2014 Luxury SUV Buying Guide

2014 Lexus RX 350

2014 Lexus RX 350 1

One of the granddaddies of five-passenger luxury SUVs and a perennial class-leader in sales, the RX gets no major changes following a model-year 2013 freshening. This report covers the gasoline RX 350. Lexus sells a hybrid called the RX 450h, which we cover in the CarPreview.com 2014 Electric and Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle Buying Guide. The RX350 isn’t so much about a scintillating driving experience as getting you from point A to B in comfort and quietness. At that it excels. Lexus tries to inject some excitement with the sport-themed F Sport version but it’s louder, costlier, rides too stiff, and doesn’t handle appreciably better than a standard RX 350. Fuel-economy ratings span 20-21 mpg combined. Base-price range is $40,670-$48,360.

 

2014 Lincoln MKX

2014 Lincoln MKX

The Lincoln MKX is a five-seat midsize crossover SUV that shares its basic design with the Ford Edge. Model-year 2014 marks the debut of a new Limited Edition Package, which includes unique leather upholstery, contrast stitching and piping, polished aluminum wheels, and other trim pieces. Offered with a choice of front- or all-wheel drive, MKXs have a 305-horsepower 3.7-liter V-6 and a six-speed automatic transmission. This gilded Edge has solid, if not sporty, driving dynamics, a very nice interior, and lots of standard amenities for the price. It’s let down by the ever-glitchy MyFord Touch infotainment interface (called MyLincoln Touch in this case). Further, Ford’s more frugal EcoBoost turbocharged four-cylinder engine, while optional on the Edge, is not offered on the MKX. Fuel-economy ratings span19-21 mpg combined. Base-price range is $40,470-$42,420.

 

2014 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class

2013 Mercedes-Benz GL63

The GL-Class is a large-class luxury SUV that’s a bit smaller than the norm, so it’s relatively easy to park and maneuver, at the expense of some second- and third-row spaciousness. Still, we’re hard-pressed to criticize room, comfort, build quality, or overall road manners. After a significant freshening for model-year 2013, only minor equipment updates are on the 2014 agenda. Interestingly, the “base” model is the GL350 BlueTec, powered by a diesel V-6 that rates a solid 22 mpg city/highway combined. Filling out the line are the twin-turbo gas-V-8 GL450 (362 horsepower), GL550 (429 horsepower), and high-performance GL63 AMG (550). All-wheel drive is standard on all. Fuel-economy ratings for the gas models span 14-16 mpg combined. Base-price range is $63,925-$119,085.

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]