Among the many different cars on sale in the USA, sports utility vehicles are some of the most popular. And while most consumers opt for value for their money, there are plenty who are willing to spend extra to live in the lap of luxury while going about their daily business or ferrying the family around. Luxury SUVs are some of the most comfortable cars out there, and while they may not boast the greatest fuel economy, they are almost universally safe and reliable. With that in mind, it can be tricky to pick out the best of the best, but this list of the top luxury SUVs in various classifications should help.
- Cadillac Escalade
When it comes to the American market, it only makes sense to look at the full-size luxury SUVs first, and nothing comes close to the pure indulgence that is the Escalade. This enormous brute of a vehicle is powered by an old-school V8 engine that pumps out 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. This isn’t enough power to give it any degree of performance, but it does bestow it with a towing capacity of 8,300 lbs.
Where the large SUV shines is the spacious and well-appointed interior, where loads of tech come standard, including an enormous OLED screen that takes up the majority of the dashboard. The cabin is also very upscale, conveying Cadillac’s commitment to return to its roots as a genuine luxury brand. Plenty of advanced driver-assistance and high-end luxury features are included as standard.
There is also a lot of passenger space, with 25.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row. This grows to 63 cu-ft if you decide to treat it like a standard five-seater. Opting for the Escalade ESV, with its extended wheelbase, adds some legroom room in the back seats and increases trunk space, but you don’t really need it.
- Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class
Another top offering in the full-size segment is the GLS-Class, the largest SUV from the German automaker. It will cost you about as much as an Escalade, but it is neither as capacious nor as powerful, though you can upgrade the standard inline-six to a 483-hp twin-turbo V8. What you’re really paying for is brand recognition, and it doesn’t get more recognizable than Mercedes-Benz.
There are certain things that come with the territory, like a pristine interior that oozes style and class. The infotainment system is excellent too, and while the standard safety suite is a bit lackluster, the available features can upgrade it to be top-of-class. However, needing to spend more on a car that is already so expensive can be frustrating.
While the interior is beautiful to look at, it does lack space if you want to treat it as a seven-seater. Replacing the middle bench with captain’s chairs helps to make it more accommodating, but the standard 17.4 cu-ft of trunk space is disappointing. The SUV works much better as an ultra-luxury five-seater, especially with the factory-installed sunroof favoring those nearer to the front.
- Genesis GV60
When it comes to compact luxury SUVs, there is a crazy number to choose from, but the Genesis GV60 stands out as one of the newest all-electric options from a brand that hasn’t actually been around all that long. Even so, every model it produces seems to be of the highest quality, earning accolades left, right, and center, all while reaming more affordable than European competitors.
This small EV ticks all the right boxes, and while it may be more expensive than a gas-fed alternative, it’s still cheaper than the electric models being released by the likes of Mercedes and BMW – the brands that Genesis is seeking to take down a peg or two. Take one look at the interior, and it becomes clear that the Korena automaker knows what it is doing. There is plenty of space, all presented in a delightfully stylish manner.
There are also a lot more features included as standard, which is a mindset Genesis has inherited from its parent company, Hyundai. To top it all off the GV60 is a real looker, seeking to break away from the tired old designs of the German brands while still delivering something sleek and sexy.
There are plenty of great options out there beyond these three, but going into detail about all of them would simply take too long. If you’re in the market for a new luxury SUV, you should definitely add some of these names to your shortlist and plan a few test drives before reaching a final decision.
- Mercedes-Benz GLA
- BMW iX
- Land Rover Range Rover
- Volvo XC90
- Acura MDX
- Ford Mustang Mach-e
- Mazda CX-30