The roots of the SUV may lie in rugged practicality, today any SUV worth its salt needs to offer a luxury variant. Leather, walnut and deep, deep carpets are all part of the luxury SUV recipe. Diesel Car picks its Top Luxury SUVs
Range Rover Autobiography
Range Rover is the father of the modern SUV in many ways. Though never intended to be seen in Chelsea or Mayfair, the luxurious nature of models like the Autobiography has given saloon rivals some sleepless nights. Big, imposing, powerful with a 4.4 litre V8 turbo-diesel it’s sumptuously equipped – the Range Rover does luxury in a way few rivals can match. Little wonder then that Jaguar Land Rover’s sales are in such rude health.
How they laughed a little over ten years ago when Porsche announced the Cayenne. Well nobody is laughing now, the Cayenne has been a huge success for the German car maker, in 2012 Porsche sold almost 80,000 Cayennes and that number looks set to increase. With a choice of V6 or V8 diesel and the lure of that legendary Porsche badge the Cayenne’s success should never have been in doubt.
Whichever way you look at it the Q7 is a brute and though Audi may be a relative new-comer to the SUV segment, when it comes to four-wheel drive, they’re up there with the best of them, for it was Audi’s Quattro system that revolutionised the World Rally Championship in the 1980s. The Q7 combines that rally-winning pedigree with Audi’s first-rate build quality and the Q7 ticks an awful lot of the luxury SUV boxes.
The X5 underlines BMW’s ability to turn their hand to any automotive sector. A BMW SUV was the stuff of a madman’s dreams until the arrival of the X range at the turn of the millennium. Now on its third generation, today’s X5 is powered by BMW’s excellent straight-six diesel, capable of 0-60 in under seven seconds and boasting almost 450ft lb of torque. Together with the option M Sport pack offered by BMW and the X5 is a serious contender in the luxury SUV stakes.
Like Range Rover, Mercedes-Benz have a true legend in their SUV range, the G-Class. It may have been in production since the 1970s but today’s G-Class is a true luxury SUV. In might not be the most powerful of the Top 5, but what the G-Class lacks in driving dynamics it more than makes up for in rarity. If you want a luxury SUV to turn the heads of the social elite, the G-Class is the one for you.