The 2011 model year offers SUV buyers more models than ever before. There are more than 85 2011 SUV models to choose from ranging from the sub-compact Mini Countryman to the full-size Cadillac Escalade. At least a dozen SUV models are significantly refreshed or all-new for 2011. 2011 SUVs offer buyers a wide variety of size, luxury, utility, and performance.
Industry trends for 2011 show the increasing number of crossover models available. For example, Ford alone sells five different SUV models, with four of them being crossovers. Buyers are also looking more at efficient SUVs that still offer luxury. The BMW X1 debuts later this year, the German automaker’s first compact SUV model. There are also 10 2011 models offering hybrid engines.
There is also a new subcompact SUV category this year. The Mini Countryman and Nissan Juke both debuted this year, two of the smallest SUVS ever offered. The base Countryman comes with a 1.6-liter, 121-horsepower four-cylinder engine that gets an EPA estimated 27-mpg and 35-mpg highway. It is the most efficient gas powered SUV ever offered. Mini also has the S trim line for the Countryman that has a 181 horsepower turbocharged engine for more spirited driving.
While short on interior cargo room, the Nissan Juke is for performance minded drivers as it offers only a 188 horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine. With front wheel drive, a Juke can be purchased for less than $20,000. These models may also be considered premium models as they offer high quality interiors. Depending on the success of these models, there are likely more subcompact SUVs on the way.
The mid-size SUV category is really heating up with the all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee, Ford Explorer, Dodge Durango, BMW X3, Volkswagen Touareg, and Porsche Cayenne. The Cayenne was named Motor Trend’s 2011 SUV of the Year, while the Ford Explorer, won truck of the year at the North American International Auto Show. The Durango and Grand Cherokee are both important models for Chrysler’s future.
The least expensive 2011 SUV is the Jeep Patriot, which has a starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $15,995. At this price, the Patriot is in front-wheel drive form with a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine and five-speed manual transmission. It has standard MP3 player, stability control, and traction control. The most expensive 2011 SUV is the Mercedes-Benz G-Class. This classic luxury off-roader tops out at over $125,000 with the 5.4-liter 500 horsepower supercharged V-8 engine.
Nearly all the 2011 SUVs are on sale now. Prospective buyers should carefully review their budget, needs, and preferences before making a purchase. For more information, read our recent articles on best resale value SUV, 2011 hybrid SUVs, safest 2011 SUVs, and top 2011 SUVs.