Sport-utility vehicles in all sizes and price points are outselling sedans these days, and by a healthy margin, as growing families, singles, and empty nesters alike embrace the genre.
Particularly popular are crossover models that combine added passenger room and cargo space with easy-riding car-based underpinnings.
Perhaps most noteworthy, upscale SUVs are knocking the proverbial tar, sales-wise, out of luxury cars these days, especially with non-traditional luxury brands like Porsche, Jaguar, Maserati, and even Bentley having debuted posh and powerful crossover SUVs of their own.
Some, packing engines that generate 500 horsepower or more (not to mention sticker prices in excess of $100,000), exist as more amenable alternatives to low-slung sports cars, with all-wheel-drive for added grip over wet or snowy roads.
The costliest SUV on the market for 2018 is the elegant Bentley Bentayga, with a starting price at around $200,000, and running way past the $300,000 mark in its top model and even higher when fully loaded.
Expect even more ultra-luxury people-movers to reach showrooms for 2019, including the Lamborghini Urus and Rolls-Royce Cullinan, with even Ferrari said to be preparing a sporty crossover of its own for a future model year.
Here’s the 10 price leaders for 2018 among upscale SUVs:
1. Bentley Bentayga Mulliner, $304,425. Lavishly luxurious and finished in rich hides and trim materials, the Bentley of SUVs is posh and packs a punch with a 600-horsepower W12 engine. This is the top model in the line, and it can be fitted with bespoke touches like a matching fly fishing kit and a $160,000 Breitling dashboard clock.
2. Mercedes-Benz G-Class AMG G 65, $221,395. Once a German military vehicle, the boxy G-Class is something of an acquired taste, with this top AMG version being motivated by a 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12 engine with a 621 horsepower and a stump-pulling 738 pound-feet of torque.
3. Land Rover Range Rover V8 Supercharged SV Autobiography LWB, $178,195. This is the most powerful long-wheelbase Range Rover on the lot, with a 575-horsepower supercharged V8 engine, a plush interior, and uncanny off-road abilities, assuming you’d want to risk damaging a vehicle this costly out on the trails.
4. Porsche Cayenne Turbo S, $162,650. The quickest version of what is among the fastest SUVs on the planet comes powered by a 570-horsepower 4.6-liter twin-turbo V8, and rides on a fine-tuned suspension that’s capable of sports car-like handling.
5. Tesla Model X P100D, $141,200. Featuring dramatic vertical-opening falcon-wing doors, this version of Tesla’s full-electric SUV packs its largest battery that enables a fully practical range of 289 miles on a charge.
6. Mercedes-Benz GLS AMG 63, $126,295. Mercedes’ big SUV makes a bold statement in its top GLS 63 model with a hand-built 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8 that’s good for a decidedly quick 577 horsepower.
7. Mercedes-Benz GLE AMG 63 S 4MATIC Coupe, $112,855. Coming with four doors, but wrapped in sleeker coupe-like styling, Mercedes’ top midsize SUV leaps off the line with a 3.0-liter 385-horsepower twin-turbo V6 engine.
8. Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine Plug-In Hybrid Excellence, $105,895. The top version of Volvo’s big SUV is a plug-in hybrid that can run for the first 19 miles solely on electric power, after which a 2.0-liter turbocharged and supercharged gasoline engine kicks in and it operates like a conventional hybrid.
9. BMW X6 M, $104,100. The X6 is more or less a modestly sportier-looking version of BMW’s X5 sports activity vehicle that features a coupe-like roofline.
10. BMW X5 M, $101,695. Like the above X6 M, this is the sportiest version of BMW’s X5 line, and both light up the pavement with a racy 4.4-liter 567-horsepower twin-turbocharged V8.