Five-seater SUVs are fighting against the two most popular classes in this segment. Compact crossovers are the best-sellers, while the three-row models are offering extra space for larger families. Still, the mid-size two-row SUV is still finding the way to customers. These vehicles can offer more space inside the cabin than the small SUVs, while the fuel economy is better than for seven-seaters.
We can split the mid-size class to two-, two and three, and three-row models. As you can see, there are vehicles with one configuration, with optional upgrades, or downgrades. We won’t take these to our article, but only a true five-seaters. Here are the midsize SUVs you will find in 2021 without the third row.
2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee
For a long time, we are listening that the most popular Jeep SUV is getting the third row. It seems the carmaker is not fulfilling the wish of their buyers next year. The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee will be revisited, but it will stay a five-seater. Even without a hybrid or extra row, the SUV is the best-selling unit in the entire segment. Its popularity comes from a cool styling, spacious interior, and a lot of drivetrain options.
Everything starts with a 3.6-liter Pentastar mill. The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee will also offer a pair of V8 units, with the SRT returning nearly 500 hp. Still, this is not all, since the Trackhawk edition with the Hellcat powerplant bursts 707 hp and makes the 2021 Grand Cherokee the most powerful SUV with an internal combustion engine.
There won’t be a three-row model since Jeep is adding Wagoneer as the full-size SUV. Total cargo space in the Grand Cherokee is 68 cubic feet with the second row folded. Behind the rear seats, there are 36 cu.ft. The price of the vehicle starts at $33,000.
2021 Honda Passport
Pilot’s baby brother offers pretty much the same as its bigger sibling. However, the company is about to update its flagship SUV. There will be a new styling, possible hybrid engine, and many other things. Meanwhile, it is not a time for changes on the 2021 Honda Passport, so we expect to see the same vehicle.
Surprisingly, the SUV that came back after 17 years was more expensive than Pilot. Honda will have to fix this, but it seems the Japanese company will do that by increasing the price of the three-row SUV. The 2021 Honda Passport will come with a five-seat configuration, without options to upgrade the number of spots.
The SUV offers 41 cubic feet of cargo space or up to 78 cubic feet behind the front row. The price starts at $32,000. Available trim levels for this vehicle are Sport, EX-L, Touring, and Elite. Engineers install only a 3.5-liter V6 engine. The only available configuration will return 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque.
2021 Nissan Murano
The all-new 2021 Nissan Murano will be the SUV to watch. The Japanese company will redesign it. The interior will take a lot of changes, but the SUV will remain a five-seater. If you are looking for more capacity, then you should pick Pathfinder. Murano will use the same drivetrain. However, for a two-row SUV, engineers are tuning the outputs to 260 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque. The comeback of a hybrid unit is possible.
The 2021 Nissan Murano is not going to be the best SUV for towing. A downtuned engine is capable to haul only 1,500 pounds. Some compact crossovers can beat this easily. Behind the second row, there are 32 cu.ft. of space, while behind the first row we can get 67 cubic-feet. The pricing starts at $32,000. The top of the lineup version is the 2021 Nissan Murano Platinum, which will cost $45,000.
2021 Ford Edge
The new generation of Ford Edge is expected in 2022 or 2023. So, the model for the upcoming season will be unchanged. The carmaker updated it in 2019. One of the biggest changes was the new drivetrain with the ST package. Ford is going to add more options and colors for the new Edge to keep it attractive until the new generation arrives.
The SUV is powered by a 2.0-liter turbo engine and gains 250 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque. The outputs go up with the 2021 Ford Edge ST. A 2.7-liter turbo-six can deliver 335 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque. All-wheel drive is standard, and this configuration takes 6 seconds for a 0-60 mph sprint. The mid-size SUV can tow up to 3,500 pounds.
The cargo space is excellent. The standard layout leaves 40 cubic feet at the back. If you fold the second row the SUV will gain nearly 24 cu.ft. The company offers four starting configurations for the 2021 Ford Edge: SE, SEL, Titanium, and ST. The base price will be just over $31,000.
2021 Subaru Outback
After the redesign of the current model, the 2021 Subaru Outback is not going to make any serious change. Well, fans are still keeping tabs on the high-output XT version. However, it is not likely to happen. But, let’s wait and see.
The only source of power for the 2021 Outback should be a 2.4-liter flat-four drivetrain. A turbocharged unit can burst 260 hp and 277 lb-ft. Popular Boxer engine is making a difference in ride thanks to a low center of gravity, making it a unique vehicle in this class. All-wheel drive is standard, like for every Subbie. The gas mileage is excellent since the powertrain returns up to 30 mpg on highways and 26 mpg combined.
The 2021 Subaru Outback will be competitive in other segments as well. Total cargo space can go up to 73 cubic feet. There is enough room behind the rear seats with 35 cu.ft. The Boxer engine can haul 3,500 pounds, which is enough for a small boat to be loaded on a trailer.
2021 Hyundai Santa Fe
Hyundai is making serious changes. The new SUV in the lineup is Palisade, which is a three-row model. That used to be Santa Fe, while the Santa Fe Sport was the vehicle with a five-seat configuration. Now, the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe is a mid-size two-row SUV. Redesigned, it attracts a lot of attention. The SUV is smaller than rivals with 188 inches, but it still belongs to the midsize class.
There are two engines available. The base version is offering a four-cylinder unit with 185 hp and 25 mpg. Since it is slightly smaller, a 2.4 displacement can still perform fine. But, experts recommend a turbo-four instead. In this case, the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe gains 235 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque.
The base price is way below the competition, mostly thanks to a small engine. However, with a turbo unit, where outputs are on the required level for the segment, the MSRP is above $30,000. Although smaller, the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe will leave 36 cu.ft. of storage and up to 71 cubic feet behind the first row. Like for most of the class, the SUV can tow 3,500 pounds.
2021 Cadillac XT5
We are now in the premium class. Many two-row SUVs here are offering the third-row option (Acura MDX, Lexus RX, BMW X5…). Still, US carmakers split this lineup and we can see the 2021 Cadillac XT5 only as a five-seater. Now, with the XT6 there, buyers can opt for the mid-size three-row Caddie as well. The largest model in the lineup remains Escalade.
Buyers can choose between turbo-four and a V6. In the first case, they can get 240 hp from a 2.0 unit. A V6 is a 3.6-liter engine with 310 hp. Both units are paired with a nine-speed automatic gearbox that sends power to front wheels. Optional AWD consumes more fuel.
The 2021 Cadillac XT5 is not the best choice if you plan to attach a trailer. With only 1,000 pounds of towing capacity, it makes more sense to purchase some more capable SUV. Passengers will have a lot of space inside the cabin. The layout does not leave plenty of room for cargo. There is 30 cubic feet of cargo space, which grows up to 63 cu.ft. if you fold the rear row.
2021 Lincoln Nautilus
Nautilus is the mid-size luxury SUV positioned between Corsair and Aviator. Its larger sibling is currently the hot topic thanks to the high-output hybrid version. We expect to see some kind of an electric configuration for the 2021 Lincoln Nautilus as well.
Until then, the midsize SUV will rely on the same drivetrain as its non-premium sibling, Ford Edge. The base setup includes a 2.0-liter turbo unit with 250 hp. A V6 is the same (2.7-liter) with the same outputs (335 hp, 380 lb-ft). An eight-speed automatic transmission is a standard, as well as the front-wheel drive.
The best thing about the 2021 Lincoln Nautilus is the Black Label package. Still, it makes the premium SUV’s price hefty ($65,000). The standard offer starts at $41,000. Behind the second row, there are 37 cubic feet. That is 3 cu.ft. less than Edge, but the maximum cargo space is 69 cubic feet, 5 more than Ford’s SUV.