Order of Magnitude: Top 5 luxury SUVs
Our guide to the top five luxury SUVs available on the market today.
The rise of the SUV on UK roads has been nothing short of impressive. In 2019’s falling new car market, SUVs were one of only two car segments that grew year-on-year with an increase in sales of 12% (source: SMMT). The automotive sector seems to have followed the trend of the mobile phone market, with bigger meaning better, and more desirable. And whilst the SUV may not be everybody’s cup of tea, it has built enough of a following in the UK and globally to make it the target of supercar and luxury car manufacturers.
See which luxury SUV tops our list below.
5. Rolls Royce Cullinan
Whilst emphatically not Rolls-Royce’s most beautiful vehicle to date, the Cullinan offers up certain benefits that other members of the Rolls family would struggle with.
Rolls-Royce knows a thing or two about building luxury vehicles for daily use, as well as being arguably the most prestigious marque on the road. The Cullinan hasn’t strayed too far from this formula.
The Cullinan now offers Rolls owners direct access to muddy fields, sand dunes, icy pistes and any challenging terrain which may also offer a sporting opportunity, before hitting the tarmac and flying past we mere mortals. That said, there may be situations where the bulky frame and 2,660kg mass may prove a little unforgiving in boggy, slippery terrain which the generous power output can simply not overcome.
On the road, it is nothing short of a – very refined – beast and whilst not the nippiest due to its weight, the 6.7L V12 under the bonnet trumps every other SUV for sheer class.
With that in mind, the Cullinan sits at fifth on our list. It’s not the fastest, nor the prettiest, but it is the priciest & most opulent – and that’s what will appeal to Cullinan’s target audience. It’s unlikely that those owners will take the wheel themselves – knowing this, Rolls-Royce has designed the perfect rear-seat-drive SUV which has been a major contributor to the companies 25% sales increase in 2019 (source: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars).
Power – 563 bhp
0-62mph – 5.2 seconds
Dry Weight – 2,660kg
Engine – 6.7 L V12
Top Speed – 155 mph
Price – £260,000
4. Bentley Bentayga
The Bentayga, aptly named after the rugged peak of the Roque Bentayga in Gran Canaria, arrived in 2017 causing quite a stir in the SUV market. Bentley proclaimed that the Bentayga was as handy off-road as on, and whilst you may not find many farmers using it during the harvest, that doesn’t mean it is not a very capable off-roader.
The 635bhp SUV comes with an electronically adaptive chassis with eight settings, allowing for the vehicle to adapt to all types of terrain, and it does so with aplomb. Air-suspension smooths out the knocks and bumps, and though you may inevitably find yourself swaying un-genteelly about in the cabin, what better place to experience such inconvenience than in the sumptuous and very British interior of a Bentley.
On the road the Bentley loses out slightly on the practicality front with less interior space and a smaller boot than its rivals, although it does now come with a seven-seat option. The Bentayga Speed is claimed to be the world’s fastest SUV (just) with a top speed of 190 mph, and owners are spoiled for choice when it comes to the powerplant, with W12 & V8 petrol, V8 diesel and even a hybrid option with power outputs ranging from 429 – 626 horsepower – although Bentley has been consolidating the range.
Optional active anti-roll bars ensure that the Bentayga is as confident on-road as it is capable on the rough stuff so if you like your Bentley to have a broader spread of capability than Kensington requires, Bentayga is for you. Just don’t specify the lambswool over rugs.
Power – 635 bhp
0-62mph – 5.2 seconds
Dry Weight – 2,620kg
Engine – 6.0 L W12
Top Speed – 190mph
Price – £133,100.00
3. Lamborghini Urus
Launching a Lamborghini across the desert used to be something you could only experience in a video game – so Lamborghini spotted an opportunity and created a new niche – the Super SUV (SSUV).
The Urus is probably the last SUV you’d expect to see someone drive off-road, with the design language decidedly more Countach then LM002 but Lamborghini clearly wanted to do more than just please the eye…
The Urus comes with an optional Off-Road Package, which offers reinforced stainless steel bumpers, along with skid plates to protect the undercarriage. They’ve also added two extra driving modes to the Urus – Terra and Sabbia. Sabbia mode is used to help maximise the performance of the Urus whilst driving on sand or gravel, whilst Terra allows for safer clearance over foreign objects. Fantastic stuff.. that is until you realise this is an optional extra on a vehicle that is billed to be all-terrain.
Lamborghini were clearly counting on not many people actually wanting to take the Urus off-road, and they were probably right. On the road, it doesn’t disappoint. It has 641bhp packed into a 4.0L twin-turbo V8 engine (shared with the Bentayga), and the Urus is capable of 0-62mph in a supercar-baiting 3.6 seconds, although many testers reckon it was even faster. It is one of the lighter luxury SUV’s on the market, making it the most agile SUV here around a track with a 7:47 Nurburgring lap, but don’t expect your tyres to last long.
Power – 641 bhp
0-62mph – 3.6 seconds
Dry Weight – 2,199kg
Engine – 4.0 L V8
Top Speed – 190mph
Price – £159,925.00
2. Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG
Whilst being one of the most frequently modified vehicles on the road, the G63 also does exactly what it was built for.
The “G-Wagen” was designed with off-roading in mind, and whilst you’ll have definitely seen more crawling around London than flying up & down hill and dale, that definitely doesn’t mean it is not capable when needed.
Mercedes have been selling G-Wagens since 1979 and they have always been formidable off-road – the benchmark for all-terrain performance, even if you are a Land Rover fan. Today’s G63 now has “G-Mode” which simultaneously optimises all the car’s off-road equipment – including a low-range transfer box and three locking differentials which ensures that even if only one wheel has traction, it gets the power.
With breakaway and approach angles the competition can only dream about, the G63 has them all licked.
And now for the downside of all that off-road capability… Its enormous 3,200kg frame and aero-defying shape don’t lend themselves to ultimate refinement, economy or manoeuvrability – but who cares? Under the hood is a characterful 577 bhp AMG V8, which to its credit can still propel the G63 from 0-62mph in just 4.5 seconds. All of this is academic, though – no one ever bought a G63 because of its practicality or handling. It’s a big, beautiful brute and that’s why we love it.
Power – 577 bhp
0-62mph – 4.5 seconds
Dry weight – 3,200kg
Engine – 4.0 L V8 Biturbo
Top Speed – 149mph
Price – £143,370.00
1. Range Rover SVR
Loud, conspicuous and a tad brazen. Just what an SUV should be.
One of our most financed cars to date, and for good reason. It seems everybody wants a Range Rover, and everybody wants one for a different reason. At the top of the list for most Range Rover admirers though, is the Range Rover SVR.
The SVR is relatively commonplace on our roads, and you’ll probably hear it before you see it. Whilst a statement on the road, off the road it stacks up pretty well too.
Land Rover billed it as “The Best SUV for Off-Road Performance”, and it’s hard to disagree (unless you’re Mercedes-Benz). Land Rover is still heavily focused on providing class-leading off-road performance for all its vehicles, and the SVR is no different. It has a version of Land Rover’s proven and effective Terrain Response system offering modes for wet, rocky, sandy and muddier conditions, as well as excellent wheel articulation and suspension travel. If the SVR can’t make it through, chances are nothing can.
On the road is where the SVR comes to life. It is, without doubt, the most outrageous Range Rover money can buy. Land Rover clearly got tired of third parties modifying their cars, so got their Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) division to find a solution.
It’s 5.0-Litre V8 delivers 575bhp, allowing the SVR to hit speeds of up to 176mph (where legal). It handles well too, with performance honed on the Nurburgring giving the SVR superb dynamic capabilities. Add aggressive styling, Recaro seats, a crazy exhaust note and excellent residuals and you have a recipe for success that makes the SVR #1 in the Order of Magnitude
Power – 575 bhp
0-62 – 4.3 seconds
Dry Weight – 2,300kg
Engine – 5.0 L V8
Top Speed – 176mph
Price – Starting from £99,020
If any luxury SUV above catches your eye, make sure you try our finance calculator here. Alternatively, scroll down to arrangefor one of our team to talk you through finance options.