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Luxury SUVs have become increasingly popular as consumers are willing to spend more money for comfort, convenience, and advanced features. But what defines a “luxury” SUV can be subjective, as different brands and models offer their own interpretations of what constitutes a luxurious driving experience. As a result, the most popular luxury SUVs can vary greatly depending on one’s definition of the term.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular luxury SUVs on the market today and examine what sets them apart in terms of features, performance, and overall appeal.

Side view of 2023 Tesla Model Y EV, cheapest new Tesla SUV and safest with IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award
2023 Tesla Model Y | Tesla

Is the Tesla Model Y really a luxury SUV?

The Tesla Model Y is the most popular luxury SUV in the US, according to a recent report by GoodCarBadCar. The electric crossover sold an estimated 85,000 units in 2023, beating its closest rivals, the Lexus NX and the Mercedes-Benz GLC, by a wide margin. But is the Model Y really a luxury SUV? And how reliable are these numbers?

Some critics argue that Tesla does not qualify as a luxury brand because it lacks the heritage, craftsmanship, and customer service that other premium automakers offer. They also point out that Tesla’s vehicles have been plagued by quality issues such as paint defects, panel gaps, and software glitches.

Moreover, Tesla does not report its official sales numbers to the public, unlike other car manufacturers. The estimates by GoodCarBadCar are based on third-party sources and projections, which may not reflect the actual demand for Tesla’s products.

However, Tesla fans counter that the Model Y offers a unique combination of performance, technology, and innovation that sets it apart from other luxury SUVs. They claim that Tesla’s vehicles are more advanced, efficient, and fun to drive than their competitors, thanks to their powerful electric motors, cutting-edge software features, and over-the-air updates.

They also argue that Tesla’s sales figures are more accurate than those of other automakers because they reflect actual deliveries to customers rather than shipments to dealerships.

The Lexus RX is a top luxury SUV contender with impressive features and design

If you are looking for a luxury SUV that combines comfort, performance, and technology, you might want to consider the Lexus RX. The RX is the second-best-selling luxury SUV in the US, according to GoodCarBadCar, with 25,947 units sold in 2023.

The 2023 RX comes in four different styles: RX Premium, RX Hybrid Premium+, RX F SPORT Handling, and RX 500h F SPORT Performance AWD. Each style offers a unique blend of power, efficiency, and design.

According to Lexus, the base model of the Lexus RX comes with a 2.5-liter in-line 4-cylinder engine and a Lexus Hybrid Electric Drive system, which produce 275 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque. The RX also offers impressive fuel efficiency, with a city/highway MPG estimate of 22/29 and a combined MPG estimate of 25.

The RX Hybrid Premium+ features a hybrid system that adds two electric motors and a battery pack, boosting the total system output to 308 horsepower and improving the fuel economy to an EPA-estimated 30 mpg combined.

Why the Tesla Model Y and Lexus RX are top choices for luxury SUVs

Both the Tesla Model Y and the Lexus RX offer unique features and advantages that make them great choices for those looking for a luxury SUV. The Model Y stands out with its impressive electric powertrain, cutting-edge technology, and sleek design. It offers a fun and exhilarating driving experience with quick acceleration and a low center of gravity.

On the other hand, the Lexus RX delivers a smooth and comfortable ride with a luxurious interior, a spacious cabin, and advanced safety features. It also offers a hybrid option for those looking for improved fuel efficiency without sacrificing performance. Both SUVs have their own strengths and cater to different types of drivers, so it ultimately comes down to personal preference and priorities.


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