The SUV segment is the fastest growing in the UK market, as motorists want a better view of the road and a more commanding driving position.
With people wanting high-level performance and comfort from their SUVs as well, the market for performance SUVs is becoming more and more popular.
With premium brands currently the kings of the sector, we look at the three best performance SUVs to see which one comes out on top…
Audi’s largest SUV provides drivers with a comfortable experience with premium features – so the only way to improve it was by adding a 4.0-litre turbocharged diesel V8 that produces 429bhp and 900Nm of torque.
With that power unit under the extensive bonnet, the SQ7 can go from 0-60mph in 4.7 seconds and reach an electronically-limited top speed of 155mph – with the engine paired to an eight-speed automatic and quattro all-wheel drive.
With the high-end finish that includes leather upholstery and metal trim throughout, potential customers will be happy to find a 705-litre load space in the rear – which can be extended to 1,890 litres with the rear seats folded down.
As standard, the SQ7 comes with a high level of equipment, including LED headlights, exterior aluminium and chrome detailing, front sport heated seats, multifunctional sport steering wheel, four-zone climate control, Audi’s Virtual Cockpit display and MMI infotainment system, and multiple safety systems. All of that for £72,460.
BMW X5 M50d
Unveiled earlier this year, the fourth-generation X5 includes the latest technology from BMW as well as including fresh styling, more space for passengers and storage, and improved equipment levels.
In this M Performance-fettled model, BMW has fitted a six-cylinder 3.0-litre, twin-turbocharged diesel engine that produces 394bhp and 760Nm of torque to get it from 0-60mph in five seconds flat and onto a limited top speed of 155mph – with xDrive all-wheel drive and an eight-speed steptronic transmission working alongside.
As an M model, the M50d comes with a lot of M Sport kit, such as a sportier bodykit, badging, exhaust system and differential, as well as other great features, such as LED headlights, leather upholstery, BMW’s Live Cockpit instrument display and ConnectedDrive infotainment system, a Wi-Fi hotspot, sports seats, Bluetooth with wireless charging and much else besides.
Despite not being quite as large as the SQ7, it still offers a 650-litre boot – which can increase to 1,870 litres – and more than enough passenger space to sit in comfort. Prices start from £71,475 and deliveries begin in November.
Range Rover Sport SVR
If you’re after a truly high-end product that comes with truly staggering performance to go with it, then the Range Rover Sport SVR might be the sports SUV for you.
Under the carbon-fibre bonnet is a 5.0-litre supercharged V8 petrol engine that chucks out 568bhp and 700Nm of torque, and with the four-wheel drive to help put the power down, you can get from 0-60mph in 4.3 seconds and go on to 176mph – pretty spectacular from a car weighing 2,310kg.
It comes with excellent equipment as standard as well, such as sports suspension, a heated leather steering wheel, active exhaust system, leather performance sports seats, Pixel LED headlights, the Touch Pro Duo dual-screen infotainment system, three-zone climate control, multiple driver assistance and safety systems, and carbon fibre detailing throughout.
In the boot, customers will find 522 litres of space – which can be increased to 1,686 litres with the rear seats folded down – which may not be as much as the other two, but that means there is more room for the passengers to enjoy. Prices for this rather impressive model start from £101,145.
Which one should you go for?
Despite all three having merits of their own, we will discount the SVR from the start on its ridiculous price alone. Yes, it is an impressive piece of kit and if you can afford to own one you should consider, but the Audi and BMW make more sense overall. As both the SQ7 and X5 offer similar space, high levels of equipment and performance, as well as being closely matched on price, it is difficult to split the two. But on balance, we would go for the BMW, as it is slightly cheaper to buy, more up-to-date and it looks smarter, too.Enquire Now on a new BMW X5