The mid-size SUV market is showing no signs of slowing down, and that’s something manufacturers are set to exploit in 2021, with a whole brace of new cars ready to fight for your hard-earned dollar.
Mid-size SUVs make up one of the hottest categories, and there’s no shortage of new models, facelifts and updates to existing nameplates.
If you find yourself in the market, it might be worth considering waiting until one of these new SUVs launches next year.
It’s been a while between drinks for the Nissan X-Trail, with the current generation doing service from 2013 to 2020.
The all-new third generation is just around the corner, ushering in new looks inside and out, new tech, a bunch of added safety gear and a more powerful 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine set to produce 135kW/245Nm.
The interior is one of the most impressive aspects of the new car, showing off a completely redesigned cabin that features a new dash design, centre console and – finally – a new 9.0-inch infotainment screen. Joining the updated infotainment screen is a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and head-up display.
We’re expecting a local arrival of the 2021 Nissan X-Trail within the first half of 2021, read more about the new car here.
Hyundai’s new radically-designed Tucson should hit the market around the same time as the Nissan X-Trail, and marks the second-generation of one of its most popular models.
Headline items for the new car include a pair of 10.3-inch screens which make up the infotainment system, a fully-digital instrument cluster, connected car-to-home technology and ambient lighting for the cabin.
There are also phone-as-a-key capabilities and Hyundai’s SmartSense safety suite which includes highway driving assist, surround view monitor, remote smart parking assistance and blind-spot collision warning.
In terms of powertrains, WhichCar understands the Australian line-up will be a more conservative offering that mirrors the current three-engine range, but both the hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants are under consideration.
Volkswagen’s also due to release its mid-size entrant, the Tiguan.
While it might appear as more of a mid-life facelift rather than an all-new release like the two above, there’s some significant change going on under the skin to make the Tiguan more appealing to the medium SUV market.
Hallmarks of the new car include a redesigned interior to imitate the Golf Mk 8’s cabin, a 10.3-inch digital instrument cluster and 8.0-inch infotainment screen, touch-sensitive controls, USB-C ports and different upholstery designs.
It sounds like it might be able to drive itself too, given Travel Assist tech can control steering, braking and accelerating duties at speeds up to 210km/h.
There’s little change expected to the drivetrains, though the new range is likely to be headed by a hot Tiguan R variant which borrows the 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder from the Golf R to send 235kW/420Nm to all four wheels.
Out of left-field comes a new facelift for the Peugeot 3008 small SUV. While definitely not in the mainstream category, Peugeot offers a quirky alternative in the 3008 which happens to pack much of the same features as conventional SUVs.
Despite the addition of hybrid powertrains overseas, those powerplants are like to be non-starters for Australia at this time. A full Aussie run-down hasn’t arrived just yet, but we expect Peugeot to carry-over the current engines to the facelifted version.
Some tech enhancements are expected, namely a larger 10.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system.
We can expect to see the new 3008 on Australian roads in Q1 or Q2, but read this story for more.
Kia is staying mum on details of its new mid-sizer for now, but a new Sportage is just around the corner and will launch in Australia likely before 2022.
It’s expected to debut adventurous design like its Hyundai Tucson relative, but we’ll just have to wait and see for sure. Stay tuned as WhichCar brings you all the latest on the next-gen Kia Sportage.
In much the same way that the SUV craze continues on, the roll-out of electric vehicles is set to be a big feature of 2021. The BMW iX3 is a fully-electrified mid-size premium SUV rolling on the same platform as its X3 stablemate.
It’ll arrive in Australia mid-2021, bringing an 80kWh electric powerplant to the tune of 210kW and 400Nm and a 6.8-second 0-100km/h sprint. BMW says it’ll provide an impressive 460km range, as determined on a WLTP test cycle. Using fast-charging, the iX3 is capable of charging 80 percent of its battery in 34 minutes.
The 80kWh battery sends power to a single motor at the rear axle for exclusively rear-wheel drive. It's a different approach to some of its competitors, which use multiple motors for all-wheel-drive.
Read more 2021 BMW iX3 electric SUV revealed
Cabin size and appointments will be largely unchanged over the X3, while the same 510-litre boot carries across to the iX3.
Tesla Model Y
It feels as though we continually say “coming soon” regarding the Tesla Model Y, but the effective touch-down date is likely to happen in 2021. It’s the more practical, higher-riding stablemate to the Model 3 sedan and features a conventional set of doors unlike the Model X sibling.
Audi’s best-selling SUV is getting refreshed styling and some tech updates for the 2021 model year, and we expect it to arrive on our shores sometime in the first two quarters of the year.
It receives a new front fascia, a tidied-up rear end with digital OLED tail lights and a 10.1-inch touchscreen and 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster duo for the infotainment.
There’s also a raft of new customisation options for getting its look just right, including new colours, new trim pieces and a choice of different sized wheels.
Speaking of the premium end of the segment, an all-new comer in the form of the Genesis GV70 will debut some time in 2021, bolstering the South Korean-brand offshoot’s range Down Under.
The Genesis GV70 is a luxury-minded mid-sizer intent on competing alongside the BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC and Lexus NX.
No detail is forthcoming on engine specification right now, though we expect the offering to mimic that of the G70 sedan, including a 2.0-litre and 3.3-litre turbocharged powerplants.
The Genesis GV70 SUV, joining the GV80 large SUV, is set to be built on Genesis’ rear-wheel-drive platform, but will be offered with all-wheel drive as an option.