2014 Luxury SUV Buying Guide

2014 Infiniti QX70

2014 Infiniti QX70S 5.0 AWD

Formerly the FX, this five-passenger midsize crossover is renamed QX70 but gets no major changes for model-year 2014. QX70 targets the BMW X5, Land Rover Range Rover Sport, and Mercedes-Benz M-Class as a luxury SUV that favors sport over utility. Handling is good, at the expense of ride quality. The 325-horsepower V-6 is plenty fast, the 390-horsepower V-8 is very fast, but a gas hog. Passenger and cargo room are subpar, but the cabin looks great, especially the available quilted leather upholstery. The infotainment system, while not as feature rich as its rivals, is surprisingly easy to use. Fuel-economy ratings span 16-19 mpg combined. Base-price range is $45,945-$62,495.

 

2014 Land Rover Range Rover

2014 Land Rover Range Rover 5

Even after a complete redesign for model-year 2013, Range Rover’s flagship sees a number of updates for 2014, including addition of an extended-length model. The standard 375-horsepower V-8 and six-speed automatic transmission is shelved in favor of a 340-horsepower supercharged V-6 and eight-speed automatic. The new V-6 rates 19 mpg combined, up from the outgoing V-8’s 16. The top-line Supercharged and Autobiography models retain a 510-horsepower supercharged V-8 and 15 mpg rating. A sophisticated all-wheel-drive system is standard, and Range Rovers continue to seat just five. But the new long-wheelbase body style boasts more than 7 inches additional rear legroom; it’s available only with the V-8. Finicky audio/navigation and climate controls take more time to master than on most luxury vehicles, but the Range Rover is an enticing blend of luxury, performance, and capability. Base-price range is $84,195-$142,995.

 

2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport

2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport 6

The Range Rover Sport is the midsize sibling to the Range Rover and Land Rover top-selling vehicle. A clean-sheet model-year 2014 redesign brings new styling, a new base engine, and a host of improved safety and convenience features. Like the larger Range Rover, the Sport foregoes its standard V-8 in favor of a supercharged V-6 that should return 19 mpg combined, according to the EPA. The 510-horsepower supercharged V-8 returns in-tact for those who want even more performance and can live with its 16 mpg fuel economy rating. Its taut proportions and solid driving dynamics make the Range Rover Sport a credible performance alternative to the BMW X5 and Porsche Cayenne. A quirky infotainment system and a couple odd ergonomic choices hurt its cause. Base-price range is $63,495-$93,295.

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]