Some vehicles are placed in this class more for their “premium” status than for being exceptionally large. In fact, there’s quite a size difference between the smallest in the class and the largest, though all are plenty spacious in the grand scheme of things. In terms of length, the smallest entry is the venerable Toyota Land Cruiser at 195 inches stem to stern. Contrast that to the longest—the Cadillac Escalade ESV—at 224 inches. But the Land Cruiser starts at a thoroughly premium $85,000, so we feel its inclusion in the class is entirely justified.
Speaking of prices, the least expensive vehicle in this class— the Audi Q7—should start at around $60,000, so consider that the ante. The rest start above $65,000 and go up considerably from there.
All but a couple of the SUVs on this list offer versions with three rows of seats, typically with 7- or 8-passenger capacity. They all either come standard with allwheel drive or offer it in place of rear-wheel drive.
WHAT’S NEW FOR 2020
The Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class is redesigned, gaining more interior space and a host of new comfort and technology features. The GLS450 is powered by a 362-hp turbocharged 3.0-liter V6, and the GLS580 gets a 483-hp twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8. Both powertrains utilize a 48-volt mild hybrid system and are paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. A super high performance AMG GLS 63 version is likely to follow in the near future.
The Audi Q7 is slated to get a thorough refresh that includes updated styling, a redesigned interior with the latest version of Audi’s MMI infotainment system, and expected powertrain upgrades include the possible addition of a plug-in-hybrid model. We’re not expecting any significant changes for 2020 on the Q7’s sloped-roof, two-row sibling, the Audi Q8.
After its debut as a 2019 model, the BMW X7 adds a muscular new M50i model powered by a 523-hp version of the xDrive50i model’s twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 and other upgrades. The Infiniti QX80 receives minor updates such as an updated infotainment system and available 17-speaker Bose audio system. The Land Rover Range Rover gets a new turbocharged inline 6-cylinder in place of the previous supercharged V6; the new engine uses a mild-hybrid system and is offered with 355 horsepower or 395 hp. The Lexus LX 570 gets a Sport Package for three-row models that adds a distinctive grille and front fascia and semi-aniline leather upholstery. The Toyota Land Cruiser gets a limited-production Heritage Edition that comes with BBS-brand wheels and retro-style badges. The Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator’s updates are detailed in their respective Best Buy reviews.
MODELS THAT OFFER SOMETHING UNUSUAL
The Land Rover Range Rover, Lexus LX 570, and Toyota Land Cruiser offer a higher level of rough-terrain capability than the other vehicles in this class. With its available plug-in-hybrid, diesel V6, and gasoline 6-cylinder and V8 powertrains, the Range Rover offers the most diverse powertrain lineup. Shoppers in this class with a need for speed (and especially deep pockets) should look to the Range Rover and Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class lines: The Range Rover offers supercharged 5.0-liter V8 models with 518 or 557 horsepower, and a new Mercedes-Benz AMG GLS 63 will likely have more than 600 horsepower.