The segment of full-size SUVs isn’t the most popular segment of the automotive industry. These models aren’t big money makers either. However, many manufacturers have such vehicles in the offer. Simply, a full-size SUV is a matter of prestige. Therefore, we’ve decided to make our list of best 2021 full-size SUV models.
A long time ago, large SUVs were practically nothing more than family haulers, characterized primarily by a spacious cabin. These days, things are completely different and every manufacturer tends to offer a vehicle that isn’t just spacious, but also comes with the attractive styling, luxurious dashboard design and great driving experience. Moreover, efficiency also plays an important role, so we may expect hybrid powertrains in the near future.
Meanwhile, we will focus on traditional gasoline and diesel units. The market is full of attractive models, both in the mainstream and premium segment. Therefore, we will include both of them in our list.
2021 Full-Size SUV: Best Full-Size SUVs On the U.S. Market
We will start our list with one of the biggest novelties for the next year. The whole GM full-size SUV lineup has been redesigned for 2021, so you will certainly see many of them on the list. Still, the throne belongs to the premium iteration of GM’s new T1 platform, which debuted with the new Chevy Silverado 1500. Obviously, we are talking about a genuine BoF SUV, which is a real rarity these days.
The new model has brought loads of significant improvements. The first you’ll notice is a completely new styling, based on the Escala concept. Of course, there is a massive shield-like grille, along with more conventional headlights than before. All this makes 2021 Cadillac Escalade far better looking than before.
Things are even more impressive on the inside, where you may count on one of the nicest cabins in the class. Materials are great, while the real highlight of the dashboard is a fantastic bunch of screens, which includes three integrated units that show and control pretty much everything on the vehicle.
The cabin is also more spacious than before. The third row is finally spacious enough for the segment, while the long-wheelbase version is also impressive. Thanks to the standard independent rear suspension, you won’t get just a better driving experience, but also more cargo space.
Another reason why this model deserves a place on our list of Best 2021 Full-Size SUV is the fact that there are both gasoline and diesel powertrain options in the offer. The gasoline unit is a familiar 6.2-liter V8 engine, which puts out 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. On the other side, the diesel is a new thing in the Escalade, and it’s the same unit you can find under the hood of Silverado. Of course, we are talking about a 3.0-liter turbodiesel, which puts out around 277 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque.
When it comes to the price, base models will go around 77.000 dollars.
For those who don’t care too much about the badge, Ford Expedition seems like a more reasonable choice than Lincoln Navigator or new Escalade. The current generation arrived two years ago and set some new standards in the segment. Therefore, we don’t expect to see any particular change for the next year.
The 2021 Expedition will continue in the same way. That means you may count on a familiar 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6, which puts out a pretty impressive 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. In higher trim levels, the max output goes up to 400 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque. In both cases, driving dynamics are pretty good.
The Expedition was the first mainstream full-size SUV to feature an independent rear suspension. Even these days, this feature is something you can’t get in many premium models. On the other side, the aspect of the vehicle that doesn’t seem so premium is the interior. Here, you will find a relatively truckish dashboard design, though it can look pretty nice in range-topping versions.
If a fancy dashboard isn’t on your priority list, there is really no reason to pass this SUV. The driving experience is very good, while the amount of standard and available equipment is pretty amazing too. Finally, the cabin is really spacious. You can accommodate eight adult passengers with ease, while the total cargo volume goes up to pretty impressive 120 cubic feet in the long-wheelbase version.
The base model goes around 53.000 dollars.
The current generation of Lincoln’s player in the segment also arrived two years ago and just like the Expedition, it has brought a real revolution in the segment. Even these days, it is hard to find any other luxury SUV that offers so many premium features. The cabin looks amazing and it is as spacious as the Expedition’s one. On the other side, the interior quality is incomparable. You may count on an impressive amount of quality materials, which is combined with lots of style. Finally, the list of standard and optional equipment is really impressive.
Another reason why this SUV earns a place in the best 2021 Full-Size SUV list is the powertrain. In this aspect, the Navigator beats most of its rivals with ease because it’s not just powerful, but also offers an impressive level of efficiency. The max output is rated at pretty impressive 450 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque. At the same time, you may count on pretty respectable 17 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. That’s the balance you won’t get from any other model in the segment.
The base Navigator starts around 77.000 dollars.
We already mentioned that the whole GM full-size SUV lineup went through a complete overhaul. Therefore, Chevy’s players are coming completely new for the next year as well. Compared to the previous generation, improvements are numerous. The new models look way better and more importantly, the feature more space on the inside. This particularly refers to Tahoe, which has been characterized by a surprisingly tight segment for the class so far.
The new model features nearly five inches more than the previous generation, which brings significant improvements not just in terms of legroom, but in terms of cargo volume as well. The new Tahoe offers nearly 123 cubic feet of cargo space, which is almost 30 cubic feet more compared to the previous generation and even more compared to the long-wheelbase version of the Ford Expedition. The Suburban is even more impressive and now offers tremendous 144.7 cubic feet of total cargo space.
Under the hood, the new Tahoe/Suburban also gets a diesel version. Besides the new V6 turbodiesel, there are also two familiar V8 units in the offer, with 355 and 420 horsepower.
When it comes to the price, the new Tahoe will go around 50.500 dollars, while the Suburban will cost additional 4.000 dollars.
Of course, Tahoe/Suburban’s mechanical twin is also coming completely redesigned. In most of the things, including powertrain lineup, this model is pretty much the same as Chevy’s models. However, there are some pretty interesting things we should mention. First of all, there is a unique styling, which takes a lot of inspiration from Sierra. Once again, the range-topping Denali trim comes with loads of exclusive styling details.
Differences between Denali and the rest of the lineup are even more notable on the inside. For the first time, the flagship version comes with completely different dashboard design. Not only that materials are finer and that there is more standard equipment, but there is also a completely different shape, which looks more upscale and also includes an integrated infotainment screen, instead of a tablet-like unit that can be found in the rest of the lineup.
Just like Tahoe and Suburban, the new Yukon will also be available with a diesel engine. Base models will go around 52.000 dollars.
Infiniti’s flagship model may be old, but it still has a lot of things to offer. Therefore, we have no doubt it deserves the place on the list of 2021 Full-Size SUV. Simply, it is still competitive in many aspects and the best thing is that all of them come at a really affordable price.
The first thing that comes to mind is the driving experience. Despite being a decade old, this SUV comes with a powerful V8 engine with 400 horsepower, which comes in a combination with a pretty agile chassis. The whole layout ensures probably the best driving experience in the class, which combines great driving dynamics and impressive handling.
At the same time, the cabin is spacious and offers plenty of room for adults in all three rows. The cargo area is also quite decent. The overall interior quality is good, though not at the same level as the ones you can see in much younger rivals. This particularly refers to the dashboard, which looks a little bit outdated and lacks some of the modern-day tech features.
These are some pros and cons of this luxury SUV and when it combines them with the price tag, there is no doubt that the QX80 is one of the best deals you can make on the market. The base price goes around 67.000 dollars, which is nearly $10.000 lower compared to most direct rivals.
Toyota Land Cruiser and Lexus LX
The next year will probably be the last model year for these two luxury SUVs from Toyota. The redesign is on the way but that doesn’t mean that the current generation isn’t competitive. Despite it’s been around for a full 13 years. Obviously, there are some aspects in which this model looks outdated, starting from a very thirsty engine, but there are also loads of fantastic things you can get from these two.
The first thing that comes to mind is exceptional off-road capability. No other model in the class can match these two when it comes to dealing with rough terrains. At the same time, you may count on class-leading reliability and plenty of luxury. Such a combination is pretty unique in the market.
Of course, there are some notable differences between the two models. On one side, the Land Cruiser is slightly better off the road, mostly thanks to better approach and departure angles. On the other side, the LX features higher interior quality, even though we have to say that the Land Cruiser is really impressive in this aspect too.
Both models are equipped with a well-known 5.7-liter V8, which is powerful and capable. Also, it is the most reliable engine in the class. The price you have to pay for such reliability if fuel economy, which is probably the worst in class. You may count on nothing more than 13 mpg in the city and 17 mpg on the highway.
The base price is pretty high for the class, but keep in mind that both models come with pretty much full-load of standard equipment, with features that are usually optional in other full-size SUVs. The Toyota-badged model stars around 85.000 dollars, while the LX is slightly more expensive and goes around 87.000 dollars.
If you don’t care too much about luxury but still won’t Toyota’s reliability and off-road performances. On the other side, the interior design is the obvious drawback is the cabin design. The dashboard looks really outdated, while most areas feature hard plastics and other low-rent materials. On the other side, you may count on the same V8 engine, which may be thirsty but offers impressive reliability and plenty of power.
Compared to more luxurious siblings, the Sequoia is in an obvious advantage. It features a longer wheelbase and bigger overall dimensions. This means more space on the inside, so all three rows are spacious and adult-friendly. Moreover, you may count on more than 120 cubic feet of cargo room, which is something you won’t get from many other models in the class.
The base Sequoia goes around 50.000 dollars but can be much more expensive. An off-road, TRD Pro model is also available.
The current-generaiton Armada shares pretty much complete design with the legendary Patrol and means only good things. Excellent driving characteristics are combined with a spacious and pretty luxurious cabin, so there is really nothing to complain about. A great thing to know is that the updated version is coming for the next year.
The next-year update will all the changes that recently came with the refreshed Patrol. This means you may count on a new front end, which brings new headlights, grille, bumper and other details that represent the brand’s latest design language. Changes are expected on the inside as well. Although we still don’t know the details, we presume the company will install a new 9-inch touchscreen that recently debuted in the new Titan. Other than that, bigger changes on the inside are not expected.
Updates will come under the hood as well, so there are many reasons to put this model on our list of best 2021 full-size SUV models. First of all, we are about to see a new 9-speed automatic transmission, which will replace the current 7-speed unit. We count on a smoother ride and some improvements in terms of fuel economy. Also, the engine will get a slight power boost and features more than 400 horsepower and more than 410 pound-feet of torque.
Currently, the base model goes around 47.500 dollars and we don’t expect a significant increase for the next year, despite the novelties.