Popular Large New SUVs to Avoid According to Consumer Reports

There are so many big new SUV options on the market. It can be pretty difficult choosing which one suits your family the best. Here are some popular large new SUVs to avoid according to Consumer Reports.


Avoid this large luxury SUV

While other Mercedes-Benz models like the 2021 GLB-Class have impressed us in testing, Consumer Reports recommends avoiding the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLS. This large luxury SUV has a starting price range of $76,000 – $160,500. If you’re throwing down this much on a new luxury model for your family, you definitely want to get a good one. This isn’t necessarily a terrible luxury SUV. However, there may be wiser options.

A dark-green 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 parked on a paved road with blue sky and mountains in the background
2021 Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 | Mercedes-Benz

However, according to Consumer Reports, the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLS is a large new SUV to avoid. It’s ranked No. 6 out of 6 large luxury SUV models. Its very low 1 out of 5 predicted reliability score means this juice is probably not worth the squeeze. Plus, Consumer Reports testing found the infotainment and tech controls to be way over the top. The commands aren’t streamlined in a user-friendly way. Plus, it’s easy to accidentally activate one of the many touch tech functions.

Here’s what to buy instead

Instead of the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLS, Consumer Reports recommends buying the 2021 BMW X7 instead. This large luxury SUV option has a similar price range of $$74,900 – $141,300. In fact, this family vehicle received much higher predicted reliability and consumer satisfaction ratings.

A side-view of the 2020 BMW X7 parked in the sand.

J.D. Power also ranked the 2021 BMW X7 higher than the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLS. Overall, the 2021 BMW X7 proves itself as the better alternative on several fronts. A lower starting price and better average fuel economy, for example. If you are shopping for luxury, it’s the better big new SUV option.

Avoid this popular large SUV

The next popular large new SUV to avoid is the 2020 Nissan Armada. While other publications like J.D. Power have awarded the 2020 Nissan Armada for its quality, Consumer Reports disagrees. This large SUV option made the list of large SUVs to avoid, but it’s a little confusing.

2020 Nissan Armada parked outside
2020 Nissan Armada | Nissan

Consumer Reports data is missing data for the 2020 Nissan Armada. We don’t see predicted reliability or consumer satisfaction ratings. From where we are standing, it feels a bit odd that Consumer Reports would make an argument against the 2020 Nissan Armada without complete evidence. The publication does report a price range of $34,450 – $46,200 for this three-row Nissan SUV.

That said, there are reasons it is on the list of popular large new SUVs to avoid. Though strong, the V8 engine is a downright gas guzzler. Plus, this three-row family vehicle offers only dated tech. If you are interested in the Nissan Armada, you might prefer to check out the redesigned 2021 model.

Here’s what to buy instead

You may decide that the Consumer Reports warning is enough to sway you from the 2020 Nissan Armada. If so, the 2021 Ford Expedition is recommended as an alternative. Consumer Reports ranked the 2021 Ford Expedition No. 1 of 7 big new SUV options.

2021 Ford Expedition driving in the dirt
2021 Ford Expedition | Ford

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The 2021 Ford Expedition has an extended “Max” option for a larger footprint with increased cargo. The price range for a 2021 Ford Expedition is $49,025 – $78,825. This is quite a bit higher than the Armada. However, Consumer Reports praises this three-row Ford SUV for its straightforward infotainment. Additionally, the Expedition’s turbo V6 powerplant is more efficient than the Nissan SUV––up to 23 miles mpg on average.