Huge SUVs are back in a big way
It's easy to project one’s class and environmental rage onto the owners of extra-large luxury SUVs. I mean, they could have gotten by with a Tesla, right?
But when you drive one like the new 2018 Lincoln Navigator (starting at $73,250), you start to understand why these whales of the highway are a rare yet growing subgenome of the SUV originally created in the heady days of the late ’90s. (Sales were up 5 percent in 2017.)
They have become less McMansion, less family trucksters gussied up in questionable leather and wood veneers, and more bespoke luxury condo—the mobile living room for sophisticates with a growing brood that they always tried to be.
Space is a luxury, sure. But the stretch-your-legs-out room and cushy rear-seat experience that would normally require a first-class Emirates ticket? That’s a rare kind of decadence on the road that the Navigator handles with surprising grace. The interior is a treat for grown-ups (copious soundproofing, massage seats) and their kids (it can take up to ten WiFi connections).
You may not get a thumbs-up from Prius drivers, yet good taste, in any size, is hard to hate. Here are eight more reasons why:
The 450-hp turbo V-6 is a cousin of the engine found in the ferocious Ford Raptor.
The available circular-saw-like 22-inch wheels only look like they bite.
The 30-way power seats are among the most comfortable on wheels.
Noise-canceling tech and copious soundproofing mean primo naps.
You can actually cross your legs in the third row.
What makes a huge interior feel even bigger? A panoramic roof.
The piano-button gear shifters are a slick touch.
You’ll find wireless charging up front and high-speed USB ports for each row.
Wait, they Make Electric Range Rovers now?
They will. Look for them in the summer.
What’s their electric range? Thirty-one miles. Not a lot, but it’ll cover the average commute.
Can they still go off-road? Yes. I drove one down what felt like a cliff. They’re the real deal.
Cost: From $96,145
Who’s going to buy them? Driving one in Los Angeles, where Rovers are as common as Priuses, I got as much attention as the pope. Electrification makes the SUV less sinful for the city.
Also big and fancy: Infiniti's QX80
The 2018 Infiniti QX80 (from $65,745) is the iconoclast’s choice in the XL luxury-SUV segment. Cadillac Escalade or even the Navi too ostentatious? The smooth ride and quilted leather seats of the QX80 will swaddle a family in understated elegance.