This category has become quite crowded, but with some excellent entries for 2010. The buyer has many factors to consider: price, power, amenities and space. However, here is a luxury suv comparison of the top 11 models available today.
The first luxury SUV that we will consider is the Volvo XC60. It features a 3.2 liters in-line 6 front engine with double overhead cam, variable valve timing/camshaft and four valves per cylinder, rated at 235 HP. It needs to run on premium unleaded fuel 91, but it comes with a multi-point injection fuel system. Price starts at $37,200.
Next is the Acura RDX starts at $32,520 and is one of the most affordable vehicles in it’s class. It has room for five, all-wheel drive and a six cylinder engine.
A six-speed automatic transmission is standard. Turbo-charged for power, but still has great fuel economy. It received a great rating for safety.
The Acura MDX features a class-leading 300-hp, 3.7-liter V-6 engine that gives up to 21 MPG, has Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®), and the available Acura Navigation System with AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic and Weather™.
One of the best in it’s class according to one driver, and it is “a lot of value.” Has a third row of seats, but this space is a bit tight for adults. It has done very well in safety tests so far. Price starts at $42,230.
The BMW X3 also is a five-seater with all-wheel drive and a six-cylinder engine that is a stand-out for power. The standard transmission is an automatic six-speed. Price starts at $38, 045. The X3 has racked up excellent scores for safety from insurance companies.
The LandRover LR2 starts at $36,350, With a 3.2 liter I-6 engine rated at 230 HP feeding the six-speed automatic transmission, the power is good. It has Bluetooth connectivity built-in.
It has a Roll Stability Control system available. Seats five, but the back seat is on the small side. With high clearance and a Terrain Response system, this is a good choice for off-road driving, but it only average on the highway. It has not been fully tested for safety yet.
The Lincoln MKX starts at $37,350, and is available in front-wheel and all-wheel drive. It has a 3.5 liter V-6 engine, and 5 stars for safety features. Seats five and the ride is good and power is adequate. It has been called the “most handsome SUV on the road.”
The Infiniti EX35 starts at $32,464. It gets better than average fuel economy, but a bit smaller than it’s competitors. Rear wheel drive is standard, but the engine is the most powerful it’s class.
A couple of impressive options are a Lane Departure Monitoring System and Around View Monitor. It did very well in crash tests. However, the back seat and cargo areas are a bit small.
The Audi Q5 has a 270 HP, 3.2 liter V-6 that gets very good fuel economy, and all-wheel drive is standard. One test driver observed that it actually drove like a car with excellent power. The Q5 did very well in safety tests, but the back seat is a bit small. Price starts at over $37,000.
The Lexus RX 350 has a 270 HP engine with a six-speed transmission, comes with front-wheel or all-wheel drive and does an excellent job of combining power and fuel economy.
One of the best in it’s class according to test drivers, and the seats were noted to be extra comfortable. It did very well in safety tests and comes with Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution. Price starts at $36,156.
The Mercedes-Benz GLK350 has a seven-speed transmission with 268 HP to utilize from it’s V-6 engine, which gives very good power. It has a relatively small back seat and average fuel economy, but it gives a “smooth, car-like ride.” Verdict is still out on safety, but the features are there to reassure any buyer. $33,336
The Cadillac SRX comes with a 2.8 or 3.0 liter V-6 turbo with a six-speed automatic front-wheel drive transmission and it seats five. Test drivers were impressed with it’s quality, comfort, amenities and space. It comes with a Driver’s Information Center. Insurance companies give it a high rating for safety. Prices start at $33,380.
The Lincoln Navigator has heated/Cooled Front Seats, a voice-activated Navigation System and Roll Stability Control™. Comes with front-seat mounted side airbags rollover sensor and has a Perimeter Alarm.
It lacks power in some situations, but is very comfortable according to test drivers. It has spacious leg room and cargo space and has an outstanding entertainment package. Rated extremely high for safety. Price starts around $54,950.