more affordable options. Driving an SUV now means you can mix luxury and performance together with all of the space and practicality that you don’t necessarily get from sedans and coupes, but they don’t come without problems of their own. Luckily for us, there are plenty of great SUV options that won’t leave us with headaches or high mechanic bills.

Hyundai takes the lead

Consumer Reports recently compiled a list of some of the most stress-free SUV options on the market for 2021 models. Hyundai owners can smile a bit bigger today, knowing half of the list was compiled of Hyundai SUVs, and we can’t really blame them. Among the relatively short list is the Kona and Palisade, both of which come recommended by the website.

For the Hyundai Kona, buyers can expect to pay as little as about $20,500 for a brand new model, which is quite a steal for any new SUV. The option isn’t stocked with all of the high-tech touches that vehicles like Teslas come packed with, but that also means that controls are straight-forward and easy to navigate.

A red 2021 Hyundai Kona parked on the edge of a rocky cliff
2021 Hyundai Kona | Hyundai

The Hyundai Palisade makes the list twice, once for being spacious and comfortably designed to optimize the experience for rear-seat passengers, and again for the quiet interior and suspension that easily absorbs potholes and imperfections in the road.

The Subaru options are good too

Subaru was another brand that made the list more than a few times. The Subaru SUVs might be some of the most overlooked options on the market, but there are more than a handful of reasons why they are the best option for many drivers. According to Consumer Reports, they offer several stress-free SUV options that are not only affordable but also have quite a lot to offer.

The Subaru Forester and Outback both make the list for offering excellent visibility. This was made possible by window space, seating position, and minimal pillar blockage so drivers can feel confident that they know as much going on around them as possible.

A blue 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Limited parked in the grass for a photoshoot with 3 other Subarus in the far-off distance
The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek limited on display | Subaru

More great SUV options

Of course, there is more to the list than just Hyundai and Subaru SUVs, like the Kia Telluride — one of America’s best-selling SUVs that’s actually made in America. It’s a perfect balance on new technology that offers everything you could want from a new car without being too complicated to actually enjoy. If you value a quiet cabin and a smooth ride, the Mazda CX-5 didn’t escape the list, either, and it offers quite a calm and relaxing ride for such a modest price.

2021 Mazda CX-5 in the snow the day after a snowfall
2021 Mazda CX-5 in the snow the day after a snowfall

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Overall, these are already some of the crowd-favorite SUVs on the market. They all offer a great bang for your buck, and it doesn’t hurt that they stand out from the crow by tackling some of the easily-overlooked issues SUV drivers can face.