BBC TopGear
BBC TopGear
Subscribe to Top Gear magazine
Sign up to our Top Gear Magazine

Top Gear's top 20 large SUVs in the US

Be it off-roading chops, speed or sheer luxury, there’s a full-sized SUV for you. Here are some of the best

Cadillac Escalade
  • Bentley Bentayga

    Bentley Bentayga

    When Bentley first took its brand of luxury off the beaten path, we sort of scoffed but after experiencing it for the first time, it clicked. Few things feel more decadent than taking luxury with you into the wilderness, and the Bentayga can manage just about whatever you throw at. Throw in some performance capabilities and it’s a contender for the ultimate luxury SUV.

    Advertisement - Page continues below
  • Volvo XC90

    Volvo XC90

    Sick of the same old luxury SUV options? Oh, to have your problems. Still, for those with this burden to bear, the XC90 has been the disruptor of choice. Its clean and elegant approach to everyday opulence is refreshing and it does so without skimping on the creature comforts. All the tech you’d ever need is included, plus it’s super safe. It’s a bit lacking on the performance side but chucking that aspect to focus on the rest absolutely works here.

  • Audi Q8 e-tron

    Audi Q8 e-tron

    Keep a close eye on the Q8 e-tron because we suspect this will be what SUVs will be emulating in a handful of years. The all-electric utility vehicle is the capable all-rounder most SUV shoppers are looking for, the EV stuff is just a matter of fact. It’s still a premium luxury vehicle so it’s up there in terms of price.

    Advertisement - Page continues below
  • BMW XM

    BMW XM

    A wildly aggressive SUV straight from the mad scientists at Bimmer’s M division, the XM is a multifaceted bludgeon with up to 748hp behind it. There are likely to be as many people vocal about how offensive it is as there are folks who will worship at its wheels. What matters is they’re looking.

  • Rivian R1S

    Rivian R1S

    As an all-electric three-row SUV built from the start as a rugged off-roader, the R1S stands alone. Despite being quite sleek, it looks the part of a top-quality piece of off-roading equipment, which is fitting because from $77k, it’s priced like one, too. Range sits somewhere between 260 to a whopping 400 miles depending on drivetrain options and how heavy a foot the driver has.

  • Mercedes-Benz GLS

    Mercedes-Benz GLS

    Turn your nose up all you want at this affluent suburbanite family hauler, but it’s extremely successful for a reason. Being a Benz, its luxury and status chops are a given, not to mention its suite of convenience technology and its highly capable ride. Sure, the interfaces are a bit much, as is the asking price, but it’s the luxury SUV to beat as far as competitors go.

  • Lexus GX

    Lexus GX

    Though it performed dutifully for an astonishingly long time, the GX was overdue for a substantial overhaul, which it finally received this year. Just about an improvement in every metric, the latest GX looks like it’s making up for the delay with a sharp, rugged-looking modern exterior and a clean cabin that’ll hopefully make our Lexus UI nightmares a distant, traumatic memory.

    Advertisement - Page continues below
  • Ford Expedition

    Ford Expedition

    Ford’s mighty Expedition sets a baseline for full-sized SUVs: huge, loads of space for both passengers and cargo while providing rugged capability. It’s a solid jack-of-all trades that’s light on thrills but can be counted on to get the job done.

  • Land Rover Defender 130

    Land Rover Defender 130

    The classic Defender is legendary for a multitude of reasons which gives the current iteration a lot to live up to. For now, the plucky SUV has plenty of charm and style to hold its own. Its biggest version, the 130, is all that plus a massive donk for additional haulage. Imagine going on safari in a school bus, and you’ve pretty much nailed the experience.

    Advertisement - Page continues below
  • Kia Telluride

    Kia Telluride

    Kia pulls a big upset in the SUV department with the Telluride, offering up what other premium SUVs do for far cheaper. Bang for your buck aside, the Telluride is a very capable vehicle with room to spare and it’s quite handsome on top of it all.

  • Lincoln Navigator

    Lincoln Navigator

    Basically, the Expedition with a sport coat, the Navigator maintains the Ford’s utility but with more formal attire. To Lincoln’s credit, it’s made the effort to out-premium the Ford with nicer materials and aesthetic choices, but they’re far from the gullwing doors and cathedral steps featured on the initial concept car.

  • Land Rover Range Rover

    Land Rover Range Rover

    It’s refreshing that Land Rover has long since dropped the pretense that the Range Rover is anything other than a premium luxury ride about town. JLR still prominently touts its wading depth but if you see one of these fording a body of water, something has gone terribly wrong. Seek shelter and high ground immediately.

  • Ford Bronco

    Ford Bronco

    Rugged, beefy and capable all in a boxy, nostalgic package, the modern Bronco is an SUV that’s easy to fall in love with. Whatever your disposition is, there’s a flavor of Bronco for you. Want something plucky and retro? You got it. Want a Raptor-ized monster for off-road adventures? No problem. Jeep’s Wrangler may be the benchmark for true overlanding utility, but the Bronco is no slouch either, and brings along the charm.

  • GMC Yukon

    GMC Yukon

    We were split on the GMC Yukon or the Chevrolet Tahoe, the latter being one of the best-selling SUVs across the country. The Yukon takes it because it’s so oppressively massive and it’s nicer inside along with being the “cheaper” option. Go big or go home? This is as big as most homes and goes wherever the heck it wants.

  • Aston Martin DBX

    Aston Martin DBX

    The DBX didn’t come to play, it came to win. Specifically, with the DBX707, Aston drew a line in the sand to challenge all luxury performance SUVs. The SUV’s power is undeniable, and its handling is good enough for the F1 medical team, so it should be good enough to satisfy your jaunts around town.

  • Rolls Royce Cullinan

    Rolls Royce Cullinan

    Picture this: you’re in the desert, not a soul in sight and suddenly, over the dunes, a Rolls Royce appears. You’d dismiss such ridiculousness as a mirage. And let’s be clear, the Cullinan is ridiculous, from its gluttonous overall opulence to its appearance as a jumped-up Phantom. If that’s not annoying enough, it’s actually a highly capable off-roading machine in the right hands.

  • BMW X7

    BMW X7

    Here we go, the classic schoolyard battle: Mercedes vs BMW. Though if you’re arguing about their full-size SUVs, you likely work at the school now. The X7 edges out the GLS on our list ever so slightly because it can be more engaging to drive, and its UI is slightly more bearable. Though on that point, BMW have been following Merc down that highly colorful and distracting rabbit hole.

  • Porsche Cayenne

    Porsche Cayenne

    Boy did we all laugh when we first saw the Cayenne and oh how Porsche laughed right back with its boatloads of cash. Utility and luxury while retaining all the driving capabilities that makes a Porsche worthy of the name, the Cayenne put hotcakes to shame with its sales. It changed the way every performance automaker does business and it’s still the sports SUV to beat. Hot stuff.

  • Jeep Grand Wagoneer

    Jeep Grand Wagoneer

    Few modern SUVs call to mind the “Canyonero” song from The Simpsons more than the Grand Wagoneer. True to its name, it looks like it runs on steaks and has enough utility to do round-trip runs of the Oregon trail. Jeep dropped its Hemi V8 for a turbocharged inline-six, and while that softens the Grand Wagoneer’s edges a bit, it remains imposingly rugged.

  • Cadillac Escalade

    Cadillac Escalade

    The Escalade is everything. Luxury, convenience, opulence and utility. There’s a reason it’s the mainstay of the Uber Black pool. Outside of really roughing it, the Escalade’s a hard SUV to top when it comes to covering all the bases. This highfalutin limo is best ridden in the rear but it’s surprisingly easy to drive, too. Tony Soprano would be proud. 

Looking for more from the USA?

More from Top Gear

See more on USA

Subscribe to the Top Gear Newsletter

Get all the latest news, reviews and exclusives, direct to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, you agree to receive news, promotions and offers by email from Top Gear and BBC Studios. Your information will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

BBC TopGear

Try BBC Top Gear Magazine