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Most luxurious SUVs of 2022
Luxury and SUV go together like cheese and burger — a big SUV’s roomy shape and long-travel suspension meld perfectly with the sort of comfort and refinement that luxury buyers crave. To that, car makers also add high performance and proper cornering prowess, to create the ultimate in luxury SUVs. Here are ten of the best premium SUV choices…
9. Aston Martin DBX
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Previously, this came down to a pretty straight fight between the BMW X7 or the Mercedes-Benz GLS (which also has a super-luxury Maybach version). However, the newly-arrived Range Rover has put the British cat amongst these German pigeons, thanks to the addition of extra seats in the boot, not to mention plug-in hybrid versions which can go for 70 miles on electric power alone.
This probably comes down to a straight fight between the Mercedes-Benz GLE 350de plug-in hybrid (which is based around a diesel engine) or the new Range Rover P440e plug-in hybrid (which uses petrol power).
Both get long-range electric-only power (the Merc claims a 62-mile range, the Range Rover a 70-mile range) and both claim up to 353mpg(!) on the official WLTP fuel economy test. However, the Mercedes is more likely to be more economical in the real world, on long journeys, thanks to its diesel engine.
You’d be very hard-pressed to look past the Porsche Macan if you want the best small luxury SUV, certainly in driving terms. While it might not be as up-to-date mechanically as some rivals (it’s based on the same chassis as the original 2009 Audi Q5) it is seriously impressive to drive, and has the usual Porsche high-quality cabin inside.
If anything gets close, it’s the Mercedes-Benz GLC, which is also not the youngest car around, but which impresses with its refinement and smart cabin. If you want to go a bit smaller and more affordable, check out the Range Rover Evoque, which manages to feel more luxurious inside than some SUVs which cost rather a lot more.
Porsche’s build quality and technical expertise are second-to-none, so we’d expect both the Cayenne and the Macan to provide solid long-term reliability. That goes equally for anything from Audi, Mercedes, or BMW.
However, if you want the ultimate in engineering quality, look at Lexus’ RX450h hybrid. The all0-new one launches late in 2022, but will continue to be beautifully built, with an expectation of the sort of reliability that turns Swiss watch manufacturers green with envy.
It might come as a bit of a surprise, but the Range Rover Evoque is actually cracking good value. The cheapest D165 diesel version, in front-wheel drive with a 163hp engine, costs just £32,620 — barely any more expensive than the cheapest Skoda Kodiaq. OK, so the Evoque isn’t as roomy nor as practical as the Skoda, but then the Skoda doesn’t have a Range Rover badge on the bonnet…
This is, obviously, a very subjective thing, but we’d say there are two winners here. First up is the Rolls-Royce Cullinan, which manages to mix ludicrous levels of luxury with a sense of decorum and tastefulness that others seem to miss. It’s luxurious, of course, but it doesn’t seem to show off about being luxurious.
At a rather more affordable level, the Land Rover Defender has a fantastic cabin design that looks rugged (exposed bolts, powder-coated metal, open shelves) but which feels so right, so fit-for-purpose, and which is so comfortable on a long journey, that it ends up being more satisfying by far than rival interiors which are more obviously opulent.