Here’s the new batch of 2021 + 2022 SUVs you should hold out for

15+ models here to start you off

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Editor’s Note: due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many automakers have pushed back their 2021 model official release dates. This includes 2021 availability opposed to 2020; and some 2021 models are now 2022 model year. We’ve reflected those changes here.

There’s no doubt that the 2020 model year will be a rough one for the automotive industry, but once this entire mess clears up, we’re bound to see a nice selection of brand new utility vehicles hit the market. We break down the most exciting SUVs that are worth waiting for in 2021.

Shopping for a 2020 model instead? Check out these SUV contenders, and these small 2020 models.


2021 Kia Seltos

Expected release date: on sale now

It seems consumers are so in love with SUVs that current vehicle categories are no longer enough. Carmakers now create new, niche sub-segments to implement new models. It’s the case with the 2021 Kia Seltos, a new genre of sub-compact crossover that slots between a Kia Soul and a Kia Sportage. While sharing a platform and engines with its corporate cousin, the Hyundai Kona, the Seltos is longer and higher, allowing for more leg and head room for its passengers. 

It also comes with all-wheel-drive the largest cargo capacity in its class and a full range of cool connectivity technology. The Seltos promises to give you a lot for your money.

Considering a Seltos? Check out our first drive review here first.

Key features & latest price:

Sync up to two phones at once

Largest cargo hold in its class

“Find you Seltos” mobile app


2021 Genesis GV80

Expected release date: Summer 2020 (unchanged)

If the Kia Seltos is an indication that the Korean brands have understood smart packaging, the Genesis GV80 is proof that they can now build genuinely luxurious vehicles. The GV80 marks the first premium SUV from a Korean carmaker and the first utility vehicle under the Genesis nameplate. Riding on a heavily revised Kia Telluride / Hyundai Palisade architecture, the 2021 Genesis GV80 is powered by a choice of two all-new force-fed engines. 

Entry level models will host a 2.5-liter four-cylinder, while top-shelf trim levels will be powered by a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6; and engine which has so far never been used in a Hyundai, Kia or Genesis product.

The GV80 is highly luxurious inside, presenting a plush, stylish and upscale cabin at a much more attainable price point than competing luxury brands.  There’s even a rumour of a hybrid variant currently in the works.  Expect the 2021 Genesis GV80 to arrive mid to late 2020.

Key features & latest price:

All-new twin-turbocharged V6

First ever 3D gauge cluster

Smart cruise control with machine learning – adapts to driving habits.


2021 Cadillac Escalade

Expected release date: Fall 2020

The 2021 model year won’t only bring us all-new models, but heavily revised versions of old nameplates like the Cadillac Escalade, which should hit showrooms at the fall of 2020. It’s long been the Hollywood Boulevard king due to its imposing presence and “baller” demeanor.

The Escalade sees a full model refresh for 2021. While its design and interior are entirely new, featuring the first-ever OLED interface which stretches 36-inches across the dashboard, the Escalade is rather conservative underneath. 

It’s still body on frame, which means it can tow up to 7,716 pounds, and its default engine is still a tried and proven 6.2-liter V8. Except now, the Escalade comes with a diesel option; a 3.0-liter turbocharged straight-six that cranks out 277 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are mated to an all-new ten-speed automatic gearbox, and all Escalades, whether you opt for the short (5,382 mm) or long wheelbase (5,766 mm) models can be had with a Magnetic Ride suspension. 

Key features & latest price:

First ever OLED 36-inch dashboard

Max towing rating of 7.716 pounds

Can seat up to eight passengers


2022 Chevrolet Equinox

Expected release date: updated to Summer 2021 (from 2020 release)

With the compact crossover segment now filled with excellent offerings, Chevrolet updates its popular model to better compete. The 2021 Chevrolet Equinox is more of a heavily updated vehicle versus an entirely overhauled one. But that’s fine, because Chevy’s people hauler is already a fine SUV.

Changes for the 2021 year are mostly applied to its appearance, where an all-new front fascia with distinctive headlights, a new grille design and updated front and rear bumpers allow it to look more modern and slightly upscale. A new RS model will be added to the model as well, including sporty styling cues like darkened 19-inch wheels and blacked-out exterior trim. The Equinox RX will also get minor interior tweaks like a unique shift knob, red stitching and black upholstery. 

While the two available gasoline engines remain untouched, the diesel option is gone. The Equinox’s cabin also carries over relatively unchanged but will get updated materials as well as a revised infotainment interface. It is expected to hit US and Canadian showrooms this summer.

If you’re shopping the last generation Equinox, here’s our review of the 2018 2.0L Turbo.

Also read, First Drive Review: Exploring Nashville in the All-New 2018 Chevrolet Equinox 2.0L Turbo

Key features & latest price:

Activate on demand all-wheel-drive system

Onboard Wi-Fi with 4G connection

Night vision rear view camera


2022 Chevrolet Suburban

Expected release date: 2021 sometime (updated from fall 2020; now a 2022 model

If there’s a new Escalade on the block, there’s bound to be a new Suburban. Given the mechanical similarities between these two vehicles, it would be easy to simply copy and paste what changes for both. 

Yes, the Suburban is a more affordable and slightly less luxurious version of the Escalade. It also rides on a revamped pick-up truck platform and comes with a choice of a 6.2-liter V8 gasoline engine or a turbodiesel straight six. Except, unlike the Caddy, the Suburban doesn’t get the full OLED instrument cluster and offers one extra engine to choose from.

Less powerful than the 6.2-liter, this 5.3-liter naturally aspirated V8 isn’t new, but it’s been tried and proven more than once. Power is rated at 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque. All engines are mated to a ten-speed automatic transmission, and while max towing ratings still haven’t bee published, expect this new “Burban” to tow well over 8,000 pounds when it arrives this summer.

If you like old-school Suburbans (who doesn’t), check out this great story about a globe-trotting 1984 beast.

Key features & latest pricing:

All-new turbodiesel engine

Can tow up to 8,000 pounds

Two available wheelbase options


2021 Chevrolet Tahoe

Expected release date: Fall 2020

It would be impossible to mention the Chevy Suburban without talking about its little brother, the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe, which also sees an entire overhaul and is scheduled to hit the market at the same time as its larger sibling. Engine choices are the same, and so is the ten-speed transmission, but the overall wheelbase is shortened for people who still need the benefits of body on frame, but in a smaller, tighter package.

While technically identical to a Suburban, the Tahoe does nevertheless pack its own share of surprises. The Z71 variant goes a step further by incorporating a lifted suspension, off-road dedicated tires and skid plates, classic ingredients for anyone looking to take on rough terrain in their SUV. The Tahoe Z71 also boasts a unique front fascia, a higher approach angle to aid off-road capability and comes standard with a two-speed transfer case and Hill Descent Control, along with 20-inch wheels, all-terrain tires, and red tow hooks. 

Key features & latest pricing:

Off-road ready Z71 package

Active cylinder deactivation allowing to run on only two cylinders

All-new ten-speed automatic transmission


2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer

Expected release date: Spring-Summer 2020

Just like the Kia Seltos, the Chevrolet Trailblazer is a new type of subcompact crossover that fills an entirely new niche. Squeezed between the very tiny Chevrolet Trax and the compact Chevrolet Equinox, the Trailblazer aims at taking on new rivals like the Kia Seltos and the Mazda CX-30. Two all-new and efficient turbocharged engines will be offered, ranging from 1.2 to 1.3 liters in displacement, with power rated between 155 and 174 lb-ft. Base models will only comes with front-wheel-drive, allowing them to compete against urban crossovers like the Nissan Kicks, Toyota C-HR and Hyundai Venue, while higher trim levels will feature standard all-wheel-drive. 

While the Trailblazer has a familiar, rugged name, the new vehicle, which was originally scheduled to hit the market in the spring, focuses on urban commuting, a light carbon footprint and optimal fuel efficiency.

We reviewed the Trailblazer’s interior, here’s what we thought.

Key features & latest pricing:

All-new fuel-efficient turbocharged three-cylinder engines

HD Rear Vision camera 

Three drive modes: Normal, Snow and Sport


2021 GMC Yukon

Expected release date: Fall 2020

When General Motors releases a new range of full-size SUVs, it does it with a bang. Not only will we see an all-new Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Suburban and Cadillac Escalade in 2021, we’ll also be treated to an entirely redesigned GMC Yukon.

Unsurprisingly, this new Yukon will also share the same T1 platform and available V8 engines as its corporate cousins, as well as the all-new turbodiesel straight six.  And just like the other GM big-boy SUVs, it’ll come in both standard and XL wheelbase variations, as well as a fully independent rear suspension, which should increase overall room for rear passengers and cargo. The traditional high-luxury Denali model remains, while an all-new rugged AT4 package allows the Yukon to set itself apart while inheriting some off-road goodies of its own. 

Key features & latest pricing:

All-new AT4 off-road dedicated package

First-ever turbodiesel straight six

Two wheelbase options


2021 Kia Sorento

Expected release date: Early 2021

Kia has been on a roll lately with the introduction of the overachieving full-size Telluride and the charming little Seltos. It aims at maintaining this momentum by introducing an all-new version of its stalwart Sorento next year, the brand’s original midsize SUV.

Except this time, the Sorento will compete against a new crop of two-seater contenders, vehicles like the all-new Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport, Honda Passport and Chevrolet Blazer. 

The Sorento gets a modern and upscale look, housing Kia’s now recognizable signature front grille and a rear taillight treatment that’s both bold and innovative. Power will come from the same turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine as the Genesis GV80 good for 277 horsepower. The 2021 Sorento will also boast a hybrid powertrain – a first in this segment – comprised of turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder and a tiny electric motor for a combined total output of 227 horsepower.  No official release date has yet been published for the new Sorento.

Key features & latest pricing:

All-new turbocharged four-cylinder engine

First ever hybrid powerplant for the nameplate

Class-competitive towing rating


2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA

Expected release date: Fall-Winter 2020

If subcompact luxury crossovers are so popular now, it’s largely thanks to Mercedes-Benz, who released one of the first examples of the thing with the very first GLA back in 2015. 

Now facing more competition, Mercedes updates the GLA. Smaller than any other utility vehicle sold under the diamond star, the new GLA, scheduled to arrive in early 2021, will carry on where the game-changing A-Class subcompact sedan/hatchback left off. It’ll get the latest MBUX infotainment system with full the full LCD dashboard treatment and will be powered by an entirely revised turbocharged 2.0-liter four cylinder.

The vehicle itself is said to be 10 cm higher than its predecessor, allowing for improved overall headroom. Two models will be offered: the GLA 250 will pump out 221 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, while the more powerful GLA 35 will churn out a healthy 302 ponies and 296 lb-ft of torque.

Key features & latest pricing:

All-new MBUX infotainment interface

Completely revised platform – more rigid, solid and larger overall

Available 302-horspower AMG version


2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 63

Expected release date: Fall 2020

SUVs come in all shapes and sizes, how about one that produces 603 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque? Insane? Yes, but also very impressive. 

Two decades ago, the fastest production automobile in the world, the McLaren F1, could sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just under 3.5 seconds, a number nobody could fathom at the time. Today, the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63, a 5,380-lb all-wheel-drive sport utility vehicle, accelerates just as fast.  Yes, you read that right.

All that power is possible thanks to a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8, 4MATIC all-wheel-drive and a nine-speed automatic transmission with launch control. The GLE 63 isn’t just fast, it’s immensely comfortable, luxurious and spacious enough to carry the kids, the dog and all the gear that comes with them.  

Key features & latest pricing:

Over 600 horsepower

Supercar-rivaling acceleration

Full adjustable suspension with ride height control


2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600

Expected release date: Late Summer – Fall 2020

There was a time when rich executives rode around in expensive plush limousines. Now, the ultimate coach isn’t a car, it’s an SUV.

The Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 is the rolling definition of wealth and opulence. Based on the largest three-row SUV sold by the brand – the GLS -, the Maybach version only has two rows of seats with either a three-seat rear or the option of a pair of separate reclinable chairs. Furthermore, the rear seats are positioned 4.7 inches farther back than in the normal GLS, with legroom up to 43.2 inches, or 52.8 inches with the front passenger seat motored forward in chauffeur position. 

The rear seats can also be reclined by up to 43.5 degrees and feature lower leg supports. Other visible technology includes multiple touchscreens and a 64 color LED lighting. Do you get it now? This thing is expensive, large, brash in immensely spacious inside.

Key features & latest pricing:

Near endless customization options

The most luxurious SUV on the road

Available on-board refrigerator


2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E

Expected release date: Fall 2020

If you were to go back in time and ask Mustang enthusiasts to dream up the Mustang of the future, none of them would have pictured an SUV. Yet, that’s exactly what will happen to Ford’s legendary pony car in 2021.

Scheduled to hit dealerships this Fall, the Mach-E won’t replace Ford’s coveted sports car, but will instead add another flavour to the lineup. Yes, it’s a utility vehicle, one that also gets rid of its traditional gasoline engine in favour of a fully electrified powerplant. Two batteries will power it, ranging from 75.7 kWh to 98.8 kWh, which will allow consumers to choose between rear or all-wheel-drive, as well as two different range possibilities; from 375 to up to 475 km. 

But the Mach-E isn’t just some other electric crossover. Ford claims the super quick GT Performance Edition will sprint from a standstill to 100 km/h in only 3.5 seconds and will feature torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive.

Key features & latest pricing:

Available rear and all-wheel-drive propulsion

Two different battery packs and range to choose from

Over-the-air vehicle updates


2021 Ford Bronco

Expected release date: Spring 2021

Well, the wait if finally over – Ford officially reveals the new Bronco SUV available in 2-door, 4-door, and the smaller Sport trims.

Few new vehicle debuts are as eagerly anticipated as that of Ford’s new Bronco, which is making its comeback after 25 years away. The 2-door and 4-door Broncos will go into production in early 2021 with the first models arriving in Ford dealerships next spring.

When Ford put together its plan for the Bronco’s comeback, it identified the need for a smaller model below the main 2- and 4-door off-roader – something that was more of an everyday vehicle for a customer base evenly split between male and female buyers. Welcome the Bronco Sport – the smaller, more rugged Escape SUV-based offering build for adventurers.

Key features & latest pricing:

Three different trims to cover all bases

Bronco Sport gets 4×4 as standard

Segment-exclusive 7-speed manual transmission


2021 Volvo XC40 Recharge

Expected release date: Fall 2020

It’s not just Ford that’s converting to full electric SUVs. Volvo will introduce a new electrified member to its lineup called the XC40 Recharge towards the end of 2020. 

Promising the same Scandinavian styling and practical square body as its gasoline counterpart, the all-wheel-drive XC40 Recharge will be powered by two electric motors and a 78 kWh battery good for up to 400 km of range according to the European cycle, which should translate to roughly 360 km once it arrives here. Furthermore, this cute urban crossover will feature a 4.6-second 0-100 km/h acceleration time, making it quicker than anything else in its class.

To entice consumers to turn towards electricity as their main source of propulsion, Volvo will reimburse electricity costs for the first year, which will all be manageable through a free mobile app.  

Key features & latest pricing:

Dual-motor all-wheel-drive

Free charging for the first year of ownership

First-ever Android Automotive infotainment system


2021 Tesla Model Y

Expected release date: On sale now

While most carmakers are still scrambling to release a fully electric model, Tesla is already deploying its fourth vehicle.

It’s called the Model Y, and it’s a compact luxury crossover that’s hitting the market as we write this. It’s here to take on vehicles like the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Jaguar i-Pace and Audi e-Tron Quattro, except it promises more range than all those vehicles.

Heavily based on the Tesla Model 3 sedan, the Model Y’s most powerful variant will offer up to 500 km of range and allow this cute-looking family shuttle to bolt from a standstill to 100 km/h in about three seconds flat, numbers that would put some supercars to shame. Expect the Model Y to offer a slew of modern technology, like full self-driving features and over the air updates that improve the car’s available equipment, performance and range. 

Key features & latest pricing:

Available dual-motor all-wheel-drive

Highest range in its price range

Supercar-rivaling acceleration


2022 Nissan Ariya

Expected release date: Mid to late 2021

Nissan has revealed details of the Ariya, a compact all-electric crossover SUV that will go on sale sometime in 2021 as the brand’s second-ever battery electric vehicle in North America.

The Ariya is part of Nissan’s plan to launch 10 new models in a 20-month period and to work toward 1 million annual global sales of electrified vehicles between its all-electric and e-Power hybrids (the latter of which are not yet available in North America).

Ariya sales will begin in Japan in mid-2021, with its North American debut to follow later in the year. Expect a $40,000 starting MSRP; Canadian pricing to be announced closer to release date.

Key features & latest pricing:

Impressive range from a single charge

Nissan Safety Shield 360 suite standard

$40,000 starting MSRP


2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime

Expected release date: Summer 2020

What if you took one of the best-selling and most reliable compact crossovers and gave it a plug-in hybrid drivetrain? Would you end up with an instant sales hit? We believe so.

Scheduled to hit showrooms later this year, the RAV4 Prime was first received with open arms when Toyota pulled the drape off at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show. According to Toyota, even if the darn thing is still months from being in showrooms, and it’s already all sold out.

Why so popular? The classic RAV4 formula of practicality, user-friendliness and low maintenance costs associated with the possibility of being able to drive on fuel at all is very appealing. While all electric range isn’t exactly Tesla-rivaling at 38 miles, it’s more than enough for the daily grind, further reducing the RAV4’s operating costs, all while also considerably dropping its carbon emissions. 

Oh, did we mention this thing pumps out 302 combined horsepower?

Key features & latest pricing:

Up to 38 miles of pure electric range

Still comes with all-wheel-drive

Sub five second 0-60 mph acceleration times. 


2021 Subaru Crosstrek

Expected release date: Summer 2020

The 2021 Crosstrek isn’t a complete redesign, still in its second-generation since 2018. However, the new model gets a significant mid-cycle refresh so worthy of making this list.

The 2.5L 182-hp engine first debuting in the larger 2019 Forester is now standard with the 2021 Crosstrek Sport and Limited trims; the Base and Premium trims keep the 2.0L 152-hp powerplant.

The Sport trim is completely new as well for 2021, receiving a dual-function X-MODE (the only Crosstrek trim to offer this), distinct exterior and interior accents, exclusive StarTex upholstery, different wheel arch moldings, and Sport-type 17-inch alloy wheels with dark gray finish.

On the safety front, all CVT-equipped Crosstreks with EyeSight Driver Assist Technology now also get Advanced Adaptive Cruise Control with Lane Centering.

Across the board, Subaru ramped up the styling to an already good-looking, adventure-ready little hauler, adding a redesigned front bumper with new-design fog light insert covers (Base trim) or fog light covers (all other trims), plus new-design front grille, with details specific to each trim.

Key features & latest pricing:

New 2.5L 182-hp engine

New Crosstrek Sport trim

Advanced Adaptive Cruise Control with Lane Centering standard with CVT-equipped EyeSight models

William Claveyhttps://claveyscorner.com/
Automotive journalist from Montreal, William is passionate about anything on four wheels. See his work in various outlets including Jalopnik, DriveTribe, TTAC, TractionLife, and others.

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