Best new SUVs for 2014

New-Audi-Q5-rear
Credits: Christian Schulte
5 Apr, 2014 7:30am

We take a look at a handful of upcoming premium SUVs and 4x4s for 2014

The SUV class is hotting up over the coming months, especially for the premium brands. We've already revealed how the new Audi Q5 could look (pictured, above), but here are the tough new rivals it has to beat:

BMW X3

By the time the Q5 arrives in 2016, the X3 will look a little outdated – but recent facelift has ensured it’s more efficient and hi-tech than ever.

The latest version gets a fresh headlight design, bolder kidney grille, revised front and rear bumpers, tweaked side skirts and a new alloy wheel design. View the X3 in profile, though, and the subtly flared wheelarches and rising crease on the flanks are retained.

Inside, BMW has introduced a refreshed centre console, with added chrome and gloss black inserts on the lower section and on the dash. It also offers a wider variety of upholstery trim and exterior finishes than before.

Jaguar C-X17

Striking concept previewed first-ever SUV from Jaguar. Production model is due in 2016, based on a lightweight aluminium platform.

Although the C-X17 is officially just a design concept, prototypes have been spotted on the road, suggesting a 2016 launch – hot on the heels of the Jaguar XE – is likely.

Jaguar design director Ian Callum also hinted at how close to production the C-X17 is, saying: “We were caught out with the C-XF concept and underdelivered; we now need to show things we know we can deliver.”

Baby Land Rover Discovery

Replacement for Freelander is being rebranded as a baby Discovery

A new, smaller model will replace the Land Rover Freelander. It’ll focus on practicality and off-road ability.

As our exclusive image shows, it will be rebranded as a baby Land Rover Discovery, and will sit below the full-size model in the line-up when it arrives in 2015.

The model shown here is a five-seater, like the current Freelander, but a stretched-wheelbase 5+2 version will also be offered for the first time. Yet while the bodywork, interior, engines and badge will be new, the underpinnings will be carried over from the current Freelander.

Mercedes GLK

Image: Christian Schulte

This Mercedes SUV will be sold here for the first time when new car arrives next year, using platform and efficient engines from latest Mercedes C-Class.

Four and two-wheel-drive cars will be offered from launch, while the engine line-up should mirror that found in the new C-Class. With that in mind, expect to see a GLK 220 diesel, featuring 168bhp and fuel economy of around 70mpg and a GLK 350 powered by a 3.0-litre V6 diesel. Petrol engines could include the 1.6-litre turbo GLK 180 and the 2.0-litre GLK 200.

Porsche Macan

While the Cayenne is based on the same platform as the Audi Q7, the Porsche Macan shares its underpinnings with the Audi Q5. It's not a simple swap, though, as Porsche has tweaked all the important bits to ensure the Macan has the character that you expect from a Porsche.

Porsche is so confident in the end result it’s achieved with the Macan that it’s promoting the car 'the only sports car in its segment.'

It's true - the Macan is the class’s best driver’s car at present. Its handling has elements of the 911, plus its six-cylinder engines are punchy.

Disqus - noscript

Sorry for being picky, but what about the all new XC90, its just as important as any of these listed above, and is the car that is destined to kickstart Volvos revolution, new class leading engine, new platform, increased quality, new design direction, and as tested by yourself recently how can you dismiss it?

AE you forget the Volvo XC90, offcourse, not a VAG product, how stupid of me.
The new XC90 will be the most important new SUV for 2014, not to say he most important new car for 2014. Ned design language for Volvo, new engines, new ulti media, new patform et etc.
Audi, BMW an Mercedes have to overhaul their design, new Audi's are so boring,BMW and Mercdes ugly, to much focused on the Chinese. Volvo will set the standard in the SUV segment like thydid with the current XC90, it willobe a bestseller.

eh? no sign of the new jeep cheroke

The Volvo, like all Volvos for the last 50 years will be a tier 2 car. Respected but no big deal.

And your first comment is poor considering there is only one tenuous VW Group car in the 5 listed model (if you ignore the title picture).

I see a Q5 and the upgraded Q5, the Porsche Macan.
My point is that the new Volvo will be the most significant car launch this year (and no I'm not a Volvo enthousiast).
I also miss the new Lexus NX, with Hybrid drivetrain and striking good looks.
So the list should have been:
1. XC90
2. Land Rover Discovery and Freelander
3. Lexus
4. Citroen DS 4x4 (new midsized Citroen)
etc.......

To all those asking what about the xc90, i think looking at the list of cars mentioned, they are in the segment below sizewise, the xc 90 is a competitor to the cayenne, x5, ml class

AEX 1337
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