2014 Luxury SUV Buying Guide

2014 Audi Q5

2014 Audi Q5 1

Audi’s more conventional compact crossover gets a number of revisions for model-year 2014. Base four-cylinder models gain power and additional standard equipment. Added are a turbodiesel V-6 and a high-performance edition called the SQ5. The diesel has 240 horsepower and is rated 27 mpg city/highway combined. That actually beats the 26-mpg rating of the gas/electric Q5 Hybrid, which you can learn more about in the CarPreview.com 2014 Electric and Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle Buying Guide. The SQ5 uses a 354-horsepower 3.0-liter supercharged V-6. Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive is standard across the Q5 lineup. All Q5s handle very well and boast wonderfully crafted interiors. The new diesel model is a terrific hybrid alternative and costs less. For the other Q5 models, fuel-economy ratings span 19-23 mpg combined. Base-price range is $38,195-$52,795.

 

2014 Audi Q7

2014 Audi Q7 1

Q7 is Audi’s large-class SUV, with seven-passenger seating on three rows. It sees only minor equipment tweaks for 2014. Gasoline and diesel engines are offered. The gas engine is a 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 producing 280 or 333 horsepower, depending on trim level. These models are rated 18 mpg combined city/highway. We’re partial to the Q7 TDI. Its 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6 has a healthy 406-pound-feet of torque yet rates a combined 22 mpg — not bad for a vehicle with a curb weight of 5,412 pounds. Though stylish and comparatively thrifty, Q7’s design feels a bit dated and doesn’t use its interior space with maximum efficiency, with relatively tight cargo room and a very cramped third-row seat. Base-price range is $48,595-$65,795.

 

2014 BMW X1

2014 BMW X1 9

It might surprise you that the most affordable 2014 BMW on sale in the U.S. is not a base-level 3 Series sedan but rather the X1 crossover. This very compact four-door wagon offers a choice of rear- or all-wheel drive and turbocharged four- and six-cylinder engines. Even though it is the least costly BMW, you still get all the perks of ownership, including 4 years/50,000 miles of complimentary scheduled maintenance. This is one of the more fun-to-drive SUVs of any stripe, and has the feel of a classic small BMW sedan. Given its tidy exterior dimensions, passenger room is surprisingly good in front and passable in back. But cargo space is at a premium, and desirable luxury features such as leather upholstery and heated front seats can add significantly to the sticker price. Fuel-economy ratings span 21-27 mpg city/highway combined. Base-price range is $31,725-$39,525.

About Chuck Giametta

This nationally recognized, award-winning writer brings to Carpreview.com two decades of automotive testing and reporting for newspapers, books, magazines, and the Internet. The former Executive Auto Editor of Consumer Guide, Chuck has covered cars for HowStuffWorks.com, Collectible Automobile magazine, and the Publications International Ltd. automotive book series. This ex-newspaper reporter has also appeared as an automotive expert on network television and radio. He’s a charter member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association, the president of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Media association, and a juror for the annual Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year awards. Chuck writes from Colorado Springs, Colo. If you have a question for Chuck, write to him at [email protected]