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What’s New With SUVs for 2021?

trailbalzer 2021 crosstrek 2021 seltos 2021 cx30 2020 01 exterior  front jpg Affordable Small SUV Challenge | photo by Christian Lantry

With interest in sedans withering, automakers have rolled out even more new SUVs for the 2021 model year. They’re scrambling to fill every size, price and powertrain niche, as well as rehabbing existing SUVs so they don’t get left in the dust.

Related: What’s the Best Affordable Small SUV?

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And before some of these 2021 models are widely available due to disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic, automakers are telegraphing more all-new and redesigned SUVs for the 2022 model year. But if you’re in the market for a new SUV now, here are some all-new 2021 choices as well as redesigns on familiar names. Our selection below details only all-new SUVs or full redesigns on existing models. For models with smaller changes — freshened styling, tech updates or additional powertrains — see our ongoing vehicle coverage.

 New 2021 model-year SUVs, with links to more coverage, include:

Aston Martin DBX

aston martin dbx 2021 02 exterior  oem  orange jpg 2021 Aston Martin DBX | Manufacturer image

Not many of us can consider a new SUV priced well into the six-figure range, but those with the budget now can add the first SUV from Aston Martin. Shocking? Not really. Uber-luxury rivals like Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Lamborghini and Maserati have paved the way, and even a Ferrari SUV might be on the way. It’s a matter of their survival. The DBX is a luxurious SUV that even James Bond might love. It brings Aston Martin’s family styling into a still-sleek SUV body, adding a mix of both track and off-road capability. And it can tow your boat, too.

Buick Envision

buick envision 2021 OEM 01 jpg 2021 Buick Envision | Manufacturer image

The middleweight in Buick’s now all-SUV lineup moves into a second generation for 2021 on a new platform with more sculpted styling, an upgraded interior, standard safety tech and a new 10-inch touchscreen. The built-in-China SUV also has a lower price at both the low and high end of its trim levels, which top out with its first version of Buick’s Avenir luxury sub-brand. The 2021 Envision is heading to showrooms now, and you can read more in our preview of it.

Cadillac Escalade, Escalade ESV

cadillac escalade 2021 04 JPG 2021 Cadillac Escalade | photo by Steven Pham

Cadillac’s version of the new generation of large GM SUVs is a refined full-sizer that sets its own standard for American luxury. (GM’s U.S. passenger-car brands are Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC.) The 2021 model sheds its past reputation for garishness as well as for being just a slightly dressed-up version of its GM siblings. Still available in regular and extended-length (ESV) models, the Escalade now has a high-style interior that can compete with the artsy Lincoln Navigator, plus more usable cargo space and a boatload of advanced tech that can rival snootier European brands. You can read more in our review

Chevrolet Tahoe, Suburban

chevrolet suburban high country 2021 01 angle  black  exterior  frontangle  black  exterior  front jpg 2021 Chevrolet Suburban | photo by Christian Lantry

Like the Escalade, the redone full-size SUVs from GM’s bread-and-butter Chevrolet brand are bigger than before and get a massive, if more mainstream, upgrade over the aging outgoing models. The Tahoe and longer Suburban have a new look, a new chassis, updated powertrains (including the turbo-diesel 3.0-liter six-cylinder already offered in Chevy’s Silverado pickup) and modernized cabins. Longer wheelbases and a newly independent rear suspension add passenger and cargo space, and lower the load floor. You can read more in our Tahoe review or Suburban review.

Chevrolet Trailblazer

trailblazer trailblazer 2021 angle  black  exterior  front 31 jpg 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer | photo by Christian Lantry

You can forget anything you remember about the old, truck-based Chevrolet Trailblazer (or the current Trailblazer sold overseas, for that matter). The badge has been revived, but this time for a new, small SUV that fills a niche in Chevy’s SUV lineup between the tiny Trax and compact Equinox. It has distinctive looks, sophisticated multimedia technology and a choice of powertrains, though it finished last among a closely matched field in’s comparison of new affordable small SUVs. You can read more in our review.

Ford Mustang Mach-E

ford mustang mach e 2021 01 angle  exterior  front jpg 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E | photo by Christian Lantry

The landscape might be shifting to more electric vehicles, but SUVs remain just as popular. While most all-electric SUVs thus far have been from upscale brands with prices to match, deliveries are just beginning for the more mainstream 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E. It has a lot going for it, not least pricing mostly in the $40,000s and EPA range ratings from 211 to 305 miles. The Mach-E doesn’t really drive like a Mustang, but it sort of looks the part, and it has the features and driving dynamics to be a serious contender if you want an electric SUV. You can read more in our First Drive review.

Ford Bronco Sport

ford bronco sport 2021 05 angle  exterior  front  gray jpg 2021 Ford Bronco Sport | photo by Aaron Bragman

The all-new Bronco Sport mashes up a rugged Bronco look with standard four-wheel drive and solid off-road capability in a smaller, more civilized package than its new Bronco big brother. While some see this as “Bronco Lite” versus the bigger Bronco’s rocks-and-mud skills, the milder Bronco Sport’s interior styling along with its multimedia and safety tech might make it a friendlier choice for most buyers. You can read more in our review.

Ford Bronco

ford bronco 2021 oem 16 angle exterior off road yellow jpg 2021 Ford Bronco | Manufacturer image

The much-awaited revival of the Ford Bronco for 2021 is expected finally to arrive this summer after pandemic-related delays. It comes in two- and four-door versions and aims to challenge the Jeep Wrangler for rock-crawling, removable-door macho — even though the chunky-looking Bronco (with just a dash of the old Bronco’s look) is bigger and bulkier with a wider track than its Jeep rival. In some ways it’s a whole different personality. Cushier seats and an angular, bigscreen dashboard also lend a different feel. 

GMC Yukon, Yukon XL

gmc yukon 2021 01 angle  exterior  front  red jpg 2021 GMC Yukon | photo by Christian Lantry

The 2021 Yukon and longer-wheelbase Yukon XL are the middle children in GM’s redesigned full-size SUV family — aiming to be a luxury step up from the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban and a cut below Cadillac’s Escalade models, while sharing a lot of bits under the skin with all. In practice, the Yukons’ upper and lower reaches have plenty of overlap — particularly at the top, where the SUV’s premium Denali trim has gotten a luxury upgrade that challenges the Cadillac flagship with less flash and a lower price. As such, it can also rival Lincoln’s Navigator and the big dogs from Lexus and Infiniti. The 2021 Yukon twins are bigger, roomier and nicer, with better cargo capacity than their predecessors. You can read more in our review.

Genesis GV80

genesis gv80 2021 03 angle  dynamic  exterior  front  maroon jpg 2021 Genesis GV80 | photo by Steven Pham

Finally! Hyundai’s five-year effort to establish Genesis as a stand-alone luxury brand has soldiered on with only sedans, and the market’s hard turn to SUVs left its trio of well-executed offerings behind. Enter the 2021 GV80, the first Genesis SUV — and a mid-size luxury model based on the rear- and all-wheel-drive platform of Genesis’ G80 sedan. The GV80 has distinctive styling, a luxurious interior, gee-whiz technology and driving dynamics, and aggressive pricing. That should worry rivals from traditional luxury brands. You can read more in our review.

Jeep Grand Cherokee L

jeep cherokee l 2021 02 angle  exterior  front  oem  red jpg 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L | Manufacturer image

Jeep’s current mid-size, two-row Grand Cherokee, a gracefully aging model that dates back to 2011, continues on for 2021. But starting this spring, Jeep will pair it with the brand’s vision of the future in the all-new 2021 Grand Cherokee L. The L hails from a new platform with some 15 inches’ extra length to accommodate three rows of seats. But a shorter, two-row version of this new L also is expected to replace the current two-row Grand Cherokee by next year. The new Grand Cherokee L is not to be confused with an even grander Jeep three-row SUV on the way: the Grand Wagoneer. But it previews the interior and technology upgrades — and perhaps less distinctive styling — en route all these new Jeeps.  You can read more in our preview.

Kia Seltos

kia seltos 2021 12 angle  exterior  front  gold  outdoors jpg 2021 Kia Seltos | photo by Fred Meier

The all-new 2021 Seltos, an affordable small SUV from Kia, is bigger with more passenger and cargo space than many subcompact SUVs. Its upscale styling evokes Kia’s big, popular Telluride flagship SUV. The cabin falls more on par with subcompact models but includes some classier details, such as an available 10.25-inch touchscreen (as in the Telluride). And more power is optional, courtesy of an available turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder. The Seltos’ overall package, including value-laden pricing and a generous warranty, added up for a first-place finish in our comparison test of new small SUVs. You can read more in our full review.

Kia Sorento

kia sorento 2021 02 exterior  green jpg 2021 Kia Sorento | photo by Jennifer Geiger

The redesigned 2021 Sorento mid-size SUV is bigger than its predecessor, and it adds a bit more room to its small third row. But it still sits below Kia’s Telluride in terms of size and interior space. The Sorento hails from a new platform, and it adds a hybrid version in addition to its two available gasoline powertrains, with a plug-in hybrid model in the wings for later in 2021. The new interior seats six or seven (with a rear bench seat) with upgraded tech that includes an available 10.25-inch touchscreen featured in the Telluride, plus more standard safety features. You can read more in our review.

Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class

mercedes benz gla 250 2021 01 angle  exterior  front  white jpg 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA250 | photo by Aaron Bragman

Mercedes-Benz redesigned its starter SUV, the subcompact GLA250, on a new platform for 2021. The new GLA gains a little size and gets a new profile that’s more SUV and less of the first-generation GLA-Class’ high-riding hatchback. While not exactly a value versus many mainstream subcompact SUVs with similar features, the GLA has a premium-level interior and, of course, the brand status of the big Mercedes star in its new grille. The new GLA250 shares mechanical and tech bits with Mercedes’ entry-level A-Class and CLA-Class sedans, as well as the GLB-Class SUV. And if you want to turn up the heat, you can opt for two AMG performance versions: the 302-hp GLA35 or the 382-hp GLA45. You can read more in our review.

Nissan Rogue

nissan rogue 2021 01 angle  blue  exterior  front jpg 2021 Nissan Rogue | photo by Christian Lantry

The redesign of Nissan’s popular Rogue remains a roomy, family-friendly compact SUV.  It moves to a new platform and gets a bit more power and modestly improved handling, though at the expense of a firmer ride than its cushy predecessor. Styling is more aggressive but not so much that it will put off fans. The Rogue continues to offer a full plate of safety and driver-assist tech, while improvements to its multimedia bring the new Rogue up to speed with more recently updated rivals in the hot market for compact SUVs. You can read more in our review.

Toyota Venza

toyota venza 2021 01 angle  exterior  front  silver jpg 2021 Toyota Venza | photo by Melissa Klauda

Toyota resurrected the Venza, a nameplate not seen in the U.S. since the 2015 model year, as an all-new mid-size SUV based on the popular Camry sedan. (That’s essentially what it was back then, too, albeit based on an earlier generation of the Camry.) Although markets abroad will offer other drivetrains, the stateside Venza comes exclusively as a hybrid, pairing a 2.5-liter four-cylinder with hybrid motors at both axles to power its standard all-wheel drive. The combination is good for 219 hp and an EPA-estimated 39 mpg combined. You can read more in our review.


2021 volkswagen id 4 oem 02 angle  blue  exterior  front jpg 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 | Manufacturer image

Like the Mustang Mach-E, the 2021 ID.4 is a small, all-electric SUV that expands the market for vehicles of its type into more mainstream brands and prices. The five-seat compact SUV is a fairly traditional one in terms of styling, if not in its name and roomy, minimalist interior. The initial versions — the Pro S and 1st Edition — are expected at dealers in March. For now, the ID.4 is available with RWD only with a 201-hp electric motor and EPA-rated range of 250 miles. Expected for next winter is an AWD version with a second motor up front, for 302 combined horsepower and a range still to be rated. See more in our video.

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Photo of Fred Meier
Former D.C. Bureau Chief Fred Meier, who lives every day with Washington gridlock, has an un-American love of small wagons and hatchbacks. Email Fred Meier

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