8 Luxury SUVs in the Spotlight as Gas Prices Crash

If you’re looking for a luxury car that offers a bit more headspace (or maybe more room for the kids), or you’re planning a long trip but want to do so in the utmost comfort, there are numerous options out there. While large sedans still have their place in the market, luxury SUVs have offered a larger, roomier alternative, if you don’t mind sacrificing a few MPGs in the name of leather seats and wood trim.

Noticeably, the industry is dominated by the German brands, despite America’s appetite for large cars. However, the Japanese brands have likewise made moves into the market. So whether its a backroads trail or the concrete jungle, here are eight luxury SUVs that will move you and your posse in the most exclusive style.

Source: Porsche

1. Porsche Cayenne

While Porsche purists balked when the Cayenne was first revealed, it may have been the best business decision for the company: the Cayenne has made the brand far more widely accepted and given the sports car company some serious family cred. The Cayenne starts at around $61,700 for the diesel version.

Source: Audi

2. Audi Q7

The Q7 is Audi’s (VLKAY.PK) first foray into the full-size SUV market, and although the third-row seat is reportedly “cramped” (as per Edmunds), the car’s “well-crafted interior and autobahn-bred high-speed stability” should make up for the lack of leg space in the third row. The Audi starts at $47,700 or so.

Source: Mercedes-Benz

3. Mercedes-Benz GL

Though it starts off at a higher base price than the Audi or Porsche ($63,600), the Mercedes GL Class offers all the refinement you’d expect in a Benz, but in a much larger package. Interestingly, the base price is for the diesel variant — which returns 26 miles per gallon on the highway, an impressive figure for any vehicle this size.

Source: General Motors

4. Cadillac Escalade

The Cadillac Escalade is quite possibly the most familiar example of a luxury SUV, at least domestically. With a starting price of $72,970 or so, the Escalade comes with a rather extensive list of standard features, and General Motors’ potent 6.2 liter V8. It’s also one of the few options for a luxury SUV from American manufacturers in a field largely dominated  by the Germans.

Source: BMW

5. BMW X5

On that note, here is another German luxury SUV that has done exceptionally well for itself: the BMW X5. Available in a variety of trims, the Bimmer starts at $53,200, and offers a “luxurious and comfortable interior, a huge list of features, and steadfast high-speed stability” — a seemingly common theme for the cars of German make.

Source: Lexus

6. Lexus LX

The Lexus LX is a comfortable, roomy SUV that has its underpinnings based in Toyota’s SUV and off-roading division. This means the LX is very off-road capable, but “unless you utilize this capability, it’s hard to justify a purchase when there are more space- and fuel-efficient choices,” Edmunds explains. Regardless, when Lexus crafts a comfortable car, no corners are cut, and no expense is spared — the LX starts at a lofty $82,930.

Source: Land Rover

7. Land Rover Range Rover

On the subject of off-roading, here is the Land Rover Range Rover. Repetitive name aside, the Range Rover offers arguably the most important aspect of a luxury SUV: a nice place to be inside. And it does this very well. Edmunds calls the interior “magnificent” and if you have the means — the $99,100 means, that is — you can spring for the supercharged version. Otherwise, the base model hovers around $82,650.

Source: Infiniti

8. Infiniti JX

Though the Infiniti may not match its luxury brethren for power (there is no V8 option), it hits all the right notes for a luxury SUV: easy access to roomy third row, plenty of high-tech safety and creature comforts, and plush ride quality. Unless you were planning to take your SUV to the track or log a quick quarter-mile, the Infiniti is perfectly capable of meeting all your comfort needs.

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