Like most of my coworkers, I fail to understand the logic of a near six-figure luxury performance SUV. Even as a halo model of sorts, it's rather confused since it's not much nicer or richer than your workaday M-class, thanks to some of the cheap details Don noted. Worst of all, it's just not all that fun. Sure, it checks all the performance boxes - plenty of grip, ferocious acceleration, negligible body roll, and I'm sure it would embarrass many of our favorite sports cars on a race track. But this is all accomplished in such a clinical fashion, from a command seating position and with 5093 pounds of leather, glass, and steel separating you from the road.
If you insist on having luxury, performance, and utility all for the bargain price of $95,000 (enough to buy an ML350 and a Porsche Boxster), I'd still suggest an alternative in the Range Rover Supercharged. That vehicle, at least, feels truly special, and at only $75,000, will leave you plenty of spare change for repairs.
David Zenlea, Assistant Editor