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 May 3, 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 - Kia Sportage (30,511 sold)

Kia SportagePhoto courtesy of Kia Motors

The Kia Sportage slots below the popular Sorento and Telluride in the company's lineup, and above the Niro. It offers budget-friendly pricing for a two-row SUV and in top trim levels, the Sportage's interior is near premium.

No. 19 - Jeep Cherokee (37,923 sold)

2020 Jeep CherokeePhoto courtesy of FCA US LLC

The Jeep Cherokee has undergone some changes for the 2021 model year. Jeep has made a number of driver assistance features standard, introduced the Latitude Lux and 80th Anniversary Edition models, and discontinued the Overland trim level.

No. 18 - Chevrolet Traverse (38,037 sold)

2020 Chevrolet TraversePhoto courtesy of Chevrolet

The three-row Chevrolet Traverse was set for a refreshfor the 2021 model year but the coronavirus pandemic set those plans back a year. Still, it's a good SUV and it's obvious that many buyers feel that way too.

No. 17 - Lexus RX (38,087 sold)

2021 Lexus RX Black LinePhoto 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. 16 - Hyundai Santa Fe (39,040 sold)

2021 Hyundai Santa FePhoto 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. 15 - Honda Pilot (45,366 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. 14 - Subaru Crosstrek (47,786 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. 13 - Jeep Wrangler (49,464 sold)

2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xePhoto courtesy of FCA US LLC

The Jeep Wrangler has been brought to market in a number of new variants for the 2021 model year and is about to add another, the Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.

No. 12 - Toyota 4Runner (49,525 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. 11 - Hyundai Tucson (50,048 sold)

2022 Hyundai TucsonPhoto 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. 10 - Jeep Grand Cherokee (55,198 sold)

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Overland: ExteriorPhoto courtesy of FCA US LLC

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is about to split into two. The redesigned, three-row Grand Cherokee L goes on sale later this year. The two-row model is going to be held over until 2022,.

No. 9 - Mazda CX-5 (55,633 sold)

2021 Mazda CX-5Photo 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. 8 - Ford Escape (56,850 sold)

2020 Ford EscapePhoto courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The Ford Escape was completely redesigned for the 2020 model year and hasn't undergone any big changes in the last year. It continues to be reliable, have gobs of cargo space, and deliver a balanced ride.

No. 7 - Chevrolet Equinox (63,218 sold)

2020 Chevrolet EquinoxPhoto courtesy of Chevrolet

The Chevrolet Equinox is a perfectly fine two-row SUV. It was destined to get a refresh for the 2021 model year but COVID-19 put those changes on hold until the 2022 model year.

No. 6 - Subaru Forester (67,146 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. 5 - Nissan Rogue (86,720 sold)

2021 Nissan Rogue

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The redesigned Nissan Rogue is a formidable compact SUV and it's obviously gaining attention with buyers who are choosing it more than twice as often as any other Nissan vehicle.

No. 4 - Toyota Highlander (91,510 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. 3 - Ford Explorer (92,284 sold)

2020 Ford ExplorerPhoto courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The Ford Explorer was redesigned for the 2020 model year. Since then, the SUV hasn't undergone any major changes. Part of the vehicle's sales come from Police Utility Vehicle fleet sales.

No. 2 - Honda CR-V (134,545 sold)

2021 Honda CR-V TouringPhoto 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 (155,150 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.

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The Hyundai Palisade got a mild refresh for 2023.


Earlier this year, Hyundai announced changes to the Palisade for 2023. The list includes a new front fascia, an updated grille with new headlights and daytime running lights, a 12-inch touchscreen with navigation, and more. A new XRT trim joined the lineup as well, bringing brawny off-road styling and dar exterior trim. Today, Hyundai announced pricing for the SUV, which starts at a little more than $32,000.

2023 Hyundai PalisadeA new XRT trim adds rugged styling. Hyundai

The Palisade's powertrain carries over from 2022, which includes a 3.8-liter V6 that makes 291 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and either front- or all-wheel drive. Inside, the SUV got several new and updated technology features, including a more powerful wireless device charging pad, an updated digital key system, and a larger infotainment display.

As Hyundai's flagship SUV, the Palisade edges on luxury territory, with plush leather upholstery and a serene cabin that offers excellent noise cancellation and comfort. Captain's chairs and seven-passenger seating are available, but a second-row bench comes standard and brings eight-passenger capacity to the SUV.

Muscular SUVs are more popular than ever before, so Hyundai gave the posh Palisade an outdoorsy treatment with its XRT trim. The new Palisade XRT builds on the SEL trim with 20-inch wheels, a more rugged bumper and lower body cladding, a sunroof, and leatherette upholstery. To be clear, XRT is an appearance package that does not improve off-road capability to a large degree.

2023 Hyundai PalisadeTop trims border on the quality and design of some luxury brands. Hyundai

Standard safety equipment is generous, and includes forward collision warnings with avoidance, lane keep assist, lane following assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, driver attention warnings, high beam assist, and adaptive cruise control.

Pricing for the base Palisade SE starts at $36,245, which includes a $1,295 destination charge. The top Calligraphy AWD model starts at $52,095 after destination. All-wheel drive is available for all trims as an added-cost option.

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The Ascent got updated styling and fresh tech.


Subaru's lineup is full of useful, adventure-ready vehicles, but most are not accommodating for full-size families. The Ascent solved that issue for the automaker a few years ago, and has been a popular family option since. It got a mild update for 2023 with a facelift and new tech. The Ascent comes in five trims: Base, Premium, Onyx Edition, Limited, and Touring. It's expected to go on sale in fall 2022.

The Subaru comes with a new front fascia design that adds a new grille and aggressive styling up front. Lower air ducts help improve aerodynamics, and in higher trims the components come with chrome trim. The SUV's C-shaped taillights got a refresh as well, and now feature a sharper shape to better match the vehicle's overall styling.

2023 Subaru AscentThe new front fascia design is more aggressive than before. Subaru

The Ascent's powertrain remains in place, which is a turbocharged 2.54-liter four-cylinder making 260 horsepower. It sends power to all four wheels through a continuously variable transmission that offers a simulated eight-speed manual shifting mode. Subaru's X-Mode driving mode comes standard, which alters throttle response and other vehicle behavior to maintain traction in slippery conditions. Torque vectoring, which allows the vehicle to shift torque between wheels that need it most, also comes standard.

A new Onyx Edition trim joins the Ascent line for 2022. It brings a standard 11.6-inch touchscreen with navigation, a Harman Kardon sound system, power seats, and a panoramic sunroof. The base Ascent comes with features such as 18-inch wheels, USB inputs, tri-zone automatic climate controls, three rows of seating, and a whopping 19 cupholders. Subaru also offers an optional Cabin Connect system, which allows the driver or front passenger to communicate to people behind them through the stereo using a front-cabin-mounted microphone.

2023 Subaru AscentThe Ascent's interior is available with great tech, such as an 11.6-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Subaru

Subaru EyeSight safety equipment comes standard with every Ascent. The system is improved for 2023 with a wider field of vision and new software. A new wide-angle camera joins EyeSight's existing two-camera setup to provide better pedestrian and cyclist detection when approaching intersections. Blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, and lane change assist are available.

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