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A lot has been written about the new Ferrari Pursangue SUV. It has a V-12 engine, seating for four, a real hatch, and even all-wheel drive. But how does it stack up against other SUVs? Does it make sense as an SUV, or just a hot hatch?

What makes an SUV an SUV?

A gray 2023 Ferrari Purosangue luxury sports SUV is parked.
The 2023 Ferrari Purosangue | Ferrari

There are so many different vehicles that we call Sport Utility Vehicles, and each has a different purpose. The Jeep Wrangler is great for going off-road, but the Cadillac Escalade is great for taking eight people on a road trip in luxury, for example. But, there are a few things that every SUV should be able to do, and that’s handle inclement weather or off-road situations well, carry people and their luggage, and sit up high for a commanding view of the road. Does the Ferrari stand up?

The basics on the Ferrari Purosangue

Ferrari Purosangue in silver from the rear
Ferrari Purosangue | Ferrari

The new 2023 Ferrari Purosangue is Ferrari’s first SUV, and to hammer the point home that it’s not an anomaly, its name translates to “pure blood.” Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Bentley and others have been making tons of cash selling high-performance vehicles that seat more people, and Ferrari finally decided it would, too. But this one is powered by a new version of Ferrari’s V-12 that makes 712 horsepower. It seats four, it has luggage space, and looks like a Ferrari should.

The Ferrari Purosangue has all-wheel drive

The Ferrari Purosangue should be able to handle bad weather with ease. It has a sophisticated all-wheel drive system that uses accelerometers and position sensors to help its system claw at the pavement. But, when it gets wet or snowy, the system should be able to tackle the tough stuff with aplomb. It also, cleverly, has four-wheel steering that can help this long car (for a Ferrari) negotiate the tight fast turns on Swiss Alpine roads.

However, this is no Wrangler. While Ferrari hasn’t published ground clearance figures, it does say it has higher ground clearance. Higher than what, Ferrari doesn’t say, but it’s clearly not designed for off-road work with its low overhangs.

The Ferrari Purosangue can carry some (but not much) luggage

interior of the Ferrari Purosangue
The interior of the Purosangue | Ferrari

According to MotorTrend the Purosangue can carry 16.7 cubic feet of cargo. That’s about as much as a Mazda CX-3 can hold with its rear row of seats up. So, it can carry more than say a Ferrari California that only holds 12 cubic feet or the minuscule 3.3 cubic feet in the SF90 Stradale car.

The Purosangue can hold four people, but Ferrari has not published legroom details yet. The fact that the rear doors have to open from a rear hinge, “suicide” style, says a lot about the rear seating. Manufacturers use a rear-hinged door to make it easier to get into and out of tight space. But, that certainly beats having to fold the front seats.

Does it have the SUV feel?

overhead view Ferrari Purosangue
The new Ferrari Purosangue | Ferrari

One reason SUVs are great is the driver gets a commanding view of the road. Everyone likes to sit high and see everything. We don’t have beltline figures or eye-sight figures for the Purosangue, but from videos and pictures, we can surmise that it’s likely the tallest Ferrari. The driver will probably be able to see over other Ferraris, but that’s about it in this low-slung SUV.

It looks like the SUV is already a hit and the Purosangue is sold out, even if it doesn’t really stack up as an SUV. But, then, that’s not really the point, is it?


Ferrari Insists It’s Not an SUV, but the Ferrari Purosangue Is the Brand’s First SUV