Characteristics of the Best Large Luxury SUVs
When you compare big luxury SUVs with their more commonplace midsize and compact siblings, the traits that set them apart become obvious. The top large luxury SUVs display many of the desirable qualities and try to avoid any that will hold them back from mass appeal:
- Size: Full-size luxury SUVs live up to their name with dimensions that help to create spacious cabins. Those with sufficient length can even fit three rows of seats, which is something many American buyers look for. Unfortunately, this can make them a bit cumbersome around town, and some parking lots aren’t very accommodating of large luxury SUVs.
- Comfort: Already an area where SUVs shine, comfort is a particular highlight in luxury models. As some of the biggest vehicles on the road, they easily smooth over most bumps, and many offer an adaptive air suspension for an extremely cushioned ride. Premium brands generally outfit their offerings with features like power-adjustable heated seats, massage functions, and automatic climate control.
- Power: You need a lot of oomph to move a large SUV, so high-displacement V6 engines are common, though turbocharged four-pots can get the job done. It’s worth noting that all this horsepower and torque is not meant to make these cars feel athletic. Instead, it hustles them down the highway easily and makes traffic lights nothing more than mere nuisances.
- Price: Large cars are traditionally more expensive than smaller ones, and this is doubly true for premium items. All those inclusive comforts and driver-assistance features don’t come cheap, and you also have to factor in the powerful engine. Naturally, this means they don’t get the best gas mileage, so the fuel bills will start racking up.
What to Consider When Buying a Full-Size Luxury SUV
Even large luxury SUVs that top the rankings are not without their foibles. You get a lot for your money, but you do have to accept some compromises. A quick look at the pros and cons will help you decide if the trade-off is worth it or if you should consider a different type of vehicle.
- Large with bold styling
- Plenty of interior space
- Choice of powerful engines or electrified powertrains
- Loads of standard features and highly customizable
- Extremely safe and reliable
- Opulent and classy, thanks to top-end materials
- Competing premium brands with good track records
- Not very nimble drivers
- Sometimes lacking in rear passenger space
- Poor fuel economy
- Intimidating sticker price
- Can be tight to maneuver in certain spaces
What is the best large luxury SUV?
A comparison of large luxury SUV models sees many great options come out near the top. The Cadillac Escalade is a V8-powered brute of a vehicle with an immaculate interior and loads of modern features. The Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class and BMW Alpina XB7 are great runners-up.
Are there any affordable full-size luxury SUVs?
Cheap is a relative term in this classification, but some of the less expensive options include the Jeep Wagoneer and Lincoln Aviator. However, they aren’t quite as premium as the German brands or even offerings from Cadillac.
What large luxury SUVs offer an extended-wheelbase model?
The Cadillac Escalade ESV is the lengthened version of the regular Caddy, with more than 13 inches of extra wheelbase. The interior is thus understandably spacious, with maximum head- and legroom in the second and third rows. But when it comes to large and luxurious, Bentley deserves an honorable mention with the extended wheelbase variant of its ultra-opulent Bentayga.