5 Best Japanese SUVs Of 2021 (Vs 5 American)

The first Japanese cars started appearing in 1910, and like the pioneer Korean manufacturers, they sometimes partnered with European carmakers. In the buildup to World War II, the domestic demand for trucks went up, and Japanese manufacturers had to start designing and building trucks. Over the years, they began exporting cars to the west, and it wasn't smooth sailing due to lots of stigmas.

Brands like Ford and Chevrolet were more dominant and created some cool American cars in the 1950s, with millions of recorded sales. However, Japanese cars slowly started gaining dominance in the '80s after overcoming stigma in the foreign market. Some of the factors that influenced this growth were the improvement in production and the unique Japanese car culture.

Many Japanese manufacturers like Honda and Toyota have also invested heavily in American-based factories to cut export costs. Now, Japanese SUVs, sedans, and trucks can go shoulder to shoulder with their European and American counterparts. Here, we point out the best SUVs from both Japanese and American manufacturers in 2021 and let you decide who built them better.

10 Japanese: 2021 Mazda CX-5

2021 Mazda CX-5 Via HellMazda

For the 2021 Mazda CX-5, both front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive are available depending on the trim level.

There are five trims, and they all have additional standard features. The 2021 CX-5 uses a 2.5-liter turbocharged engine with 250 horsepower and a torque of 320 lb-ft.

2021-Mazda-CX-5-1 Via BobBakerMazda

In addition to its sleek look, the CX-5 has agile handling, which enhances the SUV's drive quality. Like most Japanese cars, the CX-5 is reliable and efficient, with an EPA rating of 23 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.


9 Japanese: 2021 Toyota RAV4

2021 Toyota RAV4 Via BellevilleToyota

The RAV4 has been a favorite for years, and Toyota never disappoints with the SUV.

Available with gas, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid power trains, the 2021 RAV4 is one of the best 2021 model year SUVs. With both FWD and AWD available, the RAV4 has a combined fuel economy of 30 mpg.

2021-Toyota-RAV4-1 Via AndyMohrToyota

Most safety features, including automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control, are standard. The 2021 Toyota RAV4 also has standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but those features are optional on the Honda CR-V.

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8 Japanese: 2021 Lexus NX

2021 Lexus NX Via LexusUSANewsroom

While there are no significant mechanical changes for the 2021 Lexus NX, the automaker made the blindspot monitoring, rear cross-traffic, and power-folding exterior mirrors standard. They also changed the steering wheel design. With a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, the Lexus NX delivers 235 horsepower with an 8-speed automatic transmission system.

2021-Lexus-NX-1 Via MotorBiscuit

For more efficiency, you can go for the hybrid variant with 33 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.

The 2021 NX also has excellent safety ratings from the IIHS and the NHTSA.

7 Japanese: 2021 Nissan Rogue

2021 Nissan Rogue Via MotorBiscuit

The 2021 Nissan Rogue is a technology-loaded 5-seater SUV. With a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, the Nissan Rogue produces 181 horsepower. That doesn't seem exciting, but the SUV has eco, sport, off-road, snow, and auto driving modes.

Although the Rogue uses FWD, Nissan made an intelligent AWD system available to improve traction.

2021 Nissan Rogue Via MotorBiscuit

The Nissan Rogue uses a Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control System (CVTCS) and an Xtronic CVT system. There are two infotainment media screen options, an available head-up display and double panel panoramic roofs. Interestingly, the Rogue is available for £26,050.

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6 Japanese: 2021 Nissan Pathfinder

2021 Nissan Pathfinder Via 2022Nissan

Although Nissan hasn't redesigned the Pathfinder since 2013, the SUV has a lot of pros. Nissan has been making the seven-seater SUV since 1996, and it doesn't look like the Pathfinder is going away anytime soon. The 2021 Pathfinder has a 3.5-liter naturally aspirated V6 engine with 284 horsepower and 259 lb-ft of torque.

2021-Nissan-Pathfinder-1 Via NissanMexico

Understandably, the Pathfinder doesn't accelerate quickly because of its size.

The SUV is spacious and allows easy access in and out of the car. A lot of safety features are also standard.

5 American: 2021 Cadillac Escalade

2021-Cadillac-Escalade-1 Via AutoTrader

At a starting price of £80,490, the 2021 Cadillac Escalade is not one of the cheapest SUVs on this list. However, the Cadillac Escalade seems to be worth its price.

The 2021 Escalade screams luxury with its curved OLED digital dashboard and crisp seat finishing. Also, the SUV is roomy with a maximum interior cargo of 121 cu-ft.

2021-Cadillac-Escalade-2 Via WolfeCalgary:YouTube

The Cadillac Escalade has a standard gasoline V8 engine with 420 horsepower and an available diesel engine. With the available supercruise, drivers can go hands-free on the Escalade.

On the whole, the 2021 Cadillac Escalade feels more refined than most rivals, including the Lincoln Navigator. RELATED: Why The Aston Martin DBX Is The Best Luxury Sports SUV

4 American: 2021 Ford Expedition

2021-Ford-Expedition-1 Via IslandFord:YouTube

The Ford Expedition is a family-friendly eighth-seater SUV. There are two engine options; a standard 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine and a platinum 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine.

The standard engine produces 375 horsepower, while the Platinum power train can deliver 400 horsepower.

2021-Ford-Expedition-2 Via BrandonFord

Ford's Co-Pilot360 feature is regular on the SUV, and wireless charging is available. Like many recent SUVs, the Ford Expedition has many standard safety features. The SUV has enough legroom, and that's very important for a three-row car.

3 American: 2021 GMC Yukon

2021 GMC Yukon Via GMCPressroom

With its solid body-on-frame body, the GMC Yukon looks positively menacing.

General Motors redesigned the 2021 model so, it's a fresh design. There are four trim levels, but Denali trim gets better interior livery. The 2021 Yukon has gasoline V8 power trains and a diesel turbocharged six-cylinder engine.

2021-GMC-Yukon-1 Via WolfeGMCBuick:YouTube

For the handling, the 2021 Yukon drives smoothly with a quiet cabin.

Customers can decide to get the optional power-sliding center console. The Yukon edges out most of the competition in the space department. RELATED: 10 Best SUVs To Buy On A Budget

2 American: 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee

2021-Jeep-Grand-Cherokee-1 Via MurrayChryslerWestman

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is available in both Trackhawk, and SRT trims.

With the Trackhawk, you'd get a supercharged 6.3-liter V8, while the SRT has a 6.4-liter V8 engine. Featuring Jeep's signature rugged design, the Grand Cherokee looks solid on the road. The Jeep's interior design is clean and precise.

2021-Jeep-Grand-Cherokee-2 Via YouCar:YouTube

There are also over 70 standard features on the SUV.

Once you get a Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep automatically enrolls you in their Jeep wave customer care program. The program lasts for 36 months, and you will be getting 24/7 support from Jeep.

1 American: 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E

2021-Ford-Mustang-Mach-E-3 Via AutoTrader

While the Mustang Mach-E isn't as powerful as the Mustang, expect some power from this all-electric SUV. There are five different trims, and the GT trim level can accelerate 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds.

The standard 75.5 kWh battery pack produces about 255 horsepower, while the optional 98.8kWh battery pack gives an output of 459 horsepower.

2021-Ford-Mustang-Mach-E-2 Via NewsCoulomb:YouTube

Since there's no combustion engine, the hood is free and can serve as extra storage. As an all-electric vehicle, the Ford Mach-E has zero emissions. Ford's Mach-E is also an IIHS 2021 top safety pick.

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe Best And Worst American SUVs Of 2021

American manufacturers have come a long way when it comes to the competitiveness of their SUVs in 2021, but some still disappoint.

Related TopicsAbout The AuthorHillary Princewill (126 Articles Published)

Hillary Princewill is a Nigerian writer who grew up spending a lot of time in his Dad's garage.

He loves sports car, F1 and military vehicles.

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