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Best Full-Size SUVs [Ranked for 2021]

Best Full-Size SUVs

Best Full-Size SUVs

On this list are some strong contenders for the full-sized SUV category. We’ve test-driven every one of them, using them as a daily family drive and workhorse.

All of our picks are large, three-row sport-utilities with all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive as an option.

Every one of them has a tow rating, is fully capable of hauling plenty of cargo, and most of them have a roof rack option as well.

Check out all our picks for the best SUVs by size >>

Read about how we rank our vehicles >>

What Is Considered a Full-Size SUV?

We are defining a full-sized SUV in much the same way the marketplace does. Some sport utilities are “crossover-SUV” models, while others are “truck-based SUV” models. For this list, we are considering truck-based sport utilities. We are not, however, looking at the luxury categories.

Our size, pricing, and capability chart below will help narrow down your field if you’re looking for specific needs in this segment.

Best Full-Size SUVs Comparison

Best Full-Size SUVsFord ExpeditionChevrolet TahoeGMC
Yukon
Chevrolet SuburbanNissan Armada
Base Price / Top Trim Price
$51,690 / $76,825
$50,295 / $72,600
$51,995 / $74,100
$52,995 / $75,300
$49,895 / $69,295
Max Seating Capacity

8

8

9

9

8

Max Cargo Volume
122 cu. ft.
122.9 cu. ft.
145 cu. ft.
144.7 cu. ft.
95.4 cu. ft.
Max Towing Capacity

9,300 lbs

8,300 lbs

8,400 lbs

8,300 lbs

8,500 lbs

Maximum HP
400
420
420
420
400
EPA Combined MPG
23
18
18
17
16

#1 Ford Expedition & Expedition Max

Ford Expedition Large Size SUVThe Ford Expedition and its long wheelbase Max option are at the top of our list for full-size SUV options. It’s the most economical of the group and has the highest tow rating. It paved the way for full-sized sport utilities to have an independent rear suspension for better ride quality and more interior room.

The Ford Expedition’s base model has a five-seat configuration for maximum cargo space, while nearly all trims have a 7 or 8-seat setup, perfect for a large family. With underpinnings coming from the best-selling Ford F-150 pickup truck, the Expedition also adds a strong turbocharged powertrain and big towing capacity to its upsides.

Downsides for the new Expedition include a more truck-like interior feel and rough shifting from the 10-speed automatic transmission (standard) when under stress. So while towing and hauling are definitely high points for this SUV, the ride can feel a little rougher while doing so because of that transmission.

All in all, though, the value and excellence are all there. Compared to the models from General Motors, the Expedition is also the most time-tested on the list, with only the Nissan Armada having a longer life in its current rendition.

Ford Expedition Pros

  • Excellent value for the considerable capability
  • Best towing capacity of our lineup
  • Several configuration options to suit needs

Ford Expedition Cons

  • Truck-like interior and drive feel
  • Rough shifting when under stress (load, towing)

Current Ford Expedition Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2021FordExpedition$1,000 1.90%$560/month for 39 months, $5,789 due at signing11/1/2021

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Ford deals here.

#2 Chevrolet Tahoe

Chevrolet Tahoe Large Size SUVsThe Chevrolet Tahoe is one of four new sport utilities from General Motors, three of which are on this list. All four (the other being the Cadillac Escalade) are based on the same platform and underpinnings, but for our list, the Tahoe has the best mix of value and capability. New this year is an independent rear suspension for more interior space, improved engine choices, and a suite of high-end electronic technologies for those who want them.

Hiding the Tahoe’s truck basis would be nearly impossible for a vehicle this size, but the Tahoe is one of the least truck-ish of the SUVs on our list. It rides extremely well and feels confident and agile almost all of the time. When towing, it pulls nicely and features excellent sway control.

On the other hand, the 2021 Tahoe does have a lot less bling in its interior when compared to the other models on our list here, and it suffers from some drawbacks in terms of simple ergonomics. Especially in the lower-end trim levels. Finding a USB charger, for example, could be an issue if a more expensive trim option isn’t chosen.

In terms of value and overall appeal, though, the Tahoe is an excellent option and makes second on our list here.

Chevrolet Tahoe Pros

  • Good mix of value and capability
  • Comfortable ride quality and good agility
  • Lower price point for entry buyers

Chevrolet Tahoe Cons

  • Low-end interior materials and feel
  • Family ergonomics best in higher-cost models

Current Chevrolet Tahoe Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2021ChevroletTahoe2.49%$579/month for 36 months, $7,659 due at signing11/1/2021

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Chevrolet deals here.

#3 GMC Yukon & Yukon XL

GMC Yukon Large Size SUVsThe GMC Yukon comes in both a standard and an extended wheelbase (XL) model, the latter of which adds more cargo space and third-row legroom. Like the Tahoe, the Yukon now features a space-boosting independent rear axle and great powertrain choices. Unlike the Tahoe, the Yukon also has a much more premium interior experience with better bling and appeal.

The Yukon has a more truck-like exterior than the Tahoe, featuring a wide, flat grille and tall, flat hood. It makes up for this with an air ride suspension and better base model accouterments inside. However, those come at a cost, putting the Yukon at an average purchase price that’s often several payments higher than the Tahoe.

We very much like the Yukon and consider it a very near-tie with the Tahoe for anyone considering a full-sized SUV.

GMC Yukon Pros

  • Premium interior experience
  • Great ride quality

GMC Yukon Cons

  • More expensive than others
  • Wide, flat hood can make visibility difficult

Current GMC Yukon Deals & Incentives

You may qualify for deals and incentives, check out this month's GMC deals here.

#4 Chevrolet Suburban

Chevrolet Suburban Full Size SUVThe first Chevrolet Suburban entered the market in 1933, but the model now serves as the longer wheelbase version of the Tahoe (above). It now sees an independent rear suspension for the first time since its inception and offers a larger amount of interior room (especially in cargo and third-row access).

A few design elements for the Suburban set it apart from the Tahoe, but the two models are twins for the most part. For that reason, we ranked the longer-wheelbase and more expensive Suburban lower on this list as it suffers the same problems the Tahoe does, but adds a heftier price tag as well.

The Chevrolet Suburban is comfortable and roomy, though, with excellent trailer sway and passenger hauling capabilities.

Chevrolet Suburban Pros

  • Good exterior design and visibility
  • Longer wheelbase than other standard models

Chevrolet Suburban Cons

  • Fairly expensive to get into at base level
  • Cheap-feeling interior

Current Chevrolet Suburban Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2021ChevroletSuburban2.49%$599/month for 24 months, $9,789 due at signing11/1/2021

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Chevrolet deals here.

#5 Nissan Armada

Nissan Armada Full Size SUVThe Armada is one of the oldest models on our list here, having only undergone minimal changes since its introduction in 2017. For 2021, the Armada saw a few changes to its exterior and big changes to improve its interior, which helped edge it out over the other long-lived contender for fifth position here, the Toyota Sequoia.

While still bulky and outdated compared to the other four options on this list, the Armada has a huge amount of interior room and storage space and strong towing by comparison.

Yet the Armada remains the least fuel-efficient SUV on our list and also sports the most restricted third row of seating. The Armada retains its solid rear axle setup, but also has loads of confidence while pulling a trailer. The now-standard, integrated trailer brake control is a boon as well. Of our group, the Armada may have the most off-road credibility as well.

Nissan Armada Pros

  • Big updates for 2021 add more interior appeal
  • Excellent storage space ergonomics

Nissan Armada Cons

  • Not fuel-efficient
  • Smaller third row than rivals

Current Nissan Armada Deals & Incentives

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2021NissanArmada0.00%$469/month for 36 months, $7,169 due at signing11/1/2021
2022NissanArmada1.90%$499/month for 36 months, $7,499 due at signing11/1/2021

You may qualify for additional deals and incentives, check out this month's Nissan deals here.

Which Is the Best Full-Size SUV?

We ranked the 2021 Ford Expedition as our top choice for full-sized sport utilities. Although the General Motors offerings are all on our list of top five choices here, Ford won out for its excellent mix of value and capability.

Every vehicle listed here, however, offers something for buyers to consider. We’d strongly recommend cross-shopping between them to find what fits your needs the best. Most likely, if you have the needs of most buying in the large SUV category, you’ll find our list closely matches yours. If you're looking for something smaller in the SUV category, check out our picks for the best small SUVs here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best full-size SUV on the market?

We ranked the Ford Expedition as our top choice in full-sized sport utilities. Our research and real-world use of each of these vehicles put the Expedition at the top of our list.

What are the largest SUVs?

The largest SUVs are the Chevrolet Suburban, the GMC Yukon XL, and the Ford Expedition Max. These utilities have massive wheelbases and lengths to maximize interior space and cargo room.

What SUV has the highest tow rating?

The highest tow rating on our list is the Ford Expedition, which in its base five-seat, two-wheel drive configuration can tow up to 9,300 pounds. Most Expedition models can tow more than their comparable competition by 100 or more pounds.

Which large SUV has the most cargo space?

The most cargo space is found in the GMC Yukon XL, which edges out the Suburban by just 0.3 cubic feet to gain that accolade.