Ten of the best luxury SUVs you can buy in 2023
Super-connected and super-comfortable swagger-wagons
The Maserati Levante got a refresh a while back but it’s still the underdog in the world of luxury SUVs. Not especially common (a credit appealing to some), it combines a lux badge and a capable drive. It’s lacking on some driver assist (ADAS) features, and potential buyers think it's too cheap, which is a shame as the Levante is a better all-rounder than people give it credit for.Advertisement - Page continues below
Land Rover Defender
The Land Rover Defender has a big job. Once the typical steed of agricultural workers, the refinement today sees the Defender make a list like this with ease. In fact, some features are a bit too fancy for work - it could break a nail, metaphorically speaking. But it’s not shy, it drives well and it’s very comfortable.
It’s almost a bit jarring to see a Bentley Bentayga out in the wild. The juxtaposition of Bentley lux with SUV modelling means it’s... eye-catching. Whether that’s in a good way depends on the beholder - though rising sales suggest serious appeal. No wonder; it’s impressive to drive and as opulent as a crown of precious gems.Advertisement - Page continues below
The only brand with a sibling in the list, it’s clear Land Rover knows what it’s doing when it’s upgrading its extremely capable utility vehicles into things of lounge-like comfort and seclusion. On only its fifth version in 52 years, the Range Rover is clever both under the bonnet and in the cabin. The price tag is high, the hybrids are here, but by god, you could do worse.
The Rolls-Royce Cullinan sets a new standard for ultra-luxury vehicles taking the SUV body shape. Even if you struggle with the concept of the big, fast, heavy SUV, you can’t argue with the execution here. Rolls-Royce’s cars are always vastly greater than the sum of their parts, and the Cullinan is part of a fascinating engineering continuum. This is an entertainment experience as much as it is a conveyance, and a bloody good one.
Aston Martin DBX
The Aston Martin DBX ticks all the boxes an SUV should. But then it ought to, since it’s joined this particular party a little bit late. The benefits of learning what works and what doesn’t from others means Aston has developed a very decent all-rounder. It’s good to look at, practical and fun. Nice noise, too.
Now over two decades old, the Porsche Cayenne has inveigled itself into the hearts and minds of a once-sceptical bunch of critics. The best driver’s SUV with a good hybrid version - featuring a range of around 25 miles - make it a car that doesn't bring shame to the badge. The sophisticated tech isn’t cheap, or standard, but it is impressive.Advertisement - Page continues below
Tesla Model X
Lacking convention in anything it does as a brand, the Tesla Model X is the third car in the company's exclusively electric range and the biggest of the lot. Proving space is available here on Earth too, the Model X features fancy Falcon doors and a shed load of connectivity. While the doors might be gimmicky, the Long Range variant offers 360 miles - and we can think of worse places to be on a long journey.
Volvo has long since shirked its rep for being an old man’s brand. The Volvo XC90 is one of the brilliant, family-oriented SUV models that’s helped it do so. Combining people-carrying practicality and 4x4 prowess in the XC90 has been instrumental to its success. The brand has created an exemplary level of safety and then cushioned, cocooned and connected occupants.Advertisement - Page continues below
'If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it' might have been the mantra for the exterior, but in recent years the Mercedes-Benz G-Class has undergone some dramatic changes. Such alterations have made for a better ride, a faster car and a greatly improved cabin. The G-Class is thirsty, yes, but this iconic off-roader can now legitimately compete with top end Range Rovers.