Every manufacturer is pushing hybrids and EVs, and ever more fuel-efficient four- and six-cylinder SUVs. But there are few traditionalists out there that are keeping SUVs with a V8, at least for now. And why shouldn’t they? V8 engines are great at making big horsepower and big torque numbers, which is what you need if you’re towing, hauling, or trying to wrestle two or three tons of SUV through the tough stuff. A V8 is also key to a performance SUV.
The Armada is Nissan’s SUV with a V8
It’s easy to forget about the Nissan Armada when its upgraded brother the Infiniti QQ80 is such an appealing package. But, if you take the time to visit your Nissan dealer and check out the Armada, you’ll see that it offers a variety of options in two- and four-wheel drive that make it suitable for many budgets. With the right package, it can be outfitted with almost as many bells and whistles as the Infinity, but for $10,000 less. It has the same 400-horsepower 5.6-liter V8 that the Titan truck has, which means you’ll be able to tow and haul. For 2022, the Armada got a restyling for the first time since 2017 that includes a new interior. The front end now looks SUV brutish, and it has visual clues that tie it to the Titan truck.
The redesigned Grand Cherokee keeps the V8 for 2022
Grand Cherokees are one of the standards that other SUVs are measured against. For 2022 Jeep redesigned the SUV and added a ton of new trims, packages and safety features. But lucky for us Jeep kept the Grand Cherokee’s four-wheel-drive, great ground clearance, and smooth highway manners. Not every model of the Jeep Grand Cherokee can be had with a V8. But, the 5.7 liter Hemi VVT is available. The Hemi may be an older engine design, but modern tech has helped it save fuel by deactivating the cylinders you don’t need when cruising or idling. In the Jeep, the Hemi makes 357 horsepower and 390 ft-lbs of torque. Unfortunately, Jeep dropped the mega-powerful 6.4-liter and 6.2-liter V8s for 2022. The 5.7 V8 is a $3,795 option.
The Dodge Durango R/T is shameless about flaunting its V8
While some manufacturers are trying to hide their V8s behind hybrid badges, Dodge is doing the opposite. For 2022 Durangos, Dodge has added the Hemi Orange package to announce to the world that you’re packing eight cylinders under the hood. In R/T trim, you get the original orange with gunmetal hood stripes. The Durango may be getting a bit old, and it may not be the most posh SUV, but it still acquits itself well, especially with the Hemi option. The new Hemi has 360 horsepower. But if you really want the top-dog Hemi, get the Durango SRT 392, which starts at $69,790, and has 475 horsepower.
Suburban and Tahoe SUVs can put the power down with the 6.2-liter V8
General Motors was built on the small block V8. The engine is used in everything from Camaros and Corvettes to Suburban and Tahoe SUVs. For Tahoe and Suburban duty, Chevy fits its venerable 5.3-liter V8 that allows the full-size and extra-long full-size SUVs to tow quite a bit. In the Tahoe and Subub, the 5.30-liter makes 355 horsepower. You can also order a 6.2-liter V8 with 420 horsepower. The Suburban and Tahoe both are based on Silverado trucks, which means they can tow and haul like trucks. Like the trucks, they also come in off-road Z71 packages, and can be ordered with luxury goodies that rival their corporate cousins, the Cadillac Escalade and GMC Yukon.
2022 is the last year of the Sequoia SUV with a V8
Act fast because the V8 is disappearing in 2023 for the Sequoia and being replaced with the i-FORCE MAX hybrid. Toyota’s Sequoia gets forgotten. Toyota’s 4Runner and Highlander are so popular that the Sequoia sometimes gets lost. But for 2022 you can still get a V8. It has 381 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque which gives this seven- or eight-passenger SUV a 7,000-pound tow rating. But, the Toyota V8 in the Sequoia gets fuel economy figures that make some cringe: 13 mpg city and 17 on the highway. Maybe the V6 hybrid will help in 2023?