Best luxury SUVs 2024
There was a time when a stretched limo was the vehicle of choice for captains of industry and heads of state. Today, they're more likely to be whisked from boardroom to private jet in a luxury SUV.
It's not hard to see why. These titans of the road offer an abundance of space, the latest tech and the opportunity to look down on peasants in their small SUVs and family hatchbacks. The interiors are finished to the highest quality using the finest materials, while the suspension will be configured to iron out even the roughest road surfaces.
If this sounds like your thing – and you've got the funds to support the running costs – check out our list of the best luxury SUVs you can buy right now. Grab a lottery ticket on your way home from the office...
Best luxury SUV
The Range Rover is the archetypal luxury 4x4. World-famous for its impeccable high standards, this sets 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 BMW V8, and the plug-in hybrid will offer up to 73.9 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 with a 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine or pick the Bentayga Hybrid and enjoy 25 miles of pure electric driving and CO2 emissions of just 78g/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. The original 550PS V8 version has been joined by the mighty 707PS DBX707 flagship, which becomes the most powerful SUV in the world. Don’t worry though, because the DBX has more than enough ability through corners to handle this and more, and all without spoiling its supple ride.
If the Mercedes 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. Subtle, it isn't.
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 E-Hybrid. It produces 739PS, for 0-62mph in 3.7 seconds, yet will cover more up to 45 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 340PS and the range-topping M60i V8 delivers a snarly 530PS. 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 600PS RS Q8 guise. How does 0-62mph in just 3.8 seconds sound?
Even the most high-end cars are going electric, and the iX is BMW’s top-level luxury SUV powered by a choice of large batteries. Several models are available, with up to 619PS and 380 miles of range. The looks are certainly stand-out, even if not to everyone’s taste, but there’s no arguing with the capacious and beautifully made interior, replete with sustainable materials. It’s luxurious and resolutely modern in styling, with one of the best infotainment systems on the market. Riding in it is a purely premium experience, with exceptional ride comfort and superb sound insulation. Oh, and it’ll tow up to 2500kg, too.
For years, Ferrari was adamant that it would never make a luxury SUV. “It’s not in our DNA,” said the then-boss back in 2016. But times and management change, and now Ferrari’s first SUV is out in the world, even if the company doesn’t like to use the word ‘SUV’. The Purosangue is a four-door, four-wheel-drive sports car, with a high ride height and a 725PS, 6.5-litre V12 under the bonnet. It’s crammed with engineering tech, it’s manically fast and it’s brilliantly composed through corners. Will it go off-road? Ferrari says yes, but it’s not really designed for that. It’s a Ferrari, after all.
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 historically weren’t available in fully electric guise. But things are changing fast: you can now choose a plug-in hybrid version of the latest Range Rover, for example, and Land Rover is working on a pure electric model. The BMW iX is purely electric, and it’s likely there will be EV versions of the next-generation Porsche Cayenne. Rolls-Royce, too, 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.