The top of this segment is particularly interesting; the leather-lined, four-wheel-drive cream that’s risen to the surface. It’s a tiny slice of a huge market, and one that’s about to get a lot more crowded with automakers like Tesla, Bentley, Rolls-Royce and Aston Martin developing high-brow utility vehicles. But before these top-shelf products go on sale, here’s a list of the 10 most expensive SUVs available today.
10. Lexus LX 570, $84,105
One of the most affordable ultra-premium SUVs available today is Lexus' LX 570. This paragon of Japanese capability is longer in the tooth than a full-grown walrus though it’s still pleasantly luxurious. It comes with standard full-time four-wheel drive, an adjustable-height suspension, four-zone climate control and seating for eight. A 5.7-liter V8 delivers 383 horses, enough for it to tow up to 7,000 pounds. Base price including $925 in destination fees totals $84,105.
9. Infiniti QX80 Limited, $89,845
Eclipsing the Lexus in price is Infiniti QX80 Limited. This behemoth is motivated by a 5.6-liter V8 that puts out 400 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque, all of which is routed exclusively through a seven-speed automatic transmission. Buyers can opt for rear-wheel drive, though the Limited model comes standard with the firm’s All-Mode all-wheel-drive system. Other standard goodies include adaptive suspension, a 15-speaker Bose sound system and matte-finished ash-wood trim. Out the door, plan on spending about 90 grand on one of these QX80s.
8. Range Rover Sport Autobiography, $93,490
Autobiography models are the pinnacle of the Range Rover Sport lineup. Base price for one of these British beasts is a little shy of $94,000 including $995 in destination fees. For that outlay you get all manner of luxury amenities including things like a heated windshield and backlight, smog-sensing auto recirculation for the climate-control system, 16-way power seats, adjustable airsuspension and probably the best four-wheel-drive technology in the automotive business. A supercharged 5.0-liter V8 cranks out 510 horses and is matched to an efficiency-maximizing eight-speed automatic transmission.
7. Cadillac Escalade ESV Platinum 4WD, $95,870
The only American luxury SUV to crack this Top 10 list is the Cadillac Escalade ESV Platinum. Lincoln’s Navigator just isn’t expensive enough to hang with these princely utilities. Under the ‘Sclade’s hood is a big ol’ slab of Midwestern red meat, a 6.2-liter pushrod V8 delivering 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of twist, all of which is routed through an eight-speed automatic. Amenities are numerous and include OnStar with 4G LTE connectivity, adaptive cruise control and forward collision alert, among MANY others.
6. BMW X5 M, $99,650
Who knew there was a market for super-sporty SUVs? BMW X5 M is proof positive enthusiasts will buy a race-bred utility vehicle. This sports car on stilts is powered by a 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine that cranks out 567 horses. Standard features include an M-tuned all-wheel-drive system, adaptive xenon headlamps, 18-way adjustable seats and start/stop to save fuel, though probably not much. Base price for one of these is just shy of 100 grand, including $950 in destination and handling fees.
5. BMW X6 M, $103,050
Curiously the X6 M is slightly pricier than its numerically smaller stable-mate, of which it’s essentially a carbon copy. Why would you ever pay more for a vehicle with essentially identical performance and 17 fewer cubic feet of cargo space? I can’t answer that question, but perhaps it’s because the X6 M is 75 pounds lighter. In any event, this “sports activity coupe” starts at $103,000 including $950 in shipping fees.
4. Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG, $120,375
The large-and-lovely Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG is hauled around by a hand-built 5.5-liter twin turbo V8 that puts out 550 hp and 560-lb-fot of torque. That’s enough beans and franks to hit 60 miles from a standstill in just 4.8 seconds. A seven-ratio Speedshift automatic transmission routes that nougaty goodness to all four wheels. Base price including destination charges is around 121 big ones.
3. Range Rover Autobiography LWB, $144,985
Range Rover , the name alone brings to mind rugged capability and a real sense of fearlessness. The long-wheelbase Autobiography version of this top-shelf SUV can climb mountains and ford rivers, all while coddling its driver and passengers in sublime luxury. If you want this unique blend of capability and serenity plan on spending around 145 grand.
2. Porsche Cayenne Turbo S, $158,295
In the market for an ultra-high-performance sports car but need a vehicle that can hold more luggage than a paper shopping bag? Well, Porsche has something for you. The Cayenne turbo S is as powerful as it is well equipped. Performance is provided by a 4.8-liter twin-turbo V8 that puts out 570 horses. Matching that under-hood firepower is a laundry list of racing-grade features, things like dry-sump lubrication, an air suspension system and 10-piston front brake calipers. Base price for the Cayenne Turbo S is a whopping $158,295 including $995 in destination charges. If you want an expensive luxury SUV this one is tough to topple.
1. Mercedes-AMG G65, $218,825
But Mercedes-Benz is happy to take a crack at Porsche’s princely Cayenne with its insanely pricey G65 AMG. This performance-tuned military-grade vehicle is powered by a 6.0-liter V12. With twin turbochargers it delivers a whopping 612 horses and 737 lb-ft of torque. A Speedshift seven-gear automatic transmission handles all of that giddy-up and helps enable a zero to 100 km/h sprint of just 5.3 seconds. Not too shabby for a cube with rigid axles front and rear, eh? The G65 AMG starts at $218,825 including destination charges.