Here is our pick of the performance SUVs we consider to be the best for 2022 and 2023.
Performance SUVs combine the speediness and sporty handling of a supercar with the versatility and robust design of an SUV, so they can be a reasonable choice for sports car enthusiasts who want to have performance and comfort in one vehicle.
Small Performance SUV
- Tesla Model Y Performance: MSRP $65,990 – $69,990
- Tesla Model X Plaid – MSRP $138,990
Stylish, roomy, extremely quick, and dynamic Model Y Performance, though with a bit uncomfortable ride due to big wheels and sport suspension, is a nice pick if you’re seeking an electric performance SUV.
It has lively handling and a lengthy driving range of over 300 miles and comes packed with many advanced features, like Autopilot or a broad 15-inch touchscreen.
The Tesla Model X Plaid is the most powerful electric SUV today with more than 1,000 hp and 750 lb-ft of torque. The vehicle needs just 2.5 seconds to speed up from 0 to 60 mph.
Thrilling acceleration, deft handling, 333 miles of range, ample cargo space, and a long list of safety and tech features speak in favor of the model. On the downside, there is the high price, an over-involved infotainment system, cramped 3rd row of seats, and the interior quality that unmatches the price point.
Midsize Performance SUV
- Lamborghini Urus: MSRP $230,000 (S trim ), $260,676 (Perfomante trim)
- Aston Martin DBX 707: MSRP $239,086
The 2023 Urus is the ultimate SUV with a flamboyant appearance, advanced technologies, and stunning performance provided by a 4.0-liter 657-hp twin-turbo V8.
With fast steering, 0-60 mph acceleration time of 3.1 seconds, and stable high-speed cornering, the model feels athletic from behind the wheel.
While the original Aston Martin DBX is a prominent SUV itself, its 707 version is perfection.
In addition to the beautiful look, the vehicle boasts a heady 3.1-second 0-60-mph time and 697 hp (707 PS) from a best-sounding twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8. The AMG-sourced engine and transmission make the model the most powerful gasoline SUV this year.
Large Performance SUV
- BMW Alpina XB7: MSRP $145,000
- Cadillac Escalade V: MSRP $149,695
The BMW X7-based Alpina XB7 is a comfortable and well-appointed vehicle with the finest interior materials and refined exterior styling. You’ll find here almost every feature you could ask for, and the price also impresses.
The Alpina XB7 is one of the fastest 3-row SUVs in the world. Its twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 engine makes 630 hp and 590 lb-ft allowing the car to achieve a top speed of 180 mph and accelerate from a standstill to 60 mph in less than 4 seconds.
The Cadillac Escalade V epitomizes American automotive luxury. It features a bold exterior design, a powerful engine (supercharged 6.2L V8 with 682 hp and 653 lb-ft) with poor fuel economy, balanced ride and handling, a massive cargo area, an opulent and spacious interior, and abundant standard equipment.
We must admit there are other worthy options in the segment of performance SUVs, such as the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio with one of the best six-cylinder engines ever (Busso V6), the Ford Mustang Mach E GT Performance Edition with impressive MagneRide suspension as standard, or the quickest ever production SUV to lap the Nurburgring – the Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT.
Upper photo: 2023 Lamborghini Urus Performante