If you’re in the market for a brand new luxury SUV this year, you may have noticed the plethora of options available. As the high-end SUV market continues to grow, premium car manufacturers are stepping up their game with new models to cater to every lifestyle.
From stylish urban SUVs to rugged all-wheel drives for outdoor adventures, and sleek crossovers, there are over 60 different luxury models to choose from, offered by more than 20 manufacturers.
However, not all premium SUVs are created equal, and finding the one that suits your needs is no easy task. With the rapidly evolving market, some brands offer significantly more value than others. Luxury brands that started building SUVs early on tend to be more reliable and offer better resale value. Moreover, the technological features inside the vehicle can vary greatly from one brand to another. While some manufacturers are very advanced with their infotainment systems, others are clearly a generation or two behind.
If you’re looking for the best luxury SUV of the year that fits your specific needs and lifestyle, you’ve come to the right place. We have created this comprehensive guide to help you narrow down your list of favorite vehicles and find the models that are worth taking for a test drive.
The 15 Best Luxury SUVs of 2019
The new Mercedes-Benz GLE, updated for 2020, is the ultimate all-around luxury SUV of 2019. Its build quality is exceptional, it comes with the most advanced onboard technology (the MBUX infotainment system), and its overall look and design are outstanding. All of this comes at a great value.
Price starts from $56,200.
The BMW X5 is arguably the vehicle that kick-started the high-end SUV trend over 20 years ago. Now in its fourth generation, the X5 continues to build on its excellent heritage, delivering exceptional driving experience and refined aesthetics.
Price starts from $60,700.
The Macan has become Porsche’s best-selling model in recent years, and it’s no surprise. In its second generation, the Macan combines the driving performance you would expect from a Porsche with the comfort and luxury of an SUV. Although it’s one of the most expensive midsize luxury SUVs on the market, the Macan offers unmatched driving sensations.
Price starts from $47,800.
The Audi Q8 is the top-tier luxury SUV in Audi’s collection. It shares the same platform as the Lamborghini Urus but delivers a more reasonably priced package. The Q8 is far from bland, with its avant-garde infotainment system featuring three large displays to control everything in the vehicle in high definition.
Price starts from $67,400.
Swedish car manufacturer Volvo has been stepping up its game, delivering more and more luxurious models at attractive price points. The XC60 is no exception. This midsize luxury SUV checks all the boxes with its more understated design compared to its German counterparts.
Price starts from $52,900.
While the BMW X5 might be credited with starting the luxury SUV trend, it was the Porsche Cayenne that truly set the path for most of the other vehicles on our list to follow. Since Porsche decided to build its first SUV with the Cayenne in 2002, it became an overnight success. The rest is history.
Now in its third generation, the Porsche Cayenne continues to thrill and dominate the large luxury SUV segment. Its most recent hybrid engine is a particular delight to drive, delivering extra performance with its electric boost.
Price starts from $65,700.
Land Rover Range Rover Velar
The Range Rover Velar has won several design awards for its elegant yet solid appearance. Land Rover successfully combines elements of its heritage with a bold vision of the future.
The Velar boasts a modern interior with three large high-resolution screens to control most functions. It truly lives up to the expectations of a large luxury SUV.
Price starts from $49,950.
The smaller brother of the bigger GLE, the Mercedes-Benz GLC shares many of its advantages in a midsize luxury SUV package. The GLC was recently updated for 2020 with a slight exterior refresh and the integration of a large MBUX screen on the interior.
If comfort and value are what you’re looking for, the Mercedes-Benz GLC is a serious contender.
Price starts from $40,700.
If you want a sportier attitude than the Mercedes-Benz GLC but at a lower price point than the Porsche Macan, the Jaguar F-Pace is an excellent midsize luxury SUV option. The British manufacturer now offers a full range of high-end SUVs, from small to large sizes and fully electric. The F-Pace provides the perfect balance of luxury and performance.
Price starts from $44,800.
The BMW X1 is one of the least expensive luxury SUVs on our list and provides the best value as an entry to the premium crossover range. The X1 is slightly smaller than the X3 but offers the same driving pleasure and ample backseat space for a small SUV.
Price starts from $34,950.
The freshly updated Mercedes-Benz GLS is the flagship luxury SUV from the German manufacturer. The current model is the third generation of this extra-large seven-seater vehicle, equipped with the most advanced technology available from Mercedes. If you want to transport your family in ultimate comfort, the GLS is the ultimate premium SUV on the market today.
Price starts from $70,150.
The Audi e-tron is the first full-electric luxury SUV from Audi and is an absolute winner. It brings the excitement of a full-electric engine to a premium and familiar SUV body. The Audi e-tron offers excellent levels of comfort and space while benefiting from its electric engine to deliver fast all-wheel drive.
Price starts from $74,800.
The ultra-luxurious large SUV Bentley Bentayga is one of the most opulent ways to travel in style. With the recently launched Bentley Bentayga Speed, it is officially the fastest luxury SUV on the road today. If budget is not a constraint, the Bentayga deserves to be on your list for a test drive.
Price starts from $165,000.
Tesla Model X
The Tesla Model X deserves a spot on the top 15 best luxury SUVs list for its role in pushing the envelope for new and greener technology. The focus is on novelty and innovation more than luxury and comfort, unlike other brands on our list. With its full-electric engine, you’ll experience breathtaking performance levels with the Tesla Model X.
Price starts from $83,000.
The final spot on our list goes to the ultra-luxurious Rolls-Royce Cullinan. It is also the most expensive SUV currently on sale, with retail prices easily exceeding $500,000 once fully customized. This large, full-sized luxury SUV is the first all-wheel drive vehicle produced by Rolls-Royce. It offers the highest level of luxury and comfort, surrounded by only the finest quality materials.
Price starts from $325,000.
Find the Luxury SUV that’s Perfect for You
With so many options available in the market in 2019, the best luxury SUV won’t be the same for everyone. To find the specific model that suits your needs, you need to consider a few things:
Your budget: Premium SUV prices vary significantly depending on the model and manufacturer you choose. The cheapest luxury SUV on our list is the Infiniti QX30, starting from $30,250, while the most expensive is the Rolls-Royce Cullinan, starting from $325,000. Keep an eye out for the best luxury SUV deals online, as many manufacturers offer discounts on stock vehicles or premium second-hand packages.
Your lifestyle and expectations: Luxury SUVs now cover a broad range of vehicle types, catering to various needs. Consider how you will most often use your vehicle. Do you prioritize comfort or sportiness? Will you mainly drive on roads or do you require serious off-road capabilities? Do you have children and need an SUV with excellent safety ratings and ample interior space, or do you prefer a smaller crossover?
To help you find the best luxury SUV for your lifestyle, we’ve considered the following eleven popular categories and selected a winner in each:
- Best small luxury SUV
- Best midsize luxury SUV
- Best large luxury SUV
- Best value luxury SUV
- Best safety ratings luxury SUV
- Most fuel-efficient luxury SUV
- Best hybrid luxury SUV
- Best full-electric luxury SUV
- Best off-road luxury SUV
- Fastest luxury SUV
- Most expensive luxury SUV
You can skip to the category that interests you most.
Best Small Luxury SUV: BMW X1
With the X1, BMW has delivered exceptional value for money in the compact SUV segment. The X1 is a mini version of the X3, slightly smaller but still offering plenty of room and decent cargo space.
Other notable options include the Audi Q2, Cadillac XT4, Infiniti QX30, Jaguar I-Pace, Land Rover Defender, and Volvo XC40.
Best Midsize Luxury SUV: Porsche Macan
The Porsche Macan may not be the most practical choice for a midsize luxury SUV, but it is the most fun to drive. Porsche brings its performance and driving style to the SUV segment with brilliance.
Other strong contenders include the Mercedes-Benz GLC, Mercedes-Benz GLC coupe, BMW X3, BMW X4, and Audi Q3 and Q5.
Best Large Luxury SUV: Mercedes-Benz GLS
The Mercedes-Benz GLS is the best luxury SUV for large families looking to travel in ultimate comfort. With proper 3-row seating, adults can sit comfortably in the back.
The BMW X7 is another serious contender, although it may not be as comfortable for passengers. The Lincoln Navigator is a good option if you want more space without the higher price. However, fuel consumption will be higher and it doesn’t quite deliver the same level of comfort and build quality as Mercedes-Benz or BMW.
Best Value Luxury SUV: Volvo XC60
The Volvo XC60 is an excellent choice for those seeking good value for money. The Swedish car manufacturer has significantly improved the level of comfort and luxury of its vehicles in recent years while maintaining excellent safety ratings and reasonable prices.
Other sensibly priced luxury SUVs include the Audi Q3, Cadillac XT4, and Lincoln MKC.
Best Safety Ratings Luxury SUV: Mercedes-Benz GLC
While all SUVs on our list have excellent safety ratings overall, the Mercedes-Benz GLC has the best safety rating according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The GLC is also our favorite midsize premium SUV, making it a clear winner for small families.
Most Fuel-Efficient Luxury SUV: Volvo XC40
If you’re looking for fuel efficiency, disregarding hybrid or full-electric SUVs, the Volvo XC40 is the most fuel-efficient luxury SUV available at the moment. It’s also a great value option in the small SUV segment, with its clean Scandinavian design. The all-wheel drive version of the XC40 can achieve 21 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway.
However, if fuel consumption is your main concern, you should seriously consider the full-electric Audi e-tron, Jaguar I-Pace, or Tesla Model X.
Best Hybrid Luxury SUV: Porsche Cayenne Hybrid
The Porsche Cayenne Hybrid is tailored to improve engine performance. The hybrid engine provides an extra acceleration boost, while also allowing for short-distance full-electric driving to save on fuel.
The upcoming Ferrari Project Purosange promises to be an interesting alternative when it is released in 2022, aiming to be the fastest super sport SUV on the market.
Best Full-Electric Luxury SUV: Audi e-tron
The Audi e-tron wins the best full-electric luxury SUV category for being more easily accessible as a fully electric vehicle. It provides the comfort and luxury you expect from Audi without the need to be too tech-savvy to operate the vehicle.
The Tesla Model X and Jaguar I-Pace are also excellent alternatives.
Best Off-Road Luxury SUV: Mercedes-Benz G-Class
The recently updated Mercedes-Benz G-Class is the most luxurious vehicle that can also be used as a true off-road SUV. With a luxurious interior and rugged exterior capable of exploring the great outdoors, the G-Class offers the latest generation MBUX infotainment system.
The Land Rover Discovery is another strong contender, but it doesn’t quite match the excitement of driving a G-Class.
Fastest Luxury SUV: Bentley Bentayga Speed
The Bentley Bentayga Speed is currently the fastest luxury SUV available for purchase. It surpasses the Lamborghini Urus by a few extra points. However, we are eager to see how the upcoming Ferrari Project Purosange performs on the market. Ferrari has set itself the goal of being the fastest luxury SUV available when it hits the road in 2022.
Most Expensive Luxury SUV: Rolls-Royce Cullinan
At a starting price of $325,000, the Rolls-Royce Cullinan is the most expensive SUV currently on sale. With Rolls-Royce, you have the freedom to fully customize your Cullinan to your liking. It is common to end up with a final price exceeding $500,000. With this price tag, you can truly customize your Cullinan to your heart’s desire. The Rolls-Royce SUV deserves its name, inspired by the largest gem-quality rough diamond ever found.
Next on the list is the Lamborghini Urus, but we expect the upcoming Aston Martin DBX to be a close competitor.
The Complete List of Car Manufacturers and SUV Models Considered
To help us rank the best luxury SUVs of 2019, we started by creating a list of all the luxury SUVs available on the market in 2019. We then organized them by category based on their size:
- Small SUVs: Audi Q2, BMW X1, Mercedes GLA, etc.
- Midsize SUVs: Porsche Macan, BMW X3, Mercedes GLC, etc.
- Large SUVs: Porsche Cayenne, BMW X5, Mercedes GLE, etc.
- Extra-large SUVs: Lincoln Navigator, BMW X7, Mercedes GLS, etc.
You can find the complete list of all available luxury SUVs of 2019 in the manufacturer comparison chart.
Did we miss something? Please let us know.
How We Ranked the Best Luxury SUVs
With such a large and diverse group of vehicles falling under the broad definition of luxury SUVs, ranking the top 15 wasn’t an easy task.
We started by listing every premium SUV available on the market in 2019. This included brands from Germany, the US, the UK, Italy, and Japan.
Once we had this exhaustive list, we looked at objective market data to begin our ranking. We considered the best-selling SUVs worldwide and the most popular SUVs online based on Google search popularity.
This gave us a preliminary idea of the top luxury SUVs in the world.
We then delved deeper into each model to understand and compare their performance, fuel consumption, resale value, and the range of options and engines available to suit different budgets and expectations.
With this information, we narrowed down the list to a more manageable number of viable options.
Finally, we used our own experience and editorial judgment to select only the top 15 best luxury SUVs on our list. It was a difficult decision, as most premium SUVs are great choices, but we wanted to help our readers narrow down their options to just the top 15. We made sure to include a range of options to suit most lifestyles and budgets.
Luxury SUVs: Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best luxury SUV of 2019?
The Mercedes-Benz GLE is the best luxury SUV on the market in our opinion. It delivers style, comfort, and performance with the most advanced onboard technology at a reasonable price.
What is the best luxury SUV to buy used?
The BMW X5 is the best high-end SUV to buy used if you can find a certified pre-owned option from a reputable BMW dealer with a two-year warranty.
Which luxury SUV holds its value best?
The Porsche Cayenne currently has one of the best resale values due to its timeless design and excellent build quality.
What is the best small luxury SUV?
The BMW X1 is our favorite small luxury SUV at the moment. It’s slightly smaller than the midsize X3 but is reasonably priced and provides all the benefits of a premium vehicle.
What luxury SUV has the best gas mileage?
The Volvo XC40 has the best fuel efficiency at the moment. The all-wheel drive version of the XC40 can achieve 21 MPG in the city and 31 MPG on the highway.
What is the most fuel-efficient SUV with a third row?
The Volvo XC90 offers the best fuel mileage in the seven-seater category. The XC90 with a twin-charged 316 hp engine and all-wheel drive can achieve 19.78 MPG.
Additional Reading Recommendations about Luxury SUVs and High-End Cars in General
We used several authoritative sources to help us write this comprehensive guide to the best luxury SUVs of 2019. We recommend reading them if you want to learn more about luxury cars and SUVs. These sources are also great references for understanding specific aspects of the premium SUV market or staying up-to-date with the latest industry trends.
- “World Luxury Autos Market by Manufacturers, Regions, Type and Application, Forecast to 2023” by the World Information Research, July 23, 2018.
- “2019 (Q1) Worldwide: International Car Sales” by Henk Bekker, Automotive Sales Statistics, April 20, 2019.
- “World Car Sales Analysis 2018” by Bart Demandt, Automotive Sales Base, March 1, 2019.
- “Light vehicles take a record 69% of U.S. market” by David Muller, Automotive News, January 07, 2019.
- “Sport utility vehicle” Wikipedia, May 2010.
- “Crossover (vehicle)” Wikipedia, May 2010.
- “6 best times to buy a car” by Eric C. Evarts, CNBC, May 25, 2017.
- “Six Porsche SUVs You Can’t Go Wrong With” by Garrett Parker, Money Inc., April 24, 2019.
- “World’s Fastest Luxury SUV: The Bentley Bentayga Speed” by Daryl Lee, Robb Report, February 25, 2019.
- “Best Luxury SUVs: Top-Rated Luxury SUVs for 2019” by Cameron Rogers, Edmunds, April 26, 2019.
- “Ferrari SUV confirmed: fastest SUV crown targeted” by Jonathan Burn, Auto Express, September 19, 2018.
- “Don’t worry: Ferrari’s SUV will ‘drive like a Ferrari'” by Jason Barlow, Top Gear, January 25, 2018.
- “Rolls-Royce Cullinan: 5 things to know about the ultra-luxe SUV that costs upwards of $1.2 million” by Daryl Lee, Robb Report, August 15, 2018.
- “Range Rover Velar named World Car Design of the Year” by Tom Ravenscroft, dezeen, April 9, 2018.
- “Kings Of The Road: The World’s Most Expensive SUVs” by Nick Kurczewski, Forbes, March 14, 2019.