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With so many new cars on the road, it’s hard to know which models are staying fresh and which ones need drastic improvement. Motor1 says that most of the best SUVs are from luxury automakers, but there is one notable exception. Let’s go over which SUVs from the 2023 model year are worth your time and money.

Front view of white 2023 Lexus RX, most reliable luxury SUV, says J.D. Power, not BMW or Mercedes-Benz
2023 Lexus RX | Lexus

The 2023 Lexus RX Hybrid is the best SUV overall

While the Lexus RX Hybrid doesn’t have the best performance, Motor1 gave this car an exceptional rating in every other category. The RX Hybrid can earn up to 36 mpg city/highway, beating its luxury rivals with mild-hybrid powertrains. The RX Hybrid also has several active safety features, and the ones with corrective steering aren’t intrusive at all.

A standard 14-inch touchscreen replaces the automaker’s divisive touchpad controller, and it’s equipped with wireless smartphone integration. The cabin itself is well-constructed and has comfortable seats, though it can get noisy at times. Still, at $50.150 to start, the Lexus RX Hybrid is one of the most affordable luxury cars.

The BMW XM earned the same overall score as the RX Hybrid. However, the XM’s gas-only fuel economy is very underwhelming at just 16 mpg combined. On the plus side, it’s a plug-in hybrid with an all-electric range of 30 miles.

The BMW XM’s powertrain is more focused on performance, composed of a twin-turbo V8 and a single electric motor generating 644 hp combined. It can reportedly reach 60 mph in 4.1 seconds, and its even weight distribution allows it to round corners with sharp precision. Thanks to the Comfort drive mode, the BMW XM is also great for just cruising around.

The XM showcases artful design both inside and out, from the quilted leather seats to the sharp headlights. Be prepared to pay nearly $160,000 (at least) to own this car.

Here are some notable runner-ups

The BMW X7 is relatively attainable in comparison, starting at $81,600. The xDrive40i has a 375-hp turbo-six under its hood, earning a decent 22 mpg combined. It’s not as quick as the XM, but test drivers were still impressed with the large X7’s surprisingly quick handling. 

The X7’s seats offer sufficient support, but there’s not much legroom for the passengers in either of the back rows. The X7 also only offers just 13 cu-ft of cargo space behind the rear seats. Still, passengers are treated to a smooth ride with the standard air suspension.

A few other cars tied for second place, including the Aston Martin DBX and the Genesis GV60. The DBX is powered by a beastly 697-hp twin-turbo V8 which can rocket to 60 mph in 3.1 seconds. The cabin also sports premium materials and a nice design, though the infotainment system lacks any physical dials.

The GV60 EV Performance model has two electric motors producing 429 hp. Some EVs are reportedly sportier to drive, but the GV60 achieves excellent acceleration in Boost mode. It also offers 235 miles of electric range.

The Hyundai Palisade stands among the luxury competition

Motor1 testers were very impressed with the Hyundai Palisade’s interior, especially when optioned with the comfortable Nappa leather seats. The Highway Driving Assist function, standard on the highest trim, also includes advanced sensors and lane-changing assistance. However, the Palisade’s handling leaves much to be desired.

The 291-hp V6 doesn’t want for passing power, but some rivals achieve better fuel economy estimates. Still, the Palisade’s included features and premium cabin quality make it a bargain at any trim level. 

You can get a top-specced Calligraphy model for well under $60,000 and the base trim starts at $36,885. Despite its flaws, being impressive enough to compete with BMW and Lexus cars speaks volumes about the Palisade’s overall appeal.


There Was a 4-Way Tie for Best 2023 SUV From U.S. News