Buyers' Guide: What can you expect from a luxury SUV?
Search Driven for vehicles for sale
Many buyers in the market for a premium vehicle are drawn to the practicality and high-end features that luxury SUV vehicles have to offer.
Despite high price tags, manufacturers of luxury vehicles are seeing strong returns because they’re investing a huge amount of time and money in development.
In the past three months, more than 50 per cent of Volvo’s sales have been attributed to its XC90 — a car that took home the Best in Class Luxury SUV award at the 2016 New Zealand Car of the Year awards.
In order to maintain a competitive edge, these vehicles are continually boasting more and more features.
Safety and ease of use
Luxury SUVs are fitted with a host of safety equipment to protect their occupants and enhance the ride.
The Audi Q7, for example, offers Audi Pre Sense, a system which is able to detect if the driver is attempting to avoid a collision and, when doing so, automatically tightens the seatbelts to minimise the risk of injury during a crash.
Volvo’s XC90 also debuted its Run-off Road Protection package, which employs the same seatbelt tensioning system but this time when the vehicle goes off-road.
On top of that, the XC90 comes with frontal collision warning, which can detect and protect nearby pedestrians and cyclists as well as other stationary objects through cameras and radar sensors mounted in the front bumper.
Collision-avoidance and lane-departure systems can be harnessed for a vehicle’s adaptive cruise control — another excellent innovation that maintains a set distance between your vehicle and the one in front.
These are just some of the technologies that we are seeing in luxury SUVs. While they do a great job of ensuring the safety of occupants, some of these features are also being used to enhance the driving experience.
Space and comfort
Not every driver who’s looking for a luxury vehicle will want a sports coupe or saloon, especially if they have a family or pets.
This is where high-end SUVs can boost their appeal.
More and more models are offering 7-seater configurations with split-seat folding, making it adaptable to a family’s needs.
The BMW X5’s rear seats can be folded down in multiple ways, making it ideal for transporting larger items.
Adjustable suspension systems, such as those in the Mercedes GLE, allow for car-like comfort and there are even sport settings to enhance the handling in corners.
These SUVs allow drivers to control their vehicle’s set-up to be able to meet their needs.
Power and terrain
If you’re looking for a powerful vehicle, this segment has plenty to offer.
Though luxury SUVs tend to be heavy, their engines still deliver the goods.
The 4.4L V8 engine in the BMW X5 can accelerate from 0-100km/h in 4.7 seconds, and it’s an extreme example of outstanding performance, which you’re unlikely to come across in other SUVs.
It’s not all about the power, though, as most SUVs are four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.
Some probably won’t experience an off-road track or make it on to a beach, but if you’re driving on roads covered in snow or ice, having a luxury SUV will come in handy.
If you have a large family, you’ll get all the space you could need and then some, and they can hold their own against a luxury car when it comes to safety.
Of course, when you’re shopping with a budget that starts around the $100k mark, you’ll be expecting all the bells and whistles, too.
It’s worth bearing in mind then that, though manufacturers will ensure their models are designed to deliver a premium look and finished with quality materials, the price can increase by another 50 per cent once you have factored in any upgrades to the highest-spec available.