Saturday, August 24, 2013

All-Wheel Drive SUV's over $50,000

This is a segment that I'm not altogether familiar with, so I'm expecting this to be an interesting and enlightening look at AWD SUV's over $50,000.  Of course I'll be using my trusty side-kick, The Vehicle For Me, which let's me filter down to just the vehicles I want to look at.

For this test, since there are so many vehicles available above the $50K price point, I'm going to use my filters until I get down to about ten.  If I'm spending that kind of money I will expect built-in navigation and some sweet HID headlights.  That leaves us with ten vehicles, of which there is a good mix of makes, including Acura, Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Lincoln, Jeep, Infiniti, and Porsche.  My priorities are of course going to include power and torque, as well as tow rating, cargo space, and ground clearance.

Link to Comparison Page
There is a lot to take in here, but I think the one thing we can all agree on is that the Porsche Cayenne is the clear winner.  Which is great up until you factor in the sticker shock.  The 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 is our 2nd place finisher and it isn't too shabby, especially for almost $50,000 less than the Porsche.  The Porsche wins or comes in close on just about every priority we care about, including power, torque, ground clearance, tow rating, and surprisingly, even fuel economy (which was not listed as a priority).  The only downside is of course the cost.

The Jeep comes in at 70% to the Porsche's 87% (this is one of the highest scores I've seen yet), and comes close in terms of power-to-weight ratio and even cargo space (which it wins), but has a surprisingly low ground clearance, not a whole lot of interior room, and pretty poor fuel economy.  It is the value pick for this group though, available for a low low price of $60K, so if you're looking for a reasonably priced and insanely powerful SUV this one might fit the bill.

The Cadillac Escalade comes in at a distant third (58%) and seems to focus more on passenger volume and interior space more than anything else.  However, it has the highest tow rating out of all ten vehicles, which is surprising given how much less torque it has than the Porsche (100 ft-lbs less!).  It also is the highest rated car to seat seven, rather than five.  So if you have more than a few kids or need to haul around your giant yacht, then this is probably the truck for you.

1st - 2013 Porsche Cayenne

2nd - 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 4x4

3rd - 2013 Cadillac Escalade Luxury AWD

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