Considering it’s the most popular segment in the USA right now, there is no shortage of options when it comes to buying an SUV or crossover. This is true, even when focusing on the more luxurious configurations, such as the American-made Lincoln Aviator or the German Mercedes GL models and BMW X vehicles. Each brand has its strengths and weaknesses, so the ideal choice will depend on a shopper’s specific tastes.
If you want the most luxurious and comfortable drivers, then Mercedes-Benz or Volvo are the best of the best. For a more engaging experience, BMW or Porsche are the way to go. And, if you want to spare your bank some heartache, then Lincoln and Genesis can match their competitors in most areas at a lower MSRP. If you need more than just a stylish and practical commuter, then you’ll value size and the ability to add an extra row of seats in the back. However, since premium vehicles often suffer from subpar cargo capacity, this can sometimes add insult to injury.
To give you an idea of who does what best, here are some top SUVs and crossovers to buy new right now:
If personal luxury is what you’re after, then the smallest Merc should suffice. Because of its size, it doesn’t have the largest trunk, but the back seat supplies enough space for even large adults. Where it really shines though is comfort and opulence. The good looks of the exterior are mirrored inside, and materials are top-notch. The amount of tech you get is dependent on how much you’re willing to spend, though, since options can get pricey quickly.
While the compact GLA starts at a relatively reasonable price, you should be looking at spending in the area of $50k if you want the best deal. Thanks to its small footprint and punchy turbocharged four-cylinder engine, you can expect reasonable savings in terms of fuel economy, and you get the option of all-wheel drive if you live in areas with inclement weather.
Ford Mustang Mach-E
The nameplate of American muscle has finally made its way into the SUV segment, but what’s even more surprising is what powers this high-riding stallion. Instead of a roaring V6 or V8, this particular Ford is all-electric under the hood. This doesn’t mean less power, though, as the Mach-E is one of the liveliest cars you’re likely to find. Up to 480 horsepower is available, with an instantaneous 634 lb-ft of torque to boot it into action. This allows the SUV to sprint to 60 mpg in a brisk 4.8 seconds. To top it all off, it has the incredible mpg figures we have come to expect from EVs.
But unlike many of its pony car siblings, the Mach-E isn’t just about performance. It’s also one of the most high-tech options on the market right now. The touchscreen and digital instrument cluster are both enormous, and you get loads of standard features, such as dual-zone climate control, a Ford Sync4A operating system, and Co-Pilot 360 2.0. The latter includes blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and automatic pre- and post-collision braking.
Tesla is no longer the only name in the EV game, and the Ford Mach-E may actually be one of the better SUVs in the world. It seamlessly blends performance with safety and economy, and it boasts a level of quality that many Ford owners wouldn’t expect. The automaker still has some work to do before it can consider this a true luxury car, but it’s pretty darn close to the mark.
If you’d rather go for a brand that has already made a proper name for itself in the premium segment while still sticking with electric power, then Audi presents the e-tron. Classic German styling mixes with futuristic aesthetics to create a whole new breed of attractive SUVs. This design philosophy extends to the interior, where high-definition screens and top-grade materials greet passengers and drivers. Standard features like quad-zone climate control and heated seats serve to make the cabin even more welcoming.
However, the e-tron isn’t a winner in every category. Unlike many of its siblings, it lacks all-around appeal. The powertrain is efficient and capable, but not as lively as other EVs or luxury rivals, especially when considering how heavy the vehicle is. Handling is also not as responsive as many Audi fans would expect. That’s not to say the SUV is unwieldy, but it lacks engagement. So long as you plan to use the e-tron as a comfortable family hauler, though, it ticks all the necessary boxes.
BMW Alpina XB7
If you refuse to settle for less than the best, then the Alpina variant of the standard BMW X7 is hard to pass over. This midsize SUV is also aimed at families, but it leans much harder into the performance characteristics that BMW is so famous for. The twin-turbocharged V8 engine under the hood throws out a whopping 612 hp and 590 lb-ft to get all four wheels moving in a hurry. This allows the Alpina to sprint to 60 mph in just four seconds, an impressive feat for such a large machine.
Of course, what really makes the XB7 such a pleasure to drive is its handling. The sport suspension and adaptive damping system eat up any bumps or abrasions in the road, while the active steering provides great feedback and responds quickly to input. This is a family SUV that wants you to push its limits. Add on all the active safety features that come standard, and it also ensures you can feel confident playing fast and loose.
Even if you keep your spirit of adventure in check, this car promises loads of fun for the whole family, and there is room inside for everyone thanks to optional third-row seating. Comfort is guaranteed, and there is definitely no shortage of tech. There is really very little to dislike about the BMX Alpina XB7, once you get past that six-figure price tag, that is.