QOTD: Best Upscale SUV Design of the 2010s?

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
qotd best upscale suv design of the 2010s

We continue our discussion of SUV and CUV design from the 2010s today with our third question entry of the series. The first and second editions covered the best and worst parts of affordable SUV/CUV design, with a strict price ceiling of $48,000.

Today we head upscale and only consider really expensive rides.

As before, we have some limiters to keep the competitor field level-ish: Only production vehicles are up for discussion today; no concepts or one-off bespoke trucks. Selections must hail from model years 2010 to 2019. Finally, your best design nominations must cost over $48,000 when new; no cheap stuff today.

Now we move on to my selection, which won’t be what you were expecting:

A CUV that’s barely costly enough to qualify for today’s question, it’s the Porsche Macan. Recalling when Porsche announced they were going to make a smaller CUV to accompany the Cayenne in showrooms, I wasn’t too interested. The first Cayenne looked utterly awful, and appeared dated in roughly two years. The second generation carried more modern styling, but resided in the Expensive Things Realtors Drive category — so I ignored it.

But then the Macan arrived as a 2015 model in the U.S.; I saw an ad somewhere and wasn’t impressed. However, when I saw a couple of these vehicles in person, I began to revise my opinion. I liked the proportions, and how it looked very different to its Audi Q5 sibling. The Porsche face, which looked too big on the Cayenne, was downsized to a reasonable scale for Macan, and it worked. It also seemed as though Porsche sweated the details with regard to quality. Nary a trim piece was misaligned on any example I saw. And not that it matters for today’s discussion, but reviews seemed to state overwhelmingly that the Macan was good to drive. I was sold on the Macan, and remain so today.

But my vote for best design is probably a minority one here. What’s your pick?

[Images: Audi, Porsche]

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2 of 23 comments
  • Super555 Super555 on Apr 23, 2020

    Jeep Grand Cherokee and JL Wrangler

  • Litenes111 Litenes111 on Apr 24, 2020

    I have driven all sorts of SUV’s and owned a Blazer only as my tow vehicle and hardly used it as my daily driver. I was never convinced of any of them as a car always beat them in comfort and in the handling characteristics of driving a vehicle—until I drove my niece’s Macan S. I was blown away as it felt like driving my Lotus Supercharged Elise power-wise, as well as how it handled. I didn’t really care on how the Macan looked (SUV/CUV-like) but the body grew on me and my wife. Will be in the market for a Macan S soon.

  • Nrd515 Usually for me it's been Arby's for pretty much forever, except when the one near my house dosed me with food poisoning twice in about a year. Both times were horrible, but the second time was just so terrible it's up near the top of my medical horror stories, and I have a few of those. Obviously, I never went to that one again. I'm still pissed at Arby's for dropping Potato Cakes, and Culver's is truly better anyway. It will be Arby's fish for my "cheat day", when I eat what I want. No tartar sauce and no lettuce on mine, please. And if I get a fish and a French Dip & Swiss? Keep the Swiss, and the dip, too salty. Just the meat and the bread for me, thanks. The odds are about 25% that they will screw one or both of them up and I will have to drive through again to get replacement sandwiches. Culver's seems to get my order right many times in a row, but if I hurry and don't check my order, that's when it's screwed up and garbage to me. My best friend lives on Starbucks coffee. I don't understand coffee's appeal at all. Both my sister and I hate anything it's in. It's like green peppers, they ruin everything they touch. About the only things I hate more than coffee are most condiments, ranked from most hated to..who cares..[list=1][*]Tartar sauce. Just thinking about it makes me smell it in my head. A nod to Ranch here too. Disgusting. [/*][*]Mayo. JEEEEZUS! WTF?[/*][*]Ketchup. Sweet puke tasting sludge. On my fries? Salt. [/*][*]Mustard. Yikes. Brown, yellow, whatever, it's just awful.[/*][*]Pickles. Just ruin it from the pickle juice. No. [/*][*]Horsey, Secret, whatever sauce. Gross. [/*][*]American Cheese. American Sleeze. Any cheese, I don't want it.[/*][*]Shredded lettuce. I don't hate it, but it's warm and what's the point?[/*][*]Raw onion. Totally OK, but not something I really want. Grilled onions is a whole nother thing, I WANT those on a burger.[/*][*]Any of that "juice" that Subway and other sandwich places want to put on. NO, HELL NO! Actually, move this up to #5. [/*][/list=1]
  • SPPPP It seems like a really nice car that's just still trying to find its customer.
  • MRF 95 T-Bird I owned an 87 Thunderbird aka the second generation aero bird. It was a fine driving comfortable and very reliable car. Quite underrated compared to the GM G-body mid sized coupes since unlike them they had rack and pinion steering and struts on all four wheels plus fuel injection which GM was a bit late to the game on their mid and full sized cars. When I sold it I considered a Mark VII LSC which like many had its trouble prone air suspension deleted and replaced with coils and struts. Instead I went for a MN-12 Thunderbird.
  • SCE to AUX Somebody got the bill of material mixed up and never caught it.Maybe the stud was for a different version (like the 4xe) which might use a different fuel tank.
  • Inside Looking Out Scandinavian design costs only $600? I mean the furniture.