Trucks & SUVs

‘Under the Radar’ Large 2021 SUV Models Consumer Reports Recommends

When it comes to buying a new SUV for your family, the choices are pretty overwhelming. From foreign mainstream brands like Toyota to Buicks’s domestic luxury models, it seems every automaker has something to market to your family in the way of an SUV. Here are some ‘under the radar’ large 2021 SUV models Consumer Reports recommends.

Consumer Reports does massive surveys and reviews dozens of vehicles each year. There’s a lot of information in the Consumer Reports vault in terms of which large 2021 SUV models are best avoided and which are shining stars in their class. However, Consumer Reports also gives us some options that are considered ‘under the radar.’ They may not be the tip-top of their respective class, but they are still compelling nonetheless.

Buying a new SUV for your family

There’s a list of reasons buying a new SUV for your family may seem like the right path. New cars have better safety equipment and technology. Plus, when you buy a new car they typically come covered by a factory warranty. Large SUVs in particular are great because they can haul a lot more people and stuff than the average unit.

2021 Toyota Sequoia parked with arid foothills in the background
2021 Toyota Sequoia | Joe Santos via MotorBiscuit

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Plus, a large SUV model can also haul a heavier trailer than the crossovers that have taken over American roads. When buying a new SUV for your family, however, it’s important to consider your family’s priorities. Budget, reliability, and your intended purpose for the vehicle are all elements to consider. They will all come into play in the decision-making process.

In order to help you keep your options open, we’ve taken a couple of large 2021 SUV models Consumer Reports recommends as ‘under the radar’ alternatives to other popular options. Here is a large luxury SUV. And a mainstream model as well. At the very least, large SUV shoppers can benefit from knowing a volume of info about as many different models as possible. Both the 2021 Toyota Sequoia and the 2021 Buick Enclave are ‘under the radar’ large SUV alternatives.

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The 2021 Buick Enclave

This is an often-overlooked large luxury SUV model. But the 2021 Buick Enclave actually sits in the No. 2 spot on Consumer Reports’ list of the best large luxury SUV model. It comes recommended by Consumer Reports and has a price range of $40,000 – $56,000.

Consumer Reports hails the 2021 Buick Enclave for it’s quiet, comfortable, and luxurious cabin. Plus, the interior is noted for its ample space. The infotainment system is simple and easy to master. Most drivers won’t find themselves disappointed by the “smooth and lively powertrain” either.

a man loading a rooftop storage capsule on top of a 2021 Buick Enclave
2021 Buick Enclave | Buick

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Still, this large luxury SUV isn’t perfect. The 2021 Buick Enclave gets docked for its awkward gear selector. In addition, some alternatives will provide better fuel economy, although efficiency is often something people shopping for a large SUV are willing to sacrifice.

The other downside to the 2021 Buick Enclave is that its advanced safety tech isn’t standard. In order to get these features baked in you’ll need to spring for an upper-trim model. Regardless of these faults, however, the Enclave is still one to check out.

The 2021 Toyota Sequoia

This is another large SUV Consumer Reports calls an ‘under the radar’ alternative. Consumer Reports recommends the 2021 Toyota Sequoia and placed it No. 2 among others in its class. The 2021 Toyota Sequoia has a price range from $50,200 – $69,475.

2021 Toyota Sequoia Nightshade Edition
2021 Toyota Sequoia Nightshade Edition front shot sitting in the dark

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If you are thinking about buying a new SUV for your family, the 2021 Toyota Sequoia is a great option for those that need vast, cavernous interior space. The V8 powertrain is an absolute gas guzzler, but provides plenty of strength for towing and hauling. There are storage cubbies at every turn, a rear window that conveniently rolls down, and a nice list of standard safety features.

Consumer Reports does note a few downsides for the 2021 Toyota Sequoia. It’s not the most nimble SUV. In fact, I recently had one for review and I’ll say this beast is not easy or fun to park in even relatively tight spaces. It’s heavy and won’t stop on a dime.

It’s also not very easy to climb into. The 2021 Toyota Sequoia is a beast that is ready to work, but we will reiterate that you’ll stop at the fuel pump frequently (I experienced this first hand in my week of testing with this large 2021 SUV model). Overall, however, the 2021 Toyota Sequoia is the perfect SUV for many families and it’s definitely worth a second look.