Best performance SUVs and crossovers 2021

Best performance SUVs and crossovers 2021

Looking for a sporty SUV? These are the models you should be looking for

You only need to take a quick look at the roads to see how obsessed we’ve all become with SUVs. 

Many have swapped out of their family hatchbacks and estate cars into these models, with their generally spacious interiors, chunky styling and increased ride height proving a big draw.

But what if you still want a performance car? Well, you’re in luck as there is a growing range of sporty SUVs and crossovers on the market to choose from, ranging from more affordable options to those costing £100,000 or more. Let’s take a look at the best on the market.

Audi RSQ3

Audi has an extensive range of sporty SUVs from its ‘S’ and ‘RS’ divisions, but one of our favourite options is the RS Q3. Based on this somewhat sensible mid-size family SUV, the German marque fits it out with the same characterful 2.5-litre petrol engine that you get with the excellent RS3. 

Offering an upmarket interior, the RS Q3 has incredible performance and impressive grip, and is ideal for adding some spark into everyday journeys.

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BMW X5 M Competition

BMW’s M division has been turning its hand to SUVs for more than a decade, and the manufacturer is now reaping the rewards from this expertise. And though many of its SUVs are available with this sporty treatment, our favourite option is the large X5 M Competition. 

Packing a 4.4-litre V8 engine, it kicks out a monstrous 616bhp and means this mammoth SUV can sprint to 60mph in as little as 3.6 seconds. With a huge interior, it’s also ideal for all the family, though does come at a rather steep price – £130,000 to be exact.

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Ford Puma ST

At the more affordable end of the spectrum we have the Ford Puma ST. It’s the brand’s first sporty crossover and has a great start to life as it’s based on the superb Fiesta ST hot hatchback.

Though its 197bhp power figure might seem a bit mediocre compared with others on this list, it’s no slouch, and combines it with an impressively nimble and agile experience. It also retains the standard Puma’s spacious interior – namely its cool ‘MegaBox’ boot solution that offers a deep storage well beneath the main boot floor.

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Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio

Alfa Romeo has really found its mojo again in recent years, with both the Giulia saloon and Stelvio SUV being well applauded, not least when they get the sporty Quadrifoglio treatment. 

And the Stelvio Quadrifoglio is without doubt one of the best performance SUVs on the market, with its brilliant 2.9-litre V6 petrol engine, characterful chassis and agile handling making it feel so much smaller than its size suggests. With its stunning looks and generous equipment levels, it’s well worth considering.

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Hyundai Kona N

Hyundai is one of the most exciting car brands on the market, from its superb EVs to its sporty ‘N’ models, it has plenty to offer. And there’s now a new performance car you could choose from – the Kona N.

Offering something a bit different to its hot hatches, the Kona N is the brand’s first crossover to get this sporty treatment, and it’s a fantastic result as it’s sharp, fast and more capable in corners than the majority of its rivals. A racy bodykit also gives it plenty of street cred.

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Cupra Formentor

Since Cupra split from Seat, this brand has continued to go from strength to strength, and one of its most successful efforts yet is the Formentor – its first standalone model. While arguably more of a raised hatchback than an SUV, it still offers chunkier styling and a roomy interior. 

Yet it’s the way the Formentor drives that really impresses, as it just feels like a normal hot hatchback rather than a crossover. With a choice of engines and attractive pricing, it’s a great choice.

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Range Rover Sport SVR

Though you might consider a Range Rover for its luxury and comfort, when the brand’s Special Vehicle Operations team gets its hands on its ‘Sport’ model, it’s transformed into a beast. 

Few can rival this SVR when it comes to handling, off-road talent and a luxury interior, and its 5.0-litre V8 engine is nothing short of a masterclass. You’ll certainly pay a steep price for this Range Rover, but it’ll be worth it. 

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Porsche Cayenne Turbo S GT

Though you might know Porsche best for its sports cars, these days it’s the brand’s SUVs that are the ones that really fly out of showrooms. Here, it’s the Cayenne that gets our vote, and though it’s available in various states of tune – including as a hybrid – it’s the new flagship Turbo GT that excels. 

Boasting a mighty 631bhp 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, it’s the quickest SUV to lap the infamous Nurburgring circuit in Germany, and delivers sledgehammer performance combined with a superb interior and comfortable ride when required.

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Lamborghini Urus

The popularity of SUVs has proven too much for plenty of manufacturers to ignore – even for firms like Lamborghini. That’s why the Urus exists – a flamboyant, ultra-powerful and ludicrously expensive model that’s now the Italian firm’s most popular car, and by some margin. 

With wild styling both inside and outside, a thrilling driving experience, yet a surprisingly comfortable interior that makes the Urus actually quite easy to live with, it’s arguably the ultimate performance SUV.

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Ford Mustang Mach-E GT

But performance SUVs don’t just have to be powered by ridiculously powerful and thirsty petrol engines, as there’s a slow emergence of model’s powered by electricity in this segment. And one of the first is the new Ford Mustang Mach-E GT. 

Its twin electric motors make 480bhp and allow for a 0-60mph time of 3.7 seconds, which makes it the fastest accelerating Ford ever made, while also getting a tech-laden interior and a claimed electric range of 310 miles.

Enquire on a new Ford Mustang Mach-E

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