The crossover and SUVs conquered the automotive industry in the last decade and they evolved from truck-based, robust vehicles with the serious off-road capability to more comfortable and sophisticated vehicles. The large, truck-based models continue also to improve the level of comfort and sophistication while retaining their towing and off-road capability. In this article, we list 10 smooth-riding SUVs for 2021 and all of them are recently updated or redesigned while some coming updated for the 2021 model year. The starting price of all models on our list is also under $50, 000.
The models we have chosen for our list deliver long-ride comfort and come loaded with modern tech and safety features. Some of them offer a unique mix of smooth ride and performance. Still, this article doesn’t provide a definitive guide for the most comfortable SUVs these days as more new and redesigned models will come for the 2021 model year. Buyers should do additional research to find a vehicle that suits their needs.
2021 Hyundai Kona
The subcompact Hyundai Kona gets attention with its rugged exterior styling and well-detailed cabin but thanks to its athletic handling and accurate steering it deserves the place on our list of 10 smooth-riding SUVs.
The 2021 Hyundai Kona comes well equipped from the base version and there are a great infotainment system and standard active safety tech. The Kona has also well-shaped and supportive seats and can be had with the leather upholstery. However, the Kona is also nice to drive.
The model delivers above-average handling and acceleration and there is also a turbocharged engine option. Thanks to the precise handling and responsive steering the model performs well on the twisty roads. The independent rear suspension on all-wheel-drive versions makes it more comfortable but the model delivers also well-composed ride with the front-wheel drive.
The 2021 Hyundai Kona should go on sale this summer with the base price around $21,000.
2021 Subaru Crosstrek
The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek is another subcompact model in our list of 10 smooth-riding SUVs for 2021.
The model was all-new for the 2018 model year and it delivers above-average off-road capability in the class thanks to the additional ground clarence and standard, hi-tech all-wheel drive. However, the subcompact Subaru SUV handles well and the independent suspension soaks the bumps smoothly. The active torque vectoring contributes also to the model’s sharp handling and precise steering.
The Subaru Crosstrek is also fuel-efficient with up to 30 mpg combined while the plug-in hybrid manages up to 17 miles of the pure-electric drive. The model comes also with standard safety tech and Apple Car Playa and Android Auto.
The new model year brings a more powerful engine option.
The next 2021 Subaru Crosstrek will go on sale later in the year with the starting price at about $22, 000.
2021 Mazda CX-3
The 2021 Mazda CX-3 is another small crossover SUV with great handling characteristics among its other values.
The recently updated CX-3 is a stylish and well-equipped model and it comes loaded with modern tech and safety features. The power comes from the 2.0-liter inline-4 engine which provides adequate acceleration. With up to 31 mpg combined fuel economy, the Mazda CX-3 is also one of the most frugal models in the class.
The CX-3 deserves also high scores for its ride quality and handling. The model has a well-controlled body roll while the suspension tuning is between firm and precise. The model’s steering is direct and well-weighted. When equipped with the all-wheel drive, the CX-3 adds more confidence in poor weather conditions.
The upcoming 2021 Mazda CX-3 will hit the market in the last quarter of the year. The price range should start just above $20,000.
2021 BMX X3
Like every BMW, the refreshed 2021 BMW X3 combines utility and performance backed up by the stylish and well-built cabin. The model is also packed with hi-tech and premium features. The model offers also powerful and fuel-efficient powertrains.
The compact, luxury BMW SUV uses a double-pivot front strut suspension setup mixed with the five-link rear independent configuration. The model’s adaptive shocks come in various setup modes. The steering of the model is also configured toward performance drive. The X3 M and Competition versions get more powerful engines combines with reconfigured suspension and upgraded brakes.
The mix of the high power and agile handling makes the BMW X3 fun-to-drive but it is also well-planted on the road with the manners close to that of the solid sedan.
The next 2021 BMW X3 will go on sale late in the year with the price range starting just above $40, 000. The new model brings the all-electric iX3 version with a range of up to 273 miles.
2021 Honda CR-V
The last model year refreshed Honda CR-V is another well-rounded, compact SUV qualified for the list of 10 smooth-riding SUVs for the 2021 model year.
The 2021 Honda CR-V comes with no significant upgrades after the recent mid-cycle update. It gets power from a smooth 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with up to 30 mpg combined fuel economy. The hybrid version provides a better fuel economy.
When it comes to how it drives, the model delivers a great balance between drive quality and handling. The model’s suspension system controls road bums well and it is also balanced through curvy roads. Another factor in the model’s good drive quality is precise steering.
The 2021 Honda CR-V won’t come with notable pricing corrections. The price range should be between $26, 500 and 35,000. The model will reach the market this fall.
2021 Chevy Blazer
A recently all-new Chevy Blazer gets attention with its sporty styling but it is also good inside the cabin and heavy on tech. GM’s infotainment 3 software is responsive and baked by the clear touchscreen. The Balzer is also available with active safety tech.
The 2021 Chevy blazer comes also with the punchy V-6 engine but the recently added turbocharged four-cylinder engine is also powerful. The aggressively styled Blazer delivers also stable and well-controlled ride. All models rely on the independent suspension and electric power steering. The model can also be had with the sportier suspension tune in the RS version but those who want a more comfortable ride should skip this version.
The next 2021 Chevy Balzer comes with minimal changes in the equipment availability and the price range should stay close to the current. The current Blazer starts at $28, 800 but reaches $46, 000 in the best-equipped version. The model will go on sale in the last part of the year.
2021 Audi Q5
The next Audi Q5 will benefit from the brand’s modern design and latest technologies as it comes in the refreshed form.
The next 2021 Audi Q5 will borrow some design cues from the larger Q7 and it comes with the prominent grille and headlights with the revised internal design. The cabin should get a larger center display and color and trim upgrades. The model got the plug-in hybrid version with an estimated 20 miles of the pure-electric range.
The Audi Q5 will provide plenty of horsepowers and rapid acceleration but it will also deliver a controlled and balanced ride. The secure handling will be backed up by the precise steering.
The mid-updated 2021 Audi Q5 should go sale with a slightly upgraded price. The release date will be by the year’s end.
2021 Buick Enclave
The mid-size Buick Enclave shares the underpinning with the GMC Acadia and Chevy Traverse and thanks to its good road manner it deserves a place in our list of 10 smooth-riding SUVs for 2021 model year.
The next 2021 Buick Enclave comes in the refreshed form with subtle styling upgrades and more significant changes inside the cabin. The reports indicate that there won’t be mechanical upgrades.
The second-generation Enclave arrived for the 2018 model year and it offers generous passenger and cargo capacity. However, the model delivers also a premium ride quality. The V-6 engine combined with the smooth 8-speed automatic transmission delivers adequate power but the Enclave is also very comfortable while riding even without the optional adaptive shocks. The model’s quick and responsive electric power steering is also comparable with the best in class models.
The refreshed 2021 Buick Enclave should arrive in October with slightly increased pricing. The current version has a starting point at $40, 000.
2021 Acura RDX
The Acura RDX is yet another compact-sized model in our list of 10 smooth-riding SUVs. The third-generation version arrived for the 2019 model year and it offers roomy cabin and cargo area combined with well-equipped trims and plenty of available tech features.
The 2021 Acura RDX is also the right choice when it comes to how it performs on road. The model possesses well-tuned steering providing easy parking while delivering confidence at high speeds. The model’s suspension does also a great job over various surfaces.
The model comes also with comfortable and supportive seats with heating and cooling functions. There are also additional premium comfort features to make long rides enjoyable.
With no major upgrades expected, the 2021 Acura RDX should keep the price close to the current. The entry-level version should demand around $37, 600. The model will go on sale by the year’s end.
Volvo has some of the most comfortable and stylish SUVs and it is also known for building the safest vehicles in the automotive industry. The mid-size, three-row Volvo XC90 is no exception.
The model is getting closer to the end of the current generation life cycle and the next 2021 Volvo XC90 should be the last version of the second-generation model.
The Volvo XC90 is available with various powertrain options including the plug-in hybrid version. It is spacious inside the cabin and comes with excellent seats. The XC90 is also very comfortable while riding especially on good roads. It changes on the rough roads and buyers should also avoid large 21- and 22-inch wheels in order to get the best from this model.
The 2021 Volvo XC90 should start just above $48, 000. The model should reach dealers in the last quarter of the year.
The crossover and SUVs continue to evolve to more sophisticated and comfortable vehicles with each new generation and it is a hard job to find the perfect mix of the most comfortable and affordable model among the fast-growing number of options. We listed some of the models with the smooth-riding, most of them redesigned or updated recently. However, many models are coming redesigned for the 2021 model year which should lift the comfort and ride quality to the new levels.
Buyers should have in mind the upcoming, all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee, Nissan Roque, Cadillac Escalade, Genesis GV80, Hyundai Tucson, etc.