Sports stars: The best luxury SUVs to buy now
by Zoe Dickens
While you may be dreaming of one of the best new supercars – or even an electric sports car to go with your eco-superyachts – if you have a family or love exploring on long drives, sometimes practicality is more important than looks. The good news is there are a whole host of sleek and sporty SUVs coming out of the world’s finest luxury car marques offering the best of both worlds. Scroll down for our pick of the best to buy now.
Bentley Bentayga Speed
The latest version of Bentley's uber-luxurious SUV was unveiled in February 2019 and, at 190mph, is billed as the world's fastest SUV - beating the rival Lamborghini Urus by just 0.5mph. The Speed features the same six litre W12 twin-turbo engine as the standard Bentyaga but boasts a three second speed increase on its predecessor thanks to finer tuning and a Sport mode which promises enhanced engine response and a more dynamic drive. In design terms, the Speed retains all the luxury one would expect, including the first use of Alcantara trim on a Bentley car while custom options include carbon ceramic brakes, 22-way adjustable front sears and mood lighting.Available now for £185,000.
Maserati Levante Vulcano
The Maserati Levante was launched in early 2016 and eagerly embraced by brand enthusiasts looking for a sporty vehicle capable of carrying more than one passenger. An upgrade in the GranLusso was then unveiled in late 2017 and for 2019 the marque returns with the limited edition Vulcano. Available in 350hp and 450hp twin-turbo V6 versions, the 150-strong run is available only in Europe and Asia and comes in an exclusive matte Grigio Lava exterior with red accents both inside and out to highlight the edition's volcanic inspiration. Other high-end feature come in the form of a Bower & Wilkins sound system and carbon fibre interior elements while the Vulcano retains the impressive performance of her main line siblings, making her a stand out buy in the increasingly crowded high-end SUV market. Get yours from £83,300.
Named for the largest diamond ever discovered, Rolls-Royce's first SUV was unveiled in May 2018 after increasingly frequent requests for a car that offeed both practicality and utmost luxury. Housing a 6.75 litre twin-turbo V12 engine offering a top speed of 155mph, the Cullinan also promises to be a capable off-roader thanks to its new all-wheel drive, all-wheel steel system while family-friendly features come in the form of Rolls-Royce's first tailgate, a rear three-seat bench or two-seat chair format in the back and a 1,930 litre luggage compartment separated from the main body of the car by a glass panel. Of course, being a Rolls-Royce, almost every aspect of the interior can be customised down to the fine wooden trims and stitching on the leather upholstery. Prices are expected to start at £230,000.
Unveiled in March 2018, the Jaguar I-Pace is the marque's first all-electric SUV putting it in direct competition with Tesla's market-leading models (see below). Eschewing the long bonnet and small boot Jaguars are typically known for in favour of a larger passenger cabin - a feat made possible purely by replacing the V8 or V12 with two far smaller electric engines placed front and back - the I-Pace is available in three variations, S, SE and HSE. All three boast 395bhp with a range of 298 miles and 0-60mph acceleration in 4.5 seconds, while the top-of-the-range HSE version also offers heated seats throughout, 360-degree surround cameras, WiFi and Sat Nav connectivity, parking assist and cruise control as well as a range of customisable interior and exterior finishings. Prices for the I-Pace HSE start from £74,445.
Billed as the world’s first Super SUV, the Lamborghini Urus was unveiled in December 2017 with first deliveries taking place in summer 2018. Somewhat of a departure for the brand best known for its turbo-charged supercars, the Urus retains much of the angular styling and (optional) bold colouring which built the Italian marque such a loyal fanbase but, unlike its predecessors, offers genuinely roomy seating for four as well as a 616-litre boot with split-fold seats. Fitted with a four-litre bi-turbo V8 engine, the Urus can compete with its Huracan two-door sibling in almost all measures, including a top speed of 189mph and acceleration of 0-62mph in 3.6 seconds. All the fun plus room for the dog? We suggest you put your name down now – prices start at £165,000.
Looking for an SUV that doesn’t come with the gas-guzzling guilt of its counterparts? Audi’s e-tron is a fully electric SUV that combines front and rear motors to jointly generate 300kW of power – strong enough to propel this, admittedly hefty, car to 62mph in less than 6 seconds. Capable of travelling on electric power for around 241 miles - a huge increase on the marque's former hybrid which could manage around 30 miles - the e-tron can reach 100% battery charge in 50 minutes. The e-tron also features a whole host of modern car tech including self-parking technology and a customisable virtual cockpit with touch screens and voice command. Get yours from £71,490.
Porsche Cayenne S
The original Cayenne has been around for some time and is used by many as the perfect urban alternative to a Range Rover. Since the introduction of the Porsche Macan in 2014, however, the Cayenne has begun to feel a bit old hat – hence a shiny new makeover in 2018. Fans of the original Cayenne’s understated yet undoubtedly expensive exterior can breathe a sigh of relief as little has changed in the styling department. Underneath, however, lies a 434bhp 2.9-litre twin-turbo that allows for 0-62mph acceleration in 5.2 seconds. Other new additions include an eight-speed automatic gearbox, redesigned suspension, four off-road driving modes, touchscreen controls and an expanded 770-litre boot. Order now from £68,330.
Tesla Model X
Looking for something future proof? Turn to Tesla. The innovative company has had its rivals in a bit of panic of late thanks to its powerful new fully-electric sports cars and move towards more mass market pricing. The Model X SUV is no different. Seating up to a remarkable seven people, the Model X is the only car of its type to feature an autonomous driving mode, as well as Falcon doors and a panoramic windscreen – all while reaching 62mph in less than three seconds. Its 100kWh battery provides 351 miles of range while it also boasts four-wheel drive, medical grade HEPA air filters and 360-degree cameras and sensors. Yours from £70,500.