You will never ever see a yesport ORtillity vhicle (Sport Utility Vehicle) winning some fuel efficiency contest, even when equipped with the latest hybrid technology. But do you know what? They are very hard to beat in terms of towing capacity and off-road prowess.
With the station wagon practically extinct, crossovers are the most typical alternatives to SUV’s traditional, regardless of the segment in which you are moving. In general, crossovers are very maneuverable and efficient, although they’re not quite as capable, especially if you plan to go off-road and onto a dirt road. And not to mention if you need to tow weight on a regular basis.
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If you think that an SUV is the vehicle you need for you and your family, we have put together for you the best options that the market offers today.
|Jeep Wrangler||The best ever|
|Bentley Bentayga||The best luxury SUV|
|Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid||The best hybrid SUV|
|Toyota 4Runner||The best family SUV|
|BMW X3M||The best performance SUV|
|Jeep Renegade Trailhawk||The best compact SUV|
|Audi E-tron||The best electric SUV|
Why should you buy it? Because it is the original SUV. Jeep created the modern off-road vehicle, and today’s Wrangler remains one of the best examples of this breed.
For whom it is? For all those who want to explore the outdoors.
Why we choose it? The Jeep Wrangler dates back to the Willy’s originals that were developed during World War II. It’s evolved considerably over the past few years, with the 2018 model finally swallowing the tech pill its predecessors avoided. His spirit remains the same. This means it’s simple, relatively affordable, and virtually unbeatable when going off-road.
The Wrangler lineup includes the standard two-door model and a larger four-door version called the Unlimited. All variants come from the factory with either a soft or hard top, and a power soft-top is also offered for an additional cost, making the Wrangler one of the most affordable convertibles on the market. As a bonus, buyers looking to take on extreme activities can customize the Wrangler by purchasing parts directly from Jeep or from a virtually endless list of suppliers.
While the entry-level Sport model is still relatively basic, higher trim levels are much nicer inside and comfortable even around town. If you’re the adventurous type, the Wrangler is your best bet in the SUV segment, hands down.
The best luxury SUV
Why should you buy it? Because it’s a Bentley that can go off the road with no problem. The Bentley Bentayga offers performance and luxury in a highly capable package.
For whom it is? For lovers of the world’s most demanding off-roaders.
Why we choose it? The Bentley Bentayga is one of the fastest, most expensive and most powerful SUVs on the market. It stands out for its exquisitely crafted interior, elegant Bentley styling, and a twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter W12 engine that pumps out 600 horsepower and an impressive 663 pound-feet of torque. Buyers who don’t need as much power can order a less expensive variant with a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8. And alternatively, Bentley offers it as a petrol-electric hybrid.
The Bentayga is made from materials like aluminum to keep weight in check. The ultralight body and 600 horsepower allow it to hit 60 mph in four seconds, making it almost as fast as a Porsche 911, while the V8-powered model takes a few tenths of a second longer.
Those with money to spare can also customize almost every aspect of the Bentayga. It’s available with four, five or seven seats, and the options list includes a Breitling dashboard clock, picnic baskets with room for two bottles of champagne and even a fly-fishing kit.
Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid
The best hybrid off-road SUV
Why should you buy it? Because it’s the sportiest hybrid SUV you can buy. The same performance of a Porsche road car is seen here in a hybrid utility vehicle.
For whom it is? For those who don’t want to damn their souls for driving efficiently.
Why we choose it? “Hybrid” and “SUV” are two nails in the coffin for someone who loves the thrill of driving; at least, that used to be the case. A high center of gravity and heavy drivetrain should translate to sloppy handling and sluggish acceleration, but Porsche has a habit of breaking the rules. The Cayenne E-Hybrid is just as enjoyable to drive as the standard Cayenne, already the most dynamic luxury SUV on the market.
Porsche built the Cayenne E-Hybrid’s powertrain around a 3.0-liter V6 engine that uses a single turbocharger to pump out 335 horsepower and 331 pound-feet of torque on its own. He introduced an electric motor into the equation to create a gasoline electric system sufficient to generate 455 horsepower between 5,250 and 6,500 rpm and 516 lb-ft. of torque from 1,000 to 3,750 rpm. Power is channeled to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. The E-Hybrid takes 4.7 seconds to hit 60 mph, and it handles better than a big, bulky SUV.
If you’re not hitting the gas, you’ll be enjoying the Cayenne S E-Hybrid’s plush seating, smooth ride quality, and spectacular fit and finish.
The best family SUV
Why should you buy it? Because you are climbing a mountain as well as taking your children to school. The Toyota 4Runner flexes its muscles on the road without sacrificing comfort on the pavement.
For whom it is? For those who have passengers and equipment to carry out of the way.
Why we choose it? The 4Runner is a Old Fashioned in the best possible sense. While many of its rivals have adopted the construction unibody, the Toyota retains a truck-derived ladder frame, giving it the ability to scale impressive obstacles. This makes it not as refined as a crossover.
Its cabin is on par with its rivals, boasting a state-of-the-art infotainment system, supportive seats, and materials that can almost be considered premium. The 4Runner isn’t the cheapest family hauler, but it’s worth every dollar you pay.
We suggest opting for the TRD Pro model, which comes off the assembly line ready to get muddy. It benefits from larger tires around 17-inch wheels, a beefed-up suspension at both axles, and a TRD-specific look that pays homage to classic Toyota off-roaders.
The best performing SUV
Why should you buy it? Because it’s an SUV that drives like a sports car.
For whom it is? People who like excitement… and have to take their children to school.
Why we choose it? The BMW X3 M isn’t the fastest or most powerful SUV, but the numbers don’t tell the whole story. The X3 M is a full-on performance vehicle packed with technology, and it does BMW’s M badge proud.
The standard X3 is BMW’s best-selling model, so it was only a matter of time before the automaker released a high-performance version. To make the X3 M truly sporty, BMW gave it a special engine: a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline six that pumps out 503 hp in the X3 M Competition model. The Competition takes four seconds to hit 60 mph, according to BMW. Its top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph or 177 mph with the optional M Driver’s Package. That’s not bad at all for a family vehicle that’s big and therefore heavy.
The X3 M isn’t just fun to drive in a straight line. The adaptive suspension is smooth as a luxury car in Comfort mode, while Sport Plus mode makes the X3 M incredibly agile. The M-specific four-wheel drive system sends most of the power to the rear wheels for better handling, but still provides enough traction to keep those 503 wheelies under the hood in check.
Like the standard X3, the X3 M features BMW’s iDrive infotainment system with a 10.25-inch screen. There are many ways to use the system, including a dial on the center console, voice commands and gesture control. BMW has also made Android Auto and Apple CarPlay available to users, so you can stay connected no matter which system you stick with.
The best compact SUV
Why should you buy it? Because it is compact and very capable.
For whom it is? City adventurers.
Why we choose it? Actually, it should come as no surprise that we include three Jeep models on our list of the best SUVs. While many companies are relatively new to the segment, Jeep began venturing into these types of vehicles long before they became fashionable. And that’s why the Renegade Trailhawk – which sits on a car-derived platform shared with the Fiat 500X – earned a spot on this list. Strictly speaking, it’s a crossover, which means it doesn’t qualify as a true SUV: but the genes it shares with its larger siblings give it uncommon capability.
The Trailhawk treatment is more than just a veneer. As part of Jeep’s trail-rated lineup, it features a low-range feature that lets you navigate rough terrain or pull a small boat out of a lake with relative ease. Its sealing allows the Renegade to handle through 19 inches of water, while its 8.7 inches of ground clearance lets it venture further off pavement than most other models in its segment. Hill descent control technology and upgraded tires further enhance its off-road prowess. It’s no match for a Wrangler or 4Runner, but it’s still a surprisingly tough vehicle.
The best electric SUV
Why should you buy it? It is a spectacular SUV that is also electric.
For whom it is? Those willing to expand their horizons and experience the future today.
Why we choose it? Recently updated with more range and a lower price, the E-Tron is a new kind of Audi. It’s high-tech and made from excellent materials (we’d expect no less from the firm), but it’s also remarkably smooth and quiet thanks to its electric drivetrain. It’s built around a 95kWh lithium-ion battery pack that powers a pair of electric motors, and it takes 5.5 seconds to hit 60mph from a stop when its boost mode is engaged.
Going electric also brings a slightly unexpected benefit: space. An electric motor takes up less room than a four- or six-cylinder engine, so the E-Tron’s cabin is much larger than its exterior dimensions suggest. That means there are more cubic meters for people and equipment. Alternatively, if space isn’t a concern, Audi also offers the E-Tron as a Sportback, which trades the standard model’s SUV-like proportions for a fastback-like roofline.