8 Legitimate Choices for the Best 2020 SUV
Here Are the Best SUVs we can Expect to See in 2020
Updated November 12, 2018
The SUV and crossover craze isn’t showing any signs of stopping. To the contrary, it would seem that elevated-wheelbase vehicles are only warming up so to speak. Of 10 best-selling vehicles in the U.S. during the first three quarters of 2018, four are crossovers. It might not look like much, but don’t forget that first three spots are traditionally off-limits to anything but a trio of full-size pickup trucks. Not counting the F-150, Silverado, and Ram, it’s the Nissan Murano, Toyota RAV4, and Honda CR-V who find themselves atop the list of average the American buyer’s most popular choices. The Chevrolet Equinox compact rounds off the selection. Things are similar all across the globe as crossovers and SUVs amounted to almost 28 percent of the global market share in 2017 – an increase from 16.5 percent in 2014. Needless to say, this trend will carry along for a while, possibly allowing the SUVs and crossovers to reach as much as 50 percent market share in coming years. With that in mind, let’s take a look at what might be the very best 2020 SUV or at least pinpoint a few of the likeliest of candidates for that accolade.
08. 2020 Ford Bronco
Back by popular demand as well-put by the Blue Oval – the Bronco is arguably the most anticipated vehicle of the decade. At least when it comes to the U.S. market. The iconic nameplate returns after years of speculation and an even longer hiatus which lasted since 1996. It’s scheduled to be built at the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan alongside the mid-size pickup truck Ranger which is also making a comeback to these shores. Expectations are high for the sixth-generation Bronco, but new models will be neither the old-school 2-door compact off-roaders nor the bulky full-size SUVs of the eighties and nineties. Instead, they’ll be a modern interpretations of a crossover/SUV that slots somewhere in between. The 4-door mid-size SUV will sport a removable top, though. Even more importantly, its axles will be supplied by Dana, and both front and rear ones might end up being solid. Prices should start somewhere in the higher $20k range for base models and work their way up from there.
The forthcoming Bronco’s powertrain lineup is still shrouded by a veil of mystery. It’s likely to share both the engines and transmission with the U.S.-spec Ranger since they share the same platform as well. That would mean the Bronco will also profit from the Focus RS’ 2.3L EcoBoost 4-cylinder mill of still undisclosed specs at this moment. Another possibility is a 2.7L EcoBoost V6, but that is still to be confirmed. As for transmissions, only a 10-speed automatic has been confirmed so far, but there are some quit murmurs about a possible manual gearbox too. Apparently, Ford is working with Getrag on a new 7-speed unit but it’s unclear whether this unit will make it in time for MY 2020 and whether it’ll make it to the Bronco at all for that matter. With 2019 already upon us, we expect more substantial info from Dearborn in the coming months alongside the long-awaited production model’s debut. Can the Bronco become the best 2020 SUV overnight? We will most certainly find out.
07. 2020 Porsche Cayenne
With all due respect to the iconic 911, it’s the luxury SUV that has onset the German automaker’s considerable growth in the past decade or so. The third-generation Cayenne debuted for MY 2018 and its lineup is currently in expansion. Although it’s still too early for the current models to receive any substantial changes, the luxury SUV’s lineup will be considerably expanded in 2020. The Germans are already preparing the coupe version of their former best-selling model (prior to the Macan’s introduction). If you can call a 4-door crossover SUV a coupe, that is. The Cayenne coupe will be nothing more than a more expensive version of the regular vehicle with even lower utility scores due to its faster-sloping roofline. However, a lower center of gravity and improved aerodynamics should help it become even sportier than its more upright sibling. The regular Cayenne models cost between $66,000 and $125,000 at the moment, while their fastback counterparts should warrant a few thousand more in every corresponding trim and powertrain configuration.
The Stuttgart company is knee-deep in works on electrification but the Cayenne shouldn’t profit from that project by 2020. Instead, it’ll retain its current lineup of engines which are more than sufficiently diverse anyway. The same goes for the upcoming coupe versions which will likely receive most, if not all of the engines currently available in the conventional Cayennes. In other words, the base models will continue to be offered with their 3.0L turbocharged V6 with 340 horsepower, while the almost $20,000 more expensive Cayenne S benefits from a twin-turbo 2.9L V6 capable of making 440 ponies. The Cayenne Turbo raises the bar even higher thanks to a 4.0L twin-turbo V8 worthy of seriously plentiful 550 hp and 567 lb-ft of torque. It also costs the most. Finally, the crown jewel of the Cayenne lineup delivers as much as 455 ponies and 516 pound-feet of twist alongside up to 27 miles of all-electric range and an overall bolstered fuel economy. The Cayenne E-Hybrid starts from around $80,000, incorporates the base model’s engine coupled with an electric motor, and is able to tow up to 7716 pounds.
06. 2020 Jaguar I-Pace
The I-Pace electric SUV arrived during the second half of 2018 but it didn’t waste any time. It immediately snatched the German Car of the Year award which has to count for something. The all-electric luxury crossover has already showcased what it’s capable of doing and things can only get better from this point onward. Apart from offering the obvious meticulous design, refined interior, and great range, the I-Pace also delivers in the performance department. Some of its precious few shortcomings are a slow-responsive infotainment system and possibly a high starting sticker of more than $70,000. While Jaguar‘s very first crossover, it sets an early example as one of the best electric crossovers on the market. Although it won’t send the Tesla Model X into retirement, it’ll surely give the California-based company something to think about.
The I-Pace combines two permanent-magnet synchronous AC electric motors good for 197 horsepower each with a 90 kWh lithium-ion battery pack for a combined output of 394 horses and 512 pound-feet of rotational force. Thanks to a healthy amount of power and instantly available torque, the 4,800-pounder (1,329 of which goes on the battery pack alone) is capable of accelerating to 60 mph from a standstill in just 4.5 seconds. It’s also capable of providing a healthy 238-mile range or 89 MPGe according to the EPA. Standard 50 kW charging network should fill 80 percent of the I-Pace’s large battery in about an hour and a half, while home chargers take up to 13 hours for a full recharge. The I-Pace is compatible with 100 kW fast chargers but the fast-charging infrastructure is still to be expanded to a level where you don’t have to rely on planning your trips up front. Yet again, the I-Pace is only expected to get better with time, but that goes for its competition as well.
05. 2020 Audi RS Q8
The latest addition to the Audi crossover SUV family won’t remain on a single powertrain offering for long. The more powerful SQ8 is already in the works and so is the ultimate performance-oriented RS Q8 which should arrive sometime during 2020. The RS Q8 is one of few upcoming Audi Sport models that are intended to bolster the German automaker’s performance credentials. Considering it’s a flagship SUV within their current lineup, it’ll have to pack quite a punch. Needless to say, it will, but we’ll get to that. The forthcoming RS Q8 – like most RS models across the Audi range – gets a slightly wider frame in order to accommodate larger wheels and to visually lower the car. Different side skirts and more aggressive air inlets are also in the works, and so are larger brakes and the RS signature oval exhaust tips. When it arrives, the Audi RS Q8 will likely cost north of $100,000.
There’s still no official confirmation on the upcoming 2020 Audi RS Q8’s powertrain but we bet it’ll share an engine with the Porsche Panamera and Cayenne Turbo. This means the RS Q8 will make between 550 and 600 horsepower thanks to their twin-turbo 4.0L V8 mill. Another possibility is a hybrid engine of similar output which can also be found in one of Porsche’s models – the Panamera Turbo S E. Thanks to the addition of an electric motor, this setup generates a whopping 680 ponies which should – as mentioned above – make the RS Q8 one of the most powerful Audi models around. This would also make it one of the best 2020 SUVs currently available on the market, but let’s await the official info before we jump to conclusions. The forthcoming Audi RS Q8 should be unveiled at one of the upcoming 2019 auto shows.
04. 2020 Land Rover Defender
The 2020 Land Rover Defender marks the return of yet another off-road SUV legend, though the legendary Landy hasn’t been absent that long to begin with. Like any legendary 4×4 vehicle with aspirations to remain competitive in today’s market, the next-gen Defender too will have to balance between the contemporary and archaic. The new Land Rover Defender retains the overly boxy shape of its predecessors while donning the modern lineup’s design language. Slab-sided and sharp-looking, the Landy will, sadly, sport independent front and rear suspension. Although nothing’s been confirmed yet, it’ll also most likely sport a unibody frame. Despite these not overly promising feats, the new Land Rover Defender shouldn’t have any trouble on rough terrain. Both the 2 and 4-door models will be built and prices are projected to start from the mid to high $40k range for base models.
There are very little details about the future Land Rover Defenders’ powertrain selection at this moment. The vehicle caught testing sports a 2.0L turbo-diesel 4-cylinder engine but we can safely chalk that option off here in the U.S. Instead, we’ll likely get one of the currently available engines from the Range Rover line. The most likely of candidates are the larger 254-horsepower 3.0L diesel V6 or a 247-horsepower 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder petrol engine. Other than that, higher-spec models might be offered with a more powerful 340-horsepower 3.0L straight-six petrol engine. We’ll have to wait for the official statement from the British company for more than that. The new Defender could be making a debut the following Summer with first deliveries coming in early 2020.
03. 2020 Honda CR-V
The compact Honda CR-V is both Honda’s best-selling model and sixth best-selling vehicle in the U.S. at the moment if we count the omnipresent trio of full-size pickup trucks. Needless to say, the compact is there for a reason. It’s affordable, reliable, fuel-efficient, has a well-appointed interior and ample of cargo space for its size. Without a doubt, the CR-V is one of the most versatile small family crossovers and buyers obviously know how to appreciate that. Considering the current-generation debuted in late 2016 as a 2017-year model, the 2020 Honda CR-V will likely undergo a mid-cycle makeover. That means a revised front fascia, different tail-lights, and a slightly updated interior at the very least. We can also expect some equipment shifts across the available trims and even a new feature or two. The current models cost between $25,000 and $33,000, and future prices aren’t expected to budge by much.
Mid-cycle facelift or no, the CR-V will continue without any major powertrain revisions. The same 1.5L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with 190 horsepower and 189 pound-feet of torque will continue to breathe life into most CR-V models. Only the entry-level models get a different 2.4L naturally aspirated 4-cylinder worthy of 184 hp and 180 lb-ft of rotational force. We can only speculate whether this base engine will carry over or let the smaller turbo do all the work. Whichever happens to be the case, the Japanese won’t abandon the CVT gearbox strategy although a different option would be welcome. The Honda has also revealed a third-row and hybrid option for the overseas market during the 2018 Geneva show, but there’s still no info if any of them will make it stateside. Considering the hybrid CR-V uses the Accord’s hybrid powertrain, the chances of it being offered on the U.S. market are extremely high. More info should follow in the coming months.
02. 2020 Genesis GV80
Ever since it spun-off from the main Hyundai line a few years back, the Genesis division has been offering nothing but quality at more than affordable prices. In order to position themselves on the market, the South Koreans have also offered some of the best warranty deals out there. Now, they’re finally expanding their lineup and entering the busy crossover SUV segment. Their very first crossover, the mid-size GV80 is expected to arrive in 2020 with either an extended Hyundai Santa Fe or modified Genesis G80 sedan’s platform underneath. Design-wise, the production model should distance itself from the concept vehicle presented at the 2017 New York car show. Considering the Korean automaker’s design chief Luc Donckerwolke was acquired from Bentley, it wouldn’t come as a surprise if the GV80 “borrowed” some of the British automaker’s cues. When the Genesis GV80 finally arrives, expect it to cost a few thousands more than the G80 sedan which starts from just under $45,000.
The majority of the details about the forthcoming 2020 Genesis GV80 are sketchy at best, and so are details about its prospective powertrain. The most likely of options are the Genesis lineup’s current engines. Considering the GV80 will be the larger of the duo of upcoming Genesis crossovers, it’ll also receive larger powertrains. Base models will likely be served by a 3.3L twin-turbo V6 that’s making 365 horsepower, while the range-topping models could get a sturdy 5.0L V8 mill which develops 420 ponies. Both rear and all-wheel drive should be offered across the range, while every single model is due to receive a mandatory 8-speed automatic gearbox as well. More should be known at some point during 2019 so let’s wait for something more tangible from the South Korean automaker before we jump to any more conclusions.
01. 2020 Volvo XC40
Immediately after its arrival, the Volxo XC40 earned itself the European Car of the Year award, while its larger sibling the XC60 got itself the World Car of the Year award – both for 2018. This speaks a lot about the Swedish automaker’s intentions and even more about the quality of their products. In that light, it’s no wonder why the subcompact XC40 is rightly considered the best 2020 SUV, or at least one of the best available choices. The XC40 boasts a smooth ride and very well-appointed interior with an abundance of tech features – especially safety-related ones. It might not be the best choice if you’re looking for a cargo hauler, but then again that was never Volvo’s intention to begin with. The funky XC40 basically retains the Volvo’s core personality but adds a little bit of its own youthful flare.
Base T4 models are powered by a 197-horsepower 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine which carries over to the more advanced T5 units as well. There, however, it generates 248 ponies and comes with a mandatory all-wheel-drive setup. The entry-level models can be obtained with a front-wheel drive as well. Regardless of your model of choice, every XC40 comes with a mandatory 8-speed auto. Although offered in no fewer than six different trim choices, every single one of them can be obtained for between $33,500 and $40,000. Of course, the Swedes offer plenty of opportunities to make your subcompact a much more expensive affair via optional packages, but it’s worth mentioning that one of the best 2020 SUVs does come with a standard 9-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, collision avoidance technology, lane-keeping assist, road sign recognition, and many more features.