2021 MotorTrend SUV of the Year: Here Are the Finalists!

As automakers stroll away from sedans as household transportation, it appears ever extra classes and niches are being created for the now-omnipresent SUV. Throughout these a number of sizes, shapes, and value factors, we examined the most recent fashions on the 2021 MotorTrend SUV of the Yr competitors—totally evaluating practically 30 autos in all, with the group starting from rugged path climbers and mall-crawling soft-roaders to the quickest zero-to-Montessori rides within the carpool lane. Beneath, you’ll discover our high six finalists for 2021 MotorTrend SUV of the Yr plus each different contender for the award. Make sure to test again Monday, October 19, after we reveal the 2021 SUV of the Yr!

2021 MotorTrend SUV of the Yr Finalists

• Cadillac Escalade | The Boss Is Back
• Genesis GV80 | Seriously Impressive
• Land Rover Defender | Great Anywhere
• Kia Seltos | Mini Telluride
• Nissan Rogue | Way, Way Better
• Toyota Venza | Lexus Lite

2021 MotorTrend SUV of the Yr Contenders

• Audi A6 Allroad | A Wagon at an SUV Party
• Audi SQ7 | 500-HP Family Fun
• BMW X6 | The Best One Yet
• Buick Encore GX | Not a Proper Buick
• Chevy Trailblazer | Can It Gain Traxion?
• Chevy Tahoe/Suburban | Big Redesigns
• GMC Yukon | Middle Child
• Hyundai Venue | Where It Excels and Fails
• Mazda CX-30 | Stuck in No Man’s Land
• Mercedes E450 All-Terrain | Really an SUV?
• Mercedes-Benz GLA | It’s Improved, But…
• Mercedes-Benz GLB | Just, Whatever
• Mercedes GLC-Class | Ex-Champ Updated
• Tesla Mannequin Y | An Everyday EV SUV
• Toyota Highlander | Splits the Vote
• VW Atlas Cross Sport | Polish Wanted


SUV of the Yr: Our Standards

To crown our 2021 SUV of the Yr, MotorTrend’s testing staff and editors put every SUV within the area by means of a rigorous 10-day analysis means of each instrumented and subjective testing . This isn’t a comparability take a look at; every automobile is judged by itself deserves in opposition to our six key standards:

Development in Design: We contemplate inside and exterior styling, in addition to the intelligent choice and use of supplies. We received’t hesitate to inform somebody their child is ugly.

Engineering Excellence: We study each the automobile idea and execution in its totality and the usage of applied sciences that profit the buyer. This will vary from new-tech powertrains to new suspension and transmission tech. Inside, we choose the automobile’s potential to suit individuals and cargo, plus the success or failure of infotainment programs.

Effectivity: How does the automobile’s gas economic system evaluate to the aggressive set? Total working prices, weight, and recyclability are additionally a part of the dialogue. And sure, we contemplate mpg-e and well-to-wheel equations for electrical autos.

Security: We study the security measures that defend occupants from hurt in a crash, and we take a look at a automobile’s potential to assist a driver keep away from a crash within the first place.

Worth: How effectively does every automobile ship excellence related to its price ticket? When relevant, our IntelliChoice subsidiary weighs in with predicted retained worth of the automobile after 5 years of possession.

Efficiency of Supposed Operate: Primarily, it’s how effectively the automobile does the job its designers, engineers, and product planners meant. If you happen to construct a luxurious automobile, it rattling effectively higher journey like one. An off-roading SUV should surmount each impediment. And a tire-scorching sports activities automobile can’t be sloppy round corners. If there’s ever a case the place a tie should be damaged, all of it comes again to this.

And in contrast to different automotive publications with prolonged “finest” lists, solely MotorTrend has the testing self-discipline—and let’s face it, the center—to award one automobile we deem the best of its class. So learn on to see who brings it and who leaves it.

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