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The Quickest SUVs We’ve Ever Tested

quickest suvs we've ever tested

Marc UrbanoCar and Driver

The SUV world has changed a lot since the 280-hp, all-wheel-drive GMC Typhoon hit the streets in the early 1990s and made the performance ute as a thing. The turbocharged, two-door GMC Jimmy–based SUV dashed to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds in our 1992 test, quicker than a contemporary BMW M5. Today, crossovers and SUVs are at the height of their popularity and sophistication—while growing ever more powerful. Most of the lavish all-wheel-drive rigs on this list blister with more than twice the Typhoon’s horsepower, and every single one sprints to 60 mph in less than 4.0 seconds. (For some of the SUVs in this group, multiple tests of the same model have produced different 60 mph times, so we included the quickest of each.) That Lamborghini has joined the people-mover ranks with the 2019 Urus (with Ferrari on the way) means we’ll surely be updating this list as SUV performance continues to evolve. Click through for a tour of the quickest SUVs we’ve strapped our test gear to thus far.

2020 Audi SQ8 – 3.6 seconds

The Audi SQ8 is like a discount Lamborghini Urus. Powered by a similar 500-hp twin-turbo V-8, the SQ8 and Urus also ride on the same Volkswagen MLB Evo platform. There’s a 0.5 second to 60 mph discrepancy between the two models, but consider the SQ8 a Urus-lite, slightly slower and $132,000 cheaper. The SQ8 circled our skidpad with an admirable 0.92 g of lateral grip on base 21-inch wheels wrapped in Hankook Dynapro HP2 Plus all-season tires. We’re sure this wannabe-bull will get bucked off the list after we test the 591-hp RS Q8.

2020 Audi SQ8 – 3.6 seconds

  • Price as tested: $107,490 (base price: $89,995)
  • Powertrain: 500-hp twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8, eight-speed automatic
  • Weight: 5469 lb

READ THE REVIEW HERE

2020 Porsche Macan Turbo – 3.5 seconds (tie)

The Porsche Macan Turbo checks all the boxes. Want a comfortable, smooth ride? The Macan Turbo can do that. Want to show the person at the stoplight next to you what your vanity plate says? Stand on the brakes and flatten the right pedal to activate launch control and rocket off the line. The Macan Turbo delivers on its 3.5-second 60-mph promise. It has awesome lateral grip, hanging onto the 300-ft skidpad at 0.93 g. Who thought grip and speed could feel so natural behind the wheel of a 4451 pound SUV?

2020 Porsche Macan Turbo – 3.5 seconds (tie)

  • Price as tested: $94,120 (base price: $84,950)
  • Powertrain: 434-hp twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 , seven-speed dual-clutch automatic
  • Weight: 4451 lb

READ THE REVIEW HERE

2019 Maserati Levante Trofeo – 3.5 seconds (tie)

The big Maserati trident is sure to spear some bugs when it’s stuck at the nose of the 582-hp twin-turbo Levante Trofeo. The engine is built by Ferrari, but Maserati is owned by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, so there’s also a little Jeep mixed in its DNA. A less-powerful Levante GTS model also uses a similar V-8, and starts $50,000 cheaper, but is 0.2-second slower to 60 mph. Both versions are all-wheel-drive and use an eight-speed automatic to get the power out. Our Trofeo test subject wore 21-inch Continental ContiSportContact 5 tires and accomplished 0.91 g of lateral grip on our skidpad.

2019 Maserati Levante Trofeo – 3.5 seconds (tie)

  • Price as tested: $171,875 (base price: $171,475)
  • Powertrain: 582-hp twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V-8, eight-speed automatic
  • Weight: 5175 lb

READ THE REVIEW HERE

2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk – 3.4 seconds (tie)

The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is by far the most powerful vehicle on this list. Combine a 707-hp supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 with an eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive, all stuffed into Jeep’s luxury off-roader, and this is the result. While our still impressive quarter-mile pass of 11.8 seconds at 115 mph fell short of Jeep’s 11.6-second claim, this remains the most manageable way to live with (and exploit) Fiat Chrysler’s thunderous Hellcat engine.

2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk – 3.4 seconds (tie)

  • Price as tested: $90,880 (base price: $86,995)
  • Powertrain: 707-hp supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 , eight-speed automatic
  • Weight: 5258 lb

READ THE REVIEW HERE

2017 Bentley Bentayga W-12 – 3.4 seconds (tie)

Weighing a herculean 5672 pounds and producing only 600 horsepower (and 664 lb-ft of torque) from its available twin-turbo 6.0-liter W-12 engine, the top-spec Bentayga is fairly low on the list of quickest SUVs. That its hedonistic trappings and reserved demeanor make little drama of that full-throttle affair is impressive. Oh, and you can take it off-road—you know, SUV stuff—if you want to.

2017 Bentley Bentayga W-12 – 3.4 seconds (tie)

  • Price as tested: $281,170 (base price: $231,825)
  • Powertrain: 600-hp twin-turbocharged W-12, eight-speed automatic
  • Weight: 5672 lb

READ THE REVIEW HERE

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S SUV – 3.4 seconds

Saying Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S SUV out loud might sound like alphabet vomit, but blasting to 60 mph in a 5568 pound full-size SUV is as good a remedy as Pepto. A rear-biased all-wheel drive system helps it lunge from corners like sports cars half its size. A limited-slip rear differential also helps. The previous-generation GLE63 S we tested weighed 253 pounds less, but was 0.3-second slower to 60 mph. Mercedes pulled out all the stops for this thing with a 48-volt Active Ride Control anti-roll system, a suspension that drops 0.4-inch at speeds above 75 mph to reduce drag, and dynamic engine mounts that stiffen automatically based on driving conditions.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S SUV – 3.4 seconds

  • Price as tested: $134,235 (base price: $114,945))
  • Powertrain: 603-hp twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8, nine-speed automatic
  • Weight: 5568 lb

READ THE REVIEW HERE

2019 Porsche Cayenne Turbo – 3.4 seconds

The fun part about high-performance SUVs is that they outperform vehicles they aren’t even competing against. The Porsche Cayenne Turbo is a good example. It can accelerate quicker than the 526-hp Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R, but it can also tow more than any mid-size pickup. The Porsche’s 541-hp twin-turbo V-8 and eight-speed automatic is the only powertrain. The Turbo we tested had the optional PDDC (Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control) Sport package with its active anti-roll bars and the accompanying Torque Vectoring Plus. Its Pirelli P Zero Corsa PZC4 are sticky and unleash even more grip for the Turbo model, as we managed 1.00 g of lateral grip on our skidpad.

2019 Porsche Cayenne Turbo – 3.4 seconds

  • Price as tested: $137,810 (base price: $125,850)
  • Powertrain: 541-hp twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8, eight-speed automatic
  • Weight: 5148 lb

READ THE REVIEW HERE

2020 BMW X3 M Competition – 3.3 seconds

You might notice there’s no performance lettering, or carbon fiber car bits protruding from the BMW X3 M Competition to alert everyone else to its performance prowess. It doesn’t need but a few BMW M-Performance badges, thanks to its exhaust-popping exterior sound system. It’s powered by a 503-hp twin-turbo inline-six, and an eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive system also used by the quickest car we tested in 2019, an M5 Competition. The powerplant in the X3 M Competition uses a forged crankshaft, connecting rods, and pistons, making it capable of higher revs and 18.9 psi of peak boost. That’s right, BMW put its most powerful inline-six in an SUV, but you wouldn’t know it just from looking.

2020 BMW X3 M Competition – 3.3 seconds

  • Price as tested: $84,395 (base price: $77,895)
  • Powertrain: 503-hp twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six, eight-speed automatic transmission
  • Weight: 4549 lb

READ THE REVIEW HERE

2020 BMW X4 M Competition – 3.3 seconds

Maybe the craziest part about a 4539-pound crossover like the BMW X4 Competition reaching 3.3 seconds from zero to 60 mph is that there are still five other SUVs that can do it quicker. That said, the X4 M Competition can get to 100 mph in an 8.0-second jump, which is quicker than utes like the GLC63 S coupe and Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio. It’s also $122,600 cheaper than a Lamborghini Urus, but only 0.2-second slower. With help from its 21-inch Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires, the X4 M is also somewhat of a savage on the skidpad, achieving 0.97 g of lateral acceleration. The only thing missing is a rear-drive only mode, but maybe that would be too crazy? Nah.

2020 BMW X4 M Competition – 3.3 seconds

  • Price as tested: $86,495 (base price: $81,395)
  • Powertrain: 503-hp twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six, eight-speed automatic transmission
  • Weight: 4539 lb

READ THE REVIEW HERE

2021 Bentley Bentayga V-8 – 3.3 seconds

The Bentley Bentayga lives in a fairly close-knit segment with the Rolls-Royce Cullinan and the Aston Martin DBX . Like many of the SUVs on this list, it uses a twin-turbocharged V-8 and will churn out 542 horsepower. Even if its eight-speed automatic isn’t the smoothest, it’s at least capable of getting the 5470-lb Bentayga to 60 mph quicker than the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500’s seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. With a $179,725 starting price, ultraluxury isn’t cheap but there’s at least two quicker SUVs on this list that are cheaper.

2021 Bentley Bentayga V-8 – 3.3 seconds

  • Price as tested: $226,985 (base price: $179,725)
  • Powertrain: 542-hp twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8, eight-speed automatic
  • Weight: 5470 lb

READ THE REVIEW HERE

2016 Tesla Model X P90D – 3.2 seconds (tie)

Its falcon-wing rear doors may be silly and its lack of small explosions under the hood might disappoint internal-combustion fans, but there’s no denying that Tesla’s crossover is ludicrously quick. After all, it has an available Ludicrous driving mode. Peak acceleration in the Model X is a kick to the backside. In our testing, a 2016 Ludicrous Speed–equipped P90D model (that’s the Performance trim of the X with the 90.0-kWh battery pack, which has since been discontinued in favor of the even-quicker 100D models) warped to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds and covered the quarter-mile in 11.6 at 116 mph. Shout out to the all-wheel drive and 713 lb-ft of instantaneous electric torque for that breathtaking launch capability. While this list surely will get more crowded in the near future as other fiery electric SUVs come to market, the people mover from the House of Elon is currently the quickest of the quick.

2016 Tesla Model X P90D – 3.2 seconds (tie)

  • Price as tested: $133,700 (base price: $116,700)
  • Powertrain: permanent-magnet synchronous AC front motor, AC induction rear motor, 259- and 503-hp, 244 and 469 lb-ft; combined output, 532 hp, 713 lb-ft; 90.0-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, single-speed direct-drive transmission (front/rear)
  • Weight: 5594 lb

READ THE REVIEW HERE

2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio – 3.2 seconds (tie)

Alfa Romeo’s first attempt at building an SUV is a serious one and the high-performance Quadrifoglio version of the Stelvio crossover is an impressive performance machine. Not only does its 505 horsepower twin-turbocharged V-6 help it hit 60 mph in a scant 3.2 seconds, it also provides the whole dynamic package, winning a comparison test against the best comparable SUVs that Porsche and Mercedes-AMG have to offer. It’s pretty quick around the track too, completing a lap time of 3:03 during our annual Lightning Lap event in 2019.

2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio – 3.2 seconds (tie)

  • Price as tested: $93,340 (base price: $81,590)
  • Powertrain: 505-hp twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V-6, eight-speed automatic
  • Weight: 4221 lb

READ THE REVIEW HERE

2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC63 S Coupe – 3.2 seconds (tie)

You must surely be wondering how the 503-hp Mercedes-AMG GLC63 S coupe edges the Tesla Model X in this accelerative roundup despite notching the same 3.2-second run to 60 mph. Easy—remember, we decided that zero-to-100-mph and quarter-mile times are tiebreakers, and in both metrics, the AMG SUV/coupe mashup smokes the Tesla. How does 100 mph in 8.1 seconds sound? Or an 11.6-second quarter-mile with a 119-mph trap speed? Yeah, that’s quick. And it applies only to the GLC63 S coupe; the 469-hp non-S version aren’t as speedy (ditto the coupe’s more traditionally shaped GLC63 SUV sibling, which isn’t available in S guise).

2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC63 S Coupe – 3.2 seconds (tie)

  • Price as tested: $104,910 (base price: $81,745)
  • Powertrain: 503-hp twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 engine, nine-speed automatic
  • Weight: 4517 lb

READ THE REVIEW HERE

2020 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid – 3.2 seconds (tie)

What do you get when you take Porsche’s 541-hp twin-turbo V-8 and slap a 134-hp electric motor between it and an eight-speed automatic transmission? A whopping combined 670 horsepower with 633 lb-ft of torque for starters. Not only is the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid the quickest and fastest Cayenne ever, it’s the second quickest SUV we’ve ever tested. You can drive it up to 83 mph in battery-only mode, and once the gas-engine kicks, up to 183 mph. The added 295 lb-ft of torque from the electric motor is a hefty shove when the gas pedal is flat—an electric boost derived from the quickest car we’ve ever tested—the Porsche 918 Spyder. It’s a grip-happy SUV, yielding 1.01 g on our 300-ft skidpad while wearing Pirelli P Zero Corza PZC4 tires on 21-inch wheels. It’s also the only gas-powered SUV on this list that gets an EPA-estimated 44 MPGe.

2020 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid – 3.2 seconds (tie)

  • Price as tested: $194,650 (base price: $163,150)
  • Powertrain: twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 32-valve 4.0-liter V-8, 541 hp, 568 lb-ft; permanent-magnet synchronous AC motor, 134 hp, 295 lb-ft; combined output, 670 hp, eight-speed automatic
  • Weight: 5623 lb

READ THE REVIEW HERE

2019 Lamborghini Urus – 3.1 seconds

When you think of Lamborghini you probably don’t immediately picture an SUV or a twin-turbocharged V-8, but here we are. Urus might as well mean hodgepodge in Italian, with a 641-hp engine from the Volkswagen Auto Group’s portfolio and a platform shared with the Audi Q7, Q8, and Bentley Bentayga. But no other SUV we’ve tested has gone quicker to 60 mph than a Urus. It also dominated the SUV segment during our annual Lightning Lap event in 2019, with a lap time of 2:55.8, yet another commendation for the mechanical bull.

2019 Lamborghini Urus – 3.1 seconds

  • Price as tested: $243,377 (base price: $203,995)
  • Powertrain: 641-hp twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8, eight-speed automatic
  • Weight: 5314 lb

READ THE REVIEW HERE

2020 Kar Tunz Lamborghini Urus S – 2.7 seconds

Bay Area tuning shop Kar Tunz tweaked the fuel map and cranked the boost on the already quick Lamborghini Urus to unleash an even wilder beast. It’s still a completely stock engine, but they also added a new exhaust system, and a radar and laser-detection system for obvious reasons. The Kar Tunz Urus has a claimed output of 725 horsepower, and during our testing we hit 60 mph in 2.7 seconds, quicker than cars like the McLaren Senna and Ferrari 488 Pista.

2020 Kar Tunz Lamborghini Urus S – 2.7 seconds

  • Price as tested: $277,904 (Base price: $234,102)
  • Powertrain: 725-hp twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8, eight-speed automatic transmission
  • Weight: 5140 lb

READ THE REVIEW HERE

Check Out The Quickest Vehicles of the Last Decade

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