As practical as they are desirable, luxury SUVs are having their moment in the motoring sun. If it's time for you to consider which high-performance car to add to your collection, we’ve shortlisted five of the very best – perfect for off-the-beaten-track road trips and city cruising.
The Cullinan is quite literally the Rolls-Royce of SUVs. As strikingly photogenic as it is technologically advanced, the marque’s most anticipated automobile borrows its name from the largest diamond ever discovered – plus, it is the first all-terrain 4x4 to bear Rolls-Royce’s Spirit of Ecstasy.
As one would expect, Cullinan is intelligently designed. Unlike other SUVs, it is made of three compartments: an engine bay at the front, a passenger ecosystem in the middle, and space for the luggage at the back (which is partitioned by a glass wall, preventing that unwelcome gust of wind every time the boot is opened). Performance-wise, it has a 6.75 litre twin-turbo V12 engine combined with a developed take on Rolls-Royce’s flagship Magic Carpet Ride – making it the epitome of effortless driving anywhere.
Whilst yet to officially launch, avid Ferrari connoisseurs can rejoice: the prancing horse has finally unveiled its (heavily rumoured) first-ever four-door, four-seater car. Translating as ‘thoroughbred’, those that get one of the first models can be sure to expect a car that feels undisputedly Ferrari. Its recognisable engine soundtrack is thanks to its naturally aspirated V12, which is capable of reaching 725cv and a top speed of 192mph.
If listening to the roaring engine isn’t quite your thing, you’ll be pleased to know the Pursoangue has massage seats in the front and is the first model to come with Apple Carplay compatibility as standard. The latter is a nice touch given the Burmester 3D surround system fitted in the car; you can enjoy your favourite beats as you cruise along.
The first SUV from Genesis, the GV80 sets the standard for Genesis SUVs to come. The V in GV80 stands for versatility and signals the model’s design-led styling, spaciousness and state-of-the-art technology. The simple yet sleek design aesthetic is echoed within the interior, where the number of buttons and switches has been kept to a minimum. Plus, there are four USB ports – ensuring everyone is kept connected – and the option to charge devices wirelessly.
Advanced engineering also plays a key role in making the Genesis a good all-rounder SUV. Most noteworthy: the engines come with eight-speed automatic transmission as standard, along with top speeds of 147 and 143 mph for the petrol and diesel versions respectively.
Maserati Levante Hybrid
Fusing the luxury of a Maserati, the practicality of a five-seater SUV, and the environmental benefits of a hybrid, the Levante Hybrid is a bold addition to the Levante range. Equipped with a punchy two-litre, four-cylinder engine, it doesn’t compromise on power – plus, it retains the trademark sound synonymous with a Maserati engine. However, this cleaner interpretation of the model has a minimal impact on the environment. Still able to maintain a maximum speed of 149mph, the engine is fitted with a 48-volt hybrid system, which allows the vehicle to recover energy when the driver decelerates and brakes.
As expected, the Levante Hybrid also carries the sophistication of a Maserati. Its modern styling is complemented by chrome-plated accents, a plush leather interior with comfortable seats, and 18-inch alloys.
Maserati Levante Hybrid
Aston Martin DBX707
Celebrating the craftsmanship and engineering at the heart of the marque, Aston Martin’s CEO Tobias Moers confidently declared the DBX707, ‘the fastest, most powerful, best handling and most engaging car of its kind’. When considering some of its unmatched hardware additions – including a 9-speed wet clutch gearbox and 420mm carbon brakes – it's clear from where this conclusion has arisen.
In keeping with the driver-focussed ethos of the DBX707, its performance upgrade maximises the potential of the 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine. Drivers are given the ability to switch between different driving modes via a reimagined console, and you can put the car into manual gearbox mode at the touch of a button – much like the marque’s sports models.
The front end of the DBX707 has been further enhanced with a larger, more commanding grille and a gloss-black front splitter. This elevates its overall ground-hugging silhouette and sculpted profile, complementing the 22-inch wheels that come as standard (with the option of 23-inch alloys).
Aston Martin DBX707
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