Ranked: 20 best-selling new SUVs in the U.S. in 2021

Several Honda vehicles make the list of best-sellers.

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Dealerships are welcoming 2021 and 2022 models to their lots while some 2020 versions still remain. After a year of unpredictable sales due to COVID-19, SUV sales are set to get back on track in 2021.

Below is a list of the best-selling SUVs through February 2, 2021. Many automakers report their sales results quarterly. These rankings have been determined using sales numbers provided by the individual automobile manufacturers.

The vehicles on this list are bound to change order as new information becomes available. Stay tuned!

To see the 20 best-selling new SUVs in the U.S. in 2019 click here and to see 2020's results click here.

No. 20 - Lexus NX (3,844 sold)

2021 Lexus NX

Photo courtesy of Lexus

The Lexus NX is one of the smaller SUVs that the luxury arm of Toyota sells. It sits below the LX, GX, and RX in the company's lineup. For the 2021 model year, Lexus has added blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert as standard equipment and made Nori Green Pearl paint available.

No. 19 - Subaru Ascent (4,743 sold)

2020 Subaru Ascent

Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

The three-row Subaru Ascent is the largest vehicle the automaker sells in the U.S. Still in its first generation, the Ascent has undergone few changes since it was introduced. It was named a 2020 Top Safety Pick+, the highest achievement awarded, by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

No. 18 - Kia Seltos (4,992 sold)

2021 Kia Seltos Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Kia introduced the Seltos for the 2021 model year. It's a budget-friendly model that is smaller than the Sportage, Sorento, and Telluride. The front-wheel drive Seltos is not sold in an all-wheel drive variant.

No. 17 - Hyundai Kona (5,233 sold)

2021 Hyundai Kona Night Edition Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The Hyundai Kona will get a facelift for the 2022 model year but will have most of the same equipment as the 2021 model. Though small, the Kona seats four adults and has a reasonable amount of cargo space, which makes it a good daily driver.

No. 16 - Kia Sorento (5,302 sold)

2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid EX Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The Kia Sorento has been completely redesigned for the 2021 model year. It has a hybrid variant as well as a X-Line grade that is designed for more adventuring than the traditional Sorento.

No. 15 - Hyundai Palisade (5,669 sold)

2021 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

For the 2021 model year, Hyundai created a new, upscale Calligraphy trim level for its three-row Palisade. The flagship SUV sits atop the Hyundai lineup above the Venue, Kona, Tucson, and Santa Fe.

No. 14 - Kia Sportage (5,913 sold)

2020 Kia Sportage Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The 2021 Kia Sportage is a carryover from the 2020 model year. There is a new model, however. The Nightfall Edition and Nightfall Edition Premium packages are available on the S trim level and replace last year's Sunroof Package and Premium Package offering while adding black accents to the exterior of the model.

No. 13 - Honda HR-V (6,369 sold)

2021 Honda HR-V

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

The 2021 Honda HR-V is nearly the same vehicle as the 2020 model. For the new model year, the HR-V has gotten new wheel designs for its Sport, EX, and EX-L trim levels. Sport versions of the subcompact crossover get privacy glass.

No. 12 - Kia Telluride (6,626 sold)

2020 Kia Telluride Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

2021 marks the second model year that the Kia Telluride has been on sale. Kia marks the occasion by giving the three-row SUV a new Nightfall Edition appearance package, which gives the Telluride black exterior accents. Additionally, a remote engine start button has been added to the key fob, the towing trailer harness is now four-pin rather than seven-pin, and LED headlights are included on the EX Premium Package.

No. 11 - Lexus RX (7,086 sold)

2021 Lexus RX Black Line Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

The Lexus RX is the company's best-selling SUV. For the 2021 model year, the RX 350 and 450h get standard blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert technology. Also, power-folding side mirrors are now standard and a wireless charger is available on the RC 350.

No. 10 - Hyundai Tucson (7,980 sold)

2022 Hyundai Tucson Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The last-gen Hyundai Tucson is still on sale in the U.S. while the 2022 model year version makes its way to dealership lots. For 2022, the compact SUV receives many of the design attributes of Hyundai's cars while gaining eco-friendly powertrain options and an upscale interior.

No. 9 - Honda Pilot (8,602 sold)

2021 Honda Pilot Elite

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

The three-row Honda Pilot is the largest SUV that the company sells. For 2021 Honda has added the Pilot Special Edition to its lineup bundling black 20-inch wheels and trim with a wireless phone charger and hands-free power lift gate. A nine-speed automatic transmission is now standard across the lineup.

No. 8 - Hyundai Santa Fe (8,714 sold)

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The Hyundai Santa Fe has been refreshed for the 2021 model year bringing with it a fresh face, new lighting signatures, an available hybrid powertrain with all-wheel drive, and new driver assistance and safety technology.

No. 7 - Subaru Crosstrek (10,431 sold)

2021 Subaru Crosstrek

Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

Subaru has given the Crosstrek a mid-generation once-over for the 2021 model year. That includes a fresher exterior design, new Sport trim level, available 2.5-liter engine that delivers 182 horsepower, and added standard safety technology.

No. 6 - Toyota 4Runner (12,430 sold)

2021 Toyota 4Runner Trail Edition

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

The Toyota 4Runner has stayed mostly the same for several years now but that's not stopping buyers from heading straight for it at their dealership. For the 2021 model year, Toyota debuted the 4Runner Trail Edition, which brings together TRD Pro enhancements and new LED headlights.

No. 5 - Subaru Forester (13,207 sold)

2020 Subaru Forester

Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

The Subaru Forester is one of the most popular SUVs you can buy. The 2021 version is mostly a holdover from the previous model year and continues to come standard with all-wheel drive and Subaru's long list of safety and driver assist technology.

No. 4 - Mazda CX-5 (13,583 sold)

2021 Mazda CX-5 Photo courtesy of Mazda North American Operations

The Mazda CX-5 is the company's most popular vehicle. For the 2021 model year the SUV has its largest-ever infotainment display, new safety features, and an available Carbon Edition.

No. 3 - Toyota Highlander (16,774 sold)

2021 Toyota Highlander Platinum AWD

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

Toyota's three-row Highlander was redesigned for the 2020 model year and for 2021, a new trim level is added - XSE. Highlander L, LE, and XLE gain headlight enhancements while Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ becomes standard throughout the lineup.

No. 2 - Honda CR-V (25,806 sold)

2021 Honda CR-V Touring Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

The Honda CR-V was refreshed for 2020 and received a new variant, the CR-V Hybrid. Both models continue to offer the budget-friendly features and spacious cargo area that buyers have come to know and appreciate.

No. 1 - Toyota RAV4 (31,364 sold)

2021 Toyota RAV4 Adventure AWD

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

The Toyota RAV4 was the best-selling SUV in America last year and it's on pace to repeat in 2021. For the new model year, the XLE Premium model joins the RAV4 Hybrid family while the RAV4 TRD Off-Road has gotten a TRD-stamped stainless steel front skid plate.

Trending News


The Nissan Ariya has wind glide over it in the testing tunnel.

Photo courtesy of Nisan Motor Company

Nissan is targeting a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.297 for the Ariya all-electric crossover. If it can make that number, it will be the company's most aerodynamic crossover to date. What does that mean? Let's take a closer look.

What is drag?

Simply put, drag is an aerodynamic force. It's mechanical in nature, so it is the result of the interaction of a solid body and a liquid. In the case of a car, this liquid is air. (Yes, air is a liquid.) It only occurs when one part of the equation (the solid body or the liquid) is in motion. If there is no motion, there is no drag.

Drag only occurs in the opposite direction of the object's movement. Think of a car cutting through the air as it drives down a north-south road. As the car heads north, the air it passes through is pushed south. The car is in motion; there is drag.

2022 Nissan Ariya

Photo courtesy of Nisan Motor Company

1 / 6

What is coefficient of drag?

The coefficient of drag, also called a drag coefficient, is a number that aerodynamics professions (aerodynamicists) use to determine the shape, inclination, and flow conditions on a vehicle's drag. The shape of an object (bullet vs. square vs prism, etc.) has a large impact on the amount of drag created by airflow surrounding a vehicle. Objects with narrower front ends tend to have a lower coefficient.

Scientists and vehicle designers want to keep air moving around the car for maximum efficiency. The inclination of the airflow to either move in a smooth, connected pattern, or to be broken up with air sitting, stalling in one particular part of the vehicle, lessening airflow and making the vehicle less aerodynamic.

A vehicle's Cd is determined by plugging various measurements into an equation. Cd is equal to drag (D) divided by the quantity of density (r) multiplied by half the velocity (V) squared multiple by the reference area (A). As an equation, it looks like this: Cd = D / (A * .5 * r * V^2).

The smaller the Cd, the more aerodynamic a vehicle is.

2022 Nissan Ariya

The Nissan Ariya employs aerodynamic wheel design, made to help it cut though the air with greater ease.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

What is the coefficient of drag of the Nissan Ariya?

"With the growing shift towards electric mobility, aerodynamic testing is becoming increasingly important. The aerodynamics of electric vehicles are directly linked to how efficiently the vehicle moves – less drag and better stability allows the customer to drive longer distances before having to recharge," said Sarwar Ahmed, Aerodynamics and Aeroacoustics Engineer at Nissan Technical Centre Europe.

Nissan is targeting a 0.297 coefficient of drag for the Ariya. How will it achieve that number? By utilizing precisely shaped body lines and strategically placed air ducts, among other components. There's a bonus to better aerodynamics when it comes to EVs.

"Following official homologation of the Nissan Ariya later this year, we anticipate the range to improve compared to the 310 mile figure shared in 2020 during the World Premiere. This will give drivers more efficiency and confidence to go even further on a single charge," said Marco Fioravanti, VP Product Planning, Nissan Europe.

How does the Ariya's coefficient of drag compare to other Nissans?

The newest Nissans, the Kicks, Pathfinder, and Frontier, don't have their Cd publicly available yet, but other models have their results. The targeted 0.297 Cd in the Ariya is less than that in the 2021 Armada, Murano, and Rogue. But, it's higher than the Nissan Leaf.

The fact that it's higher than the Leaf is not surprising. Shorter cars tend to be more aerodynamic because they sit lower to the ground and have a smaller profile. That also explains why Nissan's largest and boxiest SUV, the Armada, has the highest number on the list.

How does the Ariya's coefficient of drag compare to numbers from other EVs?

The Nissan Ariya's coefficient of drag is higher than that of most other electric cars, crossovers, and SUVs sold in the U.S. Here's where the others measure up:

Trending News


Toyota is mobilizing, putting its money where its mouth is to help Texas affected by severe winter weather.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

Winter Storm Uri impacted nearly every single one of Texas's 254 counties. North Texas-based Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) has pledged $1 million in relief for those affected by the storm. The aid is slated to serve both Toyota and Lexus customers and a variety of Texas-based non-profit organizations.

Over 60 Texas counties were part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) recent Texas Severe Winter Storms (DR-4586-TX). It is currently categorized as an active disaster.

"We take our role as community leaders seriously, so when winter storms affected millions right in our back yard, our top priority became helping Texas get back on its feet after this ordeal," said Sean Suggs, group vice president of Social Innovation, TMNA. "Texans have supported our company in myriad ways, and we want to help our neighbors emerge from this storm stronger than ever."

The $1 million relief effort includes:

North Texas/DFW Metroplex

  • United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, in support of North Texas Cares and West Dallas nonprofits to quickly distribute funds to grassroots organizations: $450,000
  • North Texas Food Bank: $100,000
  • The Family Place and Genesis Women's Shelter to fund hotel rooms, food, and transportation for their clients: $30,000
  • Toyota employees will be able to support the needs of four North Texas community partners significantly impacted by the storms by purchasing items from their Amazon Wish Lists.

San Antonio

  • SAWS Community Pipe Repair Fund, through the San Antonio Area Foundation to assist individuals and families stay in their homes safely with funds for plumbing repairs: $100,000
  • Let's Help SA Fund to provide food, water and shelter: $200,000


  • United Way of Greater Houston to support the Greater Houston 2021 Winter Storm Relief Fund that supports local home repairs: $50,000
  • Houston Food Bank: $50,000
  • CrowdSource Rescue to provide food, water and fuel: $20,000

Additionally, Toyota will match up to $10,000 in individual employee contributions to nonprofit organizations recovering from the storm.

Toyota and Lexus Financial Services customers who are looking for loan and lease payment relief, and were impacted by the storm, may be able to receive assistance under a new Toyota program that has a variety of options for clients.

Trending News