When SUVs first achieved mainstream popularity, it was a given that in exchange for the extra utility these vehicles provide, drivers had to make certain compromises with regard to driving dynamics. These early SUVs had truck-based platforms that did them no favors in the area of handling.
As time went on, a new type of SUV entered the marketplace: the crossover. Unlike the earliest SUVs, crossovers have car-based platforms, and this gives them handling that’s nimbler and more responsive. Many of these models offer driving dynamics akin to those provided by sedans.
Some of the most exciting crossovers on the market today are high-performance luxury models. These vehicles pair astounding handling capabilities with swanky luxury-car packaging. If you’re interested in one of these crossovers, you’ll get the best deals by shopping on the used market.
Below are three used luxury crossovers that offer thrilling performance.
2016-2017 Tesla Model X
When you consider that electric vehicles provide instant torque delivery, it’s not surprising that some of these models offer spectacular performance. Launched for the 2016 model year, the Tesla Model X is a midsize luxury crossover that uses its standard electric powertrain to excellent advantage.
This Tesla comes standard with all-wheel drive. Top models in the lineup offer more than 500 horsepower and can sprint from a standstill to 60 mph in just under 3 seconds. And like all Teslas, the Model X has enough range to make it a practical choice for most shoppers. This crossover can travel for up to 295 miles between charges.
The Model X also delivers the comfort, utility and luxury shoppers expect from a premium crossover. It seats up to seven passengers, and it comes standard with navigation, a 17-inch touch screen and Bluetooth connectivity. And there’s lots of room for luggage, since the Model X provides up to 88.1 cubic feet of total cargo space.
2014-2017 Audi SQ5
The Audi Q5 is a top seller among compact luxury crossovers, and the SQ5 is this model’s high-performance variant. This Audi made its debut in the 2014 model year, and the 2017 model year marked the end of the crossover’s first generation. The SQ5 comes standard with all-wheel drive, and it’s motivated by a V6 that provides 354 horsepower. Handling is responsive and rewarding, and the SQ5 treats drivers to crisp acceleration.
This crossover’s cabin seats five passengers, and it provides the low-key luxury that has made the Audi brand a perennial favorite. Even base models come with a robust assortment of comfort, convenience and technology features. Standard amenities include keyless entry and ignition, heated front seats and tri-zone automatic climate control.
There’s ample legroom for rear-seat passengers. The SQ5 provides 29.1 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row and 57.3 cubic feet with the second row lowered.
2015-2017 BMW X5 M
The BMW X5 offers impressive performance without the need for additional embellishment. But for truly staggering handling and acceleration capabilities, you’ll want to invest in the X5’s high-performance variant, the X5 M.
The current generation of the X5 M debuted for the 2015 model year. It comes with a muscular V8 good for 567 horsepower, along with performance upgrades such as a torque-vectoring sport differential and sport-tuned adaptive suspension dampers. This BMW hustles from 0-60 mph in a scant 4 seconds.
Of course, speed and performance aren’t the only tricks that the X5 M has up its sleeve. BMW’s midsize five-passenger luxury crossover offers reasonably spacious accommodations in both rows of seating, and its cabin features design cues that are both opulent and sporty. The range of standard equipment includes a panoramic sunroof, a hands-free power liftgate, four-zone automatic climate control and a 10.2-inch display screen.
There’s also a decent amount of room onboard for cargo. With the rear seats in place, the X5 M provides 35.8 cubic feet of cargo space. This figure expands to 76.7 cubic feet with the rear seats lowered.
The Fast and the Functional
You don’t have to sacrifice utility to enjoy a vehicle that offers remarkable performance.
The models listed above provide roomy capacity and dazzling handling, along with luxury that’s designed to pamper.