In the stratosphere of the automotive world, you will find a small number of extra large land yachts also known as three-row luxury SUVs.

These flagship offerings from the biggest luxury names battle head-to-head to be chosen by elite buyers willing to shell out well into six figures for the latest and greatest luxury rides. In the Lexus lineup, the vehicle battling in this class is the LX 600, which was fully updated for the 2022 model year, then saw some minor changes for the 2023 model year.

Holding from four to seven passengers, depending on configuration, it battles heavy hitters in the segment including the Cadillac Escalade, Mercedes-Benz GLS, BMW X7, Range Rover, and Lincoln Navigator.

WIth a body-on-frame design that boosts its off-road prowess, sharp design inside and out, and much-improved tech offerings, the LX stands out as a leader in a segment where a vehicle must do everything right to be successful.

I recently tested a Lexus LX 600 F Sport, and I’m back with a full report on how well it competes.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

As the number of SUVs continues to expand in a seemingly exponential manner, it’s sometimes difficult to classify where certain vehicles compete.

One vehicle battling in a unique area that fends off competitors on multiple sides is the 2023 Buick Enclave, one of the most intriguing three-row midsize SUV offerings from the U.S. Big Three automakers.

An upscale offering from GM, the Enclave is high-brow enough to battle with names such as Volvo and Acura, but it’s simultaneously fending off competitors from brands like Hyundai, Kia, Mazda and Ford, which are traditionally not viewed as luxury offerings.

It’s an introduction to the world of the more upscale SUV, without fully diving into the luxury lifestyle to keep pricing more realistic.

The 2023 Enclave sees little changes from the 2022 model, which underwent some major design and tech transformations that are carried over.

Buick’s goal with the Enclave is to deliver a strong overall vehicle — impressing through its design, tech, safety features and drive quality — that will pull potential buyers from either the lower-end or higher-end options into the seat of the Enclave.

With extensive cargo room, a smooth driving experience, and truly impressive technology offerings, it does that to a great extent.

Read on for a full breakdown on how the 2023 Enclave compares to its many competitors in this very popular vehicle segment.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

As the appetite for large luxury vehicles continues to grow and options increase, competition has never been tougher.

One contender in this category that’s been around for many years is the Infiniti QX80, the flagship body-on-frame, V8-powered SUV from the luxury marque.

Ahead of an anticipated full redesign for 2024, I recently was able to test the 2023 Infiniti QX80, a truly classy ride which still manages to impress despite its longevity — even when it battles in a class that includes tough competitors such as the BMW X7, Cadillac Escalade, Audi Q8, Jeep Grand Wagoneer and more.

Read on for a full breakdown of the QX80’s design, drive quality, tech and more.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

Luxury SUV buyers have a bevy of strong options available today, but one name that’s always in the conversation is Audi.

For more than a century, the German automaker has delivered high-quality vehicles that can compete with the best that competitors such as BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, Volvo, Cadillac and others have to offer.

In the world of SUVs, Audi’s smallest offering is the compact Q3, which I recently had the opportunity to test.

With elegant styling, responsive handling and a tech-savvy setup, it stands out in this class in many ways. It offers luxury car buyers a chance to break into the class without spending the big bucks required to take home larger Audi SUV options, which can cost up to twice as much.

Read on to learn more about how it measures up in a segment where anything less than excellence won’t be accepted.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

BMW has a variety of popular models, but even for this sports-car focused brand, SUVs are increasingly stealing the spotlight.

Case in point: The BMW X3 — a compact luxury SUV offering — is now the brand’s best-selling model in the U.S. with over 75,000 vehicles sold in 2021.

That’s a tremendous success considering the strong competition in this sector from brands including Genesis, Benz, Audi, Cadillac, Lincoln and more.

I recently tested the 2022 BMW X3, which features design upgrades as well as tech improvements, and I’m back with a full report.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

Due to sheer numbers, much of the conversation surrounding luxury SUVs focuses on non-domestic models.

But it’s important to remember that Detroit’s automakers are still holding their own in this popular segment.

One of those domestic brands battling for buyer loyalty in the luxury realm is Lincoln, Ford’s luxury arm, and one of the weapons in their arsenal is the 2022 Lincoln Nautilus, a two-row midsize luxury SUV — based originally on the Ford Edge — which continues to impress even against tough competition from Audi/Benz/BMW/Lexus/Cadillac/Genesis and other competitors.

Sitting between Lincoln’s smaller Corsair SUV and larger Aviator SUV in the lineup, it keeps the updates to interior design and infotainment that were first introduced for 2021, with no major changes for the 2022 model. 

I recently spent some time in a 2022 Nautilus, and I’m back with a full report on how it measures up in the intense luxury SUV battlefield.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

After the highly successful debut of Genesis’ initial SUV offering, the GV80, it was obvious that more SUVs were coming in the pipeline from this upstart luxury brand.

The first of those new SUV offerings to drop was the 2022 Genesis GV70, a smaller but equally impressive luxury crossover from this upscale branch of the world of Hyundai.

Just as the GV80 — with its attractive interior and exterior design and a powerful and smooth ride quality — instantly made a strong impact in the competitive midsize luxury SUV category, the GV70 follows that template to a tee. Add in some extremely impressive tech features, and this compact SUV can hold its own against the very best in the segment — including solid offerings from BMW, Lexus, Volvo and beyond.

I recently spent some time behind the wheel of a GV70, and I’m back with a full report on the GV70, which is based on the design of the G70 sports sedan but offers higher seating and more cargo space.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

The luxury SUV battlefield features some of the fiercest competition you’ll find in today’s automotive landscape. A luxury vehicle really needs to shine to stand out in a field that features Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, and other well-respected brands.

But some brands can still take the heat. With its RDX model, Acura had pulled off what many thought they could not — continuing to sell at numbers that rival and even top some luxury competitors.

It’s not resting on its laurels either, as for 2022 RDX gets a sportier design, an upgraded and more insulated interior that all five passengers will enjoy, and an improved suspension and ride quality.

I recently got behind the wheel of the latest RDX, and I’m back with a full report on how it fares vs. the luxury competition.

LOOK

Eye-pleasing changes have been made to achieve a bold and sporty front end design of the 2022 RDX, from the grille to the lighting setup to adding larger air intakes. 

My test vehicle featured an attractive Apex Blue Pearl paint job, but a wide variety of colors from white to violet to black are also offered. The panoramic moonroof is a very nice feature that luxury buyers have come to expect, and the RDX features Jewel Eye LED headlights and LED tail lights. 

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

There’s no shortage of luxury SUVs available today; in fact they seem to be growing in number.

But if you want one with a body-on-frame, trucklike construction that will let you get out of the city and into the great outdoors, the number of options is significantly smaller in the luxury realm.

One option that’s been around for many years is the Lexus GX 460, a 4-wheel-drive, 7-passenger luxury SUV that aims to please both on-road and off-road.

It would seem to be a strike against the GX 460 that it hasn’t seen a full refresh since the 2010 model, literally an eternity in car years. Surprisingly though, it holds up quite well despite its old age — though some buyers may be swayed by more modern-looking competitors in the luxury realm.

One bright spot for 2022 is the new Black Line Special Edition — which brings a fresh new design approach to the GX lineup.

I recently spent some time in a 2022 GX 460, and I”m back with a full review.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

 

Long a symbol of success and a favorite among those with the means to afford it, the Cadillac Escalade was about due for an update to keep up with growing competition in the luxury SUV realm; And that’s exactly what Cadillac did for 2021.

Completely redesigned to be longer than the previous model, with additional space for passengers and cargo and a bevy of new tech features including GM’s Super Cruise, the 2021 Escalade lives up to the hype and continues the legacy of this signature vehicle.

I recently spent some time in a 2021 Escalade Platinum with 4WD, so read on for my full assessment of the latest version of Cadillac’s esteemed land yacht.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS
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