Best SUVs of 2021
It’s certainly no secret that SUVs and crossovers have rapidly grown in popularity in recent years. Popular with those living active lifestyles and those with growing families, SUVs appeal to drivers searching for impressive versatility, go-anywhere performance capabilities, and proven passenger-carrying abilities. With so many options to choose from, making the right decision can seem like a daunting task at first. Fortunately, the team at Basil Family Dealerships is here to help simplify the process. We’ve created this in-depth guide which highlights the top choices in the SUV and crossover segment. Once you see our selections, you’ll have no trouble finding the right SUV or crossover that’s perfectly suited to your lifestyle and driving habits.
J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study Small SUV Segment Winner
2021 Buick Encore
Starting at $24,600 MSRP
Driving an SUV doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice on efficiency or a compact footprint. A perfect example of this concept is the Buick Encore, named the winner in the Small SUV segment in the 2020 J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study. With seating for up to 5 passengers and a maximum cargo capacity of up to 48.4 cubic feet with its 60/40 split folded rear seats lowered, the Encore has the versatility to help you make the most of your weekend.
The Buick Encore is powered by a potent yet economical 1.4L Turbo engine and can be equipped with the confidence of intelligent All-Wheel Drive with StabiliTrak. Helping you stay connected while on the road is a standard Buick Infotainment System featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Safety innovations available on the Encore include a Rear Vision Camera, Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and OnStar® Emergency Services. Drivers searching for the right compact SUV should look no further than the impressive Buick Encore.
2021 IIHS Top Safety Pick +
2021 Cadillac XT6
Starting at $47,995 MSRP
Searching for a luxurious midsize SUV that balances proven capability with eye-catching style? Look no further than the Cadillac XT6 – named a 2021 Top Safety Pick + from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Examples of groundbreaking safety technologies offered on the XT6 include Forward Collision Alert, Rear Traffic Alert, Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert, Night Vision Assist, and Lane Keep Assist. If keeping your loved ones protected from the unexpected is a priority of yours, the Cadillac XT6 sets the benchmark for safety within its segment.
Standard seating for up to 7 passengers along with an expansive 78.7 cubic feet of maximum cargo capacity means that you’ll have plenty of room to get out and chase your next adventure. From carbon fiber materials to exotic woods, the interior trim combinations of the XT6 are truly world class. The standard Cadillac User Experience system serves as your centralized location for all infotainment and multimedia features. A standard 3.6L V6, 9-speed automatic transmission, optional Smart Tow Trailer System, and an available Sport Control AWD system lets you take on whatever obstacle stands between you and your weekend plans.
J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study Small SUV Segment Winner
2021 Chevrolet Equinox
Starting at $23,800 MSRP
Packed with value, attitude, and capability – the Chevrolet Equinox has received a Compact SUV segment award in the 2020 J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study. No other compact SUV is able to match the infotainment technology, active safety features, and fun-to-drive performance found on every Equinox model. Standard safety features include Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Front Pedestrian Braking, IntelliBeam Headlights, and a Rear Vision Camera.
Drivers can select from either a 1.5L Turbo or a larger 2.0L Turbo engine along with optional Selectable All-Wheel Drive for confidence across any type of road surface conditions. When properly equipped, the Equinox has the ability to tow up to an impressive 3,500 pounds. An optional Chevrolet Infotainment 3 Premium System with Navigation and 8-inch diagonal HD color touchscreen places all of your favorite apps and media within reach. Whether you’re headed downtown or out of town, the Chevrolet Equinox is never out of its element.
2021 Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Award – Full Size SUV
2021 Ford Expedition
Starting at $49,995 MSRP
Commanding, capable, and connected – the Ford Expedition is an excellent option for those searching for a full-size SUV. If you need further proof, the experts at Kelley Blue Book certainly agree. They have awarded the Ford Expedition with a 2021 Best Buy Award in the Full-Size SUV segment, highlighting the tremendous value found on every trim level. Thanks to an independent rear suspension, all-aluminum body construction, and a powerful 3.5L EcoBoost® turbocharged engine – the Expedition has the ability to help you and the whole family get out and explore.
Inside the spacious interior of the Expedition, drivers will have access to cutting-edge tech features such as FordPass Connect™ with 4G LTE Wi-Fi, wireless charging, Ford+Alexa, and Waze. Three-row seating for up to 8 passengers makes it simple to transport the whole team across town for soccer practice. Buyers can choose from a total of four distinctive trim levels ranging from the value packed XLT and Limited to the luxurious King Ranch and Platinum.
Kelley Blue Book Best Resale Value Award – Full-Size SUV
2021 GMC Yukon
Starting at $51,000 MSRP
When considering your next SUV, it’s only natural that you’d prefer a vehicle with a stellar reputation for holding its value when looking at long-term ownership. When it comes to resale value, no other full-size SUV is able to match the GMC Yukon. The Yukon has received a 2021 Best Resale Value Award from the team of experts at Kelley Blue Book. Thanks to its body-on-frame construction, the Yukon offers a luxurious ride that’s both comforting and durable enough to conquer the toughest obstacles standing in your way.
GMC Yukon Denali models set the benchmark for all full-size luxury SUVs with heated and ventilated driver and front-passenger seats, heated steering wheel, Bose® Active Noise Cancellation, and a multicolor Head-Up Display. No matter if you choose the standard 5.3L V8 engine with 355 horsepower or the optional 6.2L V8 engine with 420 horsepower, the Yukon has enough muscle to bring even your biggest toys along for the journey. There’s even an optional 3.0L Duramax Turbo-Diesel Engine available for maximum towing capability.
Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
Best Hybrid SUV – U.S. News & World Report
2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
Starting at $23,800 MSRP
With more and more drivers making the switch to hybrid or electric vehicles, the hybrid SUV segment has rapidly expanded as well. If you’re searching for a versatile SUV that’s also engineered with exceptional efficiency, the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is certainly worth a look. The team at U.S. News & World Report has named the RAV4 Hybrid the Best Hybrid or Electric SUV in their annual Best Cars for the Money Awards. Unlike most hybrid models, the RAV4 Hybrid offers virtually the same cargo capacity as its non-hybrid counterpart with a total of 69.8 cubic feet.
The RAV4 Hybrid is powered by a standard 2.5-liter Toyota Hybrid System II engine which produces a combined system total of 219 horsepower. Not only is it the most efficient RAV4 model in the lineup with up to a 41 MPG city fuel economy rating, it’s also the fastest. Standard all-wheel drive lets you go where other hybrid SUVs fear to travel. Standard Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 (TSS 2.0) adds peace of mind and confidence from knowing that you and your passengers are protected from the unexpected. No other SUV helps you go the distance quite like the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.
Family Car of the Year – Cars.com
2021 Volkswagen Atlas
Starting at $31,545 MSRP
SUVs remain a smart choice for those with growing families for their spacious seating arrangements and go-anywhere performance capabilities. Thanks to its standard third-row seating, selection of driver-assistive features, and plenty of room for car seats – the Volkswagen Atlas has received some impressive recognition from critics. In fact, Cars.com has named the Atlas as Family Car of the Year for 2021. Drivers can choose from a total of seven trim levels along with two powertrain options, making it simple to find the Atlas that’s a perfect fit for your family.
For the ultimate in performance, choose the available 3.6L V6 FSI® engine to receive 276 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque paired with the confidence of optional 4MOTION® all-wheel drive with Driving Mode Selection. Innovative tech features offered on the Atlas include Apple CarPlay™, Android Auto™, and MirrorLink® within the VW Car-Net App-Connect system. All occupants can enjoy the optional Climatronic® 3-zone automatic climate control with air vents for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd rows to personalize temperature settings.