QOTD: Best Standard SUV Design of the 2010s?

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
qotd best standard suv design of the 2010s

We return to the 2010s today to conduct more design evaluations. Previously in this series we covered the best and worst standard car designs, then did the same for upscale cars. Today we consider the 10-year span when the SUV and other SUV-like things strengthened their grasp on consumer sales, then choked out nearly everything that wasn’t a pickup truck.

Our rules are similar to prior entries in this series. We’re considering only production cars which people actually bought, not design exercises and one-offs. To keep things in the attainable “standard purchase” space, the entry-level ask must have been under $48,000. While that may seem a bit low, it’s 15 grand more than the average car transaction price in 2015.

Anything that’s an SUV or CUV qualifies today, so we can avoid body-on-frame discussions like in some sad Jeep forum. And of course, your selection had to have been offered between model year 2010 and 2019. On to my selection:

A full decade after its introduction into North America, and the Land Rover LR4 still looks great. It asked a hair under $47,000 in 2010, its debut year. In Discovery tradition, the 4 was a modification of the 3 that went on sale in 2004. Though the 4 bears a strong resemblance to the 3, it manages to look much more upscale; it’s aged better over the years. Something about the LR3 was a bit too plain to my eyes, like the details weren’t fully finished before production. Unlike the Discovery II, the LR3 wore its limited detailing in an unnatural way.

With the new generation came Range Rover Sport-adjacent styling, LED lighting, “better reliability,” better suspension, a nicer interior, and generally more modern technology. Standard for North America was the 5.0-liter Jaguar AJV8 with new-fangled direct injection and variable intake timing. The LR4 lasted through 2016, at which point it was replaced by a new SUV simply called Discovery. The handsome British filing cabinet looks went away, replaced with a design matching the Discovery Sport CUV.

The current model looks awkward and pinched, and though wider than LR4, is over three inches shorter. And there’s no more V8. Indeed, the Discovery’s been ruined. But at least we’ll always have LR4.

What are your picks for best SUV/CUV styling in the 2010s?

[Images: Honda, Land Rover]

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2 of 36 comments
  • Bd2 Bd2 on Apr 08, 2020

    The Range Rover has nothing on the Defender (but the new one is disappointing). The new G-Wagon isn't as classic looking as its predecessor either. I'd go w/ the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara. For something "softer" (crossover), it's probably the Kia Telluride.

  • Tstag Tstag on Apr 15, 2020

    Land Rover is an interesting company to look at for styling, let’s start with the really ugly: Don’t think I can put any of their models in this category, almost every car maker I can think of has a really horrid car in their history, like Porsche I’d say they don’t. Jeep by contrast have the Compass. Now the not pretty, maybe a bit generic, or missed the spot Current Disco, Disco Sport, all Freelanders Now the really good looking: All previous Discoveries All Defenders new and old Range Rover Evoque Range Rover Velar Range Rover Sport Range Rover You’ve got to give them some credit all things considered

  • 3SpeedAutomatic Drove a rental Cherokee for several days at the beginning of this year. Since the inventory of rental cars is still low, this was a 2020 model with 48k miles and V6. Ran fine, no gremlins, graphics display was easy to work, plenty of power, & very comfortable. Someone must of disarmed the lane assistance feature for the steering wheel never shook (YES!!!!!!!!). However, this woman's voice kept nagging me about the speed limit (what's new!?!?!?!).I was impressed enough to consider this a prime candidate to replace my 11 yr old Ford Escape. Might get a good deal with the close out of the model. Time will tell. 🚗🚗🚗
  • Bullnuke One wonders if this poor woman entered the US through Roxham Road...
  • Johnds Years ago I pulled over a vehicle from either Manitoba or Ontario in North Dakota for speeding. The license plates and drivers license did not come up on my dispatchers computer. The only option was to call their government. Being that it was 2 am, that wasn’t possible so they were given a warning.
  • BEPLA My own theory/question on the Mark VI:Had Lincoln used the longer sedan wheelbase on the coupe - by leaning the windshield back and pushing the dashboard & steering wheel rearward a bit - not built a sedan - and engineered the car for frameless side windows (those framed windows are clunky, look cheap, and add too many vertical lines in comparison to the previous Marks) - Would the VI have remained an attractive, aspirational object of desire?
  • VoGhost Another ICEbox? Pass. Where are you going to fill your oil addiction when all the gas stations disappear for lack of demand? I want a pickup that I can actually use for a few decades.