The Most Expensive SUVs for 2020 We’d Park In Our Garage
Need to haul in style and at speed? Then you’ll want one of these big-buck machines.
Today in the realm of über-luxe SUVs, it's decisions, decisions. But a little more than a decade or so ago, there were only a couple such vehicles on the market that stickered for more than $100,000. Sure, you had Cayenne Turbos, Range Rovers, and super Mercedes G-wagens to blow your pocket change on, but there weren't nearly enough options available to satisfy the needs of The Uppercrust Set. That's changed big time.
In recent years, just about every high-end automaker in existence (stay strong, McLaren) has been scrambling to slice themselves off a piece of that sweet, sweet crossover pie. The likes of Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Aston Martin and others—even a Ferrari SUV is coming—couldn't resist the temptation to get their share. As a result, the number of proper, big-dollar offerings has mushroomed, as have the boasts of being the fastest, the most luxurious, and of course, the most expensive SUVs in the world.
Yes, there are a number of super-low-volume SUVs available from boutique manufacturers and tuning houses that take a Brinks truck full of cash to buy, but we've limited this list of the most expensive SUVs we'd most like to drive to automakers building full-production vehicles that start around $150,000, and only one for any given automaker. (So while Bentley, for example, has several Bentaygas that could be on this list, we picked our favorite). Can't afford any of them? Neither can we, but it doesn't hurt to see what's out there—just in case, you know, you win that Mega Millions drawing and happen to need an SUV.
2020 MERCEDES-AMG G63 | $148,495
The rugged Mercedes G-Class has been a favorite of the moneyed set for some time now, and we're still a bit puzzled as to how that happened. Initially developed as a military derived machine with extreme off-road capability, the G-Class is a vehicle that in many ways had no business becoming as successful as it has considering its correspondingly crude on-road manners and creature comforts. But along the way it morphed into something a status symbol, due in part to its boxy, high-riding stance that helped it stand out from just about anything else on the road. That, and its high price.
Now, the new generation G-Class finally has the luxury to go with its looks, thanks to improvements to its powertrain, interior appointments, and overall day-to-day usability. We liked the new G so much we named the Mercedes G550 a 2019 Automobile All-Star. We like the G-Class even better with more power, and the G63 obliges thanks to its hand-built, AMG 4.0-liter V-8 with 577 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque. Mercedes-AMG claims a 0-60 time of just 4.5 seconds, and just as importantly to some, the present generation G-Class is nearly as capable as its forbearers from an off-road standpoint.
2020 PORSCHE CAYENNE TURBO S E-HYBRID COUPE ($165,750)
Porsche was the first high end sports car maker to jump into the SUV pool more than a decade ago now, and many enthusiasts thought the idea was all wet at the time. As it turns out, Porsche turned out to be crazy like a fox, with the Cayenne, and later the Macan, garnering the marque huge profits as it transitioned to being more of a full line manufacturer. But don't get it twisted, Porsche has taken great pains to make sure its SUVs handle as well as haul.
Porsche has continued to build on the Cayenne line by adding all manner of high-performance variants, the highest of which to date is the Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid. We're talking supercar numbers, as much as 670 horsepower and 663 lb-ft courtesy of a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 making 541 horsepower teamed with a 134-hp electric motor located between the engine and the Cayenne's eight-speed automatic transmission. All that power means a zero to 60 mph time of just 3.6 seconds onto a top speed of 183 mph.
As is the case with the Bentley Bentayga hybrid, the Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid is a plug in, so it will be able to travel for up to 25 miles or so on electric power only at speeds of up to 83 mph. We're guessing that won't be a common occurrence. If you want the Coupe version, it will set you back an extra $2,000. But whatever Cayenne E-Hybrid you choose, you'll get the best Porsche can muster from an interior trim perspective.
2020 MASERATI LEVANTE TROFEO | $171,475
Until the Ferrari Purosangue debuts in the next year or so, the most expensive Italian SUV is the Trofeo version of the Maserati Levante, and rightfully so thanks in part to its wicked 3.8-liter twin-turbo V-8 with 590 horsepower—an engine assembled by Ferrari. It reportedly rockets the Levante Trofeo to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds onto a top speed that Maserati claims as 189 mph, a number puts it in the top tier of the fastest SUVs on the market.
Inside, you'll find tasteful carbon fiber bits including its paddle shifters, a 17-speaker Bowers & Wilkins audio system, and your choice of red, black, or tan leather seating. There are also Trofeo-specific graphics for the instrument cluster and an updated shift-lever design.
During our drive of the Levante Trofeo, we found the fit and finish of the Levante's bodywork to be very good, its interior well-crafted and elegant. And it was fast. Very fast. All in all, it's a vehicle that does an admirable job of carrying Maserati's traditions into the ever-evolving crossover SUV world.
2020 ASTON MARTIN DBX | $192,986
Like its British brethren Rolls-Royce and Bentley, Aston Martin had never produced an SUV in its 106-year history. But that's about to change with the impending launch of the Aston Martin DBX, which is slated to reach its first well-heeled customers by mid-year 2020. Given that Aston built its rep on building high-performance cars, the leadership has made it clear that the DBX will perform as well.
Thanks in large part to its Mercedes-AMG sourced, specially tuned, 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 with 542 horsepower, Aston says the DBX will flash from zero-to-60-mph in 4.3 seconds onto a top speed of 181 mph. The DBX also benefits from a platform designed in house by Aston Martin, which allowed the automaker more freedom to design an SUV that looks low, lean, and mean with an unmistakable Aston mug. But it also has plenty of space to fit five passengers in comfort while being swaddled in luxurious leather and other top shelf accents.
Aston engineers have also developed a system it calls eARC, which replaces traditional physical anti-roll bars for an electronic setup that works in concert with other DBX suspension systems to allow you to really get after it on a track or your favorite twisty road. But the DBX has also been developed to be a high-end luxury grand tourer befitting Aston's lineage. That's a split personality we can get behind.
2020 LAMBORGHINI URUS | $203,995
Lamborghini promised that its Urus would be emblematic of the marque's profile as a purveyor of super sport models, and it did not disappoint. The Urus participated in our 2019 All-Stars competition, and while it didn't make the podium, it was lauded for its performance envelope, thanks in part to its 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 with a total output of 641 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque, enough to push the Urus to 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds on to a top speed of 189.5 mph. (It was the fastest SUV in the world for a time until the Bentley Bentayga Speed came calling).
Among the Urus kudos at All-Stars: "Massively impressive on the track. So fast and secure, tons of traction, and plenty of power," and "The chassis engineer deserves a really big bonus." The Urus also looks the part, with an edgy, angular profile that lends it an unmistakable Lamborghini look.
The Lambo aesthetic continues inside, with seats and other touches that exude luxury and sport at the same time. If an SUV that you can take straight to the track is what you're after, then you're after an Urus.
2021 MERCEDES-MAYBACH GLS600 | $210,000 (est)
From the moment Mercedes rolled out its Maybach sub-division with the launch of the S-Class based Mercedes-Maybach S600, it was a forgone conclusion that a super lux SUV wouldn't be far behind. Now that the Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class has been thoroughly revamped, the time has come for the Maybach SUV, and it's shaping up to be quite the upscale crossover.
The Mercedes-Maybach GLS600 is powered by a version of Benz's twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 good for 550 horsepower and 538 lb-ft. The engine can be further boosted by 21 horses and 184 lb-ft for a short time thanks to the Mercedes EQ Boost hybrid starter/generator motor, which runs on a 48-volt electrical system. Ride quality has been adjusted for Maybach duty thanks to bespoke suspension software and tuning. A set of 22-inch wheels are standard, with 23 inchers available.
As you'd expect, every inch of the cabin is constructed with top shelf materials and touches unique to the Maybach, including rear folding tables in the four-seat version (the four-seat version is itself exclusive), a wooden parcel shelf separating the cargo area, and a refrigerator that Mercedes-Maybach suggests you use for champagne, as one does. We'd prefer some chilled beer, but that's just us. Look for it to hit the streets near the end of 2020.
2020 RANGE ROVER SVAUTOBIOGRAPHY DYNAMIC LWB | $210,795
You can make the claim that Land Rover was the first to introduce the idea of a super luxury SUV with its Range Rover divison, a line of extremely capable off-road vehicles that have increasingly ramped up the upscale with every succeeding generation. The Range Rover SVAutobiography serves as the pinnacle of that development, with a raft of upscale touches and a version of the Range Rover SVR's supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 tuned to 557 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque that puts the Dynamic in the name.
The SVAutobiography LWB's roughly 8-inches of extra wheelbase (a healthy 122.9 inches) doesn't come cheap as it's roughly a $30,000 premium over the standard SVAutobiography model, but hey, no price is too high for all that extra legroom for your rear passengers, no? The latest generation Range Rovers have been out a while, so there are some interior details, especially in the technology department, that are showing their age. But if you love Range Rovers and want the pinnacle of the marque's luxury trim, then you want the SVAutobiography, and you want your wheelbase long.
2020 BENTLEY BENTAYGA SPEED | $240,000 (est)
Bentley was the first ultra-luxury marque to roll out an SUV, and it came out of the gate firing all the way to 187 mph with its all-new Bentayga, a vehicle it billed at the time as the world's fastest SUV thanks in large part to its 6.0-liter W-12 engine pushing 600 horsepower. Bentley also made headlines by offering a $170,000 Mulliner Tourbillon clock by Breitling as an option, and it was the first Volkswagen Group vehicle to install a 48-volt electrical system to control its the Bentley Dynamic Ride setup. As you'd expect, the Bentayga was luxuriously appointed and through its Mulliner division you can option one up to the stratosphere. It's a vehicle we've called "a magnificent piece of automotive engineering, a piece of vehicular art."
Since its reveal back in 2015 at the Frankfurt auto show, Bentley has been busy rolling out Bentayga variants, including a (relatively) more affordable V-8 model as well as the marque's first ever plug-in hybrid with a 3.0-liter V-6 suppling the non-electrified power. One of the latest Bentayga variants to hit the market is the Bentayga Speed, with an updated version of the W-12 pushing 626 horsepower. The Speed has also re-claimed the crown as the world's fastest SUV thanks to a 190 mph top speed that just nips the Lamborghini Urus, which for a time had snatched the title away from the Bentayga. We have a feeling it won't be long until an automaker attempts to get a crossover to the 200 mph mark. We wouldn't be against Bentley.
2020 ROLLS-ROYCE CULLINAN | $325,000
Rolls-Royce spent the better part of a century building some of the world's most opulent and expensive cars, but it was only a matter of time before it succumbed to the siren song of the SUV craze. The result is the Cullinan—the Rolls-Royce of SUVs. It shares much with the new Phantom, including its all-aluminum architecture, "Magic Carpet Ride" suspension, and the sweet 6.75-liter V-12 with 563 horsepower. The engine's been retuned to help it better motivate the Cullinan's three-ton mass, and it can roll in stately fashion to 60 mph in 5 seconds flat.
Like the Phantom, the Cullinan is exquisitely appointed with the finest leather, metal, and wood accents and is designed to be whisper quiet and supremely comfortable inside. But unlike the Phantom, Rolls' engineers also spent a good chunk of time developing the marque's first ever all-wheel drive system in order to make sure the Cullinan was duly capable off-road. Of course, it's $325,000 starting point is just a suggestion, most Cullinan buyers will option them up exponentially from there.
"Cullinan is a highly measured, seriously considered sport utility that feels every bit a Rolls-Royce, with more versatility than you might expect," we said after our first drive of the Rolls-Royce of SUVs in Wyoming. We expected nothing less.
The Most Expensive SUVs for 2020
- 2020 MERCEDES-AMG G63 | $148,495
- 2020 PORSCHE CAYENNE TURBO S E-HYBRID COUPE ($165,750)
- 2020 MASERATI LEVANTE TROFEO | $171,475
- 2020 ASTON MARTIN DBX | $192,986
- 2020 LAMBORGHINI URUS | $203,995
- 2021 MERCEDES-MAYBACH GLS600 | $210,000 (est)
- 2020 RANGE ROVER SVAUTOBIOGRAPHY DYNAMIC LWB | $210,795
- 2020 BENTLEY BENTAYGA SPEED | $240,000 (est)
- 2020 ROLLS-ROYCE CULLINAN | $325,000