The world’s most expensive SUV leaves plenty of cheaper options.
Rolls-Royce's SUV, the Cullinan, is finally here. At $325,000 it instantly becomes the most expensive SUV in the world. For that price, you get a 6.75-liter V12 engine producing 563 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque. Go crazy with the options list and the price can go much higher. If you don't have that kind of cash, don't worry, because there are plenty of less expensive luxury SUVs on the new and used markets. We've compiled a list of our five favorite options both used and brand-new.
The Cullinan may be the most luxurious SUV on the planet, but is it really worth twice as much as a Range Rover SVAutobiography? Even a brand-new SVAutobiography starts at $177,000. Opt for a used one, and the price can go as low as around $140,000. For that price, it's not like you are getting a bare-bones interior. It still features reclining captain's chairs in the rear complete with infotainment screens. Up front, the Range Rover's 5.0-liter supercharged V8 is nearly as powerful as the Rolls' V12, with 557 hp on tap.
We doubt many owners will actually take their $325,000 SUV off-road. Nonetheless, Rolls-Royce made sure to point out the Cullinan can handle itself over rough terrain. The Cullinan may be capable off-road, but it pails in comparison to the Mercedes G550 4x4 Squared. This off-road beast is powered by a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 producing 416 hp. It may not be as powerful as the Cullinan, but with portal axels and three locking differentials, it is superior when the road gets rocky. The 4x4 Squared now starts at around $245,000 on the used market.
We never thought we'd see the Bentley Bentayga appear on this side of a cheaper alternatives list. At $229,000, the 600-hp W12-powered Bentayga doesn't win a price war with many other vehicles. Still, for roughly $100,000 less the Bentley does represent an enormous price savings over the Rolls-Royce. The Rolls may be slightly more luxurious, but the Bentayga is faster and more powerful. If you can live with only 542 hp, you can get a new Bentayga V8 for less than $170,000.
It looks like the Cullinan has fully embraced the look and feel of a Rolls-Royce, but what was wrong with a Phantom? The Phantom already had a commanding ride height, and tons of space for occupants. SUVs are all about practically, which goes out the window with a $325,000 price tag. Why not save a bunch of money, and just get a used Phantom instead? Early 2004 and 2005 models can be found for less than $100,000, and offer a similar level of luxury, albeit with some dated infotainment.
Our final cheaper alternative may be the smartest option on our list. Cullinan buyers want something spacious, with sumptuous luxury, so why not buy a custom SUV from one of the many aftermarket companies out there? We found used examples from companies like Lexani and Becker, all of which cost less than a new Cullinan. These vehicles can be based on models ranging from Escalades and Excursions to Mercedes Sprinter Vans. They may not carry the same level of prestige on the outside, but they do have reclining seats and televisions on the inside.