Top Reliable SUVs of 2021

The crossover and SUV segment is the most popular segment in the automotive market at present, and with so many cars sold as family carriers, it’s only natural that buyers want one of the most reliable SUVs available. When a market becomes saturated, it is all too easy for consumers to get lost among all the mediocre options. Therefore, knowing which brands you can trust is imperative, as is knowing which of the models in each automaker’s stable really lead in their respective classifications. Here is a breakdown of what makes the most reliable crossover SUVs so appealing, with examples of some of those on sale in the USA.

List of The Top Reliable SUVs

From subcompact crossover commuters all the way through to full-size luxurious cruisers, there is something for everyone. To help you find that perfect fit, here is our list of the top reliable SUVs:

BuzzScore
Design
Performance
MPG
Interior
Infotainment
Reliability
Safety
Value
#1
2021 Kia Sorento
9.3
BuzzScore
9
Design
8
Performance
8
MPG
10
Interior
10
Infotainment
9
Reliability
10
Safety
10
Value
#2
2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime
9.3
BuzzScore
9
Design
10
Performance
9
MPG
8
Interior
9
Infotainment
10
Reliability
10
Safety
9
Value
#3
2022 Hyundai Santa Fe
9.1
BuzzScore
9
Design
8
Performance
8
MPG
10
Interior
10
Infotainment
9
Reliability
10
Safety
9
Value
#4
2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
9.1
BuzzScore
9
Design
9
Performance
9
MPG
8
Interior
9
Infotainment
10
Reliability
10
Safety
9
Value
#5
2021 Cadillac Escalade
9.1
BuzzScore
9
Design
8
Performance
7
MPG
10
Interior
10
Infotainment
10
Reliability
10
Safety
9
Value
#6
2021 Mazda CX-30
9
BuzzScore
9
Design
9
Performance
9
MPG
9
Interior
8
Infotainment
9
Reliability
10
Safety
9
Value
#7
2021 Hyundai Palisade
9
BuzzScore
9
Design
7
Performance
7
MPG
10
Interior
10
Infotainment
9
Reliability
10
Safety
10
Value
#8
2022 Kia Telluride
9
BuzzScore
10
Design
7
Performance
7
MPG
10
Interior
10
Infotainment
9
Reliability
9
Safety
10
Value
#9
2022 Lexus NX
8.9
BuzzScore
8
Design
7
Performance
8
MPG
8
Interior
10
Infotainment
10
Reliability
10
Safety
10
Value
#10
2021 Ford Bronco
8.9
BuzzScore
10
Design
8
Performance
8
MPG
9
Interior
10
Infotainment
9
Reliability
8
Safety
9
Value
#11
2021 Toyota Venza
8.9
BuzzScore
9
Design
7
Performance
10
MPG
7
Interior
9
Infotainment
10
Reliability
10
Safety
9
Value
#12
2021 Hyundai Venue
8.8
BuzzScore
9
Design
8
Performance
9
MPG
8
Interior
9
Infotainment
9
Reliability
8
Safety
10
Value
#13
2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
8.8
BuzzScore
8
Design
7
Performance
10
MPG
8
Interior
9
Infotainment
10
Reliability
10
Safety
8
Value
#14
2022 Lincoln Aviator
8.8
BuzzScore
10
Design
9
Performance
8
MPG
9
Interior
8
Infotainment
9
Reliability
9
Safety
8
Value
#15
2022 Audi e-tron
8.8
BuzzScore
8
Design
9
Performance
7
MPG
9
Interior
10
Infotainment
8
Reliability
10
Safety
9
Value
#16
2022 Chevrolet Trailblazer
8.6
BuzzScore
8
Design
8
Performance
8
MPG
9
Interior
9
Infotainment
9
Reliability
9
Safety
9
Value
#17
2021 Subaru Forester
8.6
BuzzScore
7
Design
7
Performance
8
MPG
10
Interior
8
Infotainment
10
Reliability
10
Safety
9
Value
#18
2021 Toyota RAV4
8.6
BuzzScore
8
Design
7
Performance
8
MPG
8
Interior
9
Infotainment
10
Reliability
10
Safety
9
Value
#19
2022 Toyota Highlander
8.6
BuzzScore
8
Design
7
Performance
9
MPG
8
Interior
9
Infotainment
10
Reliability
10
Safety
8
Value
#20
2022 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid Coupe
8.6
BuzzScore
9
Design
9
Performance
8
MPG
9
Interior
9
Infotainment
9
Reliability
9
Safety
7
Value

What Does It Take to Earn a Spot On Our List of the Best and Most Reliable SUVs?

Here are the qualities we look for when placing an SUV or CUV on our list of the best reliable SUVs:

  • Practicality: Two prime factors go into determining value for money. The first is how well a vehicle gets the job done. And, in the case of an SUV, whether it be small or large, the job it needs to do is move people and stuff comfortably.
  • Price: The second value-for-money factor is the price. Competition is fierce in the USA, with automakers each vying for a greater share of the market. The best way to bring in more buyers is to offer more for less.
  • Dependability score: A reliable crossover or SUV will clearly need a higher-than-average dependability score to back up the claim. Authorities like J.D. Power are a good place to find these figures, but looking at recall history and complaints on the NHTSA website is a good idea, too. Advanced driver-assist technology also helps to raise the score.
  • Warranty: Reliability will only get you so far, and eventually, something is going to break. Therefore, it is good to see what kind of warranty is available. As a rule of thumb, the longer the warranty, the more faith a manufacturer has in its product, which should directly translate to how reliable the vehicle is.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Shopping For the Most Reliable Crossovers and SUVs

There is more to good, reliable SUVs than just how much practicality or comfort they provide. Sure, they need high safety ratings too, and great fuel economy doesn’t hurt, but what you really want is a vehicle that offers value for your money and won’t let you down. Though you should always test drive a car thoroughly before you buy it, here are some of the things to look out for that feature in our most reliable crossover SUVs rankings:

Pros

  • High value for money
  • Good dependability score means less stress
  • Low maintenance costs
  • A good suite of driver assists
  • Peace of mind

Cons

  • Limited performance options
  • Some focus more on luxury than reliability

FAQs

What SUV has the best reliability?

There are many brands and models that score highly with regards to reliability and dependability. However, according to J.D. Power, Lexus, Kia, Toyota, Buick, and even Cadillac have some of the highest-rated vehicles.

What SUV has the least problems?

Often it is the cheaper vehicles from older brands that score well. Brands that have been around for many years have had the time to work out the kinks and solve problems as they arise. Models such as the Subaru Forester, Chevy Equinox, and Toyota 4Runner are good examples.

What is the best, most reliable used SUV to buy?

Here, you have to consider availability, too. The RAV4 is one of the most popular cars in America, but it also has great reliability. Other models to consider include the Kia Soul, Mazda CX-5, and BMW X3 if you want something more premium.

What brand of SUV lasts the longest?

Experts and researchers alike have determined that some brands produce cars that can travel for hundreds of thousands of miles. The latest survey indicates that the Toyota Land Cruiser, Toyota Sequoia, Ford Expedition, Chevrolet Suburban, and Toyota Highlander top the lists of cars that have more than 200,000 miles on the clock - some even as high as 300,000.

How do I check if a car is reliable?

Other than brand reputation, checking reviews and consumer reports is one of the best ways to pick up on recurring issues and reliability concerns. Furthermore, an authority such as J.D. Power or Kelley Blue Book is worth consulting to see how vehicles rate in terms of value, quality, dependability, and cost to own.
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