Skip to main content

Today’s SUVs are ohhh-my-gawd fast. The new Lamborghini Urus, for example, can hit 60 miles per hour in about 3.3 seconds. The new Jaguar F-Pace can get there in 3.8. Those are unreal numbers. Keep in mind that a Lamborghini Gallardo supercar does it about 3.5. But you could buy one of each of these high-performance SUVs and still spend less than you would on a Urus.

The Urus is the king of high-performance SUVs

Lamborghini Urus in the dirt
Lamborghini Urus | Lamborghini

There’s no doubt that you can buy supercar high-performance SUVs. If you have the dough, the Urus is about $220,000. But we truly live in a golden age: that Jaguar F-Pace SVR starts at $86,600.

Still, for the many of us with 529 plans to contribute to or mortgages, even $86,600 sounds like a lot. So what to buy when we want an SUV that hauls, and still hauls? These are a few performance bargains that won’t break the bank, but still put a V8-sized grin on your face.

It feels cheap, but goes like stink: the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8

SRT. Those three letters make Mopar fans quiver. They stand for Street and Racing Technologies. In other words, they’re the Jedis of speed for Dodge. In the mid-2010s SRT hot-rodded many a car, like the Challenger, but they also modded the Grand Cherokee and called it the SRT8. The SUV has a 6.1-liter V8 that makes 475 horsepower. Sure, the interior isn’t that special, and it looks like a regular Grand Cherokee, but to those in the know, it’s quick and handles great. On used-car websites, you can find SRT8s for $18,000 to $30,000.

The originator with the flavor: Porsche Cayenne Turbo

The Porsche Cayenne Turbo was refreshed for 2015 and it made 513 horsepower, and 533 lb ft. That was more than a Nissan GT-R. The Cayenne Turbo has one of the best interiors in the business, it has one of the best motors in the business, and surprisingly enough, it’s also capable off-road with four-wheel-drive. The Cayenne was the first high-performance and it’ll hit 60 in about 4.3 seconds. Sure, the Cayenne Turbo is still a $50,000 used SUV, but keep io mind it was almost $115,000 in 2015.  

Terrorize the country club with the Range Rover Sport Supercharged

The Range Rover Sport Supercharged is super fast, and super luxurious.
Range Rover Sport Supercharged | Cars and Bids

The Range Rover Sport was the smaller Land Rover. It was a five-seater, and designed to handle off-road duties as much as the tight parking garages off Rodeo Drive. But when Rover dropped a supercharger into the engine bay, it also made it a drag-strip runner and a high-performance SUV. The Supercharged V8 makes 510 horsepower and gets the SUV to 60 in 4.6 seconds. Sure, Land Rovers don’t all have the best reputation for reliability, but if you want to show off at the country club by doing a burnout in the lot, this is the beast. Today, they are about $40,000 to $45,000 on used car sites.

Of course a BMW M is on the high-performance SUV list, the X5 M

The 2017 BMW X5 M is a seriously-fast high-performance SUV.

Any time you see the “M” on a BMW, especially a BMW from the 2010s, it means “performance” and “expensive.” But that’s Ok when you consider the 2016-era BMW X5M has 567 horsepower from its twin-turbo V8, and can still give a Urus a run for its money. It can hit 60 mph in 4.0 seconds, and considering it’s now a $45,000-$50,000 used SUV, that’s most of the performance of the Lambo for Hyundai Palisade money.

RELATED: The World’s Fastest Production SUV Is a 675-Hp Jaguar F-Pace SVR