The sports utility vehicle – or SUV – is the answer to the question of “What do I buy if I want a car that can do everything?”. With room for all the family, the load space of an estate and go-anywhere ability, the SUV combines just about everything you could ever need in a car all at once.
But what if you’re a speed nut too? Well, luckily there’s lots of choice out there for you, regardless of what size SUV you’re after. Let’s look at the fastest SUVs on sale!
Nissan Juke Nismo RS – from £21,650
Part crossover, part hot hatch, the Nismo Juke stuffs a 218hp 1.6-litre turbo engine into the mix to make a pretty sprightly performer. A 0-60mph time of 7.0 seconds is a little relaxed compared to other cars here, but at just under £22k it’s also the most reasonably priced car. There’s no way to get an SUV as fast as this at this size unless you’re one of the lucky few who bought the potty GT-R-powered Juke R.
This is the only non-4WD car on our list, although you can specify it with a four-wheel-drive system allied to a sequential automatic, which slows the car down considerably.
Mercedes GLA 45 AMG – from £44,600
If lunacy is your thing, try this on for size – a 355hp 2.0-litre turbo. Mercedes may as well have shoved a nuclear fusion reactor under the bonnet for this car.
The GLA 45, just like its regular hatchback sister the A 45, is other-worldy fast – cracking off 0-60mph in 4.8 seconds puts it among the fastest cars here, despite also being the second smallest. It’s also relatively pricey, coming in at nearly £45k.
Audi RS Q3 – from £45,495
Effectively the GLA’s most direct competitor, the Audi RS Q3 is no slouch either. It matches the Mercedes in most departments, emptying your wallet at much the same rate – £45k before options – and hitting 60mph at about the same time.
It packs a slightly older engine than the Mercedes – a 2.5 litre turbo – which has a hair less power at 335hp, but it sits two tax bands higher. If running costs are a concern for some reason, it’s a slightly poorer bet. The upside of that bigger, thirstier engine? It has five cylinders and sounds like this:
Mercedes G63 AMG – from £129,000
Less of a car, more of a misshaped sledgehammer, the G63 AMG is possibly the oddest vehicle on sale today. We’re not entirely sure what question it answers – and indeed it only brings up more questions, usually “What?” and “Why?”, closely followed by “How much?!”
Shoving a forced induction 5.5-litre engine under the nose does very little for the G-Wagen’s notoriously dismal road manners, but it does make it alarmingly fast. 536hp is enough to drag the horizon towards you with a 0-60mph time of 5.4 seconds, and you’re likely to plough panzer-style through anything that gets in your way.
And all this can be yours for just £129,000.
Porsche Macan Turbo – from £43,300
It’s actually a reasonably priced little thing too at £61k in top specification, though Porsche does have a pretty ludicrous options list that you can get lost in – optional leather air vents, anyone?
Still, the 3.6 turbo engine is good enough for a 4.8-second 0-60mph sprint and it’s probably the nicest handling of all the cars here – rumours are that you’ll have to wait for anything up to a year form ordering to actually get one, however.
Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 – from £58,995
No-one does excess quite like the Americans though, and the Grand Cherokee is an exercise in a total lack of subtlety. This extends right through to the engine Jeep has chosen to fix under the nose – a 6.4-litre V8 HEMI, right out of the Mopar muscle car catalogue.
This is good for one of the laziest 460hp ratings you’ll see anywhere and the SRT8 will snarl up to 60mph in just 5.0 seconds – good going considering it weighs 2.4 tonnes. That does have a downside as you might imagine, and the 20.8mpg combined fuel economy is one of the very worst of any car on sale today.
Porsche Cayenne Turbo S – from £118,000
For many years, the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S held the crown as the fastest SUV of all and it’s still sitting near the top of the list. At 562hp it’s one of the most powerful cars here and that turbocharged 4.8 litre V8 engine will push it to 60mph in a barely-believable 4.5 seconds.
It’s also one of the most expensive cars here, coming in at £118k before you trouble that very silly options list. The 24mpg fuel thirst is also not a plus point.
BMW X5M & X6M – from £90,000
The Cayenne’s speed crown has been wrested from it by the latest generation of BMW’s awkwardly named M-enhanced X5 and X6. These largely identical cars share a 4.4 litre turbo V8 with 567hp, so they’re also the most powerful. This unit gets the X5 and X6 M cars to 60mph in just 4.2 seconds.
Like the other larger vehicles here, they can be a bit on the thirsty side, but 25mpg is pretty middling in this company. At £90k and £93k respectively, they’re also only the fifth most expensive cars here.
Mercedes GL63 AMG – from £93,360
Mercedes’ monster GL-class is almost the biggest car on our list at 5.1 metres long, but also shows a fleet turn of pace with a 0-60mph time of 4.9 seconds.
Like its boxier cousin the G63 AMG, it’s packing a 5.5-litre twinturbo V8 in the nose, but it’s slightly more potent in the GL with 550hp on offer. It’s also cheaper than the G-Class by some stretch, coming in just over £93k. And better-looking, nicer to drive, nowhere near as thirsty…
Range Rover V8 Supercharged – from £164,000
Eventually our quest for bigger and bigger fast SUVs had to end, and it does so with a Range Rover. Available in either standard wheelbase (above) at five metres or a long wheelbase 5.2 metre car, the biggest car here can be ordered with Jaguar Land Rover’s impressive supercharged V8 that you can find in the F-Type R.
The sheer size and weight of the Range Rover means that even with this 542hp engine, performance is not quite up with the smaller cars here – 0-60mph takes 5.8 seconds – and even the very optimistic official combined fuel economy doesn’t fancy your chances of getting better than 22mpg. It’s also by far the most expensive car here, with the £164k list price meaning you can buy seven Nissan Juke NISMO RSs – one for every day of the week – and still have change. You can go faster for far less money with a Range Rover Sport SVR – a snip at £93,450.
Ready to scare the dog?
Put the pedal to the metal but make sure Lassie’s strapped in first – use our car configurator to see how much you could save on your next car, whether it’s a fast SUV or otherwise.