Best SUVs For 2021

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - February 11, 2021

2021 is shaping up to be a great year for high-riding SUVs. Beyond offering capable four-wheel-drive systems, spacious cabins, powerful powertrains, and durable designs, automakers have started to improve on things like features and ride quality. Even traditional truck-based SUVs have caught up with their crossover counterparts in these key areas.

Automakers continue to work on their SUVs, adding new powertrains, introducing all-new models, and giving older model refreshes. Here are three of the best SUVs available for 2021 when it comes to off-roading, towing, and interior space.

Best SUV For Towing: Ford Expedition
2021 Ford Expedition

Why it's a top pick: Ford’s largest SUV, the Expedition, is powered by a turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine that makes 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. It’s an interesting engine, as the majority of the Expedition’s competition still use V8 engines.

Despite the six-cylinder engine, the Expedition has the largest towing capacity of 9,300 pounds in the class. In addition to being able to out tow every other large SUV on the market, the Expedition can get up to 19 mpg combined, which is great for the class.

Worth knowing: While the Expedition has three rows of spacious seats, the 2021 model year saw a new two-row XL STX trim that becomes the entry-level model. It’s a unique option for the class that makes the Expedition more affordable than before and gives consumers more options if they don’t need three rows of seats.

Honorable mentions: GMC Yukon, Chevrolet Tahoe

Best SUV For Interior Space: Chevrolet Suburban
2021 Chevrolet Suburban

Why it's a top pick: The extra-large Chevrolet Suburban was introduced as an all-new model for 2021. While the Suburban's new design stands, the SUV adopts an independent rear suspension design that drastically increases interior space.

Compared to last year’s model, the Suburban has 21 more cubic feet of cargo space. Thanks to its elongated body, the Suburban has 41.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row, 93.8 cubic feet behind the second row, and a total of 144.7 cubic feet. Besides the GMC Yukon XL, that’s more cargo space than any other SUV in the class.

Worth knowing: For the 2021 model year, Chevrolet has introduced a new 3.0-liter turbodiesel inline-six engine. The available diesel engine produces 277 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. Impressively, the diesel engine is rated at up to 23 mpg combined, an excellent figure for the segment.

Honorable mentions: GMC Yukon XL, Ford Expedition Max

Best SUV For Off-Road Prowess: Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

Why it's a top pick: Sure, Ford recently released the Bronco, but that vehicle isn’t available on showroom floors right now. Instead, if you’re looking for a capable off-roader that can tackle anything in its path that’s on sale now, the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is your best option.

Choose the available Rubicon trim, and you’re getting go-anywhere capability thanks to 33-inch all-terrain tires, an electronic locking differential, an electronic front sway bar disconnect, an off-road mode, heavy-duty front and rear axles, off-road rock rails, and a heavy-duty part-time four-wheel-drive system. The only thing that’s more capable than the Wrangler Unlimited is the two-door Wrangler.

Worth knowing: Jeep has added a plug-in hybrid Wrangler 4xe model for 2021. The plug-in hybrid powertrain consists of a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, one electric motor, and a 17-kWh battery pack. Power is rated at 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque, the most of any engine in the lineup, and the SUV can travel up to 25 miles on a single charge.

Honorable mentions: Ford Bronco, Toyota 4Runner

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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