Inside the New Luxury Crossovers
The idea of the crossover vehicle came about when automobile designers wanted to incorporate the amenities of a car into the functionality of a sport utility vehicle. Drivers were able to handle more adverse road conditions and reach areas off road without having to compromise the comfort of a sedan.
The idea behind the luxury crossover vehicle was to continue to take the functionality of the SUV but incorporate the high-class features that are often found in top-of-the-line sedans and coupes.
Over the years, the luxury crossover has evolved into the car of choice for consumers looking for comfort, quality, ruggedness, and style. We'll take a look inside the top 3 luxury crossovers to get a better idea of what sets them apart from their mid-range counterparts and why they are such a popular choice among consumers looking to go the extra mile with their automobile purchases.
Tesla Model X
One word comes to mind when consumers hear the words, "electric vehicle." Tesla is the standard bearer of the future of green cars and trucks. It's no surprise that the company has built upon the success of their sedans and coupes and designed a truly wonderful luxury crossover.
As expected with an electric vehicle, there are no gas mileage figures for the Model X. On a single charge, drivers can expect a range of over 250 miles. Don't let the lack of a gas tank fool you, as Tesla holds vehicle performance in high regard with a "Ludicrous mode" boasting 0-60 in just 3.2 seconds!
However, buyers will pay for this kind of luxury, with a base price coming in at $80,000. While it's much faster than the other cars on the list, it's also far more expensive.
Obviously, one of the key unique features of the Model X is the fact that it runs on electric power. You'll never need to stop and fill up the tank with this vehicle. Not only is it cheaper to operate, but it also offers consumers peace of mind knowing that they are contributing to a healthier planet without sacrificing comfort, style or functionality.
The Model X boasts an all-encompassing entertainment system complete with a touchscreen as well as voice-activated, hands-free controls, nine speakers to surround the driver with sound and listening options that include online and on-demand radio. The layout of the instruments seamlessly integrates the entertainment functions with those of the cabin controls, navigation, and other communications systems.
From a safety features standpoint, the Model X includes electronic stability control, and anti-lock braking system as well as traction control, parking and blind spot sensors, lane departure warning system and is simply loaded with airbags.
Pros and Cons
- A fast machine with 328 HP
- A gasoline-free, green car
- A high price at just over $80k
- No crash test rating research
Audi is a name that is synonymous with quality and style in the automotive world, so it's no surprise that their crossover vehicle has made our list. A high-performance machine with a slick design and loaded with amenities makes this an attractive vehicle to consider.
With an MSRP at just over $50,000, the Audi Q7 is the most affordable vehicle on our list. It also tests at 25 highway miles per gallon. While it doesn't compare to the Tesla Model X, it is on par with the Porsche Cayenne. In terms of get up and go, the Q7's 333 horsepower engine will put the driver in the back of their seat with a 0-60 time of about 8 seconds.
In terms of driver experience, the Audi Q7 is a fun vehicle to drive. Newly purchased vehicles come with a trial subscription to SiriusXM Satellite Radio, HD radio and MP3 playback capabilities as well as a sleek interface with two USB ports and Bluetooth wireless technology. All this is complimented by a 10 speaker surround sound setup.
The level of detail Audi has put into the safety of its vehicles tends to put them head and shoulders above the competition in its class. As with most cars, buyers can expect electronic stability control and anti-lock brakes, parking sensors and tons of airbags, but the Q7 also sports side impact beams and forward collision warning technology.
Pros and Cons
- A luxury vehicle at an affordable price
- A top safety pick by IIHS
- Mediocre gas mileage and slow pickup
- Surprisingly lacking in cargo space
Just the name "Porsche" conjures up thoughts of class, style, speed, and glamor. It's often the first brand we associate with sports cars, but Porsche's relatively recent push into the world outside speed has proven to be quite successful. That's why the Porsche Cayenne makes our list.
The Cayenne hits the market with an MSRP of about $60,000 which makes it comparable to the Q7 and well more affordable than the Model X. Also, much like the Q7, it enjoys about 25 mpg highway but is a lick faster with a 0-60 time of just 5.4 seconds. The extra kick is helped by its whopping 416 horsepower engine.
The entertainment system is comprised of a standard AM/FM.CD/DVD unit with USB and auxiliary input. It also is Bluetooth compatible for hands-free phone calls and includes speed compensated volume control as well as mp3 capabilities. The 10 speakers will put you at the center of the show and two front LCD monitors make navigating your entertainment options easier than ever.
While the name Porsche may not bring to mind "safety," the vehicle scores surprisingly high in terms of features. According to test data, the Cayenne has one of the best braking systems in the entire automobile business. The surround view camera and blind spot monitoring also help the Cayenne receive its high marks in safety. Airbags, stability control and side impact beams are also standard on all models.
Pros and Cons
- Total curb appeal - a beautiful vehicle
- It's fast and can easily handle off-road travel
- Mediocre gas mileage
- Upkeep can become expensive once the warranty expires
While there are many options to choose from in the luxury crossover market, these three models consistently rank the highest on the list. For many, the Model X will be out of reach, but it delivers on its sticker price. The renowned safety of Audi is a big selling point for the Q7 and the Porsche brings with it brand recognition as well as beauty.
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