The Best and Worst Mid-Size Luxury SUVs of 2021 main image
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The Best and Worst Mid-Size Luxury SUVs of 2021

21. 2021 Lexus GX

21. 2021 Lexus GX

Despite the Lexus luxury badging, the GX is actually a decent off-roader, but the bland boxy exterior and dated interior design are screaming for an upgrade—especially at this price point. On city streets, it's an awkward driver with an overly stiff suspension and fairly horrendous fuel economy.

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20. 2021 Maserati Levante

20. 2021 Maserati Levante

The 2021 Maserati Levante feels like a sports car. It’s got twin-turbo V8 engines that give it 590 horsepower and 0-60 mph speed in 3.7 seconds. The inside is about as luxurious as a car can get. Leather seats are standard, but this SUV can also come with silk upholstery. The Levante starts at $78,290, and it’s worth every penny.

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19. 2021 Land Rover Discovery

19. 2021 Land Rover Discovery

The Land Rover Discovery is a $53,900 SUV packed with so many features that Land Rover struggles to list them all. That’s why they’ve put out the Land Rover iGuide—an app that uses your phone's camera to explain this car’s features. When you get in the car, you’ll find a Heads-Up Display, a 12.3-inch high-def interactive driver display, and a 10-inch HD touchscreen. It’s hard to compare to this SUV.

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18. 2021 Land Rover Range Rover Sport

18. 2021 Land Rover Range Rover Sport

The Range Rover Sport is one of the best SUVs that Land Rover offers. It's a $69,500 high-performance vehicle filled with top-of-the-line features. The Range Rover Sport’s warm leather interior has an updated steering wheel that puts regularly used features at your fingertips in all-new ways. It also has an 11-speaker sound system, 10-inch infotainment screens with InControl Apps, and voice control. It’s an SUV designed to bring you into the tech age.

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17. 2021 Buick Enclave

17. 2021 Buick Enclave

After a redesign in 2018, the Buick Enclave comes into its own. With a starting MSRP of only $40,300, the Enclave is the cheapest offering on this list of luxury mid-size SUVs. It may not have the fastest speeds or the most powerful engine, but this mid-size Buick SUV still handles trips around town capably. Standard offerings include a 3.6L V6 engine with stop/start tech, keyless open, push-button start, and Quiet Tuning-branded soundproofing.

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16. 2021 Lincoln Nautilus

16. 2021 Lincoln Nautilus

The Lincoln Nautilus (formerly known as the MKX) starts at $42,500, making it one of the cheapest SUVs on our list. It comes with 4G LTE for your passengers and your Spotify music. A stunning grille, LED headlights, and chrome detailing draw attention everywhere you go. Then, you have features like Adaptive Cruise Control which slows the car as you approach traffic. But that feature, of course, is only available on more expensive trims. A dated center console design and mushy driving keep this luxury mid-size SUV from ranking higher on our list.

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15. 2021 Land Rover Range Rover Velar

15. 2021 Land Rover Range Rover Velar

The Range Rover Velar has a powerful 550-horsepower V8 engine available. How many other vehicles on the market still have a V8 option? Not many! The interior is very handsome, with elegant and upscale materials throughout. However, the dual-screen infotainment might have seemed like a good idea but just ends up as distracting. It's not a bad Land Rover by any means; there are just more affordable ones available that do the same job.

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14. 2021 Cadillac XT6

14. 2021 Cadillac XT6

The 2021 Cadillac XT6 has a starting price of $48,045, but things quickly become much more expensive if you want to match the features that competitors offer. That's the major ding against this mid-size Cadillac SUV. Otherwise, we were impressed with the interior design layout and materials of the XT6. Most of the impressive safety features are only available as add-ons, but a rear vision camera and rear park assist are standard on the base model.

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13. 2021 Lexus RX

13. 2021 Lexus RX

At $45,220 the Lexus RX is cheaper than most of the other luxury SUVs on this list, making it much more attainable for the general populous. It even has a hybrid engine offering for increased fuel economy. Both the drivers and the passengers have lumbar support on their leatherette seats. It even has an available color heads-up display and a 12.3-inch multimedia display. This is a great luxury SUV option for everybody.

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12. 2021 Lincoln Aviator

12. 2021 Lincoln Aviator

The 2021 Lincoln Aviator was brand new last year. The nameplate took a break from 2005 to 2020 while Lincoln utilized the MK naming scheme. This new Aviator slots right above the outgoing MKT/incoming Nautilus. The cabin is well-appointed and comfortable—particularly the plush seats. There is a good range of engine options from Lincoln, also, including a plug-in hybrid model that can travel 21 miles on the electric engine alone. It's not the sportiest competitor, however, which is why some other vehicles ranked higher on our list.

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11. 2021 Tesla Model X

11. 2021 Tesla Model X

The Tesla Model X may cost $94,990, but it’s one of the safest SUVs you can find. It has impact protection on the front and the side. The Model X also has an extremely low risk for rolling over. Even though it’s a fully electric car, it’s got 518 horsepower. The Model X can go 0-60 mph in only 2.9 seconds, making it the world’s quickest SUV. The Tesla Model X is packed with more features than you’d expect and even some you don't. Those falcon wing doors can be finicky.

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10. 2021 Land Rover Defender

10. 2021 Land Rover Defender

The last Land Rover Defender was seen in 2016 and was a storied off-roader with history back to 1983. Think of old-school Willys Jeeps, and you get the general aesthetic. This brand-new Land Rover Defender has an updated exterior design and a completely modern interior worthy of the Land Rover name. If you're headed off-road, this truly is the vehicle to beat, but that comes at a cost above $50K. And the major ding for the Defender is that it should have higher predicted reliability ratings to be over $50K.

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9. 2021 BMW X6

9. 2021 BMW X6

The 2021 BMW X6 has a striking design with its coupe-like raked roofline. But if you want a sports car, just get a sports car. Don't opt for an SUV trying to act like one. While it may be stylish, it isn't so practical. The rear seats are tight, headroom is nonexistent, and trunk space is predictably small. If you want a mid-size BMW SUV (or SAV, as they like to call them), just stick with the X5.

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8. 2021 Audi Q8

8. 2021 Audi Q8

The Audi Q8 scores near the top of our list thanks to a well-designed interior that is common in many Audi's, though the double-decker screen layout takes some getting used to. Steering is steady-as-she-goes, and there's plenty of space for the whole family. Though when it comes to power (like when passing cars on long road trips), drivers may be left wanting a little more oomph.

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7. 2021 Volvo XC90

7. 2021 Volvo XC90

The 2021 Volvo XC90 will redefine how you drive. It has City Safety imminent collision braking and 360-degree cameras to keep you safe as you navigate tighter turns. Park Assist Pilot will parallel park your car for you. On the highway, you’ll notice that Pilot Assist helps keep your SUV at a safe distance from other cars. One of the most notable features of the Volvo XC90 is its plug-in hybrid electric engine option that allows you to commute to work with zero emissions. At $49,000, this is one of the best mid-size luxury SUVs of the year.

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6. 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class

6. 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class

The latest Mercedes-Benz GLE starts at $54,750. That's actually pretty affordable considering all the tech that comes standard. The instrument cluster and infotainment input are all on a single broad console touchpad that runs across the entire dash. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are, of course, standard. Dynamic driving modes give drivers the option to choose between styles including ECO and Sport. It added a 2-person third-row last year.

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5. 2021 Audi Q7

5. 2021 Audi Q7

You can get the luxurious 2021 Audi Q7 starting at $54,950. This is a beautiful SUV designed with you in mind. It has 5-star safety, all-wheel drive, and Audi Pre Sense City, which will help prevent crashes at speeds of up to 52 mph. If you’re looking for a safe SUV, this is the choice for you. Its mix of safety, well-equipped features, and pleasant driving experience make it our top choice when it comes to mid-size luxury SUVs.

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4. 2021 BMW X5

4. 2021 BMW X5

BMW makes great vehicles, so it’s no surprise to see it on this $59,400 SUV on this list. It has a max cargo capacity of 72.3 cubic feet with the seats folded down and 33.9 cubic feet with the seats up, making this an extremely spacey mid-size SUV. But don't get us wrong; this is still a vehicle for a preferred max of five people (even though there is an optional third row). BMW also made sure the X5 has great traction control, adaptive cruise control, and a sleek, tech-filled interior. The refreshed design makes this one of BMW's best SUVs that it's ever made, and it rises to the top of our 'Best Of' list.

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3. 2021 Porsche Cayenne

3. 2021 Porsche Cayenne

The Porsche Cayenne brings cutting-edge technology to SUVs. It has roll stability to keep you safe and improved air suspension for more comfortable driving. Rear-wheel steering helps you navigate tight turns in the city and handle high speeds on the interstate. Its adaptive cruise control is a step ahead of other cars’ offerings. The LED matrix beam headlights steer with the front wheels. Starting at $69,000, it’s one of the best luxury SUVs of the year. Porsche even offers a Cayenne E-Hybrid, a plug-in electric version of this impressive SUV.

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2. 2021 Audi e-Tron

2. 2021 Audi e-Tron

In terms of dimensions, the Audi e-Tron sits between the Q5 and the Q7. It's 222 miles of estimated range won't have you fretting when puttering around town, though some competitors have more miles in them. It's a little pricey, but the premium cabin and high-quality materials (along with the quiet and comfortable drive) make it seem worth the price. There is now a sportback model with a more stylish, severely raked rear roofline.

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1. 2021 Genesis GV80

1. 2021 Genesis GV80

The first Genesis SUV truly hit it out of the park! This brand-new model has an incredibly plush interior complete with comfy seats, high-end, finishing materials, and all the tech you could want. Being part of the Hyundai family, the long list of standard features (and, frankly, the add-ons) come at a competitive price that other automakers just can't match (starting MSRP $48,900). The engine options are peppy, and the GV80 has responsive driving dynamics. With top-of-the-scale safety ratings, the Genesis GV80 really is the whole package!

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