Fastest SUVs on sale now

Mercedes GLA 45 AMG Concept tracking
10 Feb, 2014 5:45pm Steve Walker

We run through the fastest 4x4s and SUVs on the UK car market at the moment

SUVs and 4x4s aren’t ideally suited to the job of going fast but that hasn’t stopped car manufacturers building a succession of performance 4x4s that possess blistering pace. 

Mercedes GLA 45 AMG 2014 review

With its weighty 4x4 mechanicals, high-riding stance and general, all-round bulk, the average SUV is in a constant war against the laws of physics. What these top performance SUVs show is that a portly kerb weight and garden shed aerodynamics are no obstacle to some serious hustle, if enough raw power is applied. Just don’t mention the fuel economy.

• Best 4x4s and SUVs to buy

Mercedes’ new GLA 45 AMG has shown that smaller crossover SUV models can mix it with the big boys. But new high-end offerings are in the pipeline in the shape of a Bentley SUV, Lamborghini’s Urus and Jaguar's C-X17. Then you've got possible newcomers from Maserati and Aston Martin, so its reign near the top could be short lived.

Here are our fastest production SUVs of the moment in reverse order...

BMW X5 M50d

0-62mph: 5.3s
Top speed: 155mph (limited)

BMW X5 M50d Front action

The new BMW X5 range has yet to gain a proper M derivative but the X5 M50d is doing a fine job of deputising while we wait for a full-blown X5 M. It’s the only diesel to make the list but what a diesel BMW’s 3.0-litre twin-turbo unit is.

Audi SQ5

0-62mph: 5.1s
Top speed: 155 (limited)

Audi SQ5 front

Audi's hottest Q5 dosen't get an RS badge but the 313bhp twin-turbo V6 should make the SQ5 quick enough for most. 

 

Range Rover 5.0 V8 Supercharged

0-62mph: 5.1s
Top Speed: 140mph

Land Rover Range Rover Hybrid front tracking

 

The bluff frontage of the latest Range Rover might suggest it’s more a sedate, luxury cruiser than an autobahn weapon but the performance of the 5.0-litre Supercharged model says otherwise.

 

Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8

0-62mph: 5s
Top speed: 160mph

Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 front cornering

Those Americans can usually be relied upon to drop an absurdly powerful V8 into anything four-wheeled and so it is with the Jeep Grand Cherokee. The 6.4-litre engine in the SRT8 model has 461bhp and at under £60k the car looks positively affordable next to its rivals here. 

Range Rover Sport 5.0 V8 Supercharged

0-62mph: 5s
Top speed: 155mph (limited)

Range Rover Sport Supercharged front view

The flagship model in the Range Rover Sport line-up puts its 510bhp supercharged V8 to good use, landing squarely on the 5-second mark for the 0-62mph sprint.

Audi RS Q3

0-62mph: 5s
Top speed: 155mph (limited)

Audi RS Q3 front tracking

Audi’s RS range is jammed solid with four-wheel drive performance cars but the RS Q3 crossover is currently the only SUV. Its compact dimensions instantly give it an advantage over the heavyweights in this list and 306bhp from the 2.5-litre turbocharged engine does the rest.

Porsche Macan Turbo

0-62mph: 4.8s
Top speed: 165mph

Porsche Macan

If the Cayenne is Porsche’s cash cow, shifting the units to finance the hardcore GT3 and GT2 911s for enthusiasts to swoon over, that must make the Macan the cash calf. Bringing the winning Cayenne formula in a more compact package, the Macan line-up wouldn’t be complete without a firecracker of the Turbo model to top things off.

Mercedes-Benz ML 63 AMG

0-62mph: 4.8s
Top speed: 155mph (limited)

Mercedes ML63 AMG front cornering

Big cars with big power is what Mercedes’ AMG performance arm does best so it’s no surprise to find the ML 63 AMG here.  The ever-present AMG 5.5-litre V8 develops 525bhp, which is enough to put the chunky ML on the far side of the horizon sharpish.

Mercedes-Benz GLA 45 AMG

0-62mph: 4.8s
Top speed: 155mph (limited)

Mercedes GLA 45 AMG

Mercedes’ GLA 45 AMG actually matches the performance figures of its big brother, the ML 63 AMG - but without the need for the stonking great V8. The four-cylinder 2.0-litre turbo engine does have 355bhp though.

 

BMW X6 M

0-62mph: 4.7s
Top speed: 155mph (limited)

The BMW X6 M is a genuine SUV M-car and its performance figures reflect that. The 555bhp output from the 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 should be enough to keep the craziest of power junkies happy.

Porsche Cayenne Turbo S

0-62mph: 4.5s
Top speed: 175mph (limited)

Porsche Cayenne Turbo S front action

The daddy of the performance SUVs is still the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S and it’ll be a hard car to unseat even once Lamborghini and Bentley have joined the party. Giant SUVs shouldn’t really be able to generate supercar-rivalling performance but here’s proof positive that they can. 

• Best 4x4s and SUVs to buy
• Best small 4x4s
• 
Mercedes GLA 45 AMG 2014 review 

Disqus - noscript

Where is the Alpina XD3? 4.9 0-62mph and 158mph and its a diesel.

SQ5: 5.1 seconds to 60.

Thanks for the comment. We've stuck to production models and in-house performance brands for this list. I reckon there's room for a follow-up story on the maddest modified SUVs though. Alpina, Brabus, Gemballa, Mansory, TechArt, Eterniti, etc. What do you think?

It's in there now. Thanks!

Sounds like an interesting article.

The Brabus 750 GLK V12 should be fun at 200mph

SQ5 is a #.0 BiTurbo DIESEL.

3.0 BiTurbo Diesel, sorry

Auto Express 1,347
For more breaking car news and reviews, subscribe to Auto Express - available as a weekly magazine and on your iPad. We'll give you 6 issues for £1 and a free gift!

Sponsored Links