Trucks & SUVs

Consumer Reports Says You Should Avoid These Popular Midsized SUVs

The midsized SUV segment is one of the most crowded and competitive segments in all of the U.S. auto market. To make things even more confusing for consumers, there is an abundance of available SUVs. Thankfully Consumer Reports has gone through and tested all of them. As a result, a new report published shows exactly which popular models you should avoid.

The 2021 Ford Explorer is the first midsized SUV you should avoid

2020 Ford Explorer Limited in the wild
2020 Ford Explorer Limited | Ford

As far as midsized SUVs go, it doesn’t get much more popular than the 2021 Ford Explorer. Despite this, Consumer Reports recommends skipping the three-row SUV. For starters, Consumer Reports found that the 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine failed to return great fuel-efficiency figures. This is especially surprising since the Ford features a 10-speed automatic transmission. To make things worse, Consumer Reports found that some of its competitors managed greater savings with more powerful V6 engines.

As a daily driver, the 2021 Ford Explorer also failed to impress. This is because Consumer Reports noted that the midsized SUV rode quite stiff, and the transmission’s shifts were quite rough.

The final nail in the Explorer’s coffin, however, is the abysmal predicted reliability rating. According to Consumer Reports, the 2021 Ford Explorer struggles in major areas. These include the transmission, drive system, paint, power equipment, and in-car electronics categories. As a result, you may find that the Explorer yields a less than ideal ownership experience.

The 2021 Chevy Blazer also failed to impress

The all-new Blazer SUV from Chevrolet on display at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show
The 2019 Chevy Blazer | FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

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Next up in Consumer Reports’ list of midsized SUVs to avoid is the smaller two-row offering. According to Consumer Reports, the redesigned look and luxury appeal are the Blazer’s Achilles heel. This is because the SUV reportedly lacks in the utility department. For starters, safety features that come standard in most competitors are optional extras in the Chevy. These include forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking. Additionally, the blind-spot warning is an option that isn’t available in the base model, says Consumer Reports. The result is that if you want a safe Blazer, you’ll have to pay up.

To add insult to injury, this midsized SUV also has a concerning predicted reliability rating. According to Consumer Reports, the 2021 Blazer has problems in the transmission, climate system, paint, body integrity, and body hardware categories. The result is that despite its good looks, the Blazer will likely be both expensive to buy with safe options and costly to maintain. Like the Explorer, the V6 in the Blazer didn’t return very impressive fuel economy, although it was quite smooth during testing.

The one you should buy won’t surprise you

2020 Kia Telluride
2020 Kia Telluride | Kia

The midsized SUV Consumer Reports recommends won’t surprise you in the slightest. This is because the 2021 Kia Telluride continues winning awards left and right and impressing the majority of reviewers. According to Consumer Reports, the Telluride’s V6 and eight-speed automatic transmission are incredibly smooth around town. Additionally, the suspension provides excellent comfort, which only compliments how quiet the cabin is. Additionally, the Kia includes standard safety tech such as forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and blind-spot warning. Despite offering three-rows and tons of equipment, this midsized SUV is priced quite similarly to the others mentioned in this list.

So if a midsized SUV is on your wishlist, now you know which to avoid and which you should give a second look.