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Future SUVs: Coming Soon to a Dealer Near You

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 5/19/2020 Motor Trend Staff
a close up of a car: Future Cars Whats Now SUVs © Motor Trend Staff Future Cars Whats Now SUVs

Whether it's cheap gas, perceived safety, or just collective preference, SUVs and crossovers are the fastest-growing segment of the vehicle market, mostly at the expense of cars. American shoppers can't get enough of 'em, and automakers are happy to design as many of these higher-profit margin vehicles as they can to meet the demand.

Much as cars used to offer a wide variety of body styles and functions appealing to all sorts of buyers, SUVs and crossovers today come in seemingly endless shapes, sizes, and powertrains. From EVs to rock crawlers, there's something for everyone coming to your local showroom soon.

Ford Mustang Mach-E

a red car parked on the side of a road © Motor Trend Staff

What's New: The latest addition to the Mustang model line is a battery-electric crossover four-door SUV. Really. Although the Mach-E looks nothing like any Mustang before it, the Blue Oval's EV certainly packs the straight-line punch to woo pony car fans. The most powerful model—the nearly 460-hp Mach-E GT—aims to scoot from 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. The slinky crossover relies on one of two available battery packs to power its standard rear-axle motor and optional front-axle motor: a 76-kW-hr Standard Range pack or a 99-kW-hr Extended Range setup. Ford estimates a maximum driving range of 300 miles between charges for rear-drive Mach-Es equipped with the Extended Range battery, though a heavy right foot will surely drag down that distance.

What's Not: Save for its Mustang nomenclature, the Mach-E shares little else with any Ford before it.

When: Late 2020

How Much: $44,995

Genesis GV80

a white car driving down a street: 2021 Genesis GV80 © Motor Trend Staff 2021 Genesis GV80

What's New: At long last, the Genesis brand's first SUV is launching for the 2021 model year. The GV80 is a midsize, rear-drive-based SUV with seating for five. The GV80 will be plenty luxurious in base form, offering extra-posh features such as diamond-stitched leather, ash wood trim, augmented reality navigation, and more at a competitive price. Engine choices for the U.S. will include a 2.5-liter turbocharged I-4 making 300 hp and a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 good for 375 hp. Both engines will come mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

What's Not: The GV80 is all-new from the ground up, but the design hasn't changed much from the excellent concept we first saw in 2017.

When: Summer 2020

How Much: $49,925

Cadillac Escalade/Escalade ESV

a car parked in front of a house: 2021 Cadillac Escalade ESV © Motor Trend Staff 2021 Cadillac Escalade ESV

What's New: Cadillac shares its stretched, independently suspended architecture, 6.2-liter V-8 and I-6 diesel engines, and 10-speed transmission with the Tahoe/Suburban/Yukon. It justifies its hefty price premium with such tech treasures as 38 inches of curved OLED display screen, augmented reality navigation, Super Cruise, night vision, and AKG Studio Reference 36-speaker sound. New for 2021, a Sport model features blackout trim. Cadillac offers eight interior color themes that can be decorated with myriad woods and leather sew patterns. Standard-wheelbase versions will launch late this year, with the Suburban-size ESV following in early 2021.

What's Not: Platinum remains the ne plus ultra trim grade.

When: Late 2020 (ESV early 2021)

How Much: $77,500-$102,000 (est)

Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban

a car parked in a parking lot © Motor Trend Staff

What's New: Nearly everything, but most important: an independent rear suspension. This change, plus the addition of 4.9 and 6.8 inches to the Tahoe's wheelbase and length (Suburban adds 4.1 and 1.3 inches) aims to again wrest dimensional and ride/handling superiority from Ford's Expedition/Max. Fourth-gen magnetic ride control shocks are optional, with the upper trims getting MR plus height-adjustable air suspension. There's a new 270-hp, 460-lb-ft 3.0-liter I-6 diesel option, and all models get a 10-speed automatic. The fancier High Country trim helps keep the Chevy faithful from straying to Yukon Denalis.

What's Not: The 5.3- and 6.2-liter V-8s continue, adding DFM cylinder deactivation; 2500 and 3500 variants are dropped.

When: Mid-2020

How Much: $50,295-$70,895 (Tahoe), $52,995-$73,595 (Suburban)

GMC Yukon/Yukon XL

a car parked in a parking lot © Motor Trend Staff

What's New: To everything mentioned in Chevy's Tahoe/Suburban entry, add GMC's AT4 off-road-optimized package, which builds on Chevy's Z71 hardware, for both Yukons. It adds Active Response 4WD electronics plus an electric-locking limited-slip differential, red tow hooks, and more luxurious interior trim. Denali models (60 percent of sales) get a unique dash with integrated touchscreen—rather than one perched on top. There are also real wood inserts, a 15-inch color head-up display, four color themes, and a GMC-exclusive power-sliding center console with a "safe drawer."

What's Not: The level of exterior bling on Denali models.

When: Early Summer 2020

How Much: $51,995-$54,595 (Yukon), $54,695-$75,395 (XL)

Ford Bronco Sport

a person driving a car © Motor Trend Staff

What's New: The Ford Bronco Sport is the rugged cousin to the Ford Escape, which it shares underpinnings with. The off-road-focused compact SUV is unibody and front-wheel-drive based, but Ford considers it part of the Bronco family, and as such it shares some styling cues with the larger, body-on-frame Bronco. The Bronco Sport is expected to have the 180-hp 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder as its base engine and an optional 250-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, both mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive will likely be standard. The look is boxier and more upright than the rounded, urban Escape—with shorter overhangs, underbody protection, a two-piece liftgate, chunky roof rails, and black plastic fenders. In keeping with Ford's overall plans, there will be a hybrid or plug-in hybrid version.

What's Not: It shares its front-wheel-drive platform and its engines with the Ford Escape.

When: late 2020

How Much: $30,000 (est)

Nissan Rogue

a red car parked in a parking lot © Motor Trend Staff

What's New: Nissan's best-seller is moving to a new platform shared with Renault and Mitsubishi alliance to keep it among the top 10 best-selling vehicles in America. What you'll see and touch has been brought into line with Nissan's latest styling language inside and out. We expect Nissan's latest 2.5-liter inline-four under the hood driving the front (or all four) wheels, and there's also the possibility Nissan will put its clever VC-Turbo inline-four under the hood of a sporty model. No matter what, expect a continuously variable transmission. Inside, look for an optional digital dash and a 9.0-inch infotainment screen borrowed from the new Titan.

What's Not: We expect the new Rogue to ride on the same platform as before, and a number of its parts and features will be shared from other Nissan products.

When: Late 2020

How Much: $27,000 (est)

Volkswagen Tiguan

a close up of a car © Motor Trend Staff

What's New: Volkswagen's global best-seller is due up for a refresh, and you'll recognize it right away with its sportier nose job and all-LED external lighting front and back. Inside, the Tiguan gets a sportier steering wheel, borrowed from the larger Atlas Cross Sport, and VW's latest infotainment system with over-the-air update capability. Also available: multicolor interior ambient lighting to set the mood.

What's Not: Everything else. Volkswagen is considering a plug-in hybrid drivetrain option for the next-generation Tiguan, but for now, it sticks with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine and eight-speed automatic.

When: Fall 2021

How Much: $26,000 (est)

Alfa Romeo Tonale

a red car © Motor Trend Staff

What's New: Alfa needs to expand its lineup, and fast. SUVs are hot, so next up is the subcompact Tonale to slot under the compact Stelvio. We expect it to be front-drive based with the option of all-wheel drive, and it will use FCA's small SUV architecture. The Tonale Concept was powered by an unspecified plug-in hybrid drivetrain, which we think could be the 1.3-liter turbo-four in front and electric motor in the rear used by the Europe-only Jeep Renegade plug-in hybrid, which makes 240 hp total. We also think the Alfa will get a non-hybrid option, probably a 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4.

What's Not: The Tonale will share a platform and likely powertrains with other FCA small crossovers, such as the Jeep Renegade.

When: Early 2021

How Much: $35,000 (est)

Audi E-Tron Sportback

a car parked in a parking lot © Motor Trend Staff

What's New: Although it's essentially a fastback version of the E-Tron SUV, with a new roof, new rear quarter panels, and a new tailgate, the E-Tron Sportback has a more carlike presence, like a tall hatchback rather than an SUV trying to look sporty. The Sportback will benefit from a number of technical upgrades from Audi designed to boost range. The front motor will disengage under normal driving, the 95-kW-hr battery's thermal management system has been made more efficient, and the battery's usable capacity has been increased to 86.5 kW-hr. As with the regular E-Tron, the well-equipped Sportback will be available in Premium Plus and Prestige trim levels.

What's Not: The powertrain is the same as the regular E-Tron, with a 187-hp, 231-lb-ft motor at the rear axle and a 168-hp, 182-lb-ft motor up front. Total system output is 355 hp and 413 lb-ft, and an overboost mode gives 402 hp and 490 lb-ft for 8 seconds.

When: 2021

How Much: $80,000 (est)

Kia Sorento

a car parked in a parking lot © Motor Trend Staff

What's New: Completely redesigned, the Sorento receives a new windswept exterior design. Kia also upgrades the interior with a large screen and sleek controls. Expect ride quality to improve now that the SUV sits on a new platform. New engine options should give the Sorento an extra pep in its step. A 1.6-liter turbo-four works with an electric motor to produce 227 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, and a 2.5-liter turbo-four makes 277 hp and 311 lb-ft.

What's Not: Some styling cues reference the Telluride, including the vertical taillights.

When: Late 2020

How Much: $30,000 (est)

Volkswagen ID 4

a blue car parked in a parking lot © Motor Trend Staff

What's New: Volkswagen has learned Americans aren't much interested in hatchbacks, which is why the first of its all-electric MEB-platform vehicles to arrive stateside will be an SUV. The ID 4 is about the size of Tiguan, but the interior is much roomier. The MEB architecture follows the now-familiar skateboard platform, with a large battery pack between the wheels and motors at the axles. The base ID 4 is likely to be a single-motor rear-drive model, with a GTX version offering two motors, all-wheel drive, and more performance. Top-end ID 4s are expected to have a range of close to 300 miles.

What's Not: The interior hardware is shared with the ID 3 hatch recently launched in Europe, with a compact digital instrument panel in front of the driver and a large centrally mounted touchscreen for infotainment and HVAC functions.

When: 2021

How Much: $35,000 (est)

Volvo XC40 Recharge

a person driving a car © Motor Trend Staff

What's New: The XC40 Recharge marks the debut of Volvo's first-ever all-electric powertrain. The Recharge shares Volvo's Compact Modular Architecture with the regular XC40, but there's a liquid-cooled 78-kW-hr battery pack under the floor and a motor on each axle. Volvo claims 408 hp and 487 lb-ft of torque and a 0-60 time of 4.9 seconds. As with all new Volvos, top speed will be limited to 112 mph. Volvo does its own battery research and development in-house and says the available capacity of the battery pack will be 75 kW-hr, which should easily give the XC40 Recharge a range of 240 miles or more.

What's Not: Apart from the blanked-off grille, the XC40 Recharge looks just like a regular XC40. That's no bad thing, as Volvo's entry-level SUV is one of the most stylish in the segment.

When: 2021

How Much: $55,000 (est)

Polestar 2

a car driving on a road © Motor Trend Staff

What's New: Polestar 2 is the second model for the Scandinavian brand spun off from Volvo to concentrate on performance electric vehicles. Polestar 1 was a plug-in hybrid, but Polestar 2 is a mainstream all-electric premium four-door sedan to battle the Tesla Model 3. The 2 will have a range of about 275 miles with the 78-kW-hr battery in the floor. Front and rear motors provide a combined output of 400 hp and 487 lb-ft of torque. A vegan interior is optional, the infotainment system uses an Android operating system to run Google automotive services, and the advanced tech allows the car to try to anticipate the occupants' needs.

What's Not: It features an adaptation of the Volvo CMA architecture used by the Volvo XC40 and the Volvo 11-inch Sensus infotainment screen.

When: Summer 2020

How Much: $63,000 (est)

Fisker Ocean

a car driving on a road: 2021 Fisker Ocean © Motor Trend Staff 2021 Fisker Ocean

What's New: Longtime BMW and Aston Martin designer—and creator of the ill-fated Fisker Karma—Henrik Fisker has bounced back with a green-friendly, five-passenger EV crossover called the Ocean. The Ocean checks all the contemporary EV boxes—up to 300 miles of range, battery capacity north of 80 kW-hr, base 2WD and available AWD, a cool 16-inch center-mounted touchscreen with a haptic touchpad, and a charging partnership with Electrify America. Fun features? A novel multilink rear suspension, a roll-down rear-hatch window for carrying long objects, and karaoke words displayed on the head-up display. The Ocean will be significantly composed of recycled materials such as retrieved ocean plastics and old fishing net.

What's Not: Although the Fisker name is familiar, everything about the Ocean is new, including the company behind the name.

When: Summer 2022

How Much: $37,499

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