Sport Utility Vehicles (or SUVs) have become increasingly popular over the last several years, with more and more manufacturers adding their versions to the market. With their ability to function well as both on and off-road vehicles, large storage space, ability to fit several passengers as well as towing abilities, SUVs serve as a very practical solution for much of the automobile buying market. Quality SUVs also handle well, feeling much more like driving a car than a massive truck with many of the same benefits.
While SUVs have always held a certain authority and status due to their size, they are often placed in a separate, “practical” category from the truly high end luxury cars. Fortunately, a few upper-echelon manufacturers have released their own versions of the SUV, blurring the lines between practicality, performance, style, and luxury interior. These include:
– BMW X5
– Lexus GX
– Mercedes G and M classes
– Audi Q7
– Porsche Cayenne.
The BMW X5 Series is a mid-size SUV in the market since 1999. Features include all wheel drive, and V8 engines with gasoline inline. E53 and E70 are the two generations of the model. The E53 model has many features of Landrover. The E70 model is more of a Sports Activity Vehicle. Other luxuries such as high pressure headlight washers, heated front seats, heated steering wheel, leather seats, automatic climate control, automatic light control, and sun roof add to the comfort and luxury of the vehicle.
The Lexus GX can seat up to 8 passengers. It has many great features including a welded steel body, center locking permanent 4 wheel drive, built in mudguards, illuminated running boards, electronic 5-speed automatic transmission , and the innovative, unparalleled luxury interior and amenities customary in all Lexus models. Models from 2004 and up feature additional safety modifications like tire pressure monitoring, roll-sensing, side curtain airbags, and a Dynamic Suspension System. Like most Lexus models, the GX has won several awards: 4 wheeler of the year, highest ranked luxury SUV for quality, and best resale value from sources like 4×4 Magazine, J.D Power and Associates, and Kelley Blue Book.
The Mercedes G-Class is a four-wheel drive sport utility vehicle launched in 1979, originally created for military use with a jeep-like look. The three generations of the vehicle are W460, W461, and W463, and it is hailed for its long lifespan and durability as well as off-road performance. The interior of the car is made of wood or leather. The automatic transmission , power steering, airbag, central locking, air conditioning, engine pre-heater, electric windows, and heated seats really add to the sense of luxury.
The M-Class by Mercedes is a mid-size SUV introduced in the market in 1997, featuring stability control which helps in bringing the vehicle to a halt in case of emergency. Excellent features such as seven speed automatic transmission , Active Curve illuminating Bi-Xenon headlights, 4-valve engines, and air suspension which can be adjusted are major attractions of the vehicle. The cars also use BlueTec Diesel engine for controlling diesel gas emissions. New front headlights, exterior mirrors, redesigned front grille, an improved interior, and front and rear bumpers add to the beauty of the car. The M class won the “Truck of the Year” in 1998 awarded by Motor Trend magazine. Also it was named “Best New Sports Utility Vehicle” in the year 2006 during Canadian Car of the Year Awards.
The Porsche Cayenne is a five-seat mid size luxury sports utility vehicle launched in 2002 with two generations. The engines in the models introduced from 2008 have direct injection technology. The main features of the car are height adjustable off-road suspension, slanted rear window, remodeled dashboard, taillights near the tailgate, lighter weight due to the usage of aluminum, and fuel efficiency. Owners love the climate control, cruise control, leather upholstery, heated front seats, power sunroof, radio control, and leather-wrapped steering wheel. Features such as a rear view camera, memory system, navigation system, sound system, climate control, and CD changer make the car an excellent marriage of luxury and SUV performance.
Price of course is always an issue, but these world class SUVs can be found online at surprisingly good deals. At the time of this writing, HighEndAutoAuctions.com has multiple BMW X5s under $15,000, several Cayennes under $20,000, and several steals on each of the other models. No matter which source you choose to purchase from, these models are sure to satisfy both your practical needs and luxury desires.