Buy/Drive/Burn: 2018 High-end Luxury SUVs for Over $100,000
Obviously the B&B are all about brand-new imported luxury SUVs, as their great value, utility, and long-term prospective ownership costs put them in a class all their own.
Trolling opener aside, we’re going to talk about expensive SUVs today. Up for grabs are three contenders around the $140,000 price point, from Range Rover, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW.
Range Rover Supercharged Autobiography
The most commercially popular of our trio is up first. The Supercharged Autobiography trim is third from the top, and as high as you can go without adding an SV to the trim name. Base price is $141,995, and the Autobiography piles on unique features over the standard Supercharged with its 5.0-liter gasoline V8 (518 horsepower). Terrain Response 2 ensures you don’t get stuck in off-road situations, and pairs with a locking differential. Upgraded LED headlamps light your way outside, while a panoramic glass roof brightens up the interior. Semi-aniline leather is yours as well, and rear seats recline and are heated and cooled. A full driver-assistance package is standard, as well as eight boring colors (other colors cost lots extra).
Mercedes-Benz G550 Designo Manufaktur
Tracing its roots right back to a military SUV from 1979, the 2018 G550 is a last-of moment. For 2019 the G-Wagen enters its second generation and picks up much modernization. This is your last chance to buy a new O.G.-G. There are many ways to configure the G550 to your liking. All are powered by a 416-horsepower, 4.0-liter bi-turbo engine, driving all four wheels all the time. Three lockable differentials ensure you can take your lux box off-road (don’t scrape the dual side exhausts). Driver aids have been added to the G over the years, with adaptive cruise and parking assist among others. The Designo Manufaktur is the top trim of the G550, and opens up a world of exterior and interior colors to mix and match. Nappa leather and wood are here, as well as rear seat entertainment and the adaptive suspension package. Total cost ends up at $141,995.
BMW X5M Individual
Rounding out our trio is the most powerful X5 that money can buy; the one with the M badge on the back. Stomping the other two competitors, 567 horsepower is provided by BMW’s familiar 4.4-liter V8 and two turbochargers. Sixty miles an hour occurs in just four seconds, and must feel shocking with this sort of mass underfoot. The price of this performance is less off-road capability than either of the others here today. With a lower starting price than the other two competitors, we can load up the X5M with every option. An Executive Package adds driver assist, head-up display, surround exterior cameras, WiFi, and heated and ventilated everything. It’s easy to spring for the Bang & Olufsen sound, rear entertainment package, night vision, and M driving package. All this is layered on the Individual trim, allowing you to pick from a selection of premium exterior and interior colors. The speedy X5M is the value option even when fully decked out, at just $123,350.
Which gets your nod and the Buy title? Common and modern, prestigious but old, or less capable but blisteringly fast?
[Images: Jaguar-Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, BMW]
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- Keith Maybe my market's different. but 4.5k whack. Plus mods like his are just donations for the next owner. I'd consider driving it as a fun but practical yet disposable work/airport car if it was priced right. Some VAG's (yep, even Audis) are capable, long lasting reliable cars despite what the haters preach. I can't lie I've done the same as this guy: I had a decently clean 4 Runner V8 with about the same miles- I put it up for sale around the same price as the lower mile examples. I heard crickets chirp until I dropped the price. Folks just don't want NYC cab miles.
- Max So GM will be making TESLAS in the future. YEA They really shouldn’t be taking cues from Elon musk. Tesla is just about to be over.
- Malcolm It's not that commenters attack Tesla, musk has brought it on the company. The delivery of the first semi was half loaded in 70 degree weather hauling potato chips for frito lay. No company underutilizes their loads like this. Musk shouted at the world "look at us". Freightliners e-cascads has been delivering loads for 6-8 months before Tesla delivered one semi. What commenters are asking "What's the actual usable range when in say Leadville when its blowing snow and -20F outside with a full trailer?
- Funky D I despise Google for a whole host of reasons. So why on earth would I willing spend a large amount of $ on a car that will force Google spyware on me.The only connectivity to the world I will put up with is through my phone, which at least gives me the option of turning it off or disconnecting it from the car should I choose to.No CarPlay, no sale.
- William I think it's important to understand the factors that made GM as big as it once was and would like to be today. Let's roll back to 1965, or even before that. GM was the biggest of the Big Three. It's main competition was Ford and Chrysler, as well as it's own 5 brands competing with themselves. The import competition was all but non existent. Volkswagen was the most popular imported cars at the time. So GM had its successful 5 brands, and very little competition compared to today's market. GM was big, huge in fact. It was diversified into many other lines of business, from trains to information data processing (EDS). Again GM was huge. But being huge didn't make it better. There are many examples of GM not building the best cars they could, it's no surprise that they were building cars to maximize their profits, not to be the best built cars on the road, the closest brand to achieve that status was Cadillac. Anyone who owned a Cadillac knew it could have been a much higher level of quality than it was. It had a higher level of engineering and design features compared to it's competition. But as my Godfather used to say "how good is good?" Being as good as your competitors, isn't being as good as you could be. So, today GM does not hold 50% of the automotive market as it once did, and because of a multitude of reasons it never will again. No matter how much it improves it's quality, market value and dealer network, based on competition alone it can't have a 50% market share again. It has only 3 of its original 5 brands, and there are too many strong competitors taking pieces of the market share. So that says it's playing in a different game, therfore there's a whole new normal to use as a baseline than before. GM has to continue downsizing to fit into today's market. It can still be big, but in a different game and scale. The new normal will never be the same scale it once was as compared to the now "worlds" automotive industry. Just like how the US railroad industry had to reinvent its self to meet the changing transportation industry, and IBM has had to reinvent its self to play in the ever changing Information Technology industry it finds it's self in. IBM was once the industry leader, now it has to scale it's self down to remain in the industry it created. GM is in the same place that the railroads, IBM and other big companies like AT&T and Standard Oil have found themselves in. It seems like being the industry leader is always followed by having to reinvent it's self to just remain viable. It's part of the business cycle. GM, it's time you accept your fate, not dead, but not huge either.
Buy: G550 - Resale, looks, ability. (Disclaimer: I used to own a 2002 G500. NOT a good year, or truck... many issues...) Drive: Range Rover. Assuming you're under warranty. Burn: X5. Meh.
Burn em all, give me an Escalade or a Suburban.