Best luxury SUV 2022
For many, luxury SUVs are the dream cars to buy if you win the lottery. They make their occupants feel like royalty. They are a wellbeing overload on wheels.
Naturally, they have high-end price tags. Well into six figures is only the starting point for some. Even the more affordable luxury SUVs demand spending upwards of £50,000 just to get a foot in the door.
Once you’re there, though, what a place they are to sit in. Huge interiors are trimmed with the highest quality materials, to feel like drawing rooms on wheels. The best SUVs offer the tactility of a high-end wristwatch. And it’s all complemented by a blizzard of technology treats, from widescreen infotainment to heated, air-cooled and massaging seats.
Luxury SUVs often have large, powerful petrol or diesel engines, but a growing number are offering plug-in hybrid options as well. Yes, even these luxurious machines are starting to get ready for 2030.
So, put on your best outfit, polish your smartest shoes, and take a look at 10 of the best luxury SUVs you can buy.
Best luxury SUV
The Range Rover is the archetypal luxury 4x4. World-famous for its impeccable high standards, this version is all-new for 2022 and aims to set the bar even higher than before. The iconic silhouette has a clean, modernist new look, while cutting-edge infotainment screens have been beautifully integrated into the open-plan, leather-lined cabin. It’s more of a boutique hotel than a luxury SUV. Diesel and petrol engines include a potent new BMW V8, and the plug-in hybrid will offer up to 62 miles of silent, zero-emissions electric running. One of the world’s most comfortable and refined vehicles to drive or be driven in, the Range Rover is the luxury SUV to beat.
Sporty British brand Bentley shocked the world when it launched its first luxury SUV, the Bentayga. It was facelifted a while back, giving it a fresher and more cohesive look, but it’s still a car that’s more about brawn than beauty. Inside, the famous Bentley hand-crafted luxury abounds, with more modern materials available alongside the traditional wood veneer. Take it in V8, sporty new S or Speed guises, the latter’s mighty W12 engine giving it a 190mph top speed. Or you could pick the Bentayga Hybrid and enjoy 25 miles of pure electric driving and CO2 emissions of just 83g/km. Yes, that’s lower than a Toyota Prius.
The Cullinan is another unmissable luxury SUV. With its massive upright grille, long bonnet and voluminous body, it couldn’t be anything other than a Rolls-Royce. The interior is similarly inspired by the Phantom luxury car, with gorgeous materials interspersed with jewel-like details. The seats are divine to sit in and there’s an abundance of space. Upper class options are available too, from a champagne fridge to a couple of leather ‘Viewing Suite’ seats atop the drop-down tailgate. The creamy V12 engine delivers ample performance, and is so smooth and quiet you will barely know it’s running.
Aston Martin DBX
The Aston Martin DBX is a large, head-turning luxury SUV from the sporting British brand. Aston’s first SUV, it is a striking and successful design, blending coupe curves and elegance with imposing height and presence. Because it is so large, it offers ample space inside, while the dashboard is inspired by a GT car, with exciting sweeps and a driver-focused feel. Originally powered by a 550hp V8, Aston has recently announced the mighty 707hp DBX707 flagship, which becomes the most powerful SUV in the world. Don’t worry though; the DBX has more than enough ability through corners to handle this and more, and all without spoiling its supple ride.
If the Mercedes-Benz GLS is the S-Class of SUVs, the Maybach GLS is its glamorous, ultra-exclusive luxury sibling: a car for when money is no object. The striking Maybach grille will turn heads, as will the polished metal exterior detailing, while everything inside has also been taken from the top drawer. You don’t have to suffer a three-person bench seat in the rear, either: choose two fully reclining captain’s chairs instead, complete with your own screens, tablet device and climate controls. For maximum impact, go for the two-tone paint finish, to really let the world know you’ve arrived.
Sports car fans may not celebrate it, but the Cayenne has long been one of Porsche’s best-selling vehicles, delivering huge profits along the way. Now into its third generation, the standout draw for this luxury SUV has always been how it drives. It defies its tall stance and rugged SUV underpinnings with the sort of steering feel and handling balance car enthusiasts relish. An array of increasingly rapid engines provide bucketloads of power – or you could choose one that combines eye-popping speed with zero-emissions capability: the Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid. It produces 680hp, for 0-62mph in 3.8 seconds, yet will cover more than 20 miles in pure EV mode, with fuel economy to match if you keep plugging it in. A remarkable car.
Yes, the X7 is another controversially-styled BMW. With its enormous grille, there’s no missing it on the road, and that’s before you consider just how large this bigger brother to the X5 actually is. As its name suggests, the X7 can seat seven in comfort, entertaining them with bucketloads of technology, including the firm’s class-leading infotainment systems. Engines are suitably powerful and support the BMW’s surprisingly sporty nature. The xDrive40i produces 333hp and the range-topping M50i V8 delivers a snarly 530hp. As with all luxury SUVs, the list price is just the starting point, with the options list offering a huge variety of extras.
The Audi Q8 is the coupe-style sibling to the plush Audi Q7. We like it because it’s so outlandish: it never fails to turn heads, despite costing a healthy amount less than the car it’s related to beneath the surface: the Lamborghini Urus. It’s the closest to a sports GT you’ll get from a luxury SUV, but the top model of the Q range still seats four or even five in comfort, with the large boot you’d expect. Audi build quality is second to none, it’s packed with technology, and the Q8 also offers quite a turn of speed, particularly in 507hp SQ8 guise. How does 0-62mph in just 4.1 seconds sound?
The range-topping model from Volvo’s ever-improving line-up, the XC90 has established itself as a classy, comfortable alternative to SUVs such as the Range Rover Velar and BMW X5. It seats seven in leather-lined, climate-controlled comfort, and entertains them with Volvo’s latest Google-based infotainment system. This even allows users to download apps from the Google Play store. The core range consists of mild hybrid petrol and diesel engines, but there’s also a plug-in XC90 called the Recharge. This has a pure electric range of up to 42 miles, yet still delivers all-wheel-drive traction, meaning this luxury SUV makes light work of muddy conditions.
You can’t buy a Ferrari SUV yet, but the Maserati Levante is the next best thing – not least because Ferrari itself actually builds some of the engines beneath its curvaceous bonnet. Turbocharged V6 and V8 petrol engines provide surging power and a sporty engine note, while the newer Levante Hybrid cuts CO2 emissions by nearly 20 percent compared to the regular V6, without needing to be plugged in. Lucky occupants are surrounded by the richest Italian leather, while the fact they’re sitting up high in something so different to the mainstream adds further appeal. A very charismatic luxury SUV.
Are luxury SUVs good for off-roading?
The original luxury SUV, the Range Rover, was created firstly as a working vehicle – just one that was a bit less basic than the classic Land Rover. Over the years, it has progressively become ever more luxurious, but its core abilities have always remained: there are few more able 4x4s. While other luxury SUVs, in general, are not quite as capable, they are all good for a spot of mild off-roading. A muddy field should hold no fears.
Can you get an electric luxury SUV?
Luxury SUVs are generally large and imposing machines that aren’t yet available in fully electric guise. But things are changing fast: you can already choose a plug-in hybrid version of the latest Range Rover, for example, and we know Land Rover is working on a pure electric model. It’s likely there will be EV versions of the next-generation Porsche Cayenne as well, and Volvo has already committed to a pure electric future.
Which SUV has the most luxurious interior?
At this level, any luxury SUV has an interior that will make you feel pampered. But it’s at the really high end that things get extra-special. The Rolls-Royce Cullinan, for example, offers a tailor-made interior customised to your exact spec, while the choice of hand-crafted materials you can choose from when configuring a Bentley Bentayga is incredible. The Mercedes-Maybach GLS offers features you’d normally associate with a private jet, and even the classic Italian leather of the Maserati Levante is far more luxurious than the mainstream norm.