Comfort, style, practicality, and power: Our list of the best luxury SUVs of 2021 offers the ultimate luxury experience on wheels.
Consumers are expecting a lot from today’s top-rated SUVs. We’re glad to report that the best ones are stepping up to the plate – en force.
The luxury SUV market is exploding in 2021, with even the most traditional luxury car manufacturers getting in on the fun. Just take a look at what Ferrari and Aston Martin are releasing for the segment.
Most luxury car brands are now also offering hybrid and fully electric models. These EV SUVs promise a lot of speed and fun in a more environmentally-friendly package.
But that’s not all! From improved safety ratings to semi-autonomous driving features, you’ll see in our ranking that innovation continues to fuel the SUV market.
Ready to buy your next luxury SUV? We’re reviewing the absolute best premium SUVs of 2021 to help you find the one that’s right for you.
The 21 best luxury SUVs of 2021
|21||Mercedes-Benz GLB||Best small|
|20||BMW iX3||Best mid-size|
|19||Lincoln Navigator L||Best large|
|18||Mercedes-Benz GLS Maybach||Best extra-large|
|17||Aston Martin DBX||Best crossover|
|16||Volvo XC90||Best for road safety|
|15||Lexus GX||Best off-road|
|14||Rivian R1S||Best electric off-road|
|12||Lincoln Aviator||Best compact SUV|
|11||Porsche Cayenne E- Hybrid||Best hybrid|
|10||Mercedes-Benz EQC||Best full electric|
|9||Cadillac XT5||Most comfortable|
|8||Tesla Model X||Most high-tech|
|7||Lamborghini Urus||Most sporty|
|6||Maserati Levante Trofeo||Most stylish|
|5||Porsche Macan||Best handling|
|4||Cadillac Escalade||Largest cargo space|
|3||Alfa Romeo Tonale||Best value|
|2||Rolls-Royce Cullinan||Most expensive|
|1||Mercedes-Benz GLE||Best overall|
21. Mercedes-Benz GLB: Best small luxury SUV
We begin our 2021 round-up of the best luxury SUVs with a utility vehicle that’s on the smaller side – but isn’t missing out on any of the features of its larger counterparts. The GLB has boxy styling, which makes it instantly recognizable as a member of Mercedes-Benz’s line of SUVs. It has room for an optional third row (albeit with extremely efficient space for one) for practicality.
This pint-sized car, the best small SUV of 2021 offers a good balance of high-tech features and comfortable additions. Heated seats, auto-dimming mirrors, keyless entries, infotainment displays and blind-spot monitoring: In the GLB, you’ll enjoy your completely updated driving experience.
It’s also got power. A 2.0L engine gives the GLB an acceleration of 0-60 mph (0-100 kph) in 6.9 seconds; this small SUV can also reach a top speed of 130 mph, or 209 kilometres per hour.
Price: Starting from $38,050 Website: www.mercedes-benz.com
20. BMW iX3: Best midsize premium SUV
With a little more room to speak of than the GLB, BMW’s iX3 is sporty, comfortable – and sustainable (it also features in our lineup of 2021’s best electric vehicles). With luxurious additions and impressive performance statistics, this BMW proves that eco-friendly vehicles can be practical and fun, too.
The iX3 is expected to do quite well, as it’s very similar in build and styling to BMW’s beloved X3 gas-powered movel. The differences are subtle, but add up: for example, the iX3 has upgraded wheels for improved aerodynamics.
As an electric version of BMW’s popular X3 model, this car is expected to do very well. There are, in fact, few differences between the iX3 and BMW’s beloved gas-powered variant.
The BMW iX3 boasts a competitive 249 mile range, rapid charging, an acceleration of 0-60 mph (0-100kph) in 4.8 seconds and a top speed of 124 mph (or just shy of 200 kilometres per hour).
Price: Starting from $67,000 Website: www.bmw.com
19. Lincoln Navigator L: Best large luxury SUV
To unseat last year’s best large luxury SUV, the 2020 Mercedes Maybach GLS, comes the 2021 Lincoln Navigator L – an SUV that seeks to set the standard of luxury for the American brand.
Three full rows of seating can be found in the Navigator, which comes in both a standard and a long-wheelbase body style. Lincoln did not skimp on the in-cabin detailing for any of those seats either: Everywhere you look, you see wood trim, metal accents, genuine leather, and more.
With this SUV, your entire party can ride in expansive comfort.
The 2021 Lincoln Navigator L can accelerate from 0-60 mph (0-100 kph) in less than six seconds; its top speed is 157 mph, or 252 kph.
Price: Starting from $100,335 Website: www.lincoln.com
18. Mercedes-Benz GLS Maybach: Best extra-large high-end SUV
One of the points of an SUV is to offer you the size you need in a utility vehicle; for example, you might need something rugged and ready to adventure, in a petite size. If so, the Mercedes-Benz GLB is a good choice.
On the other end of the scale? The gargantuan, gorgeous Mercedes-Benz GLS Maybach. It’s huge – and it’s here to impress. From the outside, it’s also instantly recognizable as a Mercedes. Chrome side air intakes grace the flanks; durable underbody protection emphasizes this car’s ultimate practical nature.
You can fit two or three benches in the back; there are fold-out tables to make entertaining, eating, and even working easier, if you so choose. (However, there are also branded champagne flutes included with each vehicle, so we’d lean towards entertaining, if forced to choose.)
An equally large twin-turbo engine provides competitive acceleration: 0-60 mph (or 0-100 kph) in 4.9 seconds. The Mercedes-Maybach GLS can attain a top speed of 155 mph, or 249 kilometers per hour.
Price: Starting from $160,500 Website: www.mercedes-benz.com
17. Aston Martin DBX: Best luxury crossover
Crossovers tend to have better comfort, off-road utility, and fuel economy than typical truck-based SUVs. As the best crossover we’ve seen, the Aston Martin DBX brings together the worlds of practicality and luxury to gorgeous effect.
Aston Martin is a century-old luxury British mark within the auto manufacturing world. The DBX is its very first SUV – and one that could signal a new focus for the classic brand. After all, the SUV market is one of the most quickly-growing in modern vehicles – it’ll be very exciting to see where the DBX leads Aston Martin in the future.
With unmistakable Aston Martin styling, the same 4.0L V8 engine that powers several other cars in its line, and the zippy soul of a true sports car, this SUV is a joy to ride. It can accelerate from 0-60 mph / 0-100 kph in just 4.3 seconds; it can reach a top speed of 181 mph / 291 kph; and it does so in style. Its cabin features full-grain leather and Alcantara for a truly luxurious feel.
Price: Starting from $189,900 Website: www.astonmartin.com
16. Volvo XC90: Best SUV for road safety
The 2021 Volvo XC90 is winning over the top-rated safety award this year. It’s elegant, it has myriad impressive tech features, and comes with an attractive mid-size SUV feel.
The Volvo XC90 is made incredibly road-safe with many driver assists, including a semi-autonomous drive mode, that allows your SUV to be more aware of your surroundings (and able to take quicker action in an emergency) than you are. However, its safety features aren’t its only selling point. It’s got a luxe interior, the sustainability perks of being a high-functioning hybrid, and power to back up is name.
The Volvo XC90 can accelerate from 0-60 mph (0-100 kph) in 4.9 seconds. Its top speed is 140 mph / 225 kph; it can seat seven people; and it’s earned the highest safety rating possible from NHTSA, the American highway travel safety organization.
Price: Starting from $48,195 Website: www.volvo.com
15. Lexus GX: Best off-road SUV
The 2021 version of the bestselling Lexus GX has unseated the 2020 Lincoln Navigator as our ranked best off-road SUV. With a different build and styling than many SUVs, this Lexus manages to bring power to adventuring off the beaten path – with a silent, zen-like cabin to boot.
Three rows of seats make this an ideal choice for road trips and large families; modern infotainment modules make this attractive for those who enjoy modern tech-focused vehicles.
The main charm of the Lexus GX is simple: It’s a luxury SUV that doesn’t mind rough terrain. With it, you can tow 6500 pounds; it has sturdy enough underpinnings to take quite a beating, and it has 8.1 inches of ground clearance (making it easy to maneuver around rocks and trees).
This SUV also brings power to the game. With an acceleration of 0-60 mph (0-100 kph) in 7.2 seconds and a top speed of 111 mph / 178 kph, it might not be the fastest car out there – but if you’re going off-road, that might not be a feature you need, anyway. And if it’s absolute speed that you need, check our ranking of the fastest cars of the year instead.
Price: Starting from $53,100 Website: www.lexus.com
14. Rivian R1S: Best electric off-road SUV
Because we’re focusing on 2021 SUVs, we can’t ignore the fast-growing and incredibly promising EV sector of the market. This year, we award a prize not only to the best off-road SUV – but also to its most promising electric counterpart.
The Rivian R1S is featured in our roundup of the best electric cars of 2021, but it’s also a powerful SUV option in its own right.
It’s certainly powerful: You can select from three different battery sizes in this EV pickup, including 105, 135, and 180 kWh options. With the largest battery, there’s no need to worry about range. The R1S can travel 410 miles without stopping, perfect for exploring without concerns for recharging.
The R1S comes with attractive performance stats, as well: This SUV can accelerate to 0-60 mph (or 0-100 kph) in 3 seconds. It can also attain a top speed of 125mph (or just over 200 kilometres per hour).
Price: Starting from $77,500 Website: www.rivian.com
13. Ferrari Purosangue: Fastest SUV
We never quite knew when we’d see the day, but Ferrari, the famous maker of Italian supercars, has announced its first SUV. As such, we’ve given the title of ‘fastest luxury SUV’ to this heavily-anticipated hypercar, over previous winners (including the Bentley Bentayga and the Lamborghini Urus).
As we’re several months away from its release, little is known about the reality of the very first Ferrari SUV. It’ll be high-performance and high-dollar. Driving it will likely be worth every penny.
Following in the footsteps of other luxury brands, such as Lamborghini and Porsche, who have also successfully added SUVs to their portfolios, Ferrari will likely invest in both the luxurious and performance aspects of the Purosangue. While we don’t have specific acceleration and speeds stats as of yet, Ferrari’s past offerings – such as the 950-hp V-12 hybrid powertrain in 2014’s LaFerrari tell us one thing: To get excited.
Price: Starting from $300,000 Website: www.ferrari.com
12. Lincoln Aviator: Best compact SUV
For a truly top-tier compact SUV, we turn to Lincoln again – this time, the 2021 Aviator. It’s got an extremely polished powertrain – a turbo V-6; a comfortable, decked-out interior; and plenty of seductive curb appeal.
If you’re looking for a small SUV that’s still agile and easy to park, look no further. The features and styling of the Aviator remind us of the Navigator, but in a more manageable size for an urban environment. It comes with rear-wheel and all-wheel drive options, a very spacious cabin for the first two rows of seats, and plenty of other perks.
The driver and passenger in the 2021 Lincoln Aviator will be sitting in style with 30-way adjustable seats, soft-close doors, and a high-tech stereo system. This SUV also comes with driver-assistance features for added safety.
Finally, the performance of the Aviator doesn’t disappoint. This compact SUV can attain a top speed of 145 mph / 233 kph, and it can accelerate from 0-60 mph / 0-100 kph in 6.0 seconds.
Price: Starting from $87,800 Website: www.lincoln.com
11. Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid: Best hybrid SUV
The first auto house that went all-in on the luxury SUV trend was BMW, cashing in on the premise with the launch of the hugely popular BMW X5. However, the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid also has a place in luxury SUV history. The overnight success of Porsche’s first SUV completely electrified the luxury SUV market.
That was three iterations of the Cayenne ago. Now, modern drivers can own the luxury SUV that launched the trend – but with innovative upgrades. This most recent version embraces the latest and greatest in the auto industry with a powerful hybrid engine that offers a smooth yet powerful ride.
This hybrid can go from 0-60 mph / 0-100 kph in 4.2 seconds, far outpacing many of its gas-powered peers. Additionally, the Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid can reach a top speed of 165 mph / 265 kph – a blistering speed for a luxury hybrid SUV.
Price: Starting from $81,100 Website: www.porsche.com
10. Mercedes-Benz EQC: Best full electric SUV
This year, the gap between what gas-powered vehicles and EVs are capable of is becoming nonexistent. The Mercedes-Benz EQC reminds us that sustainable vehicles are more than just an eco-friendly trend: They can perform just as well as, if not better than, the tech that we’ve embraced for centuries.
The updated 2021 Mercedes-Benz EQC builds on the auto house’s best selling design with new driver assistance features, a high-tech steering wheel that exhibits superior touch control, gorgeous styling, and enough comfort to let you know that you’re definitely experiencing a luxurious Mercedes-Benz vehicle – and a worthy successor to last year’s winner in this category, the Audi e-tron. No wonder it’s also listed as one of the best luxury EVs of the year.
The brand has not yet released full specifications, but the EQC is estimated to have a 200-mile / 321 kilometre range – and its performance is sure to be exhilarating. Buyers of green luxury vehicles are waiting with bated breath to learn more about this 2021 release.
Price: Starting from $67,900 Website: www.mercedes-benz.com
9. Cadillac XT5: Most comfortable luxury SUV
Looking for a cabin that’s zen-like and easy to relax in? Interested in an SUV with interior styling you’ll fall in love with at first sight? The new Cadillac XT5 brings all of this along with plenty of power, cargo space, and more to the 2021 SUV market.
To make your driving experience as seamless as possible, the 2021 Cadillac XT5 includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa integration. A huge infotainment center with updated picture quality, a robust wireless charging center, and USB-C outlets can be found all over the cabin. Comfort and safety go hand-in-hand with this SUV: Along with the luxurious, roomy cabin come night vision, driver assistance, rear pedestrian alert, and other high-tech sensors.
This SUV offers performance, as well. The Cadillac XT5 can achieve an acceleration of 0-60 mph / 0-100 kph in 7.6 seconds, and its top speed is 130 mph / 209 kph.
Price: Starting from $44,990 Website: www.cadillac.com
8. Tesla Model X: Most high-tech SUV
The new Tesla Model X is our most high-tech SUV; it’s also a new and exciting enough EV that it’s on our list of the best electric cars of 2021, as well. Tesla’s utilitarian SUV combines practical features and luxurious assets for a car that’s enjoyable to ride, has a low environmental impact, and can do as much as any gas-powered variant.
The Model X has enough seating for seven people in its high-tech cabin, and it also offers quite a competitive range. However, it’s far better known for its fun styling and innovative features, such as its ‘Ludicrous Mode’ – which can help the Model X achieve a 0-60 mph / 0-100 kph acceleration of under three seconds.
That’s not all: Its portfolio of safety sensors, semi-autonomous driving features, Falcon doors and smooth driving feel make it safe to use, as well.
The Model X can attain a top speed of 155 mph (or 249 kph).
Price: Starting from $79,990 Website: www.tesla.com
7. Lamborghini Urus: Most sporty SUV
The ‘S’ in SUV stands for sport, giving modern SUV’s the challenge of integrating practical features and adventurous range into one multipurpose vehicle. Lamborghini decided to look to its past to deliver on this modern car: Decades ago, the historic brand debuted a made-for-military SUV, the Lamborghini LM002.
Today, with extremely reminiscent styling, the Lamborghini Urus brings similar spirit with modern tech features and blazing power. The Urus has a 4.0L twin-turbo V8 powering it, giving it enough energy to accelerate from 0-60 mph / 0-100 kph in 3.6 seconds.
The massive wheel arches help this car navigate off-road very capably; the interior of this Lamborghini makes it feel like the high-end car it is. The cabin is full of inlaid wood, Alcantara, full-grain leather, and other gorgeous, luxury options.
The Lamborghini Urus can attain a top speed of 190 mph, or 305 kilometres per hour.
Price: Starting from $200,000 Website: www.lamborghini.com
6. Maserati Levante Trofeo: Most stylish SUV
When you’re buying a luxury car, you want it to look good – even if it also boasts the efficiency and comfort of a high-performance SUV. Each of the cars that made it to our rankings look good. But the Levante Trofeo from Maserati is truly a work of art in motion.
The moment you see it on the road, you know it’s a Maserati. It’s got the prominent grille and bold front styling featured in so many of Maserati’s finest vehicles. Rounded haunches, a triple vent, a quad exhaust system: This car truly brings modern innovations to a gorgeously-styled vehicle.
All throughout the inside of the cabin, the high-end accents that make a Maserati a Maserati can be seen. Highly-polished wood; silk and soft leather; a resonant sound system. This car performs well, feels good, and is beautiful simply to look at!
However, it also features impressive stats. The Maserati Levante Trofeo has a top speed of 188 mph / 300 kph; it can accelerate from 0-60 mph / 0-100 kph in 3.2 seconds.
Price: Starting from $171,500 Website: www.maseratiusa.com
5. Porsche Macan: Best handling
Driving an SUV can, at times, feel heavy and laborious, especially in small windy roads. That’s when the 2021 Porsche Macan shines. It’s got specs to impress, brushed aluminum trim, Alcantara interiors and a high-tech cabin (with features like surround sound, wireless smartphone charging pads, cameras for semi-autonomous driving features, and heated windshields). If you want a car that feels like it was made for easy, intelligent use, this is the car to buy.
0-60 mph / 0-100 kph in 4.7 seconds, mobile wifi, and (all new in 2021) integrated Apple CarPlay: The new Porsche Macan makes it easy to enjoy your time on wheels, whether you’re driving or riding.
The Porsche Macan boasts a top speed of 162 mph / 260 kph.
Price: Starting from $50,900 Website: www.porsche.com
4. Cadillac Escalade: Largest cargo space
As the fifth generation of the very popular model, the 2021 Cadillac Escalade offers many features of the beloved car that everyone knows well – but with all-new elements of technology, style, and luxury.
This year’s Escalade comes with two engine options: a 6.2L V-8 and a turbo-diesel inline-six. There’s no wrong choice, however: both versions will be powerful, both versions will have slick assembly and all of the infotainment options you could possibly want.
For 2021, there has also been a thorough redesign for the Escalade. Now, this quintessential SUV has more independent rear suspension, the latest in interior tech, and much better styling. With semi-aniline leather, 16-way adjustable seats (with massage!), a 36-speaker audio system and semi-autonomous driving features, this car is the smartest Escalade we’ve seen yet.
However, its real selling point is its cargo space. No matter where you go, you’ll be able to bring everything you need with you in the Escalade, with its long-wheelbarrow model offering the most cargo space we’ve ever seen in an SUV.
The 2021 Cadillac Escalade can accelerate from 0-60 mph / 0-100 kph in 5.9 seconds; it can reach a top speed of 120 mph / 193 kph.
Price: Starting from $76,195 Website: www.cadillac.com
3. Alfa Romeo Tonale: Best value luxury SUV
This year, we’re proud to award that title to the Alfa Romeo Tonale – a new Italian entry in the world of subcompact luxury SUVs. It features artistic, sinuous bodywork and iconic exterior styling – and a plug-in hybrid powertrain for an excellent focus on sustainability.
As this car is currently set for a late 2021 release, little is known about the performance aspects of this smaller SUV. However, the company has promised that those lucky enough to drive a Tonale will enjoy the experience. It will feature an all-wheel drive option and a high seating height; otherwise, the world is watching Alfa Romeo for more information about this highly-anticipated 2021 release.
Price: Starting from $35,000 Website: www.alfaromeo.com
2. Rolls-Royce Cullinan: Most expensive SUV
The Rolls-Royce Cullinan persists as our most expensive SUV of the year. As Rolls-Royce’s entry into the SUV market, it’s certainly one of the most luxurious, comfortable SUVs we’ve ever seen and tested.
The Cullinan boasts soft-close doors, power-adjustable headrests, a power liftgate, completely bespoke wheels, and comes with the opportunity to custom-fit the cabin to the driver’s precise specifications. It can be outfitted in any colour, the trim can be your choice, and no expense has been spared in making passenger comfort out of this world. It deserves a place on our list of the most expensive cars of the year too!
It can drive, too: The Cullinan has a top speed of 155 mph / 249 kph, and it can accelerate from 0-60 mph / 0-100 kph in 4.8 seconds.
Price: Starting from $325,000 Website: www.rolls-roycemotorcars.com
1. Mercedes-Benz GLE: Overall best luxury SUV
Our best overall SUV award goes to another Mercedes-Benz: The all-time popular GLE. It’s been redesigned as a hybrid for 2021, and it’s setting out to shape the future of sustainable sports utility vehicles.
This SUV features a six-cylinder engine, Mercedes-Benz’s EQ Boost system, and an advanced suspension. That means that it’ll offer a smooth ride – and it’ll get you where you need to go quite quickly; the GLE has a top speed of 174 mph / 280 kph, and it can accelerate from 0-60 mph / 0-100 kph in 7.1 seconds.
This eco-friendly SUV also has a spacious interior with large infotainment modules as well as controls that make it handle extremely well. It’s available in its standard GLE version but also a GLE Coupé. All in all, this is the best SUV of 2021 for most people – and it’s certainly our pick overall.
Price: Starting from $53,700 Website: www.mercedes-benz.com
Methodology: How we select, test, and rank the best options on the market
This is the third year in a row that we publish Luxe Digital’s ranking of the best luxury SUVs on the market, so we start our list by going through the expected updates and new releases from all the luxury car manufacturers in the world. For each new SUV, we note all the necessary details (price, engines, fuel category, etc.). That takes some time.
When our list is finally completed, it’s time to do in-depth comparison and reviews. We look at everything, from specification to claimed speed and optional accessories. Literally everything that a potential buyer would themself consider before purchasing a luxury SUV. These cars are expensive, so we take into account all the features that are important to you.
The final step involves many hours of conversations internally as our car editors sit down and share their thoughts. This is the most fun part of our review process.
The result is a list that we feel confident covers every option you, as a buyer, would need to consider this year.
Frequently asked questions about luxury SUVs
The best luxury SUV for 2021 is the Mercedes-Benz GLE. We’re a big fan of both the sustainable focus and the smooth ride that it offers!
The Rolls-Royce Cullinan is the most luxurious SUV of 2021. The Cullinan boasts soft-close doors, power-adjustable headrests, a power liftgate, completely bespoke wheels, and comes with the opportunity to custom-fit the cabin to the driver’s precise specifications. Price starts from $325,000 USD.
The Mercedes-Benz GLE is the most reliable luxury SUVs of the year based on our reviews. The GLE remains the overall best SUV of its class, with impeccable build quality and a competitive price.
The SUVs being redesigned for 2021 include the Mercedes-Maybach GLS, Lexus GX, Porsche Cayenne, Mercedes-Benz EQC, Cadillac Escalade, and the Cadillac XT5.
The best large luxury SUV for 2021 is the 2021 Lincoln Navigator L – it offers roomy seating, a good amount of cargo, and the space you need while still being easy to handle.