If you’re on the market for a new luxury SUV this year, you’ve probably noticed that there are a lot of options available. As the high-end SUV market continues to grow, premium car manufacturers are upping their game with new models to satisfy every lifestyle.
From the classy urban SUV to the rugged outdoor all-wheel drive and the stylish crossover, there are over 60 different luxury models available from more than 20 manufacturers.
But not all premium SUVs are created equal and finding the one that’s right for you isn’t a smooth ride. Because the market is rapidly evolving, some brands offer significantly more value than others. The luxury brands that started building SUVs early tend to also be more reliable and offer better resale value. Crucially, the tech inside the car can significantly vary from one brand to another. While some manufacturers are very advanced with their infotainment system, others are clearly a generation or two behind.
If you want to find the best luxury SUV of the year to fit your particular needs and lifestyle, you’ve come to the right place. We created this in-depth guide to help you narrow down your list of favourite cars and find the models that are worth taking for a test drive.
Our editorial team started by listing every single high-end SUV available on the market today. Literally! You can see the entire list of luxury SUV models below. We then compared and ranked each car to identify the top 15 luxury SUVs of the year.
Because your expectations and lifestyle needs are unique, we also created a list of the best premium SUVs and crossovers for specific scenarios. For example, if you’re on the market for a practical family-friendly SUV or a performance-driven urban crossover, or if you need a 3-row car or want a fuel-efficient or electric SUV, check our recommendations just below the ranking.
The 15 best luxury SUVs of 2019
|7||Land Rover||Range Rover Velar|
Questions? See how we rank the best luxury SUVs at the end of this article.
1. Mercedes-Benz GLE
The new Mercedes-Benz GLE updated for 2020 is the best all-around luxury SUV of 2019. Its build quality is exceptional. It comes with the most advanced onboard technology (the MBUX infotainment system). And its overall look and design are superb. All that for a retail price that’s a great value.
It’s in the large SUV category and can fit a third row of seats if you want to, yet it’s not too big to be uncomfortable to drive in the city. Step into the new GLE cabin, and you’ll instantly be transported to a world of luxury and delight.
Price starts from $56,200
2. BMW X5
The BMW X5 is arguably the car that launched the high-end SUV trend when it first appeared on the road over 20 years ago. Now in its fourth generation, the X5 continues to build on a brilliant heritage to deliver exceptional driving experience and a refined look.
Price starts from $60,700.
3. Porsche Macan
The Macan has become the best selling model for Porsche in recent years, and it’s no surprise. In its second generation, the Macan brings the driving performance that you would expect from a Porsche but in the comfort and luxury of an SUV. While it’s one of the most expensive midsize luxury SUVs on the market, with prices rapidly climbing as you add up options, the Macan brings unmatched driving sensations to the SUV segment.
Price starts from $47,800.
4. Audi Q8
The Audi Q8 is the top of the range in Audi’s luxury SUVs collection. It’s using the same platform than the ludicrous Lamborghini Urus but delivers a much more reasonable package, for a better price as well. It doesn’t mean that the Q8 is bland, however. Inside, you’ll find one of the most avant-garde infotainments of the industry. It comes with three large displays to control everything in the car in glorious high-definition.
Price starts from $67,400.
5. Volvo XC60
Sweedish car manufacturer Volvo has been upping its game over the past few years, delivering more and more luxurious models at very attractive price points. The XC60 is no exception. This midsize luxury SUV checks all the boxes with a more subdued design than some of its German counterparts.
Price starts from $52,900.
6. Porsche Cayenne
While the BMW X5 might be credited with starting the luxury SUV trend, the Porsche Cayenne is the car that truly set the path for most of the other cars on our list to follow. Once Porsche decided to build its first SUV with the Cayenne 2002, it became an overnight success. The rest is history.
Now in its third generation, the Porsche Cayenne continues to delight and win over the large luxury SUV segment. Its most recent hybrid engine is a particular pleasure to drive, delivering extra performance by combining electrical boost.
Price starts from $65,700.
7. Land Rover Range Rover Velar
The Range Rover Velar won multiple design prizes for its elegant while robust look. Land Rover successfully injected elements of its heritage in the design while taking a bold direction towards the future.
The Range Rover Velar is modern on the inside with three large high-resolution screens to control most functions. The large luxury SUV doesn’t disappoint.
Price starts from $49,950.
8. Mercedes-Benz GLC
The smaller brother of the large GLE, the Mercedes-Benz GLC shares most of its advantages in a midsize luxury SUV package. The GLC was recently updated for 2020 with a slight exterior refresh and the integration of a large MBUX screen on the inside.
If it’s comfort and value that you’re looking for, the Mercedes-Benz GLC is a serious contender.
Price starts from $40,700.
9. Jaguar F-Pace
If you want more a sporty attitude than the Mercedes-Benz GLC but at a lower price point than the Porsche Macan, the Jaguar F-Pace is a great midsize luxury SUV to experience. The British manufacturer offers now a full range of high-end SUVs, from small size to large size and fully electric. The F-Pace is the best value to enjoy the brand.
Price starts from $44,800.
10. BMW X1
The BMW X1 is one of the least expensive luxury SUV on our list and offers the best value as an entry to the premium crossover range. The X1 is just slightly smaller than the X3 but offers the same driving pleasure and ample backseat space for a small SUV.
Price starts from $34,950.
11. Mercedes-Benz GLS
The freshly updated Mercedes-Benz GLS is the flagship luxury SUV from the German manufacturer. The current model is the third generation of the extra-large seven-seater car with the most advanced technology available from Mercedes. If you want to transport your family in ultimate comfort, the GLS is the best premium SUV on the market today.
Price starts from $70,150.
12. Audi e-tron
The first full-electrical luxury SUV from Audi is an absolute winner. It brings the excitement of a full-electric engine in a premium and familiar SUV body. The Audi e-tron provides excellent levels of comfort and space while taking advantage of its electric engine to deliver fast all-wheel drive.
Price starts from $74,800.
13. Bentley Bentayga
The ultra-luxurious large SUV Bentley Bentayga is one of the poshest ways to travel in style. And with the recently released Bentley Bentayga Sport, this is now officially the fastest luxury SUV on the road today. If budget isn’t a constraint, the Bentayga deserves to be on your list for a test drive.
Price starts from $165,000.
14. Tesla Model X
The Tesla Model X deserves a spot on the top 15 best luxury SUV thanks to its role in pushing the envelope for new and greener technology. The accent is on the novelty and innovation more than the luxury and comfort than other brands in our list can deliver. With its full-electric engine, however, you’ll experience breathtaking performance levels with the Tesla Model X.
Price starts from $83,000.
15. Rolls-Royce Cullinan
The last spot on our list goes to the ultra-luxurious Rolls-Royce Cullinan. It is also the most expensive SUV currently on sale with retail prices easily surpassing $500,000 once it’s fully customised to your liking. This large, full-sized luxury SUV, is the first all-wheel car produced by Rolls-Royce. The level of luxury and comfort are equivalent if you’re driving or being driven, surrounded by only the highest quality materials.
Price starts from $325,000.
Find the luxury SUV that’s best for you
With so many options available on the market in 2019, the best luxury SUV won’t be the same for everyone. To find the specific model that’s best for you, you need to take a few things into account:
- Your budget: premium SUV prices vary significantly depending on the model and manufacturer that you choose. The cheapest premium SUV on our list is the Infiniti QX30 that starts from $30,250 while the most expensive one is the Rolls-Royce Cullinan that starts from $325,000.
Note that it’s often worth keeping an eye for the best luxury SUV deals online as most manufacturer offer discounts on stock cars or premium second-hand programs.
- Your lifestyle and what you expect from your car: luxury SUVs is now such a broad car segment that many sub-categories of vehicles available. Think about how you’ll most often use your car. Do you care most about comfort or sportiness? Will you drive mostly on roads or do you need serious offroad capabilities? Do you have children and want an SUV with excellent safety ratings and large booth space or do you prefer a small crossover?
To help you find the best luxury SUV for your lifestyle, we’ve considered the eleven most popular categories to select a winner car in each:
- Best small luxury SUV
- Best midsize luxury SUV
- Best large luxury SUV
- Best value luxury SUV
- Best safety ratings luxury SUV
- Most Fuel-Efficient Luxury SUV
- Best Hybrid luxury SUV
- Best Full-Electric luxury SUV
- Best Offroad luxury SUV
- Fastest luxury SUV
- Most expensive luxury SUV
You can skip directly to the category that you are most interested in.
Best small luxury SUV: BMW X1
With the X1, BMW has been able to deliver exceptional value for money to the compact SUV segment. The X1 is a mini version of the X3, but only slightly smaller. You still get plenty of room and decent booth size.
Other valid options include the Audi Q2, the Cadillac XT4, the Infiniti QX30, the Jaguar I-Pace, the Land Rover Defender, and the Volvo XC40.
Best midsize luxury SUV: Porsche Macan
The Porsche Macan might not be the most sensible choice for a midsize luxury SUV, but it’s the most fun to drive. Porsche brings its performance and driving style to the SUV with brilliance.
Other strong contenders include the Mercedes-Benz GLC, Mercedes-Benz GLC coupe, the BMW X3 and BMW X4, as well as the Audi Q3 and Q5. These are all great options that won’t disappoint.
Best large luxury SUV: Mercedes-Benz GLS
The Mercedes-Benz GLS is the best high-end SUVs for large families to travel in absolute luxury. It has proper 3 rows seats, where adults can sit in the back.
The BMW X7 is another serious contender, although less comfortable for the passengers. And the Lincoln Navigator isn’t a bad option either if you need the space but want to spend less. Although fuel consumption will be higher and Lincoln doesn’t quite deliver the same level of comfort and build quality than Mercedes-Benz or BMW.
Best value luxury SUV: Volvo X60
The Volvo X60 is a very sensible choice. The Sweedish car manufacturer has significantly improved the level of comfort and luxury of its cars over the past few years while maintaining excellent safety ratings and sensible price points.
Other sensibly priced luxury SUVs include the Audi Q3, the Cadillac XT4, and the Lincoln MKC.
Best safety ratings luxury SUV: Mercedes-Benz GLC
Every SUV on our list has excellent safety ratings in general. But the one that has the best safety score is the Mercedes-Benz GLC according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The GLC is also our favourite midsize premium SUV, making it a clear winner for small families.
Most Fuel-Efficient Luxury SUV: Volvo XC40
If you disregard the hybrid or full-electric SUVs, the most fuel-efficient luxury SUV available at the moment is the Volvo XC40. It’s also a great value car in the small SUV segment with its clean Scandinavian design. The all-wheel version of the XC40 can achieve 21 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway.
But if fuel consumption really is your main concern, you should take a serious look at the full-electric Audi e-tron, the Jaguar I-Pace, or the Tesla Model X.
Best Hybrid luxury SUV: Porsche Cayenne Hybrid
The Porsche Cayenne Hybrid mostly to improve the engine’s performance. The hybrid engine comes into play to give an extra acceleration boost. Although you can drive full-electric for short distance if you want to and save on fuel.
The Ferrari project Purosange promise to be an interesting alternative when it comes out in 2022 with the target to also be the fasted super sport SUV on the market.
Best Full-Electric luxury SUV: Audi e-tron
The Audi e-tron wins the best full-electric luxury SUV by being more easily accessible as a full-on electric car. It gives you the comfort and luxury that you come to expect from Audi without the need to be too tech-savvy to use the car.
The Tesla Model X and Jaguar I-Pace are also excellent alternatives
Best Offroad luxury SUV: Mercedes-Benz G-Class
The recently updated Mercedes-Benz G-Class is the most luxurious car that can be used as a true offroad SUV. Luxurious interior with a rug exterior ready to explore the outdoor, the G-Class comes with the latest generation of MBUX infotainment system.
The Land Rover Discovery is another strong contender, but it doesn’t quite match the excitement of driving a G-Class.
Fastest luxury SUV: Bentley Bentayga Speed
The Bentley Bentayga Speed is currently the fastest luxury SUV available to buy. It just beats the Lamborghini Urus by a few extra points. We’ll have to see how to upcoming Ferrari project Purosange does when it comes to market, however. Ferrari has indeed set itself the target to be the fastest luxury SUV car available when it hits the road in 2022.
Most expensive luxury SUV: Rolls-Royce Cullinan
Rolls-Royce Cullinan with a starting price point of $325,000. And that’s just a start. With Rolls-Royce, you have carte blanche to fully customise your Cullinan however you see fit. It is quite common to end up with a final price upwards of $500,000. With this price, you can literally customise your Cullinan however you wish. The Rolls-Royce SUV deserves its name inspired by the largest gem-quality rough diamond ever found.
Next on the list is the Lamborghini Urus but we expect the upcoming Aston Martin DBX to be close behind as well.
The full list of car manufacturers and SUV models that were taken into account for this comparison
To help us rank the best luxury SUVs of 2019, we started by creating a list of all the luxury SUVs available in 2019. We then organised them by category based on their size:
- Small SUVs: this category includes models such as the Audi Q2, the BMW X1, and the Mercedes GLA.
- Midsize SUVs: this category includes models such as the Porsche Macan, the BMW X3, and the Mercedes GLC.
- Large size SUVs: this category includes models such as the Porsche Cayenne, the BMW X5, and the Mercedes GLE.
- Extra-large SUVs: this category includes models such as the Lincoln Navigator, the BMW X7, and the Mercedes GLS.
You can find the entire list of all the available luxury SUVs of 2019 below.
|Alfa Romeo||Stelvio Quadrifoglio||Small||$79,995|
|Land Rover||Range Rover||Large||$89,500|
|Land Rover||Range Rover Evoque||Midsize||$41,800|
|Land Rover||Range Rover Velar||Large||$49,950|
Did we miss something? Please let us know.
Methodology: How we rank the best luxury SUVs
With such a large and diverse group of cars matching the broad definition of luxury SUVs, ranking the top 15 wasn’t an easy task.
We started by listing every premium SUVs available on the market in 2019. This included brands from Germany (Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche), the United States (Acura, Cadillac, Lincoln, Infiniti, and Jeep), the United Kingdom (Aston Martin, Bentley, Land Rover, Jaguar, and Rolls-Royce), Italy (Alpha Romeo, Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Maserati), and Japan (Lexus).
We ended up with the list of nearly 60 cars available in the previous section.
Once that exhaustive list was created, we looked at objective market data to begin our ranking. We took into account the best-selling SUVs of 2019 worldwide and the most popular SUVs online based on search popularity on Google.
This gave us a good first idea of the top luxury SUVs in the world.
We then looked deeper at each model to understand and compare their performance, consumption, resale value, and the range of options and engine available to suit different budget and expectations.
With that information, we were able to narrow down our list to a much smaller number of viable options.
Finally, we used our own experience and editorial judgement to select only the top 15 best luxury SUVs on our list. This wasn’t an easy decision. Most premium SUVs are great options, but we wanted to help our readers narrow down their options to just the top 15. We made sure to include a range of options to suit most lifestyles and budgets.
Luxury SUVs: Most Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the best luxury SUV of 2019?
The Mercedes-Benz GLE is the best luxury SUV on the market in our opinion. It delivers style, comfort, and performance with the most advanced onboard technology for a reasonable price.
- What is the best luxury SUV to buy used?
The BMW X5 is the best high-end SUV to buy in second-hand if you can find an option from a certified BMW reseller with a two-year warranty.
- Which luxury SUV holds its value best?
The Porsche Cayenne currently has one the best resale value thanks to its timeless design and excellent build quality.
- What is the best small luxury SUV?
The BMW X1 is our favourite small luxury SUV at the moment. It’s only slightly smaller than the midsize X3 but is reasonably priced and gives you all the benefits of a premium car.
- What luxury SUV has the best gas mileage?
The Volvo XC40 has the best fuel-efficiency at the moment. The all-wheel version of the XC40 can achieve 21 MPG in the city and 31 MPG on the highway.
- What is the most fuel-efficient SUV with 3rd row?
The Volvo XC90 gets the best gas mileage in the seven-seater category. The XC90 can achieve 19.78 MPG with a twin-charged 316 hp engine and all-wheel drive.
Further reading recommendations about luxury SUVs and high-end cars in general
We used several authoritative sources to help us write this comparative guide to the best luxury SUVs of 2019. We recommend that you read them if you want to learn more about luxury cars and SUVs. These are also great resources if you want to understand a particular aspect of the premium SUV market or want to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the industry.
- Global Luxury Vehicles Market by Manufacturers, Regions, Type and Application, Forecast to 2023, by the Global Info Research, July 23, 2018.
- 2019 (Q1) International: Worldwide Car Sales, by Henk Bekker, Car Sales Statistics, April 20, 2019.
- Global car sales analysis 2018, by Bart Demandt, Car Sales Base, March 1, 2019.
- Light trucks take a record 69% of U.S. market, by David Muller, Automotive News, January 07, 2019.
- Sport utility vehicle, Wikipedia, May 2010.
- Crossover (automobile), Wikipedia, May 2010.
- 6 best times to buy a car, by Eric C. Evarts, CNBC, May 25, 2017.
- Six Porsche SUVs You Can Do No Wrong With, by Garrett Parker, Money Inc, April 24, 2019.
- World’s fastest luxury SUV: The Bentley Bentayga Speed will launch at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show, by Daryl Lee, Robb Report, February 25, 2019.
- Best Luxury SUVs: Top-Rated Luxury SUVs for 2019, by Cameron Rogers, Edmunds, April 26, 2019.
- Ferrari SUV confirmed: fastest SUV crown targeted, by Jonathan Burn, Auto Express, September 19, 2018.
- Don’t worry: Ferrari’s SUV will ‘drive like a Ferrari’, by Jason Barlow, Top Gear, January 25, 2018.
- Rolls-Royce Cullinan: 5 things to know about the ultra-luxe SUV that costs an upwards of $1.2 million, by Daryl Lee, Robb Report, August 15, 2018.
- Range Rover Velar named World Car Design of the Year, by Tom Ravenscroft, dezeen, April 9, 2018.
- Kings Of The Road: The World’s Most Expensive SUVs, by Nick Kurczewski, Forbes, Mar 14, 2019.