Things are changing pretty quickly in today’s automotive industry, so it’s no wonder that even the segment of mid-size SUV is about to bring a lot of novelties for the next year. Although robust and massive, these vehicles are constantly evolving, in order to retain and improve their position on the market. Therefore, we’ve picked our 10 best new mid-size SUVs for 2021.
Keep in mind that this isn’t an ultimate list of best SUVs. On this list, you will find only models that are coming with big novelties. This doesn’t mean just full redesigns, but also facelifts and some new versions of the existing models. There are also some interesting comebacks, while the list consists of both premium and mainstream brands and models.
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE –Class
The popular mid-size crossover has been redesigned last year. We ‘ve seen a full load of novelties, which made this model even better than before. We are talking about one of the class leaders, a vehicle that offers impressive amounts of luxury, along with refined mechanics and attractive aesthetics. All this doesn’t mean that the next year will bring no novelties.
The next-year model will be as interesting, as the second-production year is usually time for hi-performance models and a good thing to know is that the German manufacturer has prepared two of them. Of course, both come with the AMG badge, and both feature impressive performances.
The first one is called GLE 53 and it packs a familiar six-cylinder with an electric motor, for a max output of 429 horsepower. That’s more than enough for impressive driving dynamics, while performances have also been enhanced by a completely new suspension setup. In our opinion, this engine is a perfect measure for sporty-oriented drivers. However, those who want to go extreme will have a choice of GLE 63, which will feature a well-known twin-turbo V8, which will also come in a combination with a small electric motor, for a max output of 603 horsepower.
Of course, you may count on all kinds of visual updates, starting from unique wheels, new body kit, revised grille, and more. Naturally, you may count on a lot of exclusive interior details too. A great thing to know is that new performance versions will be available in both body styles, both as Coupe and SUV versions.
When it comes to the price, the GLE 53 will start at 70.000 dollars (73.000 for Coupe). The ultra-performance GLE 63 will go around 115.000 dollars.
2021 Volvo XC90
The next year will be hugely important for the Swedish carmaker. The flagship XC90 is about to receive a complete redesign. The current generation has been around for a long time and it is about time to see some novelties. Despite that, the current model is still competitive in many aspects, particularly in terms of interior quality and a variety of powertrain options.
Still, that doesn’t mean that the Swedish company won’t have anything to impress us. Moreover, we are about to see something really big, as the company promises a Level 4 autonomous driving system. Standard or not, this feature will be revolutionary, as Level 4 means that the vehicle can complete the whole trip without human intervention. That’s just a step away from the final goal, which would be Level 5, which means no steering wheel and pedals.
Of course, the new 2021 Volvo XC90 will offer much more than just a new autonomous driving system. We are about to see a completely new design, which should improve all, but mostly those critical aspects of the current model, which primarily refers to a little bit stiffer ride compared to the competition. Naturally, the changes will start with a new platform. We have no doubt that the new styling will be as interesting. New technologies and even more practical cabin are also expected, while the powertrain lineup will continue with further electrification. Eventually, we should see an all-electric version.
Details about the launch date are still unavailable, but rumors say the new model will hit the market sometime in 2021.
2021 Porsche Cayenne Coupe GT
Big novelties are coming from the famous German sports carmaker too. The current generation of the mid-size crossover has been around for a few years, but that doesn’t mean the manufacturer has ended with novelties. The last year has brought a new Coupe version, with a sloping roof and coupe body style. For the next year, the company prepares a completely new version, which will come as the 2021 Porsche Cayenne Coupe GT.
The new version has been spotted at Nurburgring but it’s hard to say more about it at the moment. Still, if we can rely on rumors, the new version will be slotted between Cayenne Turbo and Turbo S E-Hybrid models, which means we may expect a max output of more than 600 horsepower. Of course, all that power would come from a well-known 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8, while another interesting detail we’ve noticed is a new exhaust design, which includes large oval pipes.
The rest of the changes are still hidden under the camo, so it is hard to talk about details. We count on several subtle, but exclusive styling details. A couple of tweaks are possible on the inside as well, but it is still early to talk about details.
The rest of the lineup will carry on in the same way. That means you may count on a plethora of engine options. Base models are equipped with a familiar 3.0-liter turbo-six, which puts out around 335 horsepower. Of course, there is also a well-known 2.9-liter turbo-six with around 434 horsepower, while the most basic hybrid version combines base V6 with an electric motor and puts out around 455 horsepower. Finally, there are the two aforementioned models, the Cayenne Turbo with around 540 horsepower and the Turbo S E-Hybrid, which delivers a full 670 horsepower.
2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee 7-Seater
The arrival of the next-generation Grand Cherokee is one of the most important things that are about to happen in the business when it comes to mid-size SUVs. The new generation will come after a full decade and we are about to see loads of novelties. First of all, there is a new platform, which will be the same one that Alfa Romeo uses form models like Giulia and Stelvio. It is called Giorgio and it will be significantly stretched for this occasion, as the next Grand Cherokee will also come in a version with three rows of seats.
Naturally, the platform will be modified to accommodate all those large V8 engines FCA has in the portfolio. Still, the base version will probably come with a 2.0-liter turbo-four, while the 3.6-liter V6 with the eTorque system is also in the game. Still, we are pretty sure that most potential buyers will be interested in the HEMI lineup, which should start with a 5.7-liter V8 that puts around 395 horsepower. Of course, we count on the huge 6.4-liter unit, which currently delivers around 475 horsepower. The Hellcat seems like a certain thing too, considering that FCA currently puts this monstrous engine in pretty much everything. Finally, count on a 3.0-liter turbodiesel with around 260 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque.
Naturally, we are about to see a completely new styling, though we don’t expect to see anything radical, but rather an evolutionary approach. The famous vertical bars and other classical design solutions will remain, but everything will be in a little bit more modern manner. The same thing goes to the interior, which will look more modern and feature more tech goodies. Naturally, you may count on more space and cargo volume as well. Expect to see 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee 7-Seater in the second half of the year.
2021 Toyota Venza
The Venza is coming back. However, we are about to see a little bit different design approach compared to the original model, which was a typical crossover/wagon and competed with models like Subaru Outback and Honda Crosstour. The new model will be based on a model called Harrier, which is primarily offered for the Japanese market. It will feature the same size, which means you may count on a model that sits somewhere between compact RAV4 and mid-size Highlander.
Given the size and position in the lineup, the 2021 Toyota Venza will compete mostly with two-row mid-size crossovers, such as Honda Passport, Ford Edge, Hyundai Santa Fe, etc. In terms of the styling, you may count on Toyota’s latest design language, though rendering photos also show a couple of exclusive details. On the inside, you may count on a relatively spacious cabin, which will come with hi-quality materials and loads of tech features. Base models will come with an 8.0-inch touchscreen, while a large 12.3-inch unit should be available as well. Another interesting thing we expect to see is the company’s new electrochromic panoramic sunroof, called Star Gazer.
Under the hood, we know for sure that the new model will be packed with the same hybrid system you can find in RAV4. That’s a system based on a 2.5-liter gasoline engine, which delivers around 219 horsepower. It’s not a spectacular amount of power, but you won’t mind that once you see fuel economy estimations, which go over 40 miles per gallon in a combined ride. We expect to see some other powertrain options in the offer in the future, maybe even the new PHEV system that is about to debut in new RAV4, with more than 300 horses.
2021 Audi Q5
Although essentially a compact crossover, the Q5 competes with mid-size SUVs as well, mostly because of the impressive amount of luxury and pretty high price tag. The current generation has been around for a couple of years and the company already prepares a facelift, which should make it even more competitive. For this occasion, we are about to see a lot of interesting novelties, which include not just a new styling, but a whole new body style as well.
First of all, this will be a typical facelift. We are about to see a completely new front end, adapted to the company’s latest design language. In practice, this means sharper headlights, revised grille, and many other new details. Besides the new front end, this crossover will also come with a new body style in the offer. Of course, we are talking about the Sportback version, which will feature that coupe-like layout, with a sloping roof and sportier overall appearance. As you may presume, this version will compete with other coupe-like crossovers, such as BMW X4, Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe, etc.
So far, we haven’t heard anything about the changes under the hood. This means that the 2021 Audi Q5 will most likely continue with two familiar engine options in the offer. Of course, base models will carry on with a familiar 2.0-liter turbo-four, which puts out around 248 horsepower. You may also count on the recently-introduced PHEV model, which is based on the same turbo-four engine and puts out 349 horsepower. With this model, you may also count on 20 miles of the all-electric range.
The new Q5 should arrive sometime in the second half of the year.
2021 Dodge Durango
We know that you are eagerly waiting to see Durango riding on a BoF platform again, but you will have to wait for some more time to see it. The current generation will remain in production for a couple of more years and in order to keep it fresh, the company prepares another big update of the current generation, which will include novelties in various aspects.
First of all, we are about to see new styling. The testing model still wears a camouflage at the front, which clearly indicates we are about to see a new face. The rest of the exterior design is about to remain pretty much the same. The interior will come with changes as well. Although details are still a mystery, we count on an updated dashboard, which will be reshaped and also utilize new, finer materials. Novelties in terms of tech features are on the way as well, as we are about to see an updated infotainment system, with a new 10.1-inch touchscreen.
Although we are still waiting for the official confirmation, rumors suggest that the 2021 Durango could come with the Hellcat engine in the offer as well. FCA offers this engine in more and more models, so seeing such Durango wouldn’t be a surprise at all. When it comes to the rest of the lineup, things should remain the same, so you may count on a familiar Pentastar V6, as well as on a couple of HEMI V8 unit.
The 2021 Dodge Durango should hit the market in the third quarter of the year.
2021 Kia Sorento
The new generation of Sorento is on the way and we already know most of the details about it. The new model will come with significant improvements compared to the outgoing model. Obviously, the first thing we can see is a completely new styling, which takes a lot of inspiration from the new Telluride, but doesn’t necessarily come as its smaller copycat. The front end is pretty unique and it is characterized by a very sporty appearance, full of sharp lines. The same trend continues through the rest of the vehicle.
Big changes are coming on the inside as well. The new model will be more spacious, while the new dashboard utilizes finer materials and far more upscale look, which utilizes plenty of classic design solutions. Speaking of luxury and opulence, we should also mention the latest technology features, as higher trim levels are about to come with things like a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a 10.1-inch touchscreen, and more.
When it comes to the powertrain, we know that range-topping versions will come with a new 2.5-liter turbo-four, which features a max output of 277 horsepower. Also, we count on a hybrid version, which will combine a familiar 1.6-liter turbo-four with a 59-hp electric motor, for a total output of 227 horsepower. Still, base models are about to use a naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine, though the exact unit is still unknown.
Base models should go around 28.000 dollars.
2021 Nissan Pathfinder
Big novelties are coming from Nissan, as the well-known family hauler, Nissan Pathfinder, is about to come with significant changes for the next year. The current generation definitely isn’t a spring chicken. Moreover, it has been around for almost a decade, so the changes seem more than needed. The testing model has already been spotted on the road and judging on the camouflage, changes will be significant.
First of all, there is a new style. It’s still early to talk about details, but given the camouflage, changes will be pretty big. While the overall shape looks kinda familiar, we have no doubt that the 2021 Nissan Pathfinder will come with the significantly updated front end, based on the company’s latest design language. This means a lot of common things with the upcoming Rogue, but we also count on some details borrowed from the recently-updated Patrol.
Of course, big changes will come on the inside, where the 2021 Nissan Pathfinder is about to come with a completely new dashboard design, characterized by much more up-to-date aesthetics and much finer materials. Of course, we also count on loads of new tech goodies, including a new infotainment system, smartphone integration, digital instrument cluster, and more.
Under the hood, the current 3.5-liter V6 could easily carry on, but we also count on something more efficient in the offer. One of the engines that comes to mind is a new 2.0-liter turbo-four with variable compression, while a hybrid version seems possible too. Also, the current CVT should be replaced with a new 9-speed automatic gearbox.
We expect to see the 2021 Pathfinder on the market by the end of the year.
2021 Lincoln Nautilus
The Nautilus arrived two years ago but we can’t say it’s a completely new model, as it came more like an updated version of the last-generation MKX, introduced in 2016. For this occasion, we saw a completely new styling, based on the brand’s new design language, inspired by models like Navigator and Continental. On the other side, the mechanical aspect of the crossover remained pretty much the same.
These days, we are getting reports that suggest an update for the 2021 Lincoln Nautilus. The reports are unofficial but suggest that the company is going to introduce slight revisions to the front end. More precisely, we are about to see novelties in the lower section, in terms of a new bumper. The new design would include new lighting groups and smaller air intakes, while the rest of the vehicle would remain untouched.
Some sources suggest that these changes will be made for the Chinese market. We can’t say if it’s true or not, but it certainly makes sense. According to this scenario, the North American version would carry on in the same way, with familiar design characteristics and features.
This would mean that North American drivers may count on the same vehicle, which offers a comfortable ride, nice-looking cabin, and quite a decent ride quality. In terms of powertrain, this mid-size crossover comes in two variants. Base models are equipped with a 2.0-liter turbo-four that delivers around 250 horsepower. Higher trim levels come with a twin-turbo V6, which puts out around 335 horsepower and which offers notably better driving dynamics.
With changes or not, we expect to see 2021 Lincoln Nautilus sometime in the last quarter of the year, with the base price around 42.000 dollars.